An open letter to the man who cat called me whilst I ran

To the man who cat called me as I ran past you yesterday evening,

I need you to know your behaviour is not acceptable.

I should have stopped and told you this at the time but I had other things on my mind and was focused on my run. I was also caught off guard.

I was minding my own business.  In fact all I said to you was excuse me so that I could pass. In return you cat called me.

I’m sure you just saw it as a throw away comment, “Nice arse” you yelled at me as I passed.

I was kitted out appropriately for the activity I was undertaking, t-shirt, shorts, trainers, watch. Nothing extra ordinary. Just an ordinary woman running around a local park.

Before I get called a snowflake, or any other names for what to some might seem like a harmless comment, let’s not forget that one of the main barriers preventing women from exercising is concerns about safety. In fact a Cardiff University study of 500 new runners found that one third of the women surveyed listed concerns about safety as a barrier to running.

Shouting a women as they run past doesn’t make for a pleasant experience and can feel threatening.

This time I swept it aside. I fully appreciate how amazing my body is. It is strong. It has carried me round 81km in the past 92 hours. That’s no mean feat.

Another week I may not have the same response. It may make me question whether I can run safely on my own.

You had no right to comment on my body. It is mine. I own it.

I don’t want to have to question whether it’s safe for me to run on my own every time I think about lacing up. I shouldn’t have to just because I am female.

Please think about your actions next time you’re out and you see a female runner. The impact of your words could have a great effect than you could imagine.


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