Women use a variety of methods to stay safe while running alone
If you’re a woman and you enjoy running you know a few things: there’s nothing quite like that magical glide-y stuff that stops your thighs from chafing, listening to 90s hip hop is the best way to power through the last mile, and every single time you head out, you need to consider how to protect yourself from men.
Because being a woman is a non-stop friggin’ delight.
Writer Amanda Deibert took to Twitter yesterday to share that a mom group she’s part of has a thread going that’s just women “listing and recommending which kind of protection they take” when they go running.
“… in case you wondered what being a woman is like.”
Deibert lists examples including pepper spray, alarm necklaces, and whistles. She then asked her female followers what they use to go out running. The answers were varied — and incredibly depressing.
A lot of women bring their pups — I would be one of those women. Nothing says “back the hell off” like a 65-lb dog who loves her momma.
Some go a different route and bring literal weapons. Honestly, can’t say we blame them.
And of course, it’s not just us ladies who need to think about being randomly attacked while out living our lives. Young girls need to protect themselves too, sadly.
There’s also our wardrobe choices to consider when it comes to staying safe. Though it would be easier and far more comfortable for many women to just run in a sports bra and shorts, if we’d rather not be harassed (or worse) we need to wear a little more than that.
We also need to have our wits about us at all times, so even though pumped up jams might motivate you to move faster, you might decide to leave the earbuds at home so you can hear.
Some prefer to avoid the situation altogether and just stay indoors — which is also absolutely fine and not remotely chicken-like, TYVM.
Thankfully, some men understand the worry we cart along while piling up miles and act accordingly.
But we shouldn’t need “hero” men who feel they have to alert us to them not being a threat. None of them should be a threat. As a distance runner who gets bored easily and enjoys changing up my scenery, I’m often in a position where I need to consider my own safety. I live in a place with lots of wooded trails and I love using them, but a few miles in, they go pretty quiet and secluded. I can’t use my earbuds because I need to be able to hear anyone approaching. Like many of the women replying to this thread, I wear clothing that covers me pretty completely so I don’t feel too exposed. I’m on constant alert.
When I see men blithely jogging past me, shirtless, earbuds in and music blasting without a care in the world, I inwardly rage. It’s not fair that we have to think this way while busting our asses. Imagine if we could turn all that energy and focus into a faster pace or true stress relief, zoning out and forgetting the world instead of being eternally on guard. It’s pretty much the dream to be able to pick up and go without a care in the world, to the park trails at dawn or dusk, earbuds firmly fastened, and have the only concern be where in the hell we put our keys.
Maybe someday that dream will come true — if not for us, than our daughters.