Because I'm the Mom

How mothering pervades all relationships in life.

Running Buddies: When Midlife Women Exercise in Public

A gal of a certain age and body and mind should be free to exercise in public without inspiring public comment. So, public, on behalf of all the midlife women just trying to keep body and soul together, if you see us exercising out there, running, jogging, walking, strolling - and you truly want to support us: Just walk on by. Read More

And yet, if that same person

And yet, if that same person was lonely, she'd relish the attention. Other people aren't mind readers. Yes, their comments are silly or childish, but she can ignore them same as the article suggests other folks to ignore her.

The part I found more annoying was making the decision to walk to work for exercise, and having coworker after coworker stop and offer me a ride. So I mentioned several times over that I own a car. If I wanted to drive, I would. I'm walking for exercise, and I can't get any more exercise in their car than mine. I was labeled stuck up and antisocial.

I was once mortified to hear

I was once mortified to hear a woman stick her head out of her car window and yell "Put on some clothes!" at another woman jogging. I thought she must've been her friend and joking around, but that wasn't the case at all. Come to think of it, I used to walk a few blocks from the parking building to work and rarely did so without putting up with some a**hole's horrible behavior. It does seem to always happen when you're alone. I agree it would be great if these people would stop, especially with the deliberate hurtfulness, but I think it's best to just shrug it off as ignorance if you can and not let it get in your way. Maybe some earbuds? I've been walking in town lately and people have been polite... no startling horn honking (that's the worst) or yelling gross things. I wonder if things are changing for the better, at least in my area. Or maybe I'm just getting old and less of an interesting target. If someone yelled patronizing encouragement, it would sure beat things like "You lost?" or "Get in my car baby, you don't have to run."

Yes, that's a completely

Yes, that's a completely different issue. When I was a teenager and would go for walks, I couldn't get in one single walk that didn't involve some man yelling piggish sexual remarks at me. I thought it was because I lived in a crappy little cow town, but when I moved to "liberal enlightenment" land in Seattle, it was the same. Then this magical moment happened and I turned 35. Have only been yelled at once since. I think random public making random but socially acceptable comments is different from men making sexually harassing comments to lone females. Women stop exercising because they get tired of the swinish comments, then men whine because women are "fat".

I can say, though, that I've never had the pigs yelling at me unless I was alone. If women were allowed to carry concealed and shoot the pigs in the face for their comments, I bet the swinish ones would learn some respect really fast.

I don't really see a problem

I don't really see a problem with the public but rather a too big sense of self-entitlement. Why should others abide to your social expectations instead of you learning to deal with it -- like everybody else?

Yelling comments out of cars

A few years ago I was riding my bicycle on a quick errand. I heard someone yell at me, "Wear a helmet!". I turned to see the largest woman ever driving a convertible. So yelled back "Lose some weight!". She responded in such a way that I can't write here without alerting the autocensor. Don't dish it out if you can't take it.

I live in a neighborhood that has lots of runners. I notice they tend to get lost in their thoughts and aren't very chatty. Not everybody wants to talk or respond to a stranger's comments. I'm all for leaving people who are exercising so they can best do what they do.

Too bad there isn't an

Too bad there isn't an exercise to thicken skin.

You're friend is a big baby -- they're words of encouragement for crying out loud.

How does she know that tubby guy didn't just lose 100 lbs or the trainer guy is someone who lost his mother to a heart attack and he tries to encourage women?



Boys will be boys

I'm a fitness freak. Love to work out, love to jog. I admire anyone trying to better themselves. However, men are hardwire to scope out any women that we pass by. Doesn't matter if old, young, fit or fat. We are going to look. Now what we do while we are looking is based on who we are. I think most guys are really just trying to be flirty in a harmless way. But you do get the jerks as well.

I'm confused as to why your

I'm confused as to why your friend got the pip. She wasn't being insulted or catcalled (which is unusual given you mentioned more than once about her large bust). They weren't even offering opinions, just words of encouragement. Would she get offended if say one of them had commented on her having a nice outfit on, or an interesting tattoo? Or if the comments had been from another woman of a certain age like herself?

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Pamela Cytrynbaum teaches at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.


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