I am not a big fan of Runner’s World. I have nothing against them per se, however it’s usual content does not necessarily hold my attention. That changed recently when I chanced upon an article highlighting a woman’s experience that simultaneously turned my stomach and made my blood boil.
Dr. Laurah Lukin (Ph.D. Who in addition to being an Assistant Dean and Professor at the University of Cincinnati Medical School is an elite level marathoner with an impressive list of wins under her belt), posted a photo of her running in the Little Miami Half Marathon. At first glance it becomes evident that her form is efficient, Laurah’s upper body is both proud and relaxed, her head is held high and she appears focussed, strong, and engaged. A friend of Laura’s rightfully pointed out “Look at them muscles in those legs” which was met by the response of a man whom Laurah did not know, who stated “That’s because she doesn’t have any damn clothes on and she is running for her life” followed shortly by a second comment, “No wonder joggers get raped”. Laurah was wearing running clothes. A singlet and running briefs, absolutely appropriate attire in the circumstance.
Yes, you could argue that this is a universal right, and indeed it is; We are all entitled to feel safe, however it is almost universally women that bear the brunt of this unsavory rhetoric. Take me as a prime example. A forty year old, strongly built European man who runs passionately and will only wear short shorts and if the conditions are favourable, a singlet. If you invited comment on the image of me below vs. the one of Laurah you can bet your bottom dollar that mine would not receive the sinister feedback that Laurah’s photo garnered. Indeed I would suggest the captions that I have put underneath my photos highlight the sheer incongruence of the idea. I can, as a man, wear what I want, when I want, with very little fear of recrimination or negative consequence. Certainly, It would be very unlikely that I would be accused of offering myself up for being raped because I rock a 3” inseam.
“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” 
So, if then we are morally bound to confront intolerance of all forms as and where we find it, how do we go about challenging what seems like an increasingly global narrative?The answer is: Act locally.
Challenge behaviour that is inappropriate when you see it, be that of a sexually inappropriate, racially hateful or discrimination around gender if it is safe to do so, and if not then contact authorities that are mandated to deal with inappropriate behaviour. The road to intolerance is paved with indifference.
Communicate on social media as if you expect to see that person around the corner in five minutes time. Cyberspace affords us all distance. Being removed from the person we may be commenting on both hides us from witnessing the person’s response and distress and likewise keeps us safe from any negative feedback from the person in question. I grew up pre internet. In my youth, if you said something to someone, especially something unpleasant, damn straight you had to back it up. There was no hiding. Words have consequence. Remember that and act accordingly.
(These last few are specific to running because ostensibly these articles are about running, however they are just as easily transcribed into everyday life).
Be an ally. No, bros. When it comes to women who run, just be cool! I would suggest the following:
Keep your unsolicited critical feedback to yourself.
If you are going to give praise, praise performance, not appearance (and never with a qualifier i.e.” for a girl”).
Never touch unless invited to (Right?).
ABOVE ALL ELSE: Take responsibility for your own actions and thoughts. No one makes anyone do anything by virtue of their gender, age, race, faith or in this case, attire.
Popper, Karl, The Open Society and Its Enemies, volume 1, The Spell of Plato, 1945 (Routledge, United Kingdom); ISBN 0-415-29063-5 978-0-691-15813-6 (1 volume 2013 Princeton ed.)