It's true. So we are sharing our stories. the disturbing ones from college I won't write because I want those out of my head, but here's one I will share.
After graduation I got my first apartment and I was still running. I've always loved running, it's a spiritual thing with me, I love being in shape.
There was a park a mile from my apartment with bike paths, so I'd jog up there, but there was no great way to get out of the apartment complex without running up Ridge Road which was pretty busy. I hated it. Every single evening, I could not make it up that mile without some asshole yelling shit out a car window at me. Sometimes it was an innocent "HEY BABY", or a "WOOO!". Other times it was comments about my body, just to let me know they were really fixating on specifics about me, coupled with stuff like "Hey where you running baby?" or "I'll give you a workout!" just to get more of a reaction or make me more uncomfortable. I definitely could never run in just shorts and a jogging bra, I was insanely jealous of men who could take their shirts off in the summer, if I wore a t-shirt (not a tank top) it seemed to help a little. But not completely.
I stopped running after work and waited until rush hour traffic died down, if there were fewer cars, I'd get fewer disturbing comments because there weren't men to make them.
I tried to get off the main road after only a few blocks and make it into a neighborhood and then to the park, where it was quiet and peaceful. There were paths in between the trees. I was all alone. Just had to nudge my time to late evening, get where there were no people... I still had guys yelling at me, but fewer. And when I got away into the woods, there were none.
Then the news one day said some random guy attacked a woman and raped her in the park where I ran. Actually he attacked two women, but the first got away. At work the next day the guy next to me said, "Isn't that the park you run at?"
shit. yeah, it is.
Then he said, "Yeah but the spot was really off in the trees. And the news said she was running at 8:30 at night... wow that's just when it's starting to get dark. I mean come on, what was she thinking?"
I sighed, because I knew... we have to get away. but we can't. I was just like her. we're all like her. yes. all women.