Three weeks ago when I was in Oregon, a man harassed me from behind bushes during my run. He scared me and made me feel unsafe as a woman runner, a woman in public, and a woman traveling alone. I blogged about it and then fumed about what else I should have done. Should I have called the police? Yelled at him? Tried to reason with him about the inappropriateness of his behavior? Tee-peed his house? Written up a fake citation and left it in his mailbox?
The truth is, I felt too unsafe to do anything but leave and never go back and I didn’t think the police would care.
I’m glad to have my story and the plight of other women runners featured in a prominent newspaper so that hopefully it will raise people’s awareness about the crap we put up with and how we don’t like it. But I’m also getting tired of just writing about street harassment. (Especially when what I write for online publications only seems to incite ignorance and harassment in the comments section, where men try to justify why they should be allowed to harass women. Aarrgh!!)
So now I’m plotting what my action will be and brainstorming what I can do in addition to writing about street harassment. And I’m glad there are already wonderful anti-street harassment activists (featured in my book) whose projects I can look to for ideas.
Thoughts? What type of action would you like to see happen?