Women Can’t Run In the Dark

When I see a man running in the dark, I can’t help feeling a bit of jealousy. Yet, when I see a woman doing the same, I can’t help feeling nervous for her. 

Every time I get in the car, I immediately lock the door no matter where I am. It is second nature, I don’t even think about it. Yet, as soon as I got in my car with my brother, I locked it and he glared at me and said “did you really just lock the car” assuming it was just because we were in the city. He didn’t get it. 

I told my mom I was going to the grocery store at night, she nervously asked, “by yourself?”. Yet, she doesn’t think twice about it when my brothers go. 

We got a second lock for our apartment door. I have mace on my keychain.  I make sure to look behind me when I am alone. Be sure to check the back seat, look under the car, check your phone to make sure it isn’t detecting an air tag. Walk with your keys ready to go, out of your pocket. Get in the car quickly. Look who’s around you. Don’t make eye contact with the man who’s staring at you. But make eye contact with the man who’s staring at you so he doesn’t think you are afraid. 

Shall I keep going? 

Make sure your friends have your location. Check their social media to make sure they are real before meeting up for the first time. Keep your drink covered. Watch the bartender make the drink or pour it yourself. Buy the nail polish that changes colors when something’s been dropped into the drink. Don’t worry they have lids you can put on your cups that also turn into scrunchies! How convenient. 

Article after article. Constantly in the news. Documentaries coming out left and right. I saw a video of a girl recommending to put your fingerprints on the window of an Uber. Drop a piece of your hair in the car. Just in case. 

Women don’t feel safe. We live in a world where women are targets. We are a vulnerable population. It’s a world where evil can be around every corner. I feel like I hear about it more and more and it is overwhelming. 

Yet, most males do not think twice about many of the things I mentioned. In my personal experiences I feel like they do not understand. They think it’s just us being dramatic. But have they ever stopped to think why?

Why do I need to keep track of where my drink is at all times at the bar?

Why are my keys so heavy and full of “unnecessary” things?

Why do I need to go in groups?

Why does JMU offer a self-defense class for women? 

Why can I not go for a run when it’s dark?

It’s a concept that frustrates me. I think of myself as a pretty independent person. I like to do things on my own. I do not like relying on other people. Yet, if I’m alone doing something, I can’t help but to feel scared. Frankly, I’m tired of it. I just want to be able to run in the dark. 

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