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  1. #276
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    I get sick of all these excuses:- Why are cleanliness and appearance and comfort so important to women; it's because of social training. Right now women are focused on pay differences in isolation but they perhaps should look at the whole picture. What I'm saying is, don't just raise your daughter to expect equal pay, raise her to believe she is ok without wearing a covering of cosmetics on her face or perfume and deodorants under her arms. Raise her to believe that body hair is normal and farting is fun and then she'll be able to mix with men, ride bikes to work and do high paying jobs like operating a shearer in a coal mine 2 miles underground without fear her ladybits with fall off.

  2. #277
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    About 50% of the cyclists in Portland are women I bet. No problems at all riding anywhere in the city and seeing thousands of ladies on bikes.

  3. #278
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    About 50% of the cyclists in Portland are women I bet. No problems at all riding anywhere in the city and seeing thousands of ladies on bikes.
    Yeah, you get pretty much equal numbers in Germany and Denmark and Holland and other places that have made it a priority to make biking safe and approachable for people who are not elite athletes or self-proclaimed competent cyclists.

  4. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    I get sick of all these excuses:- Why are cleanliness and appearance and comfort so important to women; it's because of social training. Right now women are focused on pay differences in isolation...
    We've seen on this thread some accounts of women avoiding a bike commute because they don't want to show up to work with mussed hair and makeup. But I'm not sure why this concern isn't taken seriously by either the original article cited by the OP or by so many other commenters. Women's appearance at work is important in how competent she seems to her peers and bosses. It's a real concern and shouldn't be dismissed as frivolous women making excuses or being vain.

    Here's an article on a recent study on this phenomenon.

    That said, I doubt that this is the main concern for most women who choose not to commute by bike. I suspect that more women don't commute by bike for the same reason my boyfriend doesn't--safety concerns. As many other commenters point out, in places where the infrastructure is strong, more women bike.

  5. #280
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyzurJane View Post
    Women's appearance at work is important in how competent she seems to her peers and bosses. It's a real concern and shouldn't be dismissed as frivolous women making excuses or being vain..
    This is what you need to protest against. There is no reason a woman should have to look and smell like candy in order to be treated with respect.

  6. #281
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    But that is how it is right now. There is no easily changing such an engrained system.

  7. #282
    Kamek ralph12's Avatar
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    Is it really such that men can show up to work looking like slobs and still get taken seriously?

    I haven't seen many successful sweaty, slovenly male lawyers...or greasy-haired male physicians, or ketchup-stained policemen.

    Where I live, both men and women are expected to be extremely neat, clean, and polished in all formal business settings. In more physical jobs, neatness is still expected, but obviously sweating is really not considered a big deal...I've seen very attractive, but very sweaty female construction workers around these parts, and no one seems to bat an eye...I don't, at least, and I don't know anyone who does.

  8. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by 009jim View Post
    This is what you need to protest against. There is no reason a woman should have to look and smell like candy in order to be treated with respect.
    I agree that women should not have to "look and smell like candy"- Especially in order to garner respect. But for some women this is a choice and it should be respected as well. There are guys that want to look sharp as well or even "look and smell like candy". I don't think riding a bike to work has to preclude those options. The assumption that everyone who rides a bike for transportation has to show up looking like a drowned rat smelling like they've just hiked the Appalachian Trail can be off putting and is an inaccurate portrayal of cycle commuting.

    Accommodating cyclists by providing changing rooms, participation by clothing designers, bike designers in new styles that are more bike commuter friendly make a difference. Over the years my wife has learned all kinds of ways of adapting to having to look professional and coiffed for work and riding a bike at the same time. This includes everything from leaving outfits and hair dryers at work to having skirts that she wears that she folds up somehow to allow her to wear them as she rides her bike.

    And know that as cycle commuters despite our best efforts to look good it can sometimes just go wrong. My wife tells a great story of how one day she left the house all prepped to look terrific for a meeting that she would chair and what started as a beautiful spring morning turned into a thunderstorm that caught her unexpectedly. In her flurry to take refuge she threw her chain, which jammed, eventually she fixed the chain, and fearing she'd be late rode the last mile into the teeth of the storm. She did her best to pull herself together as she ran to the meeting, which she made it to in the nick of time, and, as she stood there wet, wiping the chain grease off her hands the room burst into spontaneous applause because they all knew she'd ridden her bike in once again.

    I say this not because I disagree with your post, I just want to emphasize that cycle commuting has just as much appeal to those who wish to be "fashionable" as it does to those of us who, like me, could often care less how we look.
    Last edited by buzzman; 05-13-13 at 01:01 PM.

  9. #284
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyzurJane View Post
    That said, I doubt that this is the main concern for most women who choose not to commute by bike. I suspect that more women don't commute by bike for the same reason my boyfriend doesn't--safety concerns. As many other commenters point out, in places where the infrastructure is strong, more women bike.
    I think there's more to it then that statement though that is part of it which also applies to men, a lot of men have office jobs and their jobs require a certain level or professionalism that they feel riding a bike into work would limit. When I ride my bike I find the ratio of men to women riding, and not commuting but for fitness or fun, is about 7 to 1, thus it only stands to reason there would be far less women are riding bikes to work. Then you take the fact that overall very few people commute on bicycles then it becomes rare to see a woman on bike commuting to work. The percentage of people who ride their bikes to work is just about 0.68 percent of all commuters, thus it's rare enough to even see a male commuter not alone one woman out of 7 of those commuters doing the same thing, then subtract from that your thoughts and the level severely drops to probably 1 in 15...just guessing of course.

  10. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph12 View Post
    Is it really such that men can show up to work looking like slobs and still get taken seriously?
    I don't think anyone's talking about looking like a slob. I was specifically talking about hair and makeup. And even more specific than that, I was saying that if a woman tells you she's concerned with her hair and makeup at work, you shouldn't dismiss these concerns as frivolous or vain, like the article at the beginning of the thread did.

    I also think buzzman's correct in his assessment that companies providing changing rooms or showers etc. could get lots more people to commute on bikes. Again, I'm thinking of my boyfriend's concerns here. There's no way he would want to show up at work all sweaty and with "helmet head," so he would never bike (or run, in his case) commute without a shower waiting for him at work.

    Maybe we should be less concerned with the gender ratio of the tiny percentage (as rekmeyata points out) of bike commuters, and just try to make changes that get more people on bikes. If the percentage of bike commuters rises, perhaps the gender discrepancy will even out a bit. It seems that people from places with strong bike cultures are reporting more women on bikes than the national average.

  11. #286
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I think there's more to it then that statement though that is part of it which also applies to men, a lot of men have office jobs and their jobs require a certain level or professionalism that they feel riding a bike into work would limit. When I ride my bike I find the ratio of men to women riding, and not commuting but for fitness or fun, is about 7 to 1, thus it only stands to reason there would be far less women are riding bikes to work. Then you take the fact that overall very few people commute on bicycles then it becomes rare to see a woman on bike commuting to work. The percentage of people who ride their bikes to work is just about 0.68 percent of all commuters, thus it's rare enough to even see a male commuter not alone one woman out of 7 of those commuters doing the same thing, then subtract from that your thoughts and the level severely drops to probably 1 in 15...just guessing of course.
    So how, for the health of the nation, both at the human level, and by the reduction of pollutants and the need for imported oil, can we increase the uptake of bicycle commuting... so cycling isn't just .68 percent of all commuters?

  12. #287
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    So how, for the health of the nation, both at the human level, and by the reduction of pollutants and the need for imported oil, can we increase the uptake of bicycle commuting... so cycling isn't just .68 percent of all commuters?
    I don't have the answer to that, this nation is different from other nations, it was built to be a travel by car nation not a travel by bike nation, which is why the last listing of the 10 best cities to ride a bike in the world not one single US city was mentioned, in fact they were all European countries. We're not close to having a cycling infrastructure like Europe has. And even if that infrastructure was to vastly improve by say 100% it would only result in about maybe a gain of 1, maybe 2 percent in commuter bike traffic. And for that small of a change with such a huge fiscal outlay to improve the infrastructure is simply not worth the money...money us taxpayers would have to pay.

    I knew a guy who worked at a large office complex once that had about 1,200 employees, they put in bike lockers and showers etc, etc, and paid bike commuters a certain dollar figure (I forgot the number given) per mile ridden to work which would be added onto their pay; and outside of the guy I knew there were never any more then about 12 bikes at any given time in the lockers! They did the same with van pooling too and offered incentives, and only had enough riders to call for the leasing of 2 12 passenger vans. So even incentives didn't work.

    Maybe instead of paying rebates of $7,500 in federal taxpayers money and another $2,500 in (some) states taxpayers money for wealthy to buy Tesla and Leaf cars, they should pay us rebates to buy bikes to commute on! But then somehow a system would have to be in place to prove your riding the bike to work.

    We're in a catch 22, whenever gas prices rose above $4 a gallon retail, restaurants sales, and tourism declined, and purchase of gasoline actually declined in gallons used as people didn't take vacations. The economy slowed during those $4 plus gallon days we had. Thus raising the price of gas to $10 to $11 a gallon Europe pays thinking we could force cycling commuting would instead backfire and collapse the economy on the retail side which would result in major layoffs which would have a major effect on the economy as a whole.

    Really there is no answer to your question. The only thing I can think of is to start a massive program of educating, or more accurately brainwashing, kids to think that driving cars is evil and they should ride bikes and take buses instead, as those kids grow up they may be more inclined to take bikes and buses. And get businesses to stop being so stuffy about their dress code expectations like their European counterparts. But I still think doing all of that would maybe increase bike commuting to maybe 3 to 4%? I don't ever see cycling to be a major cultural thing here in America like it is in Europe.

  13. #288
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I don't have the answer to that, this nation is different from other nations, it was built to be a travel by car nation not a travel by bike nation, which is why the last listing of the 10 best cities to ride a bike in the world not one single US city was mentioned, in fact they were all European countries. We're not close to having a cycling infrastructure like Europe has. And even if that infrastructure was to vastly improve by say 100% it would only result in about maybe a gain of 1, maybe 2 percent in commuter bike traffic. And for that small of a change with such a huge fiscal outlay to improve the infrastructure is simply not worth the money...money us taxpayers would have to pay.

    I knew a guy who worked at a large office complex once that had about 1,200 employees, they put in bike lockers and showers etc, etc, and paid bike commuters a certain dollar figure (I forgot the number given) per mile ridden to work which would be added onto their pay; and outside of the guy I knew there were never any more then about 12 bikes at any given time in the lockers! They did the same with van pooling too and offered incentives, and only had enough riders to call for the leasing of 2 12 passenger vans. So even incentives didn't work.

    Maybe instead of paying rebates of $7,500 in federal taxpayers money and another $2,500 in (some) states taxpayers money for wealthy to buy Tesla and Leaf cars, they should pay us rebates to buy bikes to commute on! But then somehow a system would have to be in place to prove your riding the bike to work.

    We're in a catch 22, whenever gas prices rose above $4 a gallon retail, restaurants sales, and tourism declined, and purchase of gasoline actually declined in gallons used as people didn't take vacations. The economy slowed during those $4 plus gallon days we had. Thus raising the price of gas to $10 to $11 a gallon Europe pays thinking we could force cycling commuting would instead backfire and collapse the economy on the retail side which would result in major layoffs which would have a major effect on the economy as a whole.

    Really there is no answer to your question. The only thing I can think of is to start a massive program of educating, or more accurately brainwashing, kids to think that driving cars is evil and they should ride bikes and take buses instead, as those kids grow up they may be more inclined to take bikes and buses. And get businesses to stop being so stuffy about their dress code expectations like their European counterparts. But I still think doing all of that would maybe increase bike commuting to maybe 3 to 4%? I don't ever see cycling to be a major cultural thing here in America like it is in Europe.
    Interesting reply... so brainwashing kids to think that gas is cheap is OK. Sending kids to die on foreign soil to maintain supply lines of lower cost oil is OK.

    Right. Just checking.

    BTW I like your bike rebate idea. Too bad we have so few American bike manufactures.

  14. #289
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyzurJane View Post
    ...Maybe we should be less concerned with the gender ratio of the tiny percentage (as rekmeyata points out) of bike commuters, and just try to make changes that get more people on bikes. If the percentage of bike commuters rises, perhaps the gender discrepancy will even out a bit. It seems that people from places with strong bike cultures are reporting more women on bikes than the national average.

    On one hand I'd like to dismiss the gender thing but it is the elephant in the room otherwise. It really is not a balanced ratio and asking, "why" is useful to both male and female riders.

    For one thing having safe places to ride and by that I don't just mean but wider lanes, slower traffic, bike lanes, bike paths etc and other factors that make it safer to ride but well lit, populated infrastructures that may occasionally be patrolled by police. I know that my wife hates dark, secluded sections of the bike path at night that I might not think twice about when riding home. And while I'm loathe to admit it her concerns are legitimate- she's right, unfortunately, women can be subjected to harassment or assault that men would not.

    Women can get hassled while walking, on public transit or riding a bike more easily than if they drive and I think that can, for some women, be a factor in making a choice about bike commuting- especially if they'll be doing at least half their commute in the dark.

    That said, I saw two women riding solo over the Manhattan Bridge going the opposite direction to me last night at 11 pm as I crossed over and I'm sure there were many more before and after- but the bridge is well monitored and lit and frequented by cyclists and that makes it better for everybody no matter their gender.

  15. #290
    Mmm hm! agent pombero's Avatar
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    I'm excited to see gas prices hit and stay at $5/gallon.

  16. #291
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Interesting reply... so brainwashing kids to think that gas is cheap is OK. Sending kids to die on foreign soil to maintain supply lines of lower cost oil is OK.

    Right. Just checking.

    BTW I like your bike rebate idea. Too bad we have so few American bike manufactures.
    I never said it was OK to send troops to foreign soil to keep oil flowing, but since you mentioned it that isn't happening anyways. Do you know how much oil we get from Afghanistan? 0%. Do you know how much comes out of Iraq to the US? 2.8 percent. I have a feeling that's not the reason we're in those places.

    Nor did I say anything about brainwashing kids to think gas was cheap, what I said was to "brainwash them into thinking cars are evil" thus they would be more inclined to use alternative transportation, reread my statement.

    How did you do in college?

    As far as bike manufactures go, there are quite a few manufactures in the USA, more then people realize, but the rebates wouldn't have to be just for American cars, the rebate for the Leaf is a Japanese car, so bikes wouldn't have to be limited to just American made bikes.

  17. #292
    Kamek ralph12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyzurJane View Post
    I don't think anyone's talking about looking like a slob. I was specifically talking about hair and makeup. And even more specific than that, I was saying that if a woman tells you she's concerned with her hair and makeup at work, you shouldn't dismiss these concerns as frivolous or vain, like the article at the beginning of the thread did.
    Well, I can agree with that. It's not vain or frivolous to want to look good...it's actually really important.

  18. #293
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I don't have the answer to that, this nation is different from other nations, it was built to be a travel by car nation not a travel by bike nation, which is why the last listing of the 10 best cities to ride a bike in the world not one single US city was mentioned, in fact they were all European countries. We're not close to having a cycling infrastructure like Europe has. And even if that infrastructure was to vastly improve by say 100% it would only result in about maybe a gain of 1, maybe 2 percent in commuter bike traffic. And for that small of a change with such a huge fiscal outlay to improve the infrastructure is simply not worth the money...money us taxpayers would have to pay.
    Meh.

    Cities in america that plan for bike traffic can see and even exceed 10 percent ridership, similar to cities in europe. Boulder Colorado stands out; so does Davis. Minneapolis and Portland are large american cities that plan for bike traffic, and get people out on bikes. Portland's division of the sexes on bicycles is more equitable than the rest of the country; again, because they plan for bike traffic.

    the cost argument is specious. bike infrastructure costs a pittance.

    I've heard it said that the entire mass of Portland's bike infrastructure cost less than 1 mile of freeway interstate.

    methinks cyclists with beliefs like rekmeyata don't really want to see US cities invest in bike traffic, hmm? Despite the proven, affordable efficacy of doing so.


    And, in a discussion of transportation costs, promoting private car ownership is a loser to the liberatarians. There are burdensome externalities associated with american levels of car use. These costs are hidden, and borne by the taxpayer.

    the sound fiscal position is to promote bicycling. Lots of it, in order to reduce the hidden and rarely covered costs of the american transportation model.

    it simply costs more, LOTS more, to accomodate car traffic. i would say with confidence that municipalities in america, across the board, subsidize automobile transportation and yet are faced with an ever increasing amount of underfunded maintenance backlogs.

    every city in america, bar none, subsidizes motor vehicle owners while they engage in decimating the roads. pothole problems, anyone?
    Last edited by Bekologist; 05-13-13 at 10:51 PM.
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  19. #294
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    which is why the last listing of the 10 best cities to ride a bike in the world not one single US city was mentioned
    a usanian city did not make the list because mikael colville andersen is a retro-grouch who does not like "sporty" cycling. i am not making this up...this was his tweeted explanation. if we stop buying road bikes, stop wearing spandex, stop wearing helmets, and encourage our womyn-folk to ride around in skirts and heels we too can make the list.
    Last edited by spare_wheel; 05-13-13 at 11:06 PM.
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  20. #295
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    the more obvious reason is american cities simply throw the cyclists under the bus. literally. totally a disqualifier for being on a list of 'top ten' cities for cycling.

    Forcing omas to 'take the lane' in front of a metro tram is a sure way to NOT get cities on the list.

    Way to go, USA, for develop a transportation model that is decidedly repressive to women riding bikes.

    Another dismal showing on yet another global ranking of quality of life. go, team.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  21. #296
    Senior Member alhedges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
    a usanian city did not make the list because mikael colville andersen is a retro-grouch who does not like "sporty" cycling. i am not making this up...this was his tweeted explanation. if we stop buying road bikes, stop wearing spandex, stop wearing helmets, and encourage our womyn-folk to ride around in skirts and heels we too can make the list.
    It's not a real list. An American city wouldn't even come close on a real list, which would have something like 15 cities from Holland alone in the lead.

  22. #297
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agent pombero View Post
    This is BS. My girlfriend is 5'9 and a wonderful, curvy 205 pounds. She loves riding her bike every day (rt commute 10 miles). She also is riding a top notch bike, Brooks saddle, and was professionally fitted.
    I'm 5'3", 180 lbs. My fat ass is quite comfortable on a bicycle, tyvm.

    I do have to wonder where they get the stats for female ridership in Oregon, especially Eugene. On my commutes, women cyclists outnumber the men ~3:1, but they seem to be mostly students at the University. I'd guess the survey takers don't talk to renters/people in dorms.

    I used to not ride in to work Friday and Saturday nights because I have to go through the heart of Frat-house territory, and they try to pull me off my bike. Also having to dodge thrown bottles isn't that fun, but now I've just started killing my lights when I hit 15th and Oak street, and only turn them on when I'm at Hilyard. Run silent, run deep.
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  23. #298
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    What's really funny is that all of the people I know at my work who commute by bike are women. The male cyclists are all roadies who fuss about "junk miles" and their kit and shiny bikes when I ask them why they don't ride. (Wait, I tell a lie - one guy rides a unicycle to work.)

    Oh, and for all the dudes saying that it's only women who pressure other women to style their hair and wear makeup - I have NEVER had another woman sneer or comment about the fact that I don't shave my legs, wear make up or "feminine" clothing. I can't count the number of men who thought that the way I choose to dress/look was their business and have come up to me to tell me their opinion. My favorite is when they start expounding on the fact that "you can wear makeup that looks natural!" So I'm supposed to put goop on my face to look like I don't put goop on my face?! Waaaaaaaaat.

    It's also the men who tell me I shouldn't ride at night (I work graveyards) because I might be raped. Never had a woman bring it up. Of course they get all butthurt when I point out that, statistically, I'm much more likely to be assaulted by one of them (ie, a man that I know) than by a crazy guy in the bushes.
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  24. #299
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
    I know that my wife hates dark, secluded sections of the bike path at night that I might not think twice about when riding home. And while I'm loathe to admit it her concerns are legitimate- she's right, unfortunately, women can be subjected to harassment or assault that men would not.
    This is definitely a concern of mine. I had a scary experience recently of getting harassed by some men in a car when I was biking home around 1am. There happened to be a police car nearby, so I slowed near it until the dudes passed me and turned off my route. It was definitely far more intimidating than your average catcall while walking down the street in broad daylight.

    I also wish the bike paths were lit at night. Around here they run through parks that close at night, so I avoid them for the most part after dark.

  25. #300
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookaburra1701 View Post
    It's also the men who tell me I shouldn't ride at night (I work graveyards) because I might be raped. Never had a woman bring it up.
    I'd be pretty pissed if someone told me I shouldn't ride at night. As though they're in a better position to know what's best for me than I do.

    I'd second your experience of having men confront me about my appearance. It's generally out of some misplaced sense of concern that I'm dressed or made up a certain way because I just don't understand what appeals to them, personally. They want to be helpful by letting me know what they find attractive so that I can start doing that. It never occurred to them that I really don't care what some random guy finds attractive in a woman. I find it rude and off-putting and it kind of makes me want to do the opposite.

    The makeup study that I linked to, though, I think showed that women have the same perceptions linking competence in the workplace to a "natural" but made up look. So even if they're not rude enough to say something, many of your women coworkers may have absorbed the same standards for what constitutes a "professional appearance." I mean the general "you," of course, since I have no idea what your specific workplace situation is like.

    Also, sorry your weekend commute is such a nightmare. I actually feel pretty safe in the college bar areas around here, cause cops are everywhere and it's incredibly well lit. Also, I'm an old, so the college kids look straight through me like I'm invisible. No harassment there. It's the drunk drivers that I worry about on weekend nights.

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