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Tough Titsday Powerlifting Meet Group Shots

Jezebel Response

Yesterday Jezebel ran a blog post including portions of an email dialogue between Coach Margie, someone who recently graduated our Foundations program and me. Unfortunately, the article seemed to have a heavy bias against CrossFit and there was no attempt to contact us for the article. Normally I avoid internet drama like the plague, but given the extreme manner in which I, the program and our community was characterized, I thought it prudent to clarify a couple issues before putting the matter to rest.

Denying membership
The reason why I denied her membership was not because she voiced her opinion, nor was it because she took issue with the name of the class. I told her she couldn't join because after several attempts to discuss the issue in a civil manner, including inviting her to the next TTD meet, she continued on to criticize me personally.  As a small business owner, I have the luxury of denying a patron service if I feel they've been unreasonable or disrespectful, and in this instance I felt exactly that. Anyone who's been on our blog knows that we encourage rational and respectful debate on a variety of topics every single day. The idea that I'd kick someone out because they expressed their opinion is completely contrary to our ethos and culture.

The Name: Tough Titsday
I believe that Margie, the class’s creator, summed up our initial perspective best: “It is just as it seems, a subversive, cheeky reclamation of silly vulgarity.” And while that was the intention with which we approached the title, all words will invariably have different connotations and different cultural contexts for different listeners. With that in mind, I believe there is absolutely room for debate about its appropriateness and we're happy to engage in that debate as long as the conversation remains respectful. Perceived or real objectification of anyone is not something to be taken lightly, and I feel confident that anyone who has experienced the class itself or the culture of our gym would tell you immediately that's not what's going on in this instance. We are always open to dialogue and encourage members to provide feedback on all gym matters whether personal or political without fear of retribution. Crossfit South Brooklyn has always thrived on honest and enthusiastic community engagement and will continue to do so moving forward.

Blog Edit
The article accused us of taking down a page with the description of Tough Titsday. This was just patently false. The page is live in our archives and, in fact, I did not read the Jezebel post until after they supposedly "updated" it.

Lastly, I'd just like to thank everyone who called, emailed, posted comments and provided general encouragement to me and Margie yesterday. We were touched by the outpouring of support and happy that anyone who's spent time at the gym or with us knows that we've worked incredibly hard to create an inclusive and professional training environment for everyone who walks through our doors.

From Margie:
Tough Titsday may be my program, my curriculum and something in which I take great pride, but I was fortunate to be part of an organization that actively encouraged me to develop it. When I joined the SBK community in its infancy, I had no idea that I would derive so much personal meaning from acquiring physical strength. At the time, I was one of the few women around, yet I never felt apart from or objectified by my fellow community members. I did what everyone else did and learned what everyone else learned and felt proud of my athletic gains like everyone else. As someone new to physical challenge, this was life changing.

When I started coaching, and our membership became more diverse, I wanted to offer women an opportunity to develop a facility with, and desire for strength. I wanted to share the powerful self-possession I experienced. And I wanted women to feel awesome about it. I've now witnessed many women experience a similar transformation to mine, which has been endlessly gratifying. David, and the other coaches at SBK, have supported this one hundred percent.


LGBT NYC CF is a growing network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Crossfitters in NYC. We come together to workout and to promote greater visibility of LGBT people in the Crossfit community. 

The first 2 WODs were hosted by Crossfit NYC and Crossfit Hell's Kitchen. The next WOD will be hosted by Crossfit South Brooklyn on Sunday, June 9th at 3pm. We invite all LGBT Crossfitters and allies to WOD with us. 

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Reader Comments (110)

That wasn't me. ^

Hey Jen, I'm fairly certain personal attacks don't really fall under the heading of free business consulting. She said she was uncomfortable with the name, rather than ignore her, considerate responses were written to let her know what the community at large thought of the program, an everyone here was happy to agree to disagre. If it would have ended there none of this drama would have occurred.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Everyone in ur community / gym seems really proud and happy the way your running things which is great , however the name Tough Titsday is a little crude and does bring a certain tack to a slick operation , I love crossfit but I d have to admit I would not sign up to a class entitled this TT 😔 everyone's entitled to their say and it's brought a lot off attention to ur box which looks like a lot of fun !

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIngrid

Why isn't the title "Tough Tits Day" (two words)? Is it because CF wouldn't allow you to name a class with an obscene word in the title? Yes, yes it is. This is exactly why I left CF: The worse-than-frat-boy atmosphere.

I went back and read the post at Jezebel. Coach Margie said in her email that many people have complained about the misogynistic title of the class. (And you don't dispute any of her email quotes, so we must believe all quotes are accurate.) If so many people have complained, then you should simply change the title. Empowering women does not have to go hand-in-hand with sexualizing them.

If anyone knows of a gym that doesn't stand for members harassing women, and that doesn't publicly harass women by insisting on keeping a misogynistic title even after numerous complaints from BOTH genders, let me know. Somehow, I don't think that will ever happen.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLady CrossFitter

Wow your ability to misconstrue is amazing.
First off if by CF you mean Crossfit HQ I can assure that they don't give a shit wether we use one word or two to name the class.
Secondly at no point did Margie ever say that many people in our gym were offended by it. She said a few men were embarrassed to say the words, in that giggly I don't want to offend anybody kind of way.
The program is a completely optional adjunct to the main class program we offer here. I'm sure there are a few people who don't live the name, but their smart enough to look at the Tough Titsday program as a whole and realize how insignificant the name is in comparison.

I wish you good luck in finding your gym, something tells me you'll find something to be upset about everywhere you go.

May 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

"Tough titty said the kitty but the milk's still good" eventually it became tough tits, like man up about the situation and just deal with it. I don't see how that woman took offense. I am a woman and I love the name. Many business owners have the right to deny a customer for a reason. That woman seemed annoying and if it was my gym, she would have been banned as well. Men have tits as well they're just not objectified as the females'. So tough tits to that woman, join another gym with a name you don't take offense to. Maybe join Lucille Roberts and feel welcome because they're targeted towards women.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTina

This makes me so upset! That Jezebel argument is such garbage! They must have monstrously large balls to post something so inflammatory and just FALSE without even getting the other side of the story, let alone visiting CFSBK and checking it out in person.

As a woman doing CrossFit, I have to say that one of my favorite things about this place is that the "douchey bros" that you see at all kinds of other gyms seem to be absent from our little box. I've never experienced even a shred of misogyny or sexism (or even anything remotely less than equal treatment) from anyone at CFSBK - including coaches and other attendees.

May 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBianca S.

hey guys from the ends of the earth, keep the name, it's your place (Te papa).
I've been thinking about cross fit and if our guys are as a community as you are that is encouraging me.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMikeNZ

I think as a business owner you would recognize that it is instead of complaining, most people will just stop patronizing your business.....and they'll tell their friends.

I think the fact that you continued to respond shows your sophomoric approach. If you are firm, state this as such and don't continue to be the individual who needs the last word.

I'm not uptight and I'm a proponent for women's lib, but using "tit" in a title of a wellness class is childish and unprofessional.

May 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDL

I am a woman. I am an athlete. I find the name incredibly offensive and tasteless.

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKari

Honestly, though, how important is the "Tuesday Tits Day" moniker in the grand scheme of things? I don't care if a woman created the moniker, that makes it no less offensive .

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTits McGee

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