“Look at that ass in yoga pants!” This brilliant remark is brought to me by one of the five young men who have chosen to harass me during my afternoon run.
It is an ordinary run—four or five miles along the streets of my neighborhood. It is ordinary, too, that I am being harassed.
I run by the local college, where the men call out to me, yelling in vivid detail what they want to do to me, what they think of my body, what they want me to do to them. They yell louder and follow me for a few steps as I run past. They are laughing.
My heart beats fast and hard against my chest as I try to strike that balance between hightailing it out of there while also not letting them see that I’m afraid.
But I am afraid. I am afraid and humiliated and so fed up with being confronted by this almost every time I run outside that I consider turning around and just laying into them, really letting them have it.
I know exactly what I would say. But I also know that I am not safe, and so I just keep running.
My Body Was Not My Own
Men started sexually harassing me when I was eight years old, and it hasn’t let up since. From a young age I felt that my body and sexuality were not wholly mine. Instead, they were products to be assesse…