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My uniform is not for your fantasies

Today, like every other day, I go to work as a lifeguard, as I have been, for almost the last 10 years.

My uniform consists of short shorts (that I wear because it is incredibly hard to find comfortable shorts, let alone one that are a more appropriate length). I also wear a tank top, a fanny pack, a radio, and a whistle, as required by my job.

Every single day I get checked out to the point of making me uncomfortable, or someone (usually male) throws a sexist remark my way.

Today a man told me it looked like I was taking my bra off when I was removing lane ropes. I have heard stories about females telling other female guards that they “look like whores” because of how they dress. I have to be cautious of my body language and my behavior so I don’t appear as though I was “inviting” comments. I have had men tell me to “smile because you’re pretty”. The man that told me that it looked like I was taking off my bra actually came up to me later on as he as leaving and told me he was joking and he didn’t want me to “misinterpret it”. I told him his comment was inappropriate, and he should refrain from using that language in the future, as it makes me uncomfortable. He laughed and walked away. He did not apologize.

My uniform is not for you to make rude remarks at. My body is not for you to visually undress so I feel uncomfortable. I am unable to change my attire, but maybe you can change your behavior.

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164 Responses

  1. It is unfortunate there are jackasses ( male and female) out there who find it necessary to be rude. As a regular patron of Edmonton’s great selection of pools I would just like to say thank you

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  2. wow….can you get these rude commentors booted? Not how an adult behaves in public

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  3. Amanda Kerr Amanda Kerr says:

    Some men just can’t help themselves when they spot a woman with a fanny pack I guess lol

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  4. Don’t worry about me. You lost me at fanny pack…

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  5. You can tell by the responses there is so much ignorance in the world.

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  6. Classless pigs.What do they say to the girls wearing a swim suits in the pool. Ban them. If they say that to you then they are harassing the swimmers also. Grrr.

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  7. Its not just the women who, sadly, get objectified. When I was doing my tour for Thunder from Down Under, women would constantly make sexual remarks when I was down to my G-strings.

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  8. Lois White Lois White says:

    Why do people continue to think it is ok to speak to women this way.

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  9. Liz Dubray Liz Dubray says:

    You as a woman should know that men only think with their penis 90% of the time. They also think us women like to be objectified like that. You just gotta ignore it. OR. You can make a comment back. Tell him to buy his next pair of swimming trunks in the adult section or something. What are they going to do? Report You? There isn’t anything wrong with sticking up for yourself and not taking that shit. If they can dish It, they can take it. If they report You, report him as well. What makes it ok for him to objectify you but you can’t stand up for yourself?

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    • Chanel Brown Chanel Brown says:

      First off, your comment is sexist. Yes, some men are sex driven. Just like some women. Second, she could lose her job by replying like that, so your suggestion is not a good option for her.

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    • Cee Dee Hawn Cee Dee Hawn says:

      Not. Fucking. Good. Enough.
      Asshole.

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    • Liz Dubray Liz Dubray says:

      I would rather walk away with my dignity than have to work such a degrading job. My comment is not sexist either. It’s very true. Men themselves have even admit that the first thing they think about is sex when they see a woman. And if you read my post, you will see that I didn’t say ALL men. Just 90% of them. Sorry if the truth hurts you.

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    • Men have brains and no, having a penis doesn’t make it impossible to think. There are a ton of amazing men out there who don’t do this. Its lack of respect and thinking they have a right to treat another human being like a piece of meat. That is not ok and she shouldn’t have to tolerate it because they don’t control themself. They either stop or they need to get out. Period.

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    • Andrea Joy Andrea Joy says:

      Liz Dubray did you just say that working as a lifeguard is a degrading job….?

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    • Exactly when did a lifeguard become a degrading job?

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    • This is her workplace. She should not have to worry about snappy comebacks. That kind of behavior, commenting and interaction should not be tolerate by anyone.

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    • Brian Booth Brian Booth says:

      Assuming that “men think with their dicks 90% of the time” is just as sexist as saying that 90% of the time that women are irritable it’s that time of the month for them. If you generalize an entire group of people you’re no better than the people that are doing wrong. And yes your comment was sexist as you were referring to all men and the percentage of time their brains are spent on sex. You most certainly can have an opinion. Just as I can have the opinion that your post is sexist and is most likely triggered by some past trauma done to you by a male.

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    • Sabby Janice Sabby Janice says:

      Your referring to this woman’s career for the past decade as degrading? Why because she’s wearing a little more than a bathing suit so she can be prepared to jump into the water at any given time to possibly save a life with her safety and first aid training?
      What is it you do? Oh wait, your a stay at home mom right?
      You talk about men objectifying women and how it’s wrong and for her to stick up for herself and then in turn refer to her career choice as degrading, when in fact, it’s not degrading at all. What a fucking gem you are.

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    • Nice way to make it seem like it’s her fault….

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    • Liz Dubray Liz Dubray says:

      I not once said being a life guard is a degrading job. But if I are in fact being degraded at the job your at, is it worth It? Every single one of you said I called her job degrading. Lmfao! I guess I could have worded it better. But no. Being a life guard is NOT a degrading job. I just don’t think anyone should have to work anywhere they feel uncomfortable. And if you say something back, why should she get fired for It? If people are allowed to objectify and degrade an employee at ANY job, and their position be at risk, I would walk away so easily. Especially if I knew standing up for myself could cost me my job. It would make it that much easier to walk away. I’m not against the original poster in any way! But no way in hell would i take that shit from anyone. I have walked off of 2 jobs in my life because of that shit and I have no regrets and have suffer zero repercussions.

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    • They have the labour board for a reason.

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    • Liz Dubray Liz Dubray says:

      Yeah. But she obviously isn’t taking that route. So what is YOUR suggestion then. She just deal with it? Is that what you would do? Deal with it? I would never put up with that shit from anyone. It sounds like that’s what you all think she should do is just take it and deal with it. All I have seen is everyone criticize my comment and tell me how wrong of a person I am yet I haven’t seen anyone else make any other suggestions.

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    • My suggestions to you: don’t use unverified statistics. I’d like to see a credible source backing up this “90%.”

      My suggestions to the O.P. You need to report these things. Politely tell those people who are commenting, their comments are inappropriate and unwanted. And then ensure you report it to a manager. That covers your butt. No pun intended. But your professionalism while speaking to them is key here. Unfortunately the ogling…is harder to contend with. And I’m sorry for that. Maybe if it is obvious…get another co-worker to corroborate the staring and mention it to your boss. You should 1000% not have to deal with this!!!

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    • next time the woman is in the pool with her kids, please be aware of the facts that some of the lifeguards might not be there because she recommended them to leave.

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  10. Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

    …… Good god, grow the fuck up lady.

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    • I think it’s you who needs to grow up. It is nobody’s place to objectify any other person.
      She is well within her right to have these feelings. This man’s behavior should not be deemed as normal or okay.

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      Look, telling a woman to smile is not some patriarchal oppressing move… Its just greasy and annoying as fuck. She isn’t there to smile for you, I get that part. What also is annoying I telling other people they can’t enjoy a female wearing something attractive. I can’t stand thought police. If she said keep your perverted thoughts to yourself that’s fine, don’t tell people they arent allowed to think a woman is sexy.

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    • Chanel Brown Chanel Brown says:

      The fun part is this woman was being entirely professional in this entire post. She never out’s where she worked, never gave more details than a man, and nowhere was she sexist or unnecessarily rude. She made a point, a good one at that. And she never said you can’t think that way. She stated not to leer and look at her like a piece of meat.

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      So how do humans find a mate? Never admire a attractive man or woman, for being sexy?

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    • There are thoughts, then there is body language and actions.
      Maybe if they find her so attractive they should treat her like a human, because you know, that’s what she is.

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      I agree that men and women do some creepy things. Its just annoying to hear feminists bitch and moan like its only men who do these kinds of things.

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    • Actually, for a complete stranger to come up to a woman and tell her to “smile, beautiful!” it is patriarchal, demeaning, and inappropriate. Why? Why does she have to smile? Seriously. Give me one GOOD reason why anyone should smile, just because another person tells them to.

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    • Graham Frost do you really think any woman would swoon over a dude who makes a remark like that?

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      Jordan Kruger welcome to the conversation. We already covered that its gross. Its not sexist, its not the patriarchy… Women and men do it and its gross. Its just a sad and pathetic way people try and be smooth yet come off as a complete fucking moron. If someone said that to me I’d give the ugliest smile and laugh when they took a step back in horror.

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      Doreen Hernandez a remark like what?

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    • Choose your words & your battles Graham

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      Beverly Popil….. What? Lol

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    • When you ask how humans find a mate, it certainly isn’t by dishing out demeaning comments like it looks like you’re taking off your bra.

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      Doreen Hernandez couldn’t agree more, that’s some serious serial killer shit lol. But that guy is also probably one of the dudes who send dick pics as a standard greeting to women online… These kind of men are the kind of people we wish we could just drown in the pool and not have an attractive life guard on duty to save their life hahaha

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    • Its not her job to put up with sexual harassment from customers.

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      Nobody needs to put up with sexual harassment at work. You are correct, however its really fucking hard to enforce that rule. Unless we have sexual harassment police at every job in the world. It really comes down to ignoring sexist or sexual harassment remarks, or calling them out on such remarks as it happens and possibly having said person removed from the building. I don’t disagree with the notion there are some greasy men out there who really dont know how to talk to women… What bugs me is when some feminist doesn’t acknowledge its not a man thing its a human thing. Women and men both do this crap.

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    • Graham Frost yes, it applies to both. Difference being I don’t know women who speak to men like that. If I were to hear that type of comment, I would like to think I’d tell my fellow woman to zip it and apologize.

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      Doreen Hernandez I won’t bullshit you, I’m sure its more men than women, but its still a human problem not a gender problem. Id also like to slap these boys and apologize for my gender haha. Really its all solved by just not being a creepy dirtbag to the opposite gender lol

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    • Its not hard to enforce this rule at all. Approach one of the staff or others with perverted or sexually suggestive commenting, ya get the boot, simple as that.

      Theres a thing called self control. If a perevert can’t exercise self control, stay at home.

      Kids use these facilities too. Hes not only harassing an employee, but kids might overhear the deviancy as well.

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    • Graham, I followed the conversation, which is why I amended my wording towards the end to include everyone. However, I believe my argument still stands. Yes, women and men both make these remarks, but I think you are in serious denial, should you honestly believe it happens to them equally. You, as a male, are at an automatic advantage. You CAN give someone an ugly smile and chuckle to yourself when they recoil. A woman doesn’t have that luxury. We risk, at the very least, being called a nasty name, and at the absolute worst, physical harm.

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    • Carly Brunet Carly Brunet says:

      So if my husband did this to his male employees then it’s all in good fun? If some big, burly man(who could easily overpower you and clearly was older, experienced at harrassing men, etc) came up and started commenting on your private parts at your workplace while you were alone, you wouldn’t be uncomfortable?

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    • Graham I’m agreeing Carly, not you.

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      I know. I liked how dumb it was

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    • Graham Frost Graham Frost says:

      Jordan Kruger you clearly are not following along. I already admitted men do these things more than women…. Do you seriously think men have an advantage women don’t?! Women do have the luxury to make a stupid face and walk away…. They do it all the fucking time lmao. Yes you may be called a nasty name, that’s really not a big deal…. Like…. At all.

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  11. Women say/do the same things about police officers, paramedics and firemen. Some have that ‘man in uniform’ thing going on. It’s not just men who do it, works both ways. Just sayin.

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  12. Frank Yurich Frank Yurich says:

    Dont worry soon you will all be weaRing hijabs and bed sheets enjoy while you still can for soon you will all be governed by sharia law and you wont have your life gaurd job youll be in a kitchen making hala meet and taking care of kids and your husbands every need and if you dont you will be beaten…..its coming

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  13. Wow. Sorry to hear you’re getting this crap. Maybe its time to add a rule to the Vistor sign and post it in a very visible spot.

    ‘Any form of harassment or disrepect shown to facility staff or others using this facility will result in the automatic removal from the facility or possible expulsion or a ban from the premises”.

    When I use our local facility, I’m aware of people around me, but am too busy using the faciity to get a work out. I’m not sitting there like a deviant staring at peoples bodies.

    Only a deviant or pervert would actually approach staff and verbalize a sexual connatation to putting away ropes. Ffs.

    You need to meet with other staff and facility management and come up with a policy and message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated between staff or between staff and visitors. There also needs to be written policy and signage of the consequences if people CHOOSE to conduct themselves this way. They should automatically be thrown out.

    If they need your life saving skills, throw the pricks a huge ROCK instead of a preserver.

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  14. Sorry, but it should be zero tolerance and your employer should support you in the fact that they get one warning and if they can’t lock it up, they’ll be barred from the pool.

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  15. Peripherals guys, come on now. You’re better than that.

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  16. I want to give you an internet hug. I hope this behaviour will one day be a literal thing of the past. We’re not there yet unfortunately.

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  17. Tannis Fong Tannis Fong says:

    Is it possible to tell the offender to leave for the day? Honestly, comments like that should get people kicked out of the pool. Besides the obvious jerkiness and assault, there are kids there too.

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  18. I feel awful you’re going through this but there is only one thing I disagree with.

    You can’t say what fantasies someone can have or can’t.
    As long as they keep it to themselves, it’s whatever. When they start doing the shit your describing, then there’s an issue.

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    • Carly Brunet Carly Brunet says:

      Women have sexual fantasies all the time. There s a whole section dedicated to it at the book store. However, there’s a general expectation that women are far less likely to sexually harrass men because we’re taught at a young age to respect our bodies and other people’s bodies. (yes, women sexually assault men too, I’ve had to intervene before so I’m fully aware)

      Now imagine if we held men to the same reasonable standards.

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    • Tanita Faye Tanita Faye says:

      Her exact problem is that they are not keeping it to themselves!

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  19. Wear what you need to being a lifeguard isn’t easy..thank you for being you and screw judgemental folks

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  20. Marie says:

    OP – all’s I can say is just be thankful you weren’t bombarded with comments coming from a different culture group/family at the pools … concerning “dress-code” – for you through some of those eyes should have been wearing a 100% black tarmac wrap-up and buoyed yourself up in the center of the pool … THEN you would have had something to complain about.

    In other words … what I am saying … is your experiences concerning comments from others could be much worse.

    Boys, guys and men will always be BOYS!

    PLUS, if after 10 years as a lifeguard you haven’t learned “in-one-ear-out-the-other” then for heavens sakes why would you bother to even post this (after 10 years?) ?

    AND, last but not least, do yourself a really big favor and “Get over Yourself!” If you can’t handle the sprinkles and ignore or laugh it off, then you probably shouldn’t be doing that job. Time for a change… maybe?

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  21. Bah you choose the job

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  22. You are 100% correct OP. Some men are so gross.

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  23. Laura Hunt Laura Hunt says:

    Sorry to hear that. Some people have very bad manners.

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  24. Sounds like pent up frustration, the man didn’t use inappropriate language with you yet you told him to watch his language, I would have laughed at you too, get over yourself

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    • Carly Brunet Carly Brunet says:

      So if my husband came up and commented on your underwear while you were working you’d find that entirely appropriate?

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    • From what I got from this post was two things: One is that she gets objectified on a daily basis… and its bullshit. Two: She’s on edge, and had a guy see her and he thought she was taking her bra off and then said “It looked like you were taking off your bra.” Maybe he actually thought that. Regardless, that clearly set her off. It’s not as sexist or as rude as it you think. Come work in the trades for 5 minutes and see what a “Sexist Remark” really sounds like.

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    • Tanita Faye Tanita Faye says:

      You’re a dumbass. This lady is at her place of employment, she doesn’t need random men making dirty innapropriate comments or suggestions at her. Men like that need to learn to control themselves and back off.

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    • I wouldn`t give a rats ass, I~m not an uptight insecure stick in the mud, and that`s not offensive to me. And there is no foul language there either

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    • You CHOSE your profession and you think retarded movies like Baywatch don`t give men an excuse to be a jerk. I`m not that guy but you need to lighten up, over sensitivity is rampant in this country. How does this sound: I`m offended that you`re as uptight as you are??

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    • Tanita Faye Tanita Faye says:

      Right there is no foul language . Since when is being sexually harassed from a stranger (whether its verbal or physical) mean a person is uptight stick in the mud. Seriously. I’m not even wasting my breath here. You are arextually hopeless based on your comments. Again, at her PLACE OF WORK. She doesn’t need cat called by disrespectful men who can’t control themselves. It’s pathetic.

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    • Tanita Faye Tanita Faye says:

      This isn’t just one time she’s referring to. This is multiple men being pigs to her while she’s working. Being an entitled “man” of course u wouldn’t know what that’s like for a woman. I hope a guy harasses your daughter sister or wife with secual suggestive comments so you can hear how they too feel about it. You are part of the problem that this is considered acceptable. It boils down to respect and it is offensive for that woman dealing with it.

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    • Doesn`t sound to me like it was a cat call at all, you are part of the problem with that kind of thinking.

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  25. All I gotta say is thank you for looking out for all of us while we have fun with our family’s . I’m sorry you are treated this way by pigs.. probably why these men were there alone.. to sad and retarted to hold down their own women

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    • Well thank you kindly !!! Its just so sad.. some of these so called “men” can’t event show respect to the people who brought us into the world … if it wasn’t for women we wouldn’t be here its as plain as that .. I respect all women just for that simple fact .. I envy women I honestly couldn’t do half the stuff your body is made for. These guys need to run home to their mothers with their leggs between their leggs and learn some basic respect for women.

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    • Tanita Faye Tanita Faye says:

      I just checked your profile and yup! See guys this is why you be like this guy. He’s engaged to a total beauty 🙂 Congratulations sir!

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    • I am one very very lucky man that’s for sure !!! Thank you very much !!!

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    • You are a very nice person your self ! Don’t let any of these pigs get to you ! Have a great fantastic day !!

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  26. Lol…… oh my god

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  27. I wonder if the hooters girls feel the same way?

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  28. People’s views on sexual harassment has become so completely FUCKED!
    Telling a girl she’s got a pretty smile or beautiful eyes is not NOT sexual harassment!
    It’s not the world’s fault you’ve become so over sexually sensitive that the instant someone compliments you, you feel violated and raped!

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