Following the recent murders of three female joggers in New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan, women have been warned: Don’t run alone. Meghan Kita calls that admonition "ridiculous" at Runner’s World. Women know they are safer in numbers, but such advice is impractical—and sexist. “Some women—just like some men—simply enjoy running alone,” she writes. Kita outlines a few other inappropriate reactions to the tragedies (among them, safety-tips stories that imply the dead runners bear some responsibility for their fates) before zeroing in on a message for men: While attacks like these are incredibly rare, harassment is anything but, and men need to understand the reality and the implications.
Kita recounts a Runner's World staff meeting where women shared stories "of being honked at, shouted at, followed by strange men in cars"—leaving a male co-worker shocked at the pervasiveness of the experience. "I want you to care about this," Kita says to male readers. "If you feel you have the right to interrupt my run with 'a friendly honk' or a comment about my appearance, what other rights do you think you have in your interactions with women?" While, yes, it's a massive leap for women to fear that a man "disrespectful enough to honk" would go so far as to physically harm a runner, "awareness and understanding from our male counterparts" of what female runners regularly experience will do more for women than a bunch of "hackneyed" safety advice will. Read her piece in full here. (Read more running stories.)