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Men Stop Me Running published at Catapult

| 29 |

Men yell at me from car windows. My stride is slow and steady. I’m training for the American Tobacco Trail Half Marathon, my first real race. Before now, I’ve never attempted anything over 5k.

“Hey!” a man yells and it sounds like he’s falling off a cliff. The car drives away and he’s still yelling the tail end of the word until the sound floats away to nothing and he is gone.

A mile later, a beige-gold Chrysler Town & Country swerves around me and a man yells, “I will fuck you!” The back window of his van is black with little white stick-family stickers: Smiling Mommy, Smiling Daddy, Baby Girl, Soccer-playing-Son, Silly Dog with floppy ears.

I watch the van drive away, cautious. Can you Stow-and-Go an adult human woman? I guess I’m just being paranoid.

He hasn’t really threatened me, has he? But, it wasn’t a compliment, either. Men do not yell at women from moving cars because we are desirable.

I keep running, imagining Smiling Daddy falling off the side of the cliff. His stick family stands at the top, dumbfounded. As he falls, he screams, “I will fuck you!” until his dying breath stretches out to nothing and he is gone.

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