Fitness
Moderators: melkor


Female joggers-Have you experinced gawkers?


Quote  |  Reply

I started interval jogging/walking (couch to 5K) 3 weeks ago.  I’ve just been going around my urban residential neighborhood, and I usually encounter about a half dozen people who either ignore me or give a quick wave.  On my last jogging session I encountered a man in a truck who was basically staring at me.  He was turning left in front of me, and had plenty of time to turn before I reached the intersection, but waited for me to cross the street and then stayed parked at the stop sign for a good 15 +seconds after I crossed, and then turned VERY slowly before driving away. 

Maybe I’m just paranoid /narcissistic but I really think this guy was gawking at me and I’ve never had this experience before.  (I suppose it is possible that he is just a very cautious driver, but I just got ‘that feeling’ that it was something else…)  I was wearing a tank top instead of an XL T-shirt like I usually do, but I’m still 70 pounds over my goal weight, so I don’t feel like I’m a hot jogger guys would want to stare at.  The feeling I had was weird because I simultaneously felt slightly vulnerable/violated and almost complimented that someone thought I was stare-worthy. 

Do those of you who jog encounter this frequently or ever?  Am I going to have to deal with this more often if I continue to lose weight?  I would really like to just be left alone and not have to be self-conscious worrying if people are watching me exercise.  Do you just ignore this kind of thing?

114 Replies (last)

Either I'm totally repulsive, or I live way too far out in the boonies, but I can only think of one time in the past year when someone slowed down their car to watch me run (and it's NOT because I've only run once in the last year... I love my running). Mostly I worry about jogging along my country road because people DON'T slow down and I'm afraid of being mashed. 

I am honestly pretty disgusted and shocked at a lot of the attitudes men have expressed in this thread. I first read it because this happens to me EVERY SINGLE TIME I go running (or for that matter, walk my dog, go to the park, etc) and it's a serious issue and not right. I don't care how "beautiful" or how much a "work of art" a woman's body is, it's not for MEN to judge or look at. I run for myself, not to put myself on display or for your pleasure.

Because we live in a society that encourages this behavior and men think it's acceptable to leer, honk, catcall, yell out of their cars, and approach women while we are trying to run, jog, or walk outside in public (which men don't seem to appreciate they have the privilege of doing so interrupted and in PEACE), I can no longer do it. I love jogging outside, but that can no longer be apart of my life because of the behavior of some men.

I can't run outside because I am in fear of the next creep or entitled male that doesn't understand personal space or social boundaries.  This is a serious thing. I'm trying to stress that in hopes that some men who seem to think it's fun, funny, or lighthearted will realize the realities of some women in everyday life.

I can't go for a jog in my very nice neighborhood because I've had men follow me, harass me, scream obscenities at me, and sexually harass me. And that's what it is, sexual harassment. I didn't provoke it, I didn't ask for it, and I have never expressed any interest in passerby. I don't even LOOK at people when I'm walking, running, or jogging outside because god forbid I establish eye contact, I'm "asking for it". You might think it's harmless to honk or yell something, or even stare at a woman, but it's NOT. Sure some people will not be affected, but for a lot of women and girls, it's threatening. I don't know if you're just a guy being an immature idiot, or if you're a psycho that's going to follow me home or hurt me. There's no way for me to know.

Hopefully some of you who engage in this behavior will think twice before doing it again-- a lot of the time you're ruining someone's day. I can't tell you how many times I've had to go home after 5 minutes of running because of this bs.

I was in Hawaii last week and went for a run on the beach.  I passed a van with four girls in it, in their bikinis.  The girl in the driver's seat waved at me, and I waved back.  As I passed the van, I heard one of the girls say, "Oh my god, that girl was super sexy!"

I'm not going to deny that I thought that was pretty awesome.

jasonjames1: We are this way because we're crazy...

chordsimple:I understand your point on this...but, if we cannot change other people's behavior then we just have to accept it and change our reaction. If no reaction is your choice of reaction then you should do that....if react is something that is normal for you then you should do that instead.

Yes, it makes most of us a little uncomfortable but we are all so quick to place blame and point fingers. Guys stare...but so do women. We all stare at each other. We look at what we don't have, what we wish we had, what we used to have, what we never had. Ignore it, live with it or deal with it. But sometimes our reaction is an over reaction.

Chordsimple:  My first thought about your problem with being harassed is that you unfortunately live in an area where you are clearly being treated unfairly.

I contrast where you live with a week I spent in San Francisco a year or so ago.  Three of the 7 days I was there, I walked about 1 and 1/2 miles down to the marina and then walked along the beach and then up to the start of the Golden Gate Bridge and then back to where I was staying.  I basically walked around 7-8 miles each of those times.

I saw dozens of younger gals in their short running shorts, halter tops or whatever, etc.  I saw hundreds of bikers, walkers, runners, joggers, etc.  NOT ONCE did I hear anyone, man or woman, yell out anything inappropriate on the three days that I went walking.

You are absolutely right to be offended by what you have to endure.  I am afraid that you are correct that our society seems to encourage that sort of thing.  On the other hand, where you live seems rather to have a more significant problem than in any places that I have visited and where I often go on long walks.

I tend to not notice gawkers (if there are any) when I run outside although I tend to run along river paths and country lanes where the only people I come across are other runners or dog walkers.

At my gym, however, is another story. There's a guy who goes to my gym and will sit on the lat pull down behind the treadmills and stare at the women. The thing is, there is a row of windows in front of the treadmills so when its dark everyone can see his reflection but he thinks no one notices. He also paces quite a lot to check girls out. I think its quite pathetic.

I'm so glad I've not had any of the experiences described here but I'm very cautious when I go out running and only use paths I know during the day, keep my ipod turned way down and make a point of saying hello to people I pass. You can never be too careful, unfortunately, and that goes for guys too

Right ifront of the squat rack is this obe machine, and i hate when I squat then someone decides to use THAT machine, out of all the other open ones. I hate when I can see them in the mirror behind me, I stop as soon as they sit down at it and get some water or stand there until they leave. Usually i think they realize i stopped because they showed up. Its usually older men, which is disgusting imo.

I jog every day on a pretty busy street in Brooklyn, and I've gotten all manner of gawkers and onlookers. Most are harmless (I tend not to feel threatened by Hasidic families and old Russian grandmas) but that other 15%, the leering ones, do make me feel really threatened at times. In the winter it's not as bad, since I'm in leggings and a fleece zip-up, but in the summer when I'm in shorts and a tank top... ugh. I mean, I personally don't notice or really care when a guy jogs by me shirtless, so it's like, why can't anyone just pay me the slightest bit of respect? Gross. Hate it.

It's not a compliment to have a guy yell "DAMN, GIRL, MOVE THAT ASS" out the window of his car. It's not a compliment to be stared at when you're just out trying to get in your daily hour of exercise! Why do men always assume that it's okay to yell whatever comes into their heads when they see a woman out running? It's disrespectful, it's worrisome, and I hate it.

This thread is old, but I just feel like saying...

It's a complete cop out to say "men are just that way" and to use the wars are fought over women argument (which doesn't even have foundation). A lot of men are just that way because they're disrespectful and don't care enough to exercise a little self-control, but they are perfectly capable. Are you saying a man isn't physically capable of keeping his eyes and lewd phrases to himself? Please.

Original Post by the100blogger:

This thread is old, but I just feel like saying...

It's a complete cop out to say "men are just that way" and to use the wars are fought over women argument (which doesn't even have foundation). A lot of men are just that way because they're disrespectful and don't care enough to exercise a little self-control, but they are perfectly capable. Are you saying a man isn't physically capable of keeping his eyes and lewd phrases to himself? Please.

Yes, I will second that. I agree that some men "are just that way" because they choose to behave like jackasses. Some men are wonderful, considerate, respectful, encouraging, self-disciplined people. 

All this being said, the problem we've been discussing isn't something that we can fix - it's only something we can complain about. :)

Original Post by jjbrc:

Original Post by the100blogger:

This thread is old, but I just feel like saying...

It's a complete cop out to say "men are just that way" and to use the wars are fought over women argument (which doesn't even have foundation). A lot of men are just that way because they're disrespectful and don't care enough to exercise a little self-control, but they are perfectly capable. Are you saying a man isn't physically capable of keeping his eyes and lewd phrases to himself? Please.

Yes, I will second that. I agree that some men "are just that way" because they choose to behave like jackasses. Some men are wonderful, considerate, respectful, encouraging, self-disciplined people. 

All this being said, the problem we've been discussing isn't something that we can fix - it's only something we can complain about. :)

Yeah, I must be spoiled or something because a number of important men in my life are like this, namely my dad and brother. I guess that's why the *we can't help it 'cause we're men* excuse is so lame to me. You can't help it because you're a loser.

Too harsh? Haha yeah, nothing to be done about it. The only other solution is to be like me - dress in layers and find a corner of the gym where the least number of people can see you. This has nothing to do with being hot, just self-conscious of people seeing me when I exercise. 

#93  
Quote  |  Reply
Yes, some men are like that and will stare at anything but if it really bothers you then cover up a bit more. They're obviously less likely to stare at a woman in a track suit or tshirt and pants than a women in shorts and tank top. If you refuse to do so or don't see why you should change the way you dress when jogging then put up with any lewd remarks and stares. You can't have your cake and eat it. Decide what bothers you more and make a decision.

Absolutely. I mean, God guys, don't you know women are responsible for the way men act? Their inability to behave like civilized human beings in public is obviously your fault, so quit cryin' and put on a **** sweater.

Original Post by deerskin310:

Absolutely. I mean, God guys, don't you know women are responsible for the way men act? Their inability to behave like civilized human beings in public is obviously your fault, so quit cryin' and put on a **** sweater.

I sincerely hope this is a facetious comment.  We can control no ones actions but our own.  I do not wear provocative clothing, and shouldnt have to run in long sleeves in summer weather. 

Entirely facetious, jenpaxton, although I think it's a rather accurate interpretation of what the poster before me said. :)

And thanks for saying it.  I just couldn't believe that she really puts the blame on women for men's inability to behave like civilized human beings. 

Definitely there are gawkers. Let 'em gawk. I gawk back too, lol. It's harmless enough as long as they don't run me over. Some guy nearly drove into a ditch because he was so busy leaning out the window of his pickup yelling something at me - completely wasted effort on his part because I couldn't understand a word he said. My husband gave me mace to carry with me, anyway, and I do run wide around parked cars or dense bushes.

I'm sorry its hard for me to understand tone in written conversation.  I agree the idea is absurd. 

Gawking:  I wonder how many of you ladies would gawk if you were on a beach and one of the buff actors looking the same as he did in "300" or Brad Pitt looking the way he did in "Troy" or Matt Damon or Johnny Depp or George Clooney or whoever you think is hot would walk by you.  I would be amazed if women routinely do not gawk at handsome men.

Now, having stated the above, I am absolutely not suggesting that it is acceptable for men to yell or even say negative or suggestive things to ladies out jogging or working out in a gym or out walking or sunbathing on a beach.

For example:  A couple of years ago, for a few days I got to walk the long trail from the San Francisco Bay area all the way out to Golden Gate Bridge and back.  There was a plethora of women in their late teens to early 30's dressed in tight short shorts and skimpy halter tops as they jogged or walked their dogs.  I gawked and gawked and gawked.  However, I did not stare with my head bent forward nor did I have my tongue out or make gurgling sounds.  Also, since I wore transition glasses, they would not have known I was gawking anyway.

I did not yell things at them such as, "Hey, you could boil ice water just by standing next to it."  "Or you're so hot that the sun needs permission to shine."

I gawk no more (or less) at fit women now that I am in my 60's than I did when I was 16.  But it has long mystified me as to why many females, particularly younger women, think that a man in his 60's gawking at them is somehow creepy, but a man in his 20's is not as creepy. Gawking is gawking, period.

By way of example, I like to gawk at pictures of Kate Upton -- and, yes, she is only 19 or so.  Yes, she is young enough to be my granddaughter.  My feelings (thoughts) on that?  Women who choose to be on covers for Sports Illustrated and/or become Victoria Secret's angels want to be gawked at.  That is how they make their money and financially support themselves.  If I saw Kate Upton jogging while I was out walking, I would gawk at her.  But I would not yell something like, "You are a 29 on a scale of 1-10."

Men do not have a right to intimidate women by making them uncomfortable in how the men act or talk -- but men have the right to gawk, within reason.

114 Replies (last)
Advertisement
Advertisement
Allergy Remedies
Is It Possible to Go Natural?
The side effects of allergy medications keep some people from using them. Natural remedies can be a great alternative, but some are more effective than others.