Listen up, fellas. I’m here once again to educate you on something you might not have realized women get to deal with on a fairly regular basis.

On-ear headphones.

Yeah.

When I started going to my “regular” gym, I thought the women wearing them were ridiculous. Weren’t their ears sweating? Wasn’t it annoying to have to adjust them constantly on their head? Didn’t they fall off during movements where they bent forward?

The answer is yes. Yes to all those questions.

After months of going to this “regular” gym, I was finally educated as to why these ridiculous women wore these ridiculous headphones instead of much more convenient earbuds. It was a couple of months after a man approached me at the gym, and signaled for me to remove my earbuds so he could tell me how refreshing it was to see a woman at our gym without breast implants. He was impressed with how comfortable I was in my own skin. And him telling me that made me anything but comfortable.

It was after countless comments and random stories men thought I needed to hear. It was after politely smiling and carefully turning my back to walk away more times than I care to remember. It was after I’d given up on ever having a focused workout, because it had proven to be impossible.

A woman in the locker room explained to me why she wears these 90’s era headphones. It’s because of the men. She saw me, once again, waving off someone who insisted upon being friendly, even after I made a production of putting my earbuds back in my ears so I could continue my workout in peace. She had been told about the on-ear headphones by another gym member, after seeing her in a similar situation. It seems this wisdom has been passed from woman to woman, because theses situations are disgustingly common.

The on-ear headphones are a much bigger deterrent. These obnoxious, heat-trapping, hair-pulling things are enough to keep most men in the free weights area from tapping a woman on the shoulder or bending into her eye line to wave in her face to get her attention. These ridiculous things are armor against unwanted compliments, uncalled for comments, and unnecessary advice.

So now, my ears sweat. I constantly have to adjust my headphones. My music is abruptly stopped when my headphones slide off my head while I do bent-over rows or GHD sit-ups. But no one stops me mid-workout to tell me I could improve my glutes by doing this certain move, or that they’re impressed with my confidence in my small cup size, or that I could really go up in weight on my should press. Or to tell me they wished their wife looked like me in shorts. They chuckle at me when I struggle with these headphones, but it sure beats being harassed.

Today I got to pass the torch to another woman, and offer her the advice of on-ear headphones. I felt shame. I felt sad. I felt fucking angry.

Do better, men. And if it’s not you doing those things, still do better. Call out and correct the behavior of your friends and other men.

This was written by Lindsay Ball on Facebook. I am assuming it’s the lady in the picture. I thought it was important enough to share. I am actually all for men trying to get in touch with women they like, but it should never be obnoxious. When done with respect, intellect, originality and charm and at the right moment I think women do appreciate an effort to get in touch with them, but it’s a fine line between being nice and being a nuisance.

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