“Check out the jugs on her”

I was cycling home alone along the canal after work yesterday and a group of about 10 male cyclists passed me in the opposite direction. The head of the group shouted, “Check out the jugs on her,” and the rest followed suit with lewd comments of their own. I felt quite angry and swore at them.p

I recounted this story to a female colleague today, and whilst she is of the opinion that they are idiots and shouldn’t have said what they said, she also stated that ‘it’s just a fact of life’, and that men get confused with women wearing lowcut tops and that some women do use their bodies to attract men, and that i just shouldn’t worry about it. I feel like this is a common response to what i felt was harrassment and intimidation. My colleague thinks it’s unlikely that they realised they were being intimidating. I think perhaps it needs spelling out.

– JS

Location: Regent’s Canal, London

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2 Responses to “Check out the jugs on her”

  1. LS says:

    Sorry to hear about your experience. I think those comments were a clear-cut sign of disrespect that you did not deserve. You were not really a person to them, though I doubt it was personal towards you-they probably treat most women like that. It’s treating you (and women) like you are nothing more than a couple of breasts and they don’t care about your feelings. If that’s how they relate to women, they’ve got some serious problems and they will probably end up having relationship problems with women-and they will lose out, which is what they deserve. I’m not going to minimize this-it’s time we said how mean-spirited it is for men to treat women this way. I would have been angry too.

    What man doesn’t know that more than likely, a woman would not like being spoken to like that? Even if some women do sometimes use their bodies to attract men, that’s human. I don’t think it necessarily means they want to spoken to in a trashy, low-class, disrespectful way, targeted by a group of men. Especially if they don’t know the woman, men should exercise more caution and respect in what they say. This is what non-harassing men do.

    If men are confused about the signals women send or by her wearing something low cut, why not find out in a polite and respectful way what her intentions are, not just blurt out these foolish comments. They (harassers in this case) make assumptions about women, based on what we wear and don’t bother checking out their assumptions or even questioning them.

    I despise it when these men are together in groups and harass a woman who is alone. I think it is a sick form of immature male bonding; they get off on it and enjoy the temporary sense of power they get from it. I refuse to make excuses for these “men.” They damn well know exactly what they are doing and they are responsible for their actions. Of all the things they could have said to you, such as a simple “hello,” or “have a nice ride,” they chose to say something crude.

    Why is a woman wearing a low-cut shirt some kind of signal for men to treat women like crap? I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: as long as men can legally walk, bike, run and hike without their shirts on outside, women have every right to wear something low cut, when we are exercising, when it’s hot out and when we feel like it. In fact, many societies encourage women to wear low cut outfits and then they punish us for doing so by harassing us. Women are constantly exposed to these mixed messages.

    Our wearing something low cut is not an excuse for men to act like a-holes whilst they can walk around scott free shirtless, usually without experiencing a bit of harassment. I’ve had it with the double standard.

  2. Alan says:

    I think context has everything to do with the message a woman may be sending and the response a man should give.

    I don’t think that a woman in biking gear, engaged in a workout (head down biking), should logically be interpreted by men as trying to use her body to attract men. She doesn’t deserve a comment like “check out the jugs on her”.

    On the other hand, a woman in a social setting (at a bar or a party) dressed in casual attire, might logically be interpreted as attempting to attract social company and expect appropriate interaction (still not “check out the jugs on her”!).

    Men can’t be stupid about these things! These guys were not confused, at best they were stupid.

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