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Yet another reason to work out

If you're a woman in any city in the world, you know the moment I'm about to describe. You're walking on the sidewalk, sitting on a park bench, putting money in a meter, no matter. It's only germane that you're a woman and there's an obnoxious man who sees you. For whatever reason - arrogance, bad manners, sexism, the drink - he looks at you, all of you. Perhaps leers is more precise. 

"Smokin'" he might say. "I like the way you walk." "Work it."

He could say you're a stunner or a fat cow, there's no difference because the truth is he shouldn't be saying anything about your body or the way you move it.

There's a moment before the verbal assault when you lock eyes with him and realize he's not going to just say "Hi." He's going to say something. And you brace yourself. Check your mood immediately. Are you going to snap at him? Or do you have enough patience to move on in silence? 

I biked home from a workout this week and as I passed the gas station parking lot I locked eyes with a man standing there. "Here it comes," I thought and readied for the comment. 

Only, this time, after the initial once-over, I saw what looked like a mental hiccup. He scanned me fast, then his eyes opened wider and he seemed to swallow a comment. 

"You're in shape," he called out. "She's in shape," he said again as he slapped his buddy's arm.

I can't be sure but it felt like he was well on his way to saying one thing then realized I had the power to bust his face - hard - so he said something different. 

Reader Comments (6)

Love it! Big smile.

- Lea

August 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLea R.

'scuse me while I hit the gym!

Seriously, I hate when guys make comments. I had one guy slow down and hang out the window to leer at me. I yelled "what! What you looking at!" and made that "what!" gesture with my arms. I was piiiiiiiiiiiiiissed. I don't like being objectified.

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

You rock :) I'm inspired - I'm familiar with the situation you describe and have only received the sneering comment.

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHK

I completely understand that the comments and leering are uncomfortable, way inappropriate, and create a hostile environment. As I guy with some years and mileage as well as a husband and father of a teen daughter, I understand as well your reaction to the idea that you could bust his face. Thing is though, most of these types of guys aren't going to hold their tongues despite your capacity to bounce their a@@es. So be careful out there and stay safe without over extending yourself. You may think you are facing a fist fight and they may have weapons. OK?

August 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTom M

You're right about that, Tom. Which is why I usually walk or ride away in silence despite my inclination to tell them to F the heck off.

August 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterDana Damico

Seinfeld had a bit in his standup routine about this. Something like, "What percentage of happy marriages start with the guy leaning out of his car window to scream at a woman?" :-)

August 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterseeking elevation

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