Most men do not think twice about their safety when they go running.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for women.
TV writer Amanda Deibert posed a question on Twitter, asking how women arm themselves for protection.
The response to her thread was overwhelming and a sad indication of women feeling vulnerable as they exercise around their neighborhood.
Deibert, who writes for Al Gore's 24 Hours of Reality, tweeted:
"One of my mom groups has a thread that is just women listing and recommending which kind of protection they take when them when they go out running (Ie. pepper spray, alarm necklaces, whistles, etc) in case you wondered what being a woman is like."
She asked in a followup:
"Also, women: what do you use when you go out running?"
One of my mom groups has a thread that is just women listing and recommending which kind of protection they take wh… https://t.co/7fOgETAz0E— Amanda Deibert 🏳️🌈 (@Amanda Deibert 🏳️🌈)1559154072.0
Users shared their precautionary measures to protect themselves in the event of an attack.
@amandadeibert My women running friends also use: A running partner also, a dog - medium size - Its surprising how… https://t.co/F35RT4dXN1— Daniel Maycock (@Daniel Maycock)1559155317.0
@Dupe1970 @amandadeibert I don’t wear my glasses when I run, so I’m often running toward a scary, mysterious blob w… https://t.co/bq03RIKHdb— SecretlyStephie (@SecretlyStephie)1559227861.0
@amandadeibert My daughter runs with a vest and we modified it to carry a knife which she knows how to use to devas… https://t.co/KDzEt2lB5J— Kranium (@Kranium)1559154732.0
I’d love to run 10pm-12am. I don’t because 1)If I am attacked I will be blamed for being out after dark. 2)If I am… https://t.co/aZo9qZdChb— beth peralta-reed (@beth peralta-reed)1559160126.0
@amandadeibert I’m in a women’s running group and it has to be the most common thread. For me it’s my knife. Highly… https://t.co/B3soGCrwkX— Elizabeth (@Elizabeth)1559161331.0
@amandadeibert My daughter starts 6th grade in August and will need to use the school bus for the first time. The b… https://t.co/lShp8xlBCI— ScotOfTheSouth (@ScotOfTheSouth)1559155201.0
Deibert told Buzzfeed News she used to be a runner but now takes walks and hikes.
A question in a Facebook group got her thinking about the various ways in which she protects herself, like running in well-lit areas, pretending to be on the phone, and carrying her keys between her knuckles.
At one point, she pretended to go into a building to avoid a possible confrontation.
"It just hit me like...wow, this is something most women think about every time we go out to get exercise or even just walk to our car."
She is not alone in her thinking.
@shanegreer @amandadeibert I once had a guy fall in behind me while I was running in my neighborhood after dark and… https://t.co/zgojx24RSQ— Lizett S. (@Lizett S.)1559240644.0
@shanegreer @amandadeibert It's sad, but a real threat. I live near a small city. There's a wonderful public walkwa… https://t.co/zWhUXh40Qd— Paul&Mary (@Paul&Mary)1559233852.0
Her thread went viral, but the responses were not reassuring and only reinforced the fact that female runners are more vulnerable than men.
If you search on Amazon for "women safety running," you get a whole list of various devices specifically designed to make women feel safer while running, including pepper spray, personal alarms. While it's good that these exist, it's pretty damning that they have to.
Still, Deibert felt the discussion was important for raising awareness.
"It makes me sad that it is so common for us as women to feel the need to take extra safety measures, but ultimately I feel like discussing it is a good thing."
This runner relies on arming herself with Katy Perry.
@LgndsWaverider @shanegreer @amandadeibert During my non-sunlit runs, I forgo the headphones and take my UE Boom to… https://t.co/LU4yv3F4ZD— ham-burger-end-tater-thots. (@ham-burger-end-tater-thots.)1559187469.0
Sadly, heckling is still a thing.
@danielmaycock @amandadeibert This x10000 For weeks there was a construction team doing work on my run route. When… https://t.co/RSztSiZB9b— Marthe de Ferrer (@Marthe de Ferrer)1559164057.0
Some male runners make a conscious effort to distance themselves on the sidewalk.
@amandadeibert i've said this before but i will say it again. when i am out running i intentionally run out into th… https://t.co/fTohHT9iwz— Dupenstein (@Dupenstein)1559154819.0
@amandadeibert I think about this a lot when I run (very early mornings when it’s dark) and encounter solo female r… https://t.co/FG1N41xceL— Shane Greer (@Shane Greer)1559165718.0
@amandadeibert I also run often with a female friend and safety is a topic that always comes up. Just by my being t… https://t.co/9paWPkSUlG— Shane Greer (@Shane Greer)1559165933.0
Dogs are a popular running companion.
@amandadeibert I use dogs. https://t.co/LttYctSd3M— Zara-Blue Barry (@Zara-Blue Barry)1559154386.0
@amandadeibert I only go out running with my dogs. Barney is intimidating and I seriously wouldn’t go without him.… https://t.co/E2VlQKM5e0— Elizabeth (@Elizabeth)1559159159.0
The reality of the dangers involved for female runners is a wake-up call for men.
"I've had so many men respond to the thread saying they have never even considered it because when they go for a run, they just go for a run — and it made them sad to realize it was different for women," she said.