I like to run at night. I’ve always had a hard time getting up early enough to squeeze in a morning run.
Something about running at night is peaceful. No one is out, I don’t get hollered, harassed, or honked at.
In all the years I’ve been running at night, I’ve been told not to. I’ve been told I shouldn’t run at night because I might get taken or raped.
Sometimes when I’m running at night I let my mind wander. I start to think about what might happen if someone did grab me. After contemplating this thought for a few minutes, I quickly brush it off and keep running.
Running at night is not the only thing I have been told not to do because I am a woman.
I’ve been told not to bend over at work because the men are checking out my ass.
I’ve been told not wear short skirts, shorts or low cut tops because I might “tempt” or “turn on” a man.
I’ve been told to not walk alone at night.
I’ve been told not to travel by myself.
I never thought too much into these instructions, until I was introduced to the #yesallwomen. The hash tag includes many women’s personal stories of harassment and misogyny. It resulted because of a young man in California that made the decision to murder a few women because he was not getting sex or receiving their attention. *He also murdered men as well, and I certainly do not want to discount that fact.
But, this story brings to light the suffering many women in our current society are forced to silently endure.
I don’t want to live in a world, where I am afraid to go for a run at night, or travel by myself.
I don’t think it’s crazy to wish for a world devoid of violence.
I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world like that.
This hash tag and conversation are empowering for women. I will continue to not run at night, and I will continue to watch what I wear, but I’m here to say, I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO.
I dream of the day, where women no longer have to live their lives in fear.
As I write this I must admit, that even I have a hard time imagining a world without violence against women. A world in which women are not objects.
I really don’t have any answers, but I do believe it is my responsibility as a blogger and female to get this conversation started.
It’s not ok for women to live their lives in fear of violence or harassment.
You’ve taken the first step towards fixing all of this. You took the time to read this blog post. If you like what I wrote, please share it and start a conversation about violence against women and why it needs to stop.
Like I said, I’m not sure how to stop the violence, or horrible attitudes people hold about women, but I do believe there are enough good people in the world to change the negativity.
*Oh, and I also should say that I am aware #notallmen are like this. There are many wonderful men in the world, who treat women with dignity and respect, and who put their lives on the line to protect all of us.
In fact, I know of three. I have to give a shout out to Clayton Kimbrough, Chris Foldesy, and my brother John Graw. They are three of the most selfless, wonderful men I’ve ever met.
They serve others and their country on a daily basis. I’m blessed to have them in my life.
Happy Memorial Day!