There are more men than women out on most days, and as a confident woman, I am becoming irritated by the times that men ride near me to tell me I look good, don't look good, need to shift, should check my tires, have a nice bike, etc. I just want to ride and do my thing. I don't need advice about how to ride. Try as I might to give everyone a break, it ends up feeling gendered a lot of the time. It seems like men don't give each other unsolicited advice as often as they feel like they can give it to women who are out training.
I should say that I have also found this to be true in different contexts, like the pool or the weight room, so it's by no means limited to cycling, this is just when I've started to notice it the most. I should also say that there are plenty of men out there who are completely respectful, there are some women who are not, sometimes comments can be nice or helpful, and I don't always feel like it's about gender. But it has happened enough that it is in my psyche, and now even when my well-intentioned triathlete boyfriend comments on something benign like tire pressure or chain stretch, I get defensive out of frustration at being told what to do. Something about it really rubs me the wrong way, even though I know he and most others are probably just trying to be helpful. Any thoughts on how to deal with this thoughtfully, not reactively, or just to ignore?
Thanks so much.