Objectifying the Men

Runners are funny people. At a local 5k on Sunday that had a Super Bowl theme, I ended up having to run 2 miles to get to the race and then wait in a slow moving, long line to pick up my bib. (I hate race day pick up because I’d rather just have my bib already, you know?) So at 7:30am on a Sunday I thought I had hallucinated what I overheard the woman behind me loudly say…

“I can’t believe it, it’s tiny penises everywhere.”

I thought I misheard her or just didn’t understand the conversation, but no, she was loudly critiquing the junk of each man who came within her view. It was cold and if you’ve ever noticed, running tights on men don’t… uh… hide much. Unfortunately for them, her feedback indicated that there wasn’t really much to hide.

“Little tiny button penises. How am I supposed to know who to go up to and say hi to when it’s just all teeny tiny penises? These men have no junk. Legs can go the distance, I need a penis that’s gonna go the distance.” She also assured her friend that “if they go pee in the bushes, you better believe I’m looking and I’m judging.”

The man in front of me in line was clearly really uncomfortable, he kept pulling his shirt down and said “I’m really glad I wore loose fitting shorts over my tights today…” His hands kept trying to cover himself up as he hoped she wouldn’t turn her attention to him.

Am I saying I condone this kind of objectification of people out at a race? I mean, no, of course not, but… It was kind of nice to let men be on the receiving end of that kind of behavior and know how uncomfortable it can be–even if, say, your clothing choices make it easier to make that kind of commentary. Just because you chose to wear what makes you feel good, doesn’t mean you’re inviting people to judge your body.

Strangest things you’ve overheard at a race?
Do you notice/not notice what tends to be prominently displayed in men’s running tights?


4 thoughts on “Objectifying the Men

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