CJ at Boyspoke posts from the front lines in an LA gym, about getting glared at when looking at women:

The thing is, these women — you know, the ones at the gym? They’re dressed — umm — gorgeously. Yes, even at the gym. I mean, I know Spandex is a privilege and not a right, but these women deserve to wear Spandex. Some of them even go as far as to wear athletic bras. And just athletic bras…at least on top; yes, they put on stuff that covers their other parts. It’s like, hel-LO, gorgeous women are all around me and some of them are dressed in even less than the ones I see walking down the street!

Naturally, I look. And I’m not really a gawker, but there are some times when I’m checking out the women. You would, too. It’s not like I’m making comments and pointing or being incredibly obvious or anything like that, I’m just, you know…gently checking them out. The problem is: some of them apparently don’t take kindly to being checked out. I get dirty looks in return.

I call foul on that. In fact, I call triple-foul on that. For crying out loud, if you’re dressed in an outfit like that, how can you expect me not to check you out? You’re wearing next to nothing. And the stuff that you are wearing is barely leaving anything to the imagination. Honestly, I think it’s be a crime for me not to look.

Here’s my thing: If you don’t want to be checked out, then dress accordingly. If you don’t want me to look at your boobs, cover them. If you don’t want me to admire your legs, don’t wear short shorts. There’s no law that prohibits you from wearing a loose t-shirt and baggy track pants instead of a sports bra and Spandex Daisy Dukes. And if you do wear the sports bra and Spandex Daisy Dukes … you’re not allowed to be displeased when I check you out.

First of all, there’s admittedly a line between looking and leering that not all men can find — or maybe they just don’t care to. But if we assume, despite the dirty look evidence to the contrary, that CJ is safely on the right side of the line with his “gently checking them out”, what’s up with that?

I know the gym is a problem for some women; in my town we’ve got women-only gyms and gyms with women-only areas for just this reason. But at the coed gym, when a woman has dressed to impress, does she really expect the guys to maintain monastic eyes-front-and-downcast look-at-nothing-but-the-equipment-in-front-of-me eyeball discipline? If so, is she not manifestly insane?

I have my own theory, which is that when she’s dressed to impress but glaring at you for looking, you’re not in the category of people whose eye she hoped to catch. Just for instance, you might be a man, ugh, and she might be there to attract the gaze of another woman. Or you might not meet her standard of beauty; she wants to catch the eye of someone as svelte as herself, and can’t abide being looked at by some regularly-sized slug.