The seemingly controversial ad that The Gym ran in the ad-vertiser on Feb. 7 has gotten media attention, both locally and nationally.
The ad reads:
Do you ever wonder why XY>XX? WE DO! The Gym values its male members tremendously but we don’t value them a THIRD more than our female members!
(See page 2 for the ad)
The ad has been featured on Click on Detroit, Channel 4 News, the Detroit Free Press and has now reached USA Today.
The ad ran on the front page of the ad-vertiser, which is published by Sherman Publications. The Lake Orion Review also is published by Sherman Publications.
Rich Garvin, owner of the gym, believes that women are at a financial disadvantage compared to men, and that’s the reason he is offering a lower monthly price for them.
Women will pay $20 to join The Gym, which is two thirds of the $30 monthly membership men pay.
As the son of a single working mother, Garvin experienced first-hand the injustice she went through in regard to equality in the workforce, he said.
Garvin’s gym has the likeness of thousands of gyms across the country; it’s membership is co-ed and consists of the national average of 60 percent men and 40 percent women.
He offers a variety of classes, one-on-one coaching, free weights, weight and cardio machines — just like thousands of other gyms.
The big difference between “them” and “him” is that he offers women a cheaper rate than men.
With the cheaper price and the ad, he is getting some push-back, but not from the members of his gym – they don’t seem to have a problem with it, Garvin said.
He says it’s coming from people who are not affiliated with Lake Orion, his gym or him personally.
“One thing that I found in reaction to the ad and the subsequent news coverage, is that the people that seem to have a problem with it argue that it is simply unfair. That I can’t treat men like that, by charging them more than women, by not offering them the same discount. I am bringing light to a subject that I believe in,” he said.
Garvin noted that none of his members have expressed a concern about the disparity in pricing and the negative sentiment is coming from people not even in the area.
He said he likes to point out to those who question him — who feel slighted or treated unfairly — that his decision is something that will never affect them.
“This is in regard to a relatively insignificant gym in a small community that you are likely to never even think of stepping foot in and you still feel this unfairness; you still feel you are slighted or treated unfairly, and it is something that will never affect you the rest of your life.”
He takes up his cause by stating his argument to those that question his decision,
“I like to ask those doubters ‘How do you think women have felt since the beginning of time, essentially? How do you think a woman feels when she has had to endure things that affect her every single day of her life?’
“Ask a woman how she feels if she has been treated unfairly professionally and what she has had to sacrifice for equality?’ And sometimes they’ll grasp the understanding of my stance and sometimes they won’t,” he said.
“I’m just some obscure gym guy running a special gym membership. It is never wrong to do the right thing,” Gavin stated.