Let Her Run: It's time to break the biasPosted at March 31, 2022
Have you ever felt unsafe during a run? Unsafe because you feel that there are eyes staring at you, that someone might suddenly try to touch you, or that a bystander could say something inappropriate to you? Many people, men or women, including myself, have experienced harassment while being in their runs, rides, even during walks.
In a survey that we have conducted, 46 out of 61 respondents answered that they have been harassed on the road. It was no surprise that a part of these respondents who answered yes were men. In fact, 20% of the total total number of respondents were men who have experienced harassment and this number also means that women are most likely to experience harassment on the road. Harassment comes in different forms including verbal abuse, unwanted attention, unwanted physical contact, and the most common catcalling.
Catcalling is so prominent in the Philippines that there was a need to create a law against it. This is just one of many forms of harassment anyone can experience even in broad daylight. With an aim to spread awareness about it and put an end to it, we have asked some to share their story and from what we have gathered, we have learned that some have bravely fought against this. Based on experience, there are changes in habits that people result in in order to address this problem like changing routes, running on less populated areas, putting on less revealing clothes, carrying protection, bringing friends around on runs, exercising indoors, and even stopping from exercising at all. Changes, that women should not be burdened to do so after having been exposed to harassment that no one deserves to experience.
This women’s month, we want to celebrate women by making them feel safe. How can she break the bias if she isn’t? We want to make change in the streets and let everyone, especially her, be able to run and be in control of her health and wellbeing as it is just rightful. So what do we do in order to let this happen? Here are some ways you can address this problem:
- Spread awareness;
- Don’t be afraid to call out or ask for help from the authorities if you are subjected to harassment;
- Be firm when you call someone out;
- Never blame yourself for being harassed; and
- Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and others.
Remember that we all deserve to feel safe doing the things we love to do. No one should have to feel unsafe ever again. Show your solidarity to every woman and celebrate her by letting her run.
This is Cristelle "CC" Corpuz, Road Runner, and I'll Race Ya!