Catcalling is bad enough in New York when you're walking, but it gets exponentially worse when you're running.
Ashley Bez looking super strong at mile 6.5! #tcsnycmarathon
A photo posted by Brendan Eyre (@eyrebud) on
I like to run outdoors because gyms give me anxiety. Also, I live near Central Park, which is a glorious place to go running. However, the half mile run to and from the park are almost always interrupted by dudes on the street who feel the need to say exactly what they think about me. It is always gross, and even when their words aren't overtly sexual, the tone is still pretty disgusting.
Here are some things guys have yelled at me while running in New York:
1. "The running is working, the running is WORKing!"
This was one of the more memorable comments I received, and at the very least, it was original. I've never heard it before, and I haven't heard it since. And yet, I hated it because it meant he was judging my body and reporting on it. No thanks, creep-o.
2. "Can I run with you?"
I've gotten this one so many times that my go-to answer is "yes," because it catches them off guard and by the time they even attempt to start running, I'm a block away.
3. "Looking good."
This is another frequent comment. It is a lot like when a catcaller says "looking good" to a woman who is walking by, but because I'm running he says it louder and more than once, just to make sure I hear it.
4. "You run good, you look good."
A longer version of #3 that acknowledges my physical movement within the guy's narrow worldview.
5. "Keep going" or "keep running."
This is so frustrating because the fact that I keep running after he says "keep running" means the catcaller told me what to do and I did it, when in reality I'm going for a run, so of course I'm going to "keep running." Or maybe he thought I planned the end of my run for the exact moment I crossed his path, but he thinks I should run some more. Either way, I don't like it.
6. "Yeah, work it out."
This might sound like positive encouragement, but it doesn't take much imagination to turn this into something that makes me feel like I need a double shower after my run.
7. You sweaty. Can I get sweaty with you?
(Deep sigh). No dude, no. (Takes a triple shower).
8. [guy mimics being out of breath]
The guys who fake-heavy-breathe at me make me want to volunteer to embark on a solo mission to Mars.
9. [guy mimics running with his hands cupping air-breasts]
Even though I hate this creepy mime version of saying "I see you're running while in possession of boobs," the childlike idiocy of the act out is mildly amusing.
10. [silent stare]
By far the most traumatizing of the wordless catcalls. These are the terrifying men who I really hope I can outrun.
11. "Damn, you fast."
Observational, yet still uncalled for. This is definitely one where tone plays a role in making this feel like a catcall.
12. "He thinks you have big boobs."
Ok, so this was a weird situation. There was a teenage couple sitting on a stoop, and as I ran by, the guy said, "yeah, run!" and a few seconds later the girl screamed down the street, "he thinks you have big boobs." It felt extra-gross because they were teenagers, and that the girl was participating in the catcall. The whole thing made me so uncomfortable. However, I'm going home to run as soon as I finish this article, so I guess none of these have scarred me too much.
Images via Thinkstock.