Personal Responsibility

I went for a run after dinner tonight. It was a beautiful night. The moon was full and I wanted to unwind after a long week of work. I was responsible. I wore a bright, white vest so cars could see me. I took my big dog with me so I wouldn’t be alone. And I carried my cell phone and a bag of dog sh*t in case I ran into trouble on the road. That’s what it takes for me to feel safe running at night.

About one mile into the run, a car full of young men in their teens or early 20s drove by me. One of the passengers leaned out of the car window and screamed at me. He said he wanted to shove something up my ass. I didn’t catch what object he wanted to use. It scared me. But it has happened before and I had my dog, my phone and my goody bag with me, so I was pretty confident I would be okay. Still, I spent the next mile constantly looking over my shoulder (which caused me to twist my knee).

I decided to shorten my route to avoid a dark patch of road. But as I approached my house after just two miles, I felt good and wanted to keep going. I decided I would keep running and loop around the neighborhood. And then, a car full of boys drove by me and one of the passengers leaned out the window and screamed at me. I went straight home.

I walked in the door far less relaxed than I had been when I set out. In fact, I was furious. Why is it, I wondered, that as a woman jogging alone at night, it is my responsibility to bring my phone and my dog, check over my shoulder regularly, and plan my route based on street lamps, and yet, these young men feel no responsibility for not harassing me or behaving civilly?

If something had happened to me during my run – if I had been attacked – and the incident made the paper, do you think most people reading the story would have first thought, “Why do those men behave that way?” Or would their first thought have been, “Why was that woman running alone at night?”

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54 comments for “Personal Responsibility

  1. Margaret
    October 24, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Asking the question ‘why was she running alone at night’ implies that the men who harass, terrorize, and on the more extreme end, rape and murder women have more right to public space than women do. It is an offensive question. Until that mentality changes, we will get no where.

  2. Thea
    February 16, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Only a rape apologist will ever ask that question. You were running at night because it is your right to do so. If something had happened, it’s because someone chose to commit a violent crime against you. I would remind anyone who would seek to place blame on the victim here that running at night is not illegal. Rape is. The sad fact is that women still feel intimidated and shamed into modifying their behaviour.

  3. February 17, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Thea, Exactly. Criminals are to blame for their crimes. Not victims.

  4. Jeff
    February 18, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    “The moon is full and I wanted to unwind after a long week of work” “The moon is full” is in present tense, while “I wanted” is in past tense. That’s amateur writing right there. Not to mention the terrible sentence structure and overuse of short, seven word sentences. Sorry, but if you want to be taken seriously, then you need to learn how to write.

  5. February 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Sadly, it doesn’t have to be at night. I used to get yelled at when I walked during broad daylight.

  6. Taylor
    February 19, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Take a compliment, you obviously look hot they’re not going to rape you. Chill out smoke a joint before your run if you need to calm down. It’ll all be good I promise.

  7. Justin
    February 19, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Having 20 year olds shout at you from a passing car shouldn’t scare you. Guaranteed after one of them shouted they all began giggling saying “omg omg you think she heard?!?! hahahahahaha that was funny lol lets get mcdonalds”

  8. February 19, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Justin and Taylor, thanks for commenting. Street harassment is harassment period. It may not scare you. But when I am alone at night and someone threatens to harm me, it’s scary – and unnecessary.

  9. Sarah
    February 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Seriously Justin and Taylor? No it is not a compliment and yes it is scary. 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. Society (in particular men) scare women into having to look over their shoulders all of the time to make sure they are safe. We live in such a survivor blaming society that we must protect ourselves and always be on our toes. How would you like it if someone yelled that they wanted to stick something up your mothers ass? Or your sister or daughter? Think about it. Stop using your male privilege to ignore your inappropriate and just down right unacceptable behavior. Maybe you should try sticking up for women and making society a safer place for everyone.

  10. Tirana
    February 19, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    I’ve had men do the same thing to me in broad daylight while I was wearing my work clothes. My usual response is to flip them the bird. They think they’re so good in their crappy cars, nearly sitting on each others laps, that they can do anything. Well, maybe they should go to the Macca’s drive through, grab their Macca’s and take their booze home. We don’t want them out and about yelling crap. It’s offensive, and immature. And I hope the cops pull them up, because the ones who always yelled out at me had cans in their hand, even the driver. And it shakes me up. At night is even worse.

    If I’d been you, I would have made sure the dog poo was in a paper bag and thrown it at their car. And then called the cops with their plate number.

    If harassment like this carried a requisite jail term, they’d be cutting down. It’s just plain offensive, and dangerous. When one group of these morons yelled out at me, they swerved, causing another car to avoid them. Nearly causing an accident in broad daylight. How sad that they didn’t even notice or care.

    You should never have to feel housebound at night because of idiots, rapists, etc. Never. I felt that way when I lived alone and I’d be going nuts some nights, because I wanted to buy takeout but had no car, and had to walk down the main road. You know, I think I might start carrying a bag of horse poo if I go anywhere at night, a nice full bag, and if anyone tries anything… It’ll land on their car. And I hope they have fun washing it off. Maybe I’ll make it two. In case they stop and get out. They might also be in for a surprise- my form of relaxing is practising martial arts. The discipline is very good for ones self. Just a pity less people show any form of discipline.

  11. February 20, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Tirana, you’re right and the reality is we do feel trapped inside sometimes. How sad it took a doggie bag to make me feel good about exercising when it fit in my schedule and you had to think twice about going for takeout. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  12. Mike
    February 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I really don’t think you understand it. Rapists are not in any way accepted in society and I don’t understand why anyone would think that they are. Many women always play the “She was asking for it” card but no one in their right minds actually thinks that. This is what they do think: there will always be evil in this world (murderers, rapists, etc.) and if you don’t want to be faced with those evils and fears, then don’t put yourself in those situations.

    Also, (I am in no way endorsing rapists) but you have no idea what it is like to be a young adolescent male, constantly thinking about sex, with women flaunting themselves everywhere and getting little to no actual sex. These young men are extremely sexually frustrated and catcalling you is part of releasing that frustration. But I guess you’d rather have them bottle up their exploding hormones and emotions. Try talking to a trangender f2m and they’ll tell you the first few years after the transformation with the increase in testosterone, their libido shoots off the charts. Keep in mind that this is what these teenage boys and young men are going through. I’m not saying what they did was right, I’m just trying to help you better understand.

    • February 21, 2011 at 12:23 am

      Mike, both the legal system and the media have shown that the “she was asking for it mentality” is alive and well. And a women exercising is not flaunting anything or putting herself in a “situation.” She is exercising. Plain and simple. And I do not buy the idea that youg adolescent males cannot help themsleves. Plenty do. As do young adolescent females. Understand that a woman should be able to exercise without harm or stress.

  13. Grace
    February 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I just want to point out that the only negative comments here bear male names.

  14. Synnove
    February 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    @Jeff: Your comment, sent in a private email? Good, critical advice. Your comment, posted in the comments? Obvious bullying because you don’t like what she has to say. Harassed any women lately?

  15. Annie
    February 23, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I’m so disheartened by most of the male comments. Of course being harassed by a group of teenage boys is scary. I was harassed by a group of young men on a train once and they pulled a knife out. I know this doesn’t go for all young men by far (in fact a young man helped me in that situation) but I often feel even more wary of groups of male teenagers because they’re so young and influenced by group thought and not mature enough to think through consequences.

    Mike- the mere fact that you think of women as “flaunting” themselves when they’re just trying to go about their lives is a great example of the “she asked for it” excuse. What goes through your mind when you see on the news that a stripper was raped as opposed to a school teacher? Because it’s the same thing.

    I think maybe the men here don’t realize some of the daily fears that are drilled into women’s heads from a young age. A professor of mine once asked everyone in class to show how they held their keys when they walked back to their car after class (it was a night class). The men looked confused and just held their keys up. Most of the women were holding their keys in a fist with the pointy parts sticking out from in between their fingers. Whether it’s a legitimate fear or not, men young and old should be respectful of women and not scare them or shout obscene things at them out of a car window. There’s no excuse for that. Especially not hormones.

    • February 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      Annie, the keys are a great example of many women’s reality. It is disheartening.

  16. Liz
    February 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I don’t really agree with Mike there. I mean, I have no idea what it is like to be a 20 year old man with a raging libido, but I know what it’s like to be a 20 year old woman with a raging libido, and offering to shove things up arseholes was not what I considered would get me anywhere. Nor would shouting things from a car, or making sexually aggressive comments towards someone walking down the street. Nor do I go along with being young and horny being an unmanageable lust that is only satisfied by acting like an idiot.
    It is NOT about being sexually attracted to the woman that is screamed at, it is aggressive behaviour using sex as a position of power over the woman. It is insulting to men to think that they are always so aggressive, I don’t understand why it is a position that some men feel good to defend.
    I mean if a group of middle-aged women harass an attractive, young, male waiter at a restaurant say, is that about sexual attraction or one group asserting dominance over an individual? If the man felt annoyed or threatened, would you tell him to ‘man up?’
    The assumption, is that men are always sexually aggressive or dominant, and that women are passive, and lacking in desire. This is upheld by women and men, and of course is a fallacy but remains a seemingly ‘natural’ state of being. It works in the opposite way in which a man seen being friendly towards a child is assumed a paedophile and a threat. Or that young men are sex-crazed,sex starved lunatics. It is an unreal stereotype that is enforced because it is expected, then turns full circle.

    • February 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      Liz, thanks for clarifying – sexual assault isnt about assault. It’s about control and power.

  17. Olivia
    February 24, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    per-fect

  18. Olivia
    February 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    When I started high school I used to walk home everyday down the main road that ran through our town. I used to really enjoy the time walking by myself in the fresh air, it gave me time to clear my head between having classes all day and getting home to do chores and homework. Plus with how busy I was I didn’t have much time to work out during the school week, but that 45 minute brisk walk five days a week was just enough to at least keep me from gaining any weight. Sometimes guys would honk at me or whistle as they drove by, it shook me up a little bit but I would usually just ignore it. Sometimes even, if they just honked and went by fast enough that I couldn’t see who was in the car; I would try to calm myself down by telling myself it was probably just someone who knew me from school, just saying hi. Then I started to notice the same car, driving by and honking everyday, driven by a man I would have estimated to be in his 50′s. I started to get really paranoid on my walks home, if he hadn’t driven past yet as I was getting to the last half mile of the walk I would start to worry he would see me turn from the main road into the tiny neighborhood I lived in and follow me to my house. Then another guy started going by everyday too. This one was probably about 40 and was even scarier, he would roll down all his windows, honk as he was coming up behind me and then wave out the windows and smile creepily, a few times he even circled back so he could do it again. Then one day after he had circled around once already, he quietly pulled up next to me while I was waiting at a crosswalk. When I turned and noticed him he exposed himself to me. I screamed and he sped off. When I got home I told my aunt the whole story, she was surprised I hadn’t said anything before. “Well people honk at me all the time, I just try to ignore it, no one’s ever actually stopped before,” I said. She asked if I had gotten the license plates of either of the guys who’d been following me, I hadn’t because I didn’t think there was anything I could do about honking and waving even if it was a daily occurrence. She talked it over with my uncle and they decided I was not allowed to walk home anymore and I would have to take the bus from then on. I was upset but I reluctantly agreed because I was genuinely beginning to fear for my safety.
    This happened at 3 in the afternoon, in a town that that very year was named one of the ten best places in the country to live and raise children by CNN Money. I have millions more stories like this about similar incidents that have happened since, but I wanted to share this one because I think it proves that for one, not all drive by harrassers are teenage boys with raging libido’s just having fun. These men were middle aged and though I looked older than my age at 14 I think it was still very clear that I was in fact a high school student and at least a good twenty years younger than them. Young men need to recognize that though they may think it is a funny joke to drive by a woman and honk and yell at her, this is also something that is done by actual sexual predators. I think that if young men who do these things really got introspective for a second and thought about why this is fun for them they might realize that the woman doesn’t know whether they’re just a prankster out having fun or an actual rapist, and the actual “joke” is causing her to fear she might be attacked. Since they have no intentions of attacking her they feel no remorse and they think “haha, what a silly, all scared for no reason.” But to us it isn’t no reason, we have no idea who you are and what your intentions are. And with 1 in 4 women the victims of sexual assault chances are pretty good that one of the randomly picked women you honk and yell at will be a survivor of sexual abuse. And now suddenly what was meant to be a joke is actually cruel and torturous.
    I guess I got kind of off topic at the end there but my main point was that when teenage girls in one of the safest, nicest and most affluent communities in America can’t walk down the main street in broad daylight something needs to change drastically. And that change can’t be locking up our daughters or having their brothers escort them everywhere because then even if you’ve avoided being attacked by the creeps, they’re still controlling your life.

  19. George
    February 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Wow, Mike, you’ve really gone the wrong way about this.

    I’m a feminist and for exactly the reasons you’ve so helpfully exposed. I’m twenty-one years old and it just may surprise you I don’t have to go around in cars expunging my ‘sexual frustrations’ upon women by shouting obscenities at them. This could be in part due to the fact I’m in a relationship with a girl whom I respect and revere and therefore enjoy a healthy sexual relationship. How do you suppose people enter lasting relationships or the like? Well they treat their partners with equality and respect, they don’t go around being indecent and harassing women.
    I’m no special case either; it’s a matter of how we are brought up, it’s not down to our ‘nature’ or ‘masculinity’ that dictates the frustrations that you talk about. That’s nature overpowering nurture bullshit. It’s more and more evident in today’s age that identity and ‘nature’ isn’t fixed; it can be altered by our upbringing and the society around us and it just so happens that we still live in such a detestable state that allows behaviour such as this.
    Don’t get me wrong, I understand there are pressures to conform to by being a man in today’s world, just as there are for any gender. But this is no excuse. I feel ashamed by some of the comments on here.
    What I propose is you feel a little more empathy and actually imagine what it’s like to be a woman in our society, just as the woman who has written the article has tried to evoke. Judging by the responses, I think any of you guys can see this still happens a lot every day, going by unchecked. I don’t think you can equate, as you have tried Mike, “what it is like to be a young adolescent male, constantly thinking about sex, with women flaunting themselves everywhere and getting little to no actual sex” to what it’s like going out each day in fear of being harassed or worse. I’ve never experienced that, so it’s not my place to say what it’s like. Rather, you just sit there and listen, don’t get defensive, and actually think twice about joining in with lewd and lecherous acts such as the example above.
    I’m not trying to alienate anyone, I just get a little frustrated when I hear people actually trying to DEFEND this sort of thing. If you were gunned down in a drive-by next week when going out to the local, I hope you would see sense in trying to get rid of the gunmen than your freedom to walk to the pub.

    There’s my two cents.

    • February 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks George for the thoughtful comments. As you point out, it all starts with listening and understanding.

  20. Megan
    February 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I experience the same harassment when I walk to and home from work as well. The only way I can feel safe outside these days is to carry A knife in my pocket. I’m 20 and I have lost count of the number of times that i have been screamed at by male drivers, or flashed by perverted old men. It was upsetting to read the comments posted here by males, but it was nice to know that I’m not the only girl who is scared to walk alone. Thanks for writing the article :)

  21. Jordan
    March 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Your story is very eye opening. I know some guys that like to yell out the side of their vehicles. In situations when this happened it was usually the most obnxious/drunk of the group trying to show off to his friends. When boys are driving around in a car, they’re pretty desperate for some entertainment. One tends to make an ass of himself to make the other guys laugh. When this happened it never really occurred to me that the person on the road would continue to be scared afterwards. I could only see the simple-minded intentions of obnxious boys. In most cases I’d say if it’s a group of young boys: they’re yelling out at you from a car because that’s where they feel safest talking to girls. Yeah, it’s pretty dumb but that’s their security; a bunch of friends being idiots together. Eventually, one of these guys with get a DUI and the streets will be a little safer.

    Now if they were to slow down the car and try to chat, I can see that being very frightening. Hopefully the goody-bag doesn’t piss them off. However if the person doing these obnoxious acts is alone, I’d be most worried and be sure to take down the plate number. They don’t have much integrity left and are likely to be the most desperate.

  22. Sophie
    August 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Yesss. This is dead on. I like to run at night and I get so angry at disgusting men leaning out their windows with jaws hanging open. Disgusting…

    • August 11, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Sophie, Thanks for stopping by. I no longer have my dog so now I really don’t appreciate the attention when I run at night.

  23. Amanda
    October 13, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I understand what you’re saying, and completely agree. My boyfriend and I often get into debates (not arguments, just debates on differences of opinion) because he’s a big believer in don’t put yourself in situations. But I believe that yes, while that’s true sometimes, it isn’t always the case. Sometimes you shouldn’t have to worry because people should be responsible for themselves, we shouldn’t have to fear going everywhere in life as a woman because of the possibility of something happening. And if something does happen the questions arise “Why was she alone?”, “Why was she wearing that?”, “Why this, why that?”. So I totally understand your frustration.

    • October 14, 2011 at 12:17 am

      Thanks Amanda. It is very frustrating.

  24. Sara
    October 21, 2011 at 3:59 am

    I completely hear you! Guys used to pull up to me in their cars when I was gathering shopping carts-at work! I can’t walk alone at night or with a female friend without some guy yelling obscene things or trying to pick us up -___- I’m thinking about dressing up as a guy and going for a walk.

    • October 21, 2011 at 5:25 am

      Wow Sara, it’s upsetting to hear you’re considering walking in costume just so you can be left alone. Are you familiar with http://www.ihollaback.org? It’s a movement to address street harassment. Could be appropriate for the jerks in the parking lot at work.

  25. L
    October 23, 2011 at 12:22 am

    My lean-out-the-window-and-holler harassers didn’t stop there. They stopped and one jumped out and grabbed me and hauled me into the van. Five drunk men took turns raping me and beating me. There was a gun under my ear or a knife at my throat or both the entire time. When they were done with me they threw me out in a vacant lot. I managed to stumble to a bus stop and ride home and hide from my family so I wouldn’t have to tell them what had happened to me. Nobody knew for almost 8 years.
    Was I “flaunting” myself in front of those men, asking for it? No. I was wearing loose-fitting jeans and a long sleeve shirt and grubby Jack Purcell sneakers.
    Was I so overpoweringly beautiful that they were simply helpless to resist my feminine charms? No. I was 13 years old, flat-chested, butt-ugly with braces on my teeth.
    Was I taking unnecessary risks walking alone? No. This was 3:30 in the afternoon in an affluent white-bread neighborhood on one of my city’s busiest streets.

    Do I feel afraid when some man hoots or whistles at me now, 40 years later? You bet your ass I do.

    • October 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      Dear L:

      I am so saddened by your story and hope you are healing every day. Thank you for sharing it here.

      Women walking down the street or out for a jog; in the middle of the afternoon, in the morning or at night; wearing jeans, jogging clothes or skirts, are not doing anything wrong. They are living. The people who holler, harass and harm are the ones who need to change their behavior. Period.

  26. Bryan Hansen
    November 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I’m sorry for the guys who act like this. I’m sorry that for all the fuss we make over the immensity of rapes and abuse that we do very little if anything to change the attitudes that cause them. Self-police by guys and tougher or broader application of harassment laws may be the best ways to fight this, changing the mindset of a nation takes a very long time.

    • November 17, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      Thanks Bryan. Changing a mindset does take a very long time and we are going to keep working toward that goal.

  27. Claire
    March 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I am sorry to hear about your experience while running. Hope your knee is okay now. Those guys are assholes for yelling that kind of shit at anyone, let alone a woman by herself at night. That’s infuriating!!

  28. A
    May 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Wow. I cannot believe some of these comments. The writer is sharing her experience with harassment and these men are commenting correcting her grammar and telling her to just get high, or please understand that guys have such a high sex drive that it excuses their behavior? Seriously? If I have to live in a society where I need to plan things out specifically to avoid being sexually harassed, there is a problem. And for, I assume, ADULT men to sit here and talk down to the women who have commented with their personal stories of harassment…it’s bullshit. Sorry for the harsh language, but I cannot think of a better word (because I am a dumb, dumb woman with dumb grammar). I guess I’ll go get high to chill out since I’m obviously being too sensitive to the fact that ADULT MEN do not have to take responsibility for THEIR actions, but women–no GIRLS–have to start learning to go out of their way to avoid being harassed whenever they are still children. /rant

    • May 31, 2012 at 4:53 am

      It is frustrating A. The purpose of the post was for others to understand what some women have to go through to feel safe just to be bale to do basic activities.

  29. Seth
    October 19, 2012 at 4:33 am

    I can honestly say that I’ve never cat-called anyone. Maybe friends, but in a friend to friend way not in a creepy guy to girl way. Perhaps it has something to do with my being gay-ness?

    Anyway, I just wanted to make a comment that was positive from a male’s perspective (: Is this thread even active at all?

    But in all honestly, I myself dodge the dark spots in the streets and plan a route ahead when I walk home from school or my bf’s place at 11 o’clock at night. But I can tell you one time that I was shouted at on the street for being ‘emo’ because I dress that way. Granted it’s not the same at all, but I know how it feels to be cat-called for no real reason other than what you’re wearing… or not wearing.

    But I really think that all the males on this thread are just idiots. More than just females get harassed on the street although it’s more than ninety percent of cases, males get harassed as well.

    Though I remember when my chick friend cat-called some shirtless guys running down the street, they turned around and started to advance when I came out of the building and onto the street where she was. It was a little more than terrifying seeing these muscular men stalk back up the street to us. Needless to say we ran back into the building for fear of our lives.

    • October 19, 2012 at 6:30 am

      Thanks for reading and commenting Seth. You understand how it feels to be called out to for what you’re wearing. Then add fear to that.

  30. November 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I can’t believe the male response to this, especially Mike. Clearly Jeff and Mike are just being ignorant but Mike put a little more effort into his response. To him, I have to say this:

    You’re trying to help women “better understand”? You’re not even trying to put yourself in our shoes. I should allow these guys to catcall me, make remarks about my genitals and body, follow me in their cars when I’m walking down the street because I’m somehow “flaunting,” myself because I made the grave error of thinking I could take a peaceful walk? I should allow all this because hey, they are hormone-driven young men and the women they sleazily hit on in bars aren’t putting out so they’re frustrated? Yet, when my hormones are flowing because I’m about to get my period or pregnant, I’m not allowed to release my frustration on others for fear of being called a “crazy bitch.” In fact, I’m not allowed to release my frustration at all because even when I’m just feeling genuinely emotional, guys will just assume I’m on my period.

    You’ve missed the entire point of what this post was about. You went straight into the victim-blaming mindset of “you shouldn’t put yourself into that situation.” If all people followed what you’re saying, no one would leave their house after 4 p.m. In fact, no one would be able to stay in one place at any given minute because even staying in one’s house doesn’t protect them from rape or assault. There is evil in the world because of the mindset you hold. A rapist can get away with minimal repercussions because a woman made the careless mistake of leaving work late and walking through a dimly lit parking lot. She shouldn’t be there in the first place, right? Men are exposed to that mindset at an early age, alongside of many dangerous stereotypes of women and what men are expected to do with them. You’re trying to justify it through brain chemistry but really you’re just protecting the same social brainwashing feminists have been fighting for years. Yes, Mike, I used the dreaded word feminist. There’s another stereotype men have been striving to protect from arguments against it, that feminists are just “crazy bitches,” who can’t take a joke and are just lashing out because they are ugly, fat, lesbians. Clearly that’s not true but you want to think so.

  31. gem
    November 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    You all need to read The Macho Paradox. Men especially.

  32. Nona
    March 20, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    So why is the implication here that only women have to worry about being attacked?
    Last time I checked the statistics show that men are more often the victims of violence than women.

    I’m not trying to say that those boys were justified in what they did- because they definitely weren’t, their behavior was totally out of line- but I wonder why this story is being analyzed with so much focus on gender. Do you honestly believe that a man in the same situation would not be uneasy if this happened to him? And don’t picture a bodybuilder.. I’m talking about a regular dude, perhaps even out of shape. Sure men may be stronger on average if a confrontation were to occur, but the majority of guys out there are not trained fighters.

    It’s a sad story and a shame that people do stupid things. My suggestion would be to carry a firearm if you are worried about your safety (which is something I would recommend to both men and women). Criminals generally don’t warn you ahead of time before they do evil things.

    • March 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      The primary audience for this blog is women and it’s written by a woman. Another blog with a different focus and audience might focus on men, or men and women. And, I never implied a man wouldn’t be uneasy if he were harassed.

      Also, 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime
      About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

      Guns are not the answer in my opinion. Teaching our boys not to harass a woman is where I choose to focus my energy.

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