Open letter from a runner who is tired of harassment

Dear Men:

It may come as quite a surprise to you to hear this.  It may even sting a little.  It shouldn’t.

There are some places where I fully expect to be hit on (for example, at the bar).  I put up with it.  Sometimes, I may even enjoy it.  I consider the free drinks you buy me payment for the annoyance I deal with.  I will (almost) always accept a free drink.  Your efforts, while usually not reciprocated, have not gone unnoticed.

However, putting up with getting hit on at a bar is quite different from being harassed in other places.  You should be aware that just because I’m female and have boobs doesn’t mean that you are allowed to harass me and annoy the fuck out of me wherever I am, and no matter what I am doing.  There are some things that should remain sacred.

I know it may be difficult to resist making comments to me while I’m running.  I’m sure there’s just something about a young woman drenched from head to toe in sweat, hair dripping, breathing heavily and with a face the color of a ripe tomato that you find irresistible.  I can only imagine how hard it is for you to hold back when you see me running past in an over-sized sweat stained t-shirt.  I sympathize.  I really do.

Please, men.  I put up with your shit at work.  I put up with it at school.  I put up with it when I’m driving, and when I’m eating, and when I buy my coffee.  I have learned to be prepared when I go to the bar to be approached at least once, usually more.  At this point, I pretty much expect it.  All women do.  But for the LOVE OF GOD, please leave me the fuck alone when I’m running.


P.S.  The next guy who harasses me when I’m running is getting kicked in the balls.  Consider that your warning.


Location: Santa Cruz, CA (and Washington, DC)

Share your street harassment story today and help raise awareness about the problem. Include your location and it will be added to the Street Harassment Map.


One Response to Open letter from a runner who is tired of harassment

  1. great letter i wish we could get every male in the country to read it!

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