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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Women, have you ever done this to stop unwanted male attention? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Women, have you ever done this to stop unwanted male attention?
steven
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BB, does catcalling occur in Hong Kong and Taiwan? Just curious.
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Noemon
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It does in Thailand, and it's just as creepy there as it is here.
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Omega M.
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Yeah, I don't know what yelling to a girl that she's hot is supposed to accomplish. Is she supposed to turn around, thank you, and start talking to you?

I've never called out to a girl, though if I see someone attractive I won't hide my turning my head to look at her. I don't think that that's threatening as long as you don't stare at her for too long. Also, on the off chance that it will work, I'll walk up to a girl and compliment her, for instance if I'm at the gym and impressed by her workout, but I don't say anything lewd and usually nothing comes of it.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
BB, does catcalling occur in Hong Kong and Taiwan? Just curious.

Hrm......

It does, but its more the exception then the norm. Chinese people are bit more guarded in how they go about courtship. And PDA is generally frowned upon, but this trend is rapidly changing. Hand holding, cuddling and even kissing in public are becoming more of a mainstay in courtship. I think that has to do with globalization and exposure to foreign media/people.

Girls in China would sooner fall over dead then cat call however, they are much more discreet. It's more their style to stare and then when you catch them doing it huddle in a group and giggle. But as a missionary I did have several girls all ask me to be their boyfriend after meeting them once or maybe twice. I even had one girl answer the door in her underwear and unabashedly ask if I wanted to, "come in" and her meaning could not have been more clear.

Sorry that reply was a bit longer then I intended it to be.

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ketchupqueen
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quote:
Yeah, I don't know what yelling to a girl that she's hot is supposed to accomplish. Is she supposed to turn around, thank you, and start talking to you?

That, I think, is why so many women find it objectifying.

I don't mind being flirted with nearly as much as I mind being hollered at.

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Olivet
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A car full of girls catcalling a boy does not carry the level of threat that a single man in a car slowing down next to girl on the sidewalk does. This is a fact of life.

I used to be very polite and friendly to everyone, and just shrug off the "Wooo, BABY!"s.

After having been grabbed in grocery store by a stranger (as a teenager WITH MY MOTHER), followed all through a mall by a man who didn't seem quite right, chased through a Wal-Mart parking lot by a guy with lighter fluid and a pack of matches (I only know this because the same man was arrested a few days later after he actually caught another woman-she was unharmed, btw), stalked by classmates and people caught outside my house peeping in at windows...

Let's just say that odd appreciative remark no longer gets a 'friendly' response. Mostly, ignoring it is the best bet, an eye roll or chuckled "Yeah, right" works. Being cowed or acting afraid, upset or startled does not work any better than being friendly.

One time when I was entering a grocery store, two guys came out and gave me a real long uppy-downy look, and said the word "good" for that it had about three sing-song syllables. I answered in the same singing tones, without slowing my steps, "Fat."

That is the most offensive thing I have done to discourage unwanted attention, and I do not regret it. Even then, I was afraid. It didn't show, but what some guys don't seem to get is that the nature of male/female physical differences makes a 'harmless' catcall a very real threat.

It may not seem like a threat to you, because you know you won't do anything bad, but that doesn't change the dynamic. Cursing and stuff like that seems extreme, but you don't know what that woman may have had to deal within the past that makes that response seem reasonable or necessary to her. *shrug*

On my 48 hour film project weekend, after two days with little sleep and no shower, I ran out to buy ice for the coolers we had on location. I was a mess. Outside the convenience store, some jerk slowed down, honked and shouted, "Hey, BABY! Whatcha into? Gimme your phone number, baby" etc. Maybe I looked like a girl desperate enough to go for that, I don't know. I just ignored it and went on, but I was shaking by the time I got in my car and hit the door locks.

Women may be rude at times, but it's because-- in a very real and immediate way-- some people see them as nothing more than prey.

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Luet13
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Well said.
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MightyCow
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For reference, I do know several women who have been successfully picked up by catcallers while they were bar hopping. So while it might be crude, obnoxious, and frightening to many women, there are some women who are happy to answer, and indeed go home with the guys who are whistling and yelling.
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Olivet
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In the context of a bar, where people are basically there to find available, compatible flesh, the activity would be much less threatening, if at all. Maybe even expected or desired.

Walking alone to your car in a hospital parking lot after visiting a dying relative, not so much.

Sometimes, context is everything. [Smile]

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docmagik
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I recieved more catcalls as a (male) missionary in Brazil than the whole rest of my life combined.
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MightyCow
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True enough.

I just wanted to point out that some guys may have had success picking up women by driving down the street and yelling at them, which could explain why they think it's a good idea. It still seems dumb to me, but clearly it works in some situations.

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Olivet
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I didn't make a distinction between catcalls and casual flirting, and I should have. If I walk past a guy who smiles and makes eye contact (with my EYES), I smile back. I can't help it, even as an old married lady, it's nice to be noticed.

Driving by a guy who grabs his crotch, not so nice.

It has been suggested that women are more sensitive to social subtleties, and I'm not sure that's true. But someone smiling or speaking to me politely is a world away from ogling or anything else that sets the threat-receptors tingling.

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Olivet
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And, yeah. What works for one woman doesn't work for another. True.
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Qaz
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I think what catcalls are meant to accomplish is for the man to express to his friends that he is manly and appreciates female hotness. Sort of like the Beatles groupies back when. Why did they run out to the stage? They knew a cop would catch them, and they knew that John Paul George and Ringo would never know their names. They were showing how passionate they were. It's a possible explanation anyway.
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Liz B
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When we were bored at summer camp, my friend and I used to walk around the edge of the campus and count the honks. It was fun.

I think it was because it was broad daylight, we were together, and we felt perfectly safe. The road was busy enough that no one ever slowed down.

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Olivet
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That IS fun. I once drove past a construction site near my home with men working very near the road. As I drove past, this one guy grabbed his crotch and gyrated. I think he was hollering, too, but at 45mph it was not easy to take it all in.

It made me laugh, and wasn't threatening at all. If I'd been walking, it would have been, but if I'd been walking he might have behaved differently, too. As it was, he had three or four seconds to make an impression. [Big Grin] I'm sure it had very little to do with me and everything to do with impressing his friends.

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Omega M.
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quote:
Originally posted by Olivet:

But someone smiling or speaking to me politely is a world away from ogling or anything else that sets the threat-receptors tingling.

What's the difference between ogling and just looking at someone who's pretty? Is it how long you look, where you look, ...?
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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Omega M.:
quote:
Originally posted by Olivet:

But someone smiling or speaking to me politely is a world away from ogling or anything else that sets the threat-receptors tingling.

What's the difference between ogling and just looking at someone who's pretty? Is it how long you look, where you look, ...?
It's....HOW you look, I guess. And also what you say, if anything.

I've had some random garbage man smile and say something along the lines of, "Damn, you don't see a woman like that every day. You're beautiful" and just smiled back and kept walking to my car. It was a nice ego boost, as I had to get all dressed up to go to a conference for work that day.

But there are plenty of instances in which I've been made uncomfortable having to walk by some men remodeling a house or hanging out by the sidewalk. On more than one occasion, I've crossed the street because I could already tell that they were leering before I got too close.

-pH

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Olivet
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Hm, Well, the guy who chased me through the Wal-Mart parking lot (as I left the store) had walked past me going the opposite direction when I entered the store. He moved to pass close enough to brush my coat sleeve, and he never looked above my neck. Also, he grunted at me or mumbled something.

It's a vibe thing, and I don't think it can be quantified. First, it is probably different for every person, slightly, and dependent upon past experience. Secondly, intangibles about the person doing the looking are a factor. Yes, how long and where has a bearing, but I would guess that different women have different tolerances.

If the person who brushed my arm had been neater and more well-kept, if he had made eye contact or smiled a little as he looked away, it would have felt more like the admiration of an equal being, and less like "Og want curvy meat!" (My respects to the Geico Caveman for the stereotype. [Big Grin] )

But again, this guy chased me to my car when I left the store. I called the police, but he fled after I sped away.

Sometimes, you just know. *shrug*

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Icarus
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quote:
Originally posted by Qaz:
I think what catcalls are meant to accomplish is for the man to express to his friends that he is manly and appreciates female hotness. Sort of like the Beatles groupies back when. Why did they run out to the stage? They knew a cop would catch them, and they knew that John Paul George and Ringo would never know their names. They were showing how passionate they were. It's a possible explanation anyway.

Bingo.
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katharina
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That explains the work crew that stops work completely and stares the entire time my roommates and I walk past on our way home from work every day. [Roll Eyes] Am I supposed to be grateful they aren't adding guestures?
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Olivet
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But it doesn't explain the guy all by himself in the hospital parking lot, though I agree it's true as a general rule, especially with groups of men together.

Maybe the loners are just trying to impress themselves? Or maybe they're just weird.

The impersonal aspect of it may be what makes it disturbing. The person being catcalled is an abstract, not really a person. Hmm.

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vonk
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Is a lone man in a parking lot at night that chases you on the same level as a construction worker who openly looks at you? I don't think so. The former has gone way beyond catcalling or giving unwanted attention and has moved into harassment and abuse. I think that's a much more serious problem.
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Olivet
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Yes, but there was a lone guy in a hospital parking lot, just sitting in his car alone, who hollered at me for no reason I could see.

I just meant that Lone Hospital Parking Lot Guy had no friends to impress. He didn't chase me. Wal-Mart Parking Lot Guy was the one who chased me and was later arrested after he caught someone else.

I can see why you would conflate the two. I have terrible luck with parking lots, evidently.

Still, Lone Hospital Parking Lot Guy was more threatening than Crotch Grabbing Construction Worker Guy, because I was speeding by the one at 45 mph, and there were other people around.

I probably wouldn't say anything to someone who just looked. I never have, but I suppose he were looking and touching himself or making lewd gestures that would be different. Cursing at someone for saying "Hi" is extreme in my experience.I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

Some people are more sensitive to threat than others, I guess, and it may vary with environment, too.

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Icarus
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Lone guys who do it are probably so socially retarded that they have to do things like that to impress themselves with their virility. You know, bridging the gap between construction workers and stalkers.
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Olivet
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*snort* I bet you're right, Icky. [ROFL]
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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Olivet:
The impersonal aspect of it may be what makes it disturbing. The person being catcalled is an abstract, not really a person. Hmm.

When it is men doing it for the sake of showing something to other men, this is it for me. It's that I am (actually, "was" -- I, too, am now a frizzle-haired harridan, hoo-yah! [Big Grin] ) being used as a tool, as a means to someone else's ends alone.

And when it is a man doing it alone, the same is true. What creeps me out isn't the vibe of "interested" but the vibe of "don't care about your reaction to this, because I want to do/say it anyway," or -- much worse -- "because I like it that I can make you feel threatened/creeped-out." Also being used as a tool, not treated as a person whose own goals and ends are just as important as the looker's.

Can't quantify that, other than to say that if I get the impression that the guy would be horrified or feel terrible at frightening me, I don't get frightened/creeped-out.

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Hitoshi
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quote:
Honestly speaking sometimes when I observe male behavior it makes complete sense to me that girls find other girls more attractive then men.
Amen to that. Jezz, have I met my share of sleezball men. Makes me ashamed to be a man. Some of us are still nice, girls! (But only when our chivalry isn't met with a "Flip off, I can open my own door, you chauvinist pig!" And yes, that actually has happened.)

Edit: Oops, forgot a very important comma!

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Icarus
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I'm not a nice girl.
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steven
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"Og want curvy meat!"

[ROFL] [ROFL]

Best line ever.

Now I'll never look at a beautiful woman without thinking of that line.

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Hitoshi:
quote:
Honestly speaking sometimes when I observe male behavior it makes complete sense to me that girls find other girls more attractive then men.
Amen to that. Jezz, have I met my share of sleezball men. Makes me ashamed to be a man. Some of us are still nice, girls! (But only when our chivalry isn't met with a "Flip off, I can open my own door, you chauvinist pig!" And yes, that actually has happened.)

Edit: Oops, forgot a very important comma!

I've never understood that response. I like it when men hold doors for me. And if I go out on a date and he opens the car door, extra bonus points.

-pH

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Tatiana
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I think my Princess Di wave and smile works because I'm able to make it truly aloof and not encouraging in any way. It's friendly but in an unapproachable way. The catcallers are not asking or wanting to be treated as equals, obviously. It seems to inspire a sort of reverence. There's something religious going on, I think, which is why I make the analogy that they're admiring God's universe or some primal archetype of "the pretty girl" and not, of course, me at all. It's not personal. How could it be? They don't even know me.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Hitoshi:
quote:
Honestly speaking sometimes when I observe male behavior it makes complete sense to me that girls find other girls more attractive then men.
Amen to that. Jezz, have I met my share of sleezball men. Makes me ashamed to be a man. Some of us are still nice, girls! (But only when our chivalry isn't met with a "Flip off, I can open my own door, you chauvinist pig!" And yes, that actually has happened.)

Edit: Oops, forgot a very important comma!

Most girls I have held/opened doors for have told me later, "I thought chivalry was dead! I loved that you treated me like a lady."

Sure there is the occasional girl who just hates it for whatever reason, but in terms of averages I think its worth the risk. A kiss on the cheek for me is worth 10 girls calling me a chauvinist pig.

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katharina
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Oh, baloney, Tatiana. It didn't fail for me because I wasn't sufficiently aloof while friendly. It went wrong because apparently some guy took it wrong, and being friendly at all was an encouragement.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by pH:
I've never understood that response. I like it when men hold doors for me. And if I go out on a date and he opens the car door, extra bonus points.

Agreed.

quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Oh, baloney, Tatiana. It didn't fail for me because I wasn't sufficiently aloof while friendly. It went wrong because apparently some guy took it wrong, and being friendly at all was an encouragement.

Also agreed.
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Tatiana
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Lol, katie you're so prickly! I wasn't referring to you at all or making any judgement. I was just telling what I think is going on with me.
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rivka
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That's not how your post read to me.
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Azile
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quote:
Originally posted by pH:
quote:
Originally posted by Hitoshi:
Amen to that. Jezz, have I met my share of sleezball men. Makes me ashamed to be a man. Some of us are still nice, girls! (But only when our chivalry isn't met with a "Flip off, I can open my own door, you chauvinist pig!" And yes, that actually has happened.)

I've never understood that response. I like it when men hold doors for me. And if I go out on a date and he opens the car door, extra bonus points.

-pH

I hold open doors and [well, sometimes] car doors for people all the time. If the stranger beside me trips, I will stop and help him gather his stuff. If someone is sniffling, I will offer him or her a tissue. I take pleasure in doing nice things. When a kind gesture is directed at me, it's all pick hearts and fuzzy rainbows from there on. [Smile]

But I get uncomfortable when a guy insists on acting chivalrous with me. It's like, "Truth be told, I'm no more "lady" than you. Act the way you do because you want to, not because of some sense of social obligation. That doesn't feel right." When a guy holds open the door for me, I appreciate it because of the consideration. The action was very considerate of him. Or her. It's unrelated to chivalry.

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Celaeno
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I thought about this again today when I was walking to my interview in downtown, and a guy passing on a bike said, "Hey there, pretty girl."

I just looked up and smiled. I wasn't creeped out, and I didn't feel objectified. It was a very, very different feeling from the one I felt when a guy pulled up his car to me in an empty lot and said, "Hey, baby, where you going?"

Now that (and the events that followed) was one of the more terrifying moments of my life.

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GaalDornick
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I got sort of hit on today at my work. Kind of in a creepy way, though. I work at Cold Stone (ice cream store), and two Asian girls, I think about 22-23 years old, come in and start talking in, I think it was, Chinese to each other and looking at me. While they were waiting for their ice cream to be made, every time I made eye contact with them they'd smile and giggle very obviously. As they were leaving they asked one of the other employees what my name was. Then they call me over and asked how old I was. I told them 17 and then they giggled again and walked out.

It definitely doesn't bother me at all though, it makes my day more entertaining. [Smile] And it's kind of an ego booster. [Big Grin]

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Hitoshi
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quote:
Originally posted by pH:
I've never understood that response. I like it when men hold doors for me. And if I go out on a date and he opens the car door, extra bonus points.

-pH

Well, I was brought up to always hold a door for a lady, so I'm glad women do appreciate it. [Smile] I naturally try to do it for men as well, as it's just courteous to keep the door open instead of letting it swing back and smack someone in the nose (which, again and quite sadly, has happened to me.)
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Eaquae Legit
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I get catcalled a lot when I'm riding my bike. I'm more annoyed about it than usual, tonight, because it was really loud and sudden and startled me and I nearly wiped out. I would have been hit by one of the cars going by. Stupid jerks. [Mad]
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ElJay
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I used to get a lot of guys wanting to hit on me while I was running. . . like, expecting me to stop and talk to them. And then they'd get offended when I didn't. I never really understood that, because I obviously was out there for a purpose, and it wasn't to be chatted up. I thought for awhile about getting a shirt made that said "Don't talk to me" or something like that. Then at least they'd have something to be offended about.

Changing the time of day I exercised to early morning mostly took care of the problem, but since you're commuting by bike I know that's not helpful for you. Sorry about the annoyance.

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Eaquae Legit
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Seriously, what IS it? I'm sweaty and dishevelled, and I have my work clothes on, which means old and probably stained somehow. I'm about as far from attractive as I get, short of first-thing-in-the-too-early-morning. I never get catcalled when I'm walking, or out somewhere. Just on my bike. Usually at night. I'd be flattered, MAYBE, if I knew it was because I'm attractive. As it is, I'm bewildered. Maybe I should get a shirt with "Whistling Not Appreciated" on the back.
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rivka
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To some guys, "hot and sweaty" is sexy, I gather.
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pH
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Or maybe just the fact that you obviously work out? I get more looks at the gym than anywhere else, I think. It's kind of weird.

-pH

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Bob the Lawyer
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Sometimes when I run I like to turn my music up loud enough that the ambient noise gets muted so I can pretend that the girls I run past are talking about how cute I am.
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ketchupqueen
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I think hot and sweaty is hot in (some) guys.

I can see how guys would think the same of girls.

But I would never bug someone who was running to hit on them.

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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by pH:
Or maybe just the fact that you obviously work out? I get more looks at the gym than anywhere else, I think. It's kind of weird.

-pH

It might also have to do with the fact that people generally wear less clothing (or at least tighter fitting clothing) when working out.
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Eaquae Legit
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Javert, not the case with me. It's usually loose capris or possibly normal decent-length shorts, my regular tanks, socks, and shoes. It's happened when I had khaki green capris, bright red sweater, and a lilac toque (under my helmet, kinda). I do have my ipod sometimes, but I like to hear cars coming so it's never loud enough to drown out other noises.
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