Whilst I was out running, back in the spring, a man driving past rolled down his window, honked his horn and yelled at me. I was wearing earphones so I didn’t hear what he said but it still scared me. I’ve been yelled at/honked at by male drivers more times than I can remember. I’m never doing anything, I’m waiting at a bus stop, or walking home, going about my daily business. They always seem to like that it scares me.
This time, however, I felt angrier than usual. Running is one of the few normalities I’ve kept in the past year. Yet on this one, I was reminded of another normality: that even in lockdown, my daily business can be interrupted by a man who takes it upon himself to harass me. I’d felt safer and more comfortable running with fewer people around in lockdown but that experience reminded me that even in a global pandemic, sexual harassment is an issue that doesn’t go away. It hasn’t happened again since, but I’m even warier of drivers now in case it does.
Words by Joanne Elliott