You owe me $25.
You owe me that money because that’s what I spent on pepper spray and one of those keychain alarms after reading the news report about you. You grabbed a runner at knifepoint on a trail near my home and raped her in broad daylight. You haven’t been caught despite the police sketch circulating and knowing that you’re out there, possibly on one of the trails where I like to run on weekends, is freaking me out.
I’m so sick of hearing about men who feel entitled to women’s bodies. There are the guys like you who assault strangers. That’s some sort of pathology, a defect in your brain that makes violent acts possible to you. You’re broken, maybe beyond repair, and you belong in jail for a really long time. You’re an anomaly, though. Most men who rape and harass women aren’t violent criminals who lurk in the shadows. They’re regular guys who shout obscene comments from car windows to passing women. They’re college guys who think being drunk is the same as consent and assault nearly 1 in 5 women on campus. They’re poisonous trolls who write whole websites that I won’t link to, sites where they share tips for getting women to stop rebuffing their advances and say yes to sex with them, even after they’ve made it clear they don’t want to have sex. They’re regular guys who think that women, by virtue of being women, owe them sex.
News for you and your brethren: We don’t. We don’t owe you jack shit. But you owe us. You owe us respect. You owe us personal space. You owe us silence. You owe us our bodily integrity. You owe it to us to keep your voices and your hands and your dicks off of us.
I’m so pissed that I now feel like I need to carry Mace and an alarm on my long runs. Yeah, sure it’s all part of the whole that’s-what-women-need-to-do-for-safety thing we all learn but really? It’s what women need to do because there are guys who never learned not to be rapists. There’s nothing wrong with being a woman. There’s EVERYTHING wrong with being a rapist.
I’m not going to stop going out in public and doing the things I want to do, including solo runs on the trails near my home. So, you, the asshole rapist and all the rest of the guys who think every woman owes them a fuck on demand, need to change. Stop with catcalls. Stop with laying hands on a girl who’s been drinking. Stop with treating women like property you can claim.
Stop. Or I’ll fucking pepper spray you. Got it?
A pissed off runner