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Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I stop guys from pestering me when I’m jogging?

Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I stop guys from pestering me when I’m jogging?
(Image: Glenn Euloth)

Dear Urban Diplomat, I’m a 31-year-old woman, and I jog every day in and around Little Portugal. The older men in the neighbourhood feel compelled to cheer, catcall and sometimes run alongside me for short distances. It’s harmless but incredibly annoying. I’d like to arm myself with a comeback that will make it stop. What do you suggest? —Fuming on Runs, The Annex

Let’s take these one at a time. The cheering seems innocuous and possibly quite sweet. My advice is to get over that one. The catcalls are different. Catcalling Porch Dweller—much like Whistling Construction Worker and Horny Honking Driver—is after one thing: a reaction. Don’t give him one and he’s apt to cease and desist. The running-alongside tactic is potentially a little scary, especially if you’re running at night. Don’t stop or make eye contact; just turn on your heels and rocket off in another direction, ideally toward people. You shouldn’t have trouble shaking an old man who spends his leisure time hollering at people from his porch. If you do, use it as motivation to improve your split times.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com

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