On running while female

Katie Prout, “On Running and Street Harassment” 

Before I can finish describing the sexual harassment I just endured from eight separate men during the one hour, 14 minutes, and 20 seconds it took me to run ten miles, my dad interrupts. “See, now this is why you need a .38,” he says. “Something nice and small you can carry with you at all times.”

… The “best” street harassment I have ever received came from a man with one leg calling out “Do your thang, girl,” as he gave me two thumbs up. I couldn’t be mad about him. The worst was when male children no older than thirteen told me to suck their dicks as they threw debris from the construction of the Bloomingdale Trail at my head. Just for a minute, I saw them as little boys, before their faces changed to resemble the face of a man who would later back me up against a brick wall and say, slowly, “The fuck you say to me, bitch?” after I told him I didn’t like how he licked his lips and said, “Damn, honey” while staring at my sports bra. My encounter with him and his friends took place in the same month as the one with the boys who already felt entitled to tell me what they wanted to do to my body. The three words that set each pack off? “That’s disrespectful. Stop.” [link]


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