Tag Archives: Exercise


Hi Laura, I hope your well and safe? I just wanted to email you about your article, cat calling. I only the other day said to my partner I don’t feel safe on the streets at the moment running alone yet I have to run on my own as we have two kids and they need their daily excerxise too of a walk so we take turns who can go for a run, and I cannot run with my friends anymore so I’m alone on deserted streets and men are crawling by and starting and whistling and one man even started to pull over. I live in a small boring village in Essex, it’s normally very safe and I don’t ever feel like that. I do feel more men are being predators now because they know the streets are empty and women are running more, alone, because gyms are shut and companions have been stopped. I have stopped running now because of this. It is a big thing. And I feel more awareness needs to be made about it, we’re more open to risk now the streets are bare. Can you make more awareness of your article. Can you try and make it reach out to more people, I only saw it because of snap chat whilst drinking my morning coffee lying in bed this morning but I think you will be very surprised if you done a toll or got it more exposure how much of a problem this is. There will be an increase of missing people and violence now the streets are bare but we can go out alone to exercise. I was scared and I live in this small village who everyone knows everyone. Thank you for your article though, it made me feel like I wasn’t alone or being over dramatic or imagining it, predator men are now taking advantage of this and that now scares me we are going to have bigger problems. And now I can’t run alone as my exercise. The warmest regards Natasha


Under lockdown, my partner and I go to the park once a day to exercise. We were doing martial arts drills, until a nun walking past screamed: “How dare you do that to a woman? A woman’s body belongs to God!” It escalated into her asking: “Are you two even British? Go back to our own country!” The experience was insulting, shocking, and traumatising, and was the first time I experienced such a flagrant attack from another woman.


At a house party last night, I was participating in a chat about soreness and injuries from the gym. (So it happened that I was the only woman in this group). I mentioned I related to these problems and only performed particular exercises with someone to spot me. In response, one guy shifted the conversation to bluntly asking me how much I squat or bench press. I disregarded it, saying lightheartedly that I didn’t want to share, but he kept asking repeatedly, demanding an answer. He laughed loudly, *do you even put any weights on the bar?*… I casually pointed out it was sexist, that he wasn’t saying that to any of the guys, and I just didn’t wish to share my personal fitness progress with a group of guys at a party. Of course, I got laughed off. It’s not the first time a woman was expected to be weak. Judged for what she does with her body. Expected to share numbers regarding her body. Laughed at for not wanting to share them. Disrespected when saying “no.” But I sure as hell won’t be having it because I’m a woman, and we are strong if we only decide to be.


I’m a 19 year old female uni student, and I went for a run for the first time in a while today at 10.30am. I was next to a busy park where I had passed families and other runners, when a van honked the horn at me and the man in the passenger seat stuck his head out the window and pulled a suggestive facial expression and shouted something. I immediately felt uncomfortable and objectified. This is not a new thing – I remember being 14 years old and walking up the hill to an evening hockey club at school with my other female friends. We were honked by car horns on multiple occasions & it’s been happening ever since.

Charlotte Scanlan

I regularly workout at the gym, and when I do really heavy squats it’s a bit of an effort for me to lift the bar out of the rack; it wobbles a bit, but it’s always fine. I can control it and wouldn’t attempt anything I struggled with too much. This guy who had been watching me while he did his workout came running over to help, and I told him I was fine and to leave it. He didn’t. He insisted on staying with me while I did the squats (that I’m perfectly capable of doing) even though I said “no.” Still, every time I squatted down he grabbed my waist and pulled me up. Every time he did this I said “no,” “please don’t,” or “you’re really putting me off.” He kept doing it. When we re-racked the bar I told him “please don’t, you’re making me nervous” and he laughed it off and walked away. The next set he came running back over and I told him “no, I really don’t want you to help me” and he insisted on standing there “just in case,” then continued to grab me every time. He wasn’t for taking no for an answer so I gave up in the end and went to do something else.


Out running, streets aren’t so light. Car beeps for the fun of it as they drive past you. Then circles the area and comes back for another beep. When will we leave this behind?


Was at my boxing class today. We were doing squats near the end and this man walked over and decided that I needed encouragement to do them. I told him I didn’t want his help. He said come on I will do them with you. I told him again that I didn’t want his help. I then told him that he was embarrassing me (because most of the class was looking at me) He told me that he wasn’t (how the hell does he know how I feel). I told him again that he was embarrassing me. He still carried on so I stopped and walked away. I was furious. Yet another example of an ignorant and controlling man.


Today at the gym I was in the middle of a shoulder rehabilitation exercise set which my physiotherapist had just gone through with me an hour earlier. A man comes over, makes me remove my earphones, and then tells me I am doing it incorrectly. I looked at him with a puzzled expression as I had been ‘in the zone’ – then he goes on to demo how I should lower the cable point and bend more in order to get a stretch in my back. I told him – well I am not targeting my back, I am doing shoulder rehab given by my physio. To which he replies ‘well this exercise is much better for your shoulder’ and demos another one which is on my regime. I said ‘yes I also do that one’ and managed to dismiss him and go back to my exercise, but he made me feel like I had to apologise to him for not doing as per his instructions. Men approaching me in the gym to depart their so called wisdom happens about once a week. I have been playing sports to a decent level all my life and do weights in the gym about five times a week, there is no reason for anyone to think I don’t know what I am doing. Not that it’s entirely relevant but I have a Masters degree in Engineering (really I am not an idiot). But of course these men assume they have superior knowledge to me as I lack a penis, and they feel they are in full right to disturb me in order to ‘help’. It is hard for me to be rude as there is often a small chance that they have good intentions, so all I can do is stand my ground and be dismissive.