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Women runners being harassed

  • 17-09-2018 9:41am
    #1
    Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,457 Mod ✭✭✭✭


    Following on from the below Irish times article and the coverage this had on the radio on RTE Radio 1 just now I'm curious what are women's experience with this sort of thing in this forum?

    As a man the most I've ever had to put up with when running was "run Forrest run" type comments now and then, I run on my own 99.9% of the time and I've run literally through the night without ever feeling in danger because I was on my own or it was dark.

    Certainly without a doubt harassment is going to put many off running and thats not good, we want to encourage people to be out exercising.

    So what are your experiences and what do you think needs to change?

    Irish Times article:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/why-is-harassing-women-runners-acceptable-for-some-irish-men-1.3631007
    Available research indicates that the vast majority of women runners report that they have been harassed while running. Large surveys in the UK and the US, featured in Time magazine and Runners World, have highlighted this supposedly surprising finding and have ignited a debate on Twitter under the hashtag #runningwhilefemale. Upwards of 90 per cent of women runners report harassment experiences in the UK, for example.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,844 ✭✭✭✭average_runner


    Cabaal wrote: »
    Following on from the below Irish times article and the coverage this had on the radio on RTE Radio 1 just now I'm curious what are women's experience with this sort of thing in this forum?

    As a man the most I've ever had to put up with when running was "run Forrest run" type comments now and then, I run on my own 99.9% of the time and I've run literally through the night without ever feeling in danger because I was on my own or it was dark.

    Certainly without a doubt harassment is going to put many off running and thatss not good, we want to encourage people to be out exercising.

    So what are your experiences and what do you think needs to change?

    Irish Times article:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/why-is-harassing-women-runners-acceptable-for-some-irish-men-1.3631007

    As a male runner, i had an egg thrown at me, a potato and some funny quotes which made me laugh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,567 ✭✭✭delta_bravo


    Male jogger (certainly not calling myself a runner!) have had the odd comment from a passing car. Worst I had was on a night jog around 10pm that a couple of travellers tried to steal my earphones and one of them threw a punch at me as I passed them. Thankfully they missed. That's about it really


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,754 ✭✭✭ReeReeG


    I'm happy to say I have never experienced any harassment or jeering like that, and to my knowledge, neither have any of the women I run with regularly (I assume it would have come up by now). I really love running in Dublin, because honestly any time someone has shouted something, it's been encouragement! Yes, they think they're funny with "keep going, you're winning" or "run faster" but I don't see an issue with that? It always makes me laugh!

    This article has surprised me to be honest, because I've never witnessed anything like that. Very sad that some women are experiencing this.

    Edited to add that I am a female runner!


  • Registered Users Posts: 173 ✭✭swervring


    I had someone shout "fat b!tch" at me from a passing car as I was running. Found it very upsetting to be honest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112


    swervring wrote: »
    I had someone shout "fat b!tch" at me from a passing car as I was running. Found it very upsetting to be honest.

    Honestly don't feel that way as you will find these people are seriously mentally retarded.

    Jog on ignore as they look for a reaction.

    It's shocking though how ignorant people really are and have no thought but themselves.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 173 ✭✭swervring


    Honestly don't feel that way as you will find these people are seriously mentally retarded.

    Jog on ignore as they look for a reaction.

    It's shocking though how ignorant people really are and have no thought but themselves.


    It was a couple of years ago now so I'm fine about it but I was just so shocked by it at the time, I think also because there wasn't anyone else around I felt quite intimidated as well.


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,457 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal


    Honestly don't feel that way as you will find these people are seriously mentally retarded.

    Jog on ignore as they look for a reaction.

    It's shocking though how ignorant people really are and have no thought but themselves.

    I think sometimes it can be easier said then done and when you start adding sexist comments on top of it it can be much worse of course.

    Not even factoring in anything sexist I know when I started running I was foolishly very conscious of how I looked, in both what I was wearing and what I looked like while I was running. Somebody shouting abuse at you can really knock your confidence.

    These days I couldn't give a monkeys, but then running and then later putting on the lycra gear for cycling on a road bike will really make you stop caring about what you look like :pac::pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,125 ✭✭✭BobMc


    Same here, usual smart comments occassionaly, worst had a lad pushed into me just as about to pass, was half expecting it though so had shoulder and elbowed arm ready, two girls who pushed the lad got some fright we he was shoved hard back into them, comments shouted back barely heard thru head phones


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,936 ✭✭✭annapr


    I just read the article and came on here to see if there was a thread :). Honestly, I was surprised reading it. I have heard of the odd incident... but nothing to the extent described. I had a cyclist shout abuse at me once but I had stepped out in front of him, so it was justified :).


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,295 ✭✭✭✭the_syco


    swervring wrote: »
    It was a couple of years ago now so I'm fine about it but I was just so shocked by it at the time, I think also because there wasn't anyone else around I felt quite intimidated as well.
    Cowards mainly attack those who are alone.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 686 ✭✭✭steamsey


    <snip>

    I was really surprised to read this article though - particularly at the notion that women joggers are a particular target. Is this a particular area perhaps where this is happening? I'm sure (in fact I know) it's not pleasant but can we keep in mind that Dublin is chock full of scumbags and over a long enough time period, you're going to run into them and get abused regardless of whether you're a woman jogger or a male cyclist.

    We have a scumbag problem - the symptoms of which are not constrained to the female jogging population.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,508 ✭✭✭hollypink


    I've had a few incidents over the years of lads in passing cars shouting inaudible but I assumed insulting comments to me while out running but they happened so rarely that it was annoying but not offputting. However on two separate occasions, a man in one case and a teenager in the other who were walking as I ran past, started running to follow me. It wasn't anything sinister either time (I think they both thought it would be funny, perhaps because I wasn't running very fast) but it was upsetting and I stopped running at those locations.


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,457 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal


    pac_man wrote: »
    I know it's flavour of the month but I'm getting a pain in me hole reading divisive gender articles lately. This is an issue that both sexes experience.

    I've been the "victim" of a couple of incidents. Mainly immature teenagers of both sexes with a bit of name calling. The next day it's forgotten about, it's harmless. I thought this would be pretty standard for most runners if I'm honest.

    While I'd agree that both sexes do experience it, it would be disingenuous to in anyway claim that there is a 50/50 split for the levels experience between male and females.

    From any research I've seen previously women receive far more and of a more sexual nature as well when it comes to comments. Of course comments can vary depending on area, country etc but women do get more cat call type stuff then men would in general anyway. Women being followed can also be a thing, again depending on country or area but it certainly does happen.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,482 ✭✭✭Gimme A Pound


    Cabaal wrote: »
    While I'd agree that both sexes do experience it, it would be disingenuous to in anyway claim that there is a 50/50 split for the levels experience between male and females.

    From any research I've seen previously women receive far more and of a more sexual nature as well when it comes to comments. Of course comments can vary depending on area, country etc but women do get more cat call type stuff then men would in general anyway. Women being followed can also be a thing, again depending on country or area but it certainly does happen.
    Exactly. Nobody is saying it's ok for men to experience heckling either.

    I'm sick of feminists taking issue with trivial things but I also dislike the way there's a trend now of ridiculing every grievance women have, or whatabouting.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,471 ✭✭✭EdgeCase


    I think there's a significant issue here with the mocking, nasty, scumbag type who seems to go totally unchallenged in Ireland a lot of the time. They're like the school bully, but they take it out on people in public.

    I'm male and I have had a half-empty small carton of milk thrown at me while jogging. This was flung by a bunch of 'teenagers' (could have been early 20s) out a car window. My immediate reaction was fairly freaked out until I was sure it was only milk and not something nastier. It also actually hurt quite badly as it was thrown from a car at speed.

    I've had people hurl abuse at me at random for jogging and wolf whistle me.

    If you wear a helmet while cycling, you'll still also get the odd person hurl abuse at you about that too.

    I was out with a female friend of mine and a bunch of teenage girls decided to bark at her and call her a dog in the middle of a shopping centre. She verbally tore them apart and they then tried to report her to security.

    I'm not sure it's gender based as much as it's scumbag based.

    I think the biggest problem is that many of us are cowed by these people as we can't do anything about them. If we do retaliate you either get beaten up or you're ending up having to defend yourself in court and there's basically no policing of that kind of thing in Ireland at all. You rarely see a cop anywhere.

    I know there can't and shouldn't be police everywhere, but there are a few hot spots around certain urban areas that there needs to be.

    The worst I've ever had was 3 guys pull a gun on me when I was parking on Sunday afternoon a few years ago. I rang 999 and there was no follow up!?! I assume it was a fake gun as they were laughing their asses off at me but, even so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,412 ✭✭✭Lazare


    pac_man wrote: »
    I know it's flavour of the month but I'm getting a pain in me hole reading divisive gender articles lately. This is an issue that both sexes experience.

    I've been the "victim" of a couple of incidents. Mainly immature teenagers of both sexes with a bit of name calling. The next day it's forgotten about, it's harmless. I thought this would be pretty standard for most runners if I'm honest.

    Ah now.

    Subjective experiences are totally different. You and I would comfortably run alone in a dark park for instance. Women don't do that.

    You and I can take a car slowing down beside us to shout abuse. For women that represents a much bigger threat, and instills huge fear.

    Definitely far easier for men.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,279 ✭✭✭The Bishop Basher


    swervring wrote: »
    I had someone shout "fat b!tch" at me from a passing car as I was running. Found it very upsetting to be honest.

    That’s unreal. I don’t know how some people sleep at night.

    I always wince a bit when I see the word retarted used on boards and I’m not at all PC. But it seems to be commonly accepted as ok so I just assume I’m in the minority.

    I don’t think I’ve ever had anything shouted at me but I wouldn’t know cause I’m always lost in my tunes..

    I agree about this gender nonsense. ThIs is just more of the same sh1te. I suppose it sells papers.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 27,101 CMod ✭✭✭✭spurious


    Parenting (fail) again.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,732 ✭✭✭BarryD2


    Is this not just part of life generally and not really to do with running per se? That is to say that women in general tend to attract looks/ comments/ attention from men, often unwanted and unasked for. So kinda part of that pattern, main difference is that runners tend to be more lightly clothed and subject to more scrutiny perhaps.

    Don't want to get into debate as to whether this is just part of the human condition, just observing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 252 ✭✭Goose76


    swervring wrote: »
    I had someone shout "fat b!tch" at me from a passing car as I was running. Found it very upsetting to be honest.

    I’ve had this too. Only it was a junkie type, in the park, walking past who pointed at me as I ran by. Only a few weeks ago.

    I’ve also had a bunch of teenagers yell “go on fat arse!!” Lol that one made me laugh.

    Like others here I too am sick of the constant gendered frenzy in the media these days. I do think this problem is far worse for women, but men clearly are victims of this too so it’s not totally right to look at this issue from a gendered lens.

    I also dislike the overly PC title of the article re: “Irish men”, there’s plenty of non Irish men who engage in this behaviour also. That’s probably a topic for a different forum though :rolleyes:


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 20,364 Mod ✭✭✭✭RacoonQueen


    Acting on reports and closing thread until someone has time to clean it up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,340 ✭✭✭TFBubendorfer


    <mod>Cleaned up the thread, apologies for the delay.

    Please refrain from derailing the discussion, please. Any further digression will have consequences.</mod>


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,321 ✭✭✭mojesius


    Thankfully, I've never had any experiences like this and I've ran a lot in West, central and north Dublin, mostly alone (female). Then again, I wear earphones a bit and tend to zone out on runs. Regularly pass gangs of teenagers in the locality and they never say boo.

    I've ran in other countries like Italy and Vietnam and felt a a bit more self-conscious or wary there, but Ireland is actually very pleasant for running.

    Cycling is a different beast though :D


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,596 ✭✭✭Hitman3000


    EdgeCase wrote:
    I think there's a significant issue here with the mocking, nasty, scumbag type who seems to go totally unchallenged in Ireland a lot of the time. They're like the school bully, but they take it out on people in public.


    It's not unique to Ireland. I'm a member of several running groups on FB based outside of Ireland and the abuse at both male and female runners happens elsewhere aswell


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,413 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D


    Well no, it’s not unique to Ireland - the article cites evidence from the UK and the US, and personal experience from Ireland. The question is why it happens, and why some find it acceptable, or inevitable. It’s all very well to blame the behaviour on “scumbags” (whatever this means, exactly), but it’s behaviour they are learning from somewhere. It doesn’t have to happen every day to be a problem. A cutting remark or a threatening act can live long in the memory.

    Personally I’ve only experienced one incident of note: a bottle thrown from somewhere - I couldn’t see anyone - that narrowly missed. For the record, it happened in an affluent suburb. I shrugged it off but If it had hit me I might not have been as dismissive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,240 ✭✭✭MayoSalmon


    Murph_D wrote:
    Personally I’ve only experienced one incident of note: a bottle thrown from somewhere - I couldn’t see anyone - that narrowly missed. For the record, it happened in an affluent suburb. I shrugged it off but If it had hit me I might not have been as dismissive.


    Scumbags passing through obviously!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 20,364 Mod ✭✭✭✭RacoonQueen


    Never really experienced much, the odd comment from teenagers or drunk people when passing pubs (which would normally involve something the likely think is encouraging). Kids trying to run along with me because it is hilarious (embarrassingly, me and my friend did this when we were idiot teenagers to runners passing too)
    Once had some dude whip 'it' out from the back seat of a car and wave it at me along with some stupid comment, this is the only incident in over 11 years of running that I could call harassment. In fairness, thinking about it now, the position he contorted himself into in order to get it out the window was actually impressive.
    Often if I'm doing interval on an out and back or a lap and pass people numerous times they'll say ''you're doing great'' or something else that kinda feels a bit condescending but isn't intended to be.

    Have seen people say they've had abuse or being smacked in the arse but honestly if someone ever does say anything to me they will be told in no uncertain terms where they can go :) and if anyone laid a hand on me, I would expect I would retaliate.
    edit: on this actually, girl who had her arse smacked said that male runners (friends) told her she should take it as a compliment, now there is an issue...people trying to condone that sh*t, that's an issue.

    More irritating for me and often mentioned here, is the people who walk side by side right towards you and don't bat an eyelid or make any attempt to leave space for you to pass. But y'know what, I'd also often be running up behind people who'd be blocking or partially blocking the footpath and they'd move out of the way or nudge their partner over...and most common people I've noted doing this, teenage boys. Will often see people stand aside on narrow footpaths or paths which are blocked by a bin or something and wait for me to pass and they always get a big thank you...annoys me if I do jump off the path onto the road when running against traffic so the pedestrians can pass and they don't even acknowledge what you've just done. Just a smile or nod or eye contact people..bit of manner goes a long way.

    I had a car of lads drive up right beside me as I was climbing sally gap on the bike a couple of months ago and try push me off. What worried me most that with 4 or 5 lads in a car, they didn't have enough functioning brain activity between them to realise this was a really f*cking stupid thing to do.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,584 CMod ✭✭✭✭Steve


    Threads like this make me really angry.

    Ii it isn't runners, it's cyclists or even pedestrians being bullied and harassed by scroates.

    Some jobsworth TD is sure to propose a new unenforceable law against it as elections are coming up.

    The 'hug and lollipop' approach to criminal behavior in this country has to be seriously looked at because it is seriously broken.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 22,584 CMod ✭✭✭✭Steve


    FWIW, yes I'm a bloke but my OH runs and she has experienced it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,092 ✭✭✭✭Burkie1203


    swervring wrote: »
    I had someone shout "fat b!tch" at me from a passing car as I was running. Found it very upsetting to be honest.

    A woman at my local parkrun does the 5km in around 30 minutes. She always says she feels embarrassed in some way.

    Anytime someone half her age shows up and takes 45 minutes I make a point of it to her. Quite a few don't come back because a 10 stone mid 40s mum of 3 can do it but a 20 something can't and they give up.

    I generally find people who shout are the ones who haven't the capability of doing


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