Misogyny rules at the Guilderland YMCA

To the Editor:

I read your article regarding TVs at the Guilderland YMCA [“TVs at the YMCA no longer play CNN, Sept. 6, 2018] and found it to be flatteringly inaccurate.

Erin Breslin, director of marketing and membership for the Capital District YMCA, and Lisa Wolcott, direct of operation at the Guilderland Y, painted a pretty picture where the Y is “welcoming and inclusive.” The tone of the article was “too bad you can’t make everyone happy, oh, well.” My experience there defies this description.

I resigned as a member of the YMCA on May 8 after arriving to notice all four TVs tuned to Fox News. Several male members were so incensed to view Stormy Daniels, they loudly used profanity. When I asked them to lower their voices I was called “a cunt.”

I immediately complained to the sole employee (female) in the upper gym, then to the front desk staff (also female) only to be told they didn’t want to confront the men. That is (really) the new management policy — acquiescing to any irritated male.

The next day, when I submitted my resignation paperwork and specially asked for a male administrator to talk to, the administrator was only concerned with receiving the names of the female employees I spoke to, emphatically nothing else.

So much for “inclusiveness”! Since they had my checking account number, I was charged for seven additional weeks.

I also put in writing incidents where white, obese male “swimmers” were gyrating their hips and cat-calling female water aerobic instructors during class (in front of preschool children), giving dates, first names, and physical descriptions — only to be ignored. Apparently, this is A-OK with YMCA policy.

When Ms. Wolcott states she was “unaware of any fights or arguing” I can only infer she neglects to even glance at any paperwork people who leave are required to fill out.

Ms. Breslin erroneously told The Enterprise “Fox News has not been on YMCA TV sets in a long time.” Not true, unless May 2018 is in “the distant past.”

The Y may preach “inclusiveness” but clearly some voices matter more than others. I was denigrated with a slur for asking someone to clean up his language but heaven forbid a Republican male be “confronted” by CNN playing in the background.

The Guilderland YMCA is a “Boys will be Boys” club where misogyny rules with impunity.

Roxanne Koczaja


Editor’s note: Lisa Wolcott, director of operations for the Guilderland YMCA, responded, “Never at any point have we had all four channels showing Fox,” and, “Any time we get a complaint, we immediately respond.” Erin Breslin, director of marketing and membership for the Capital District YMCA, also denied the allegations and said, “We are welcoming to all, we believe in the value of being inclusive and diverse, and celebrate diversity.”

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