May 17th, 2014

running while female: a follow-up

Hi, everyone! Thanks for all your response to my Running while female blog post, and it's been interesting to hear your thoughts about the Walking while fat and female article by Seattle-based Courtney Meaker. There's been a big mix of responses; at first it was about what jerks those guys are, and how it's not right that they say these things. But slowly it started to shift to me, people reassuring me that I look great, that I'm not fat, that I shouldn't take on board what these guys say.

Those latter sentiments are very well-intended, but they kind of miss the point. The issue isn't really about me, or how attractive I am. And no, I don't care what these guys say. I'm more concerned it's happening at all, and who else it will affect. One of the most wonderful things about growing up is being able to see things are NOT all about me; when someone says something nasty, it's because they have a problem. (And I can feel pity for them, and wonder what things in their upbringing and experience have caused them act that way.)

That's something you can tell a young person, over and over, that rude comments aren't really about them, but, hear me now:

Sorry folks, it just doesn't. It might make YOU feel better for having given what you think is sage advice, but... no.

I'm so glad I'm not a kid anymore, for this very reason. When people tell a depressed kid, 'enjoy these years, they're the best years of your life", I feel boiling rage. I think these adults have forgotten how kids can't help but be self-centred, and how heavily their own selves can weigh on them.
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