One of the most interesting changes in this year’s Halloween was that clocks had to be turned back one hour. For many, it meant an extra hour for sleep before work or school on Monday morning. However, with some exceptions, this also meant that women who were afraid to walk home after dark now felt safer because there would be more time between when they left their homes and when they reached theirs at night…
Feeling unsafe as a woman has been an issue for quite some time now, but with the clocks going back it is becoming more prevalent. This article will show you how to make women feel safer now.
We all know it’s not all about the males. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Image Source)
For many individuals, the yearly change of the clocks means gaining one hour in the near term. Our mornings get brighter, and our afternoons become darker as a result.
For many women, though, this is not a good thing.
The ‘safety blanket’ of daylight shortens when the sun sets about 4.30 p.m. The already-constrained window of time for a walk or run is pressed even tighter, whether it’s after work, after school, or elsewhere.
This Girl Can is a Sport England national program aimed at increasing the confidence of women and girls to participate in physical activity.
We’ve done several interviews over the years educating ladies on how to workout safely after dark. But we don’t do that any more – since our behavior isn’t what needs to change.
Instead, we’re encouraging guys to think about how they might help women feel safer when exercising in the cold.
The horrific deaths of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa in the recent news cycle will obviously be on the thoughts of women considering lacing up their trainers and exercising outside after dark.
It’s a condition that affects a lot of people. According to a recent poll by Runners World, 60% of women have been harassed while out running, with another 25% saying they are often exposed to sexist remarks or unwelcome sexual approaches — and 6% say they have been harassed so aggressively that they fear for their lives.
Women don’t need to be reminded to take measures; it’s been ingrained in our heads from childhood: hold your keys, don’t wear heels, don’t wear a ponytail, don’t listen to music on headphones, and don’t go out alone. These precautions, however, do not ensure safety, which is why we need men’s participation in making women feel protected.
A caution, though: it’s not all guys, as we all know. The grey area, on the other hand, is not understanding how to distinguish between innocent and not-so-innocent behavior; the difficult job of distinguishing between good and evil intentions. When we encounter unfamiliar guys in public places, it’s hard to know whether they’re trying to hurt us or not; what may seem nice or non-threatening to an innocent man may feel completely different to us.
We urge males to consider their own behavior, as well as the behavior of people in their social and familial circles. Pay attention to what’s being said in your social circles, and if anything doesn’t seem right – whether it’s remarks about a woman’s clothing and what that’suggests’ about her – call it out and explain why.
Consider what it would be like if someone yelled at you while you were jogging.
Words have power, and ‘banter’ isn’t always lighthearted. Allowing offensive remarks to go unchecked risks encouraging males to continue perceiving and treating women as second-class citizens.
These same males may believe it’s okay to say such things to women directly if they aren’t called out.
Don’t make remarks to ladies who are exercising, even if you believe it’s a complement. Women do not want or need comments on their running style, attire, or body. It’s at best infuriating and at worst terrifying, particularly when we’re alone and simply want to exercise in peace.
Consider what it would be like if someone yelled at you while you were jogging. It’s creepy, particularly when it’s dark outside.
If you’re sprinting behind a lady, I recommend crossing the road to make her feel more at ease. This is a modest but unselfish act, and the recognition of personal space will go a long way toward assuaging fears of being approached from behind.
You have the capacity to make such a good influence on a lady while also demonstrating that you are actively examining your own behavior by doing so.
If the ladies in your life want to become active, be encouraging, whether it’s friends, partners, moms, sisters, daughters, or anybody else. And if exercising in the daytime helps your spouse or friend feel more at ease, try to encourage her to do so. Talk to her to see if there’s anything you can do to make her feel safe when running or walking in the daytime.
Regardless of how little the above may seem, they may make a significant impact in making the world a safer place for women. Men are acknowledging that it is not only a woman’s job to modify the atmosphere that makes us feel uncomfortable, and are examining how they might help prevent the situation from occurring in the first place.
We need guys to be allies and attempt to put themselves in the shoes of a woman to understand how she feels.
more: way of life
We think that by encouraging men to assist women feel secure, we may help women get the confidence they need to become active on their own terms, especially now that the clocks have gone back. We need males to help us change this because too many women are losing out on the benefits of being active.
When it comes to being active, This Girl Can can’t and won’t go around in circles instructing women how to think, dress, or act. Now is the time for males to stand up for women as well.
This Girl Can is a Sport England initiative aimed at closing the gender activity gap and encouraging women to participate in physical exercise.
Do you have a personal story to tell? Send an email to [email protected] to get in contact.
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Feeling unsafe in public places is a problem that many women face. The “feeling unsafe in public places: understanding women’s fears” article discusses how to make women feel safer now clocks have gone back.
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