Today while walking home from work I passed by an intimate ceremony marking the 23rd anniversary of the École Polytechnique Massacre (aka, the Montreal Massacre).
I am a so-called Generation Xer. The list of cultural and political events that helped define Gen X include things like fall of the Berlin Wall, AIDS, the challenger disaster, dot-com, and grunge. For me, and many Canadian women in my cohort, the École Polytechnique Massacre of 14 women is on that list.
This is a running blog, not a political blog. And as a runner, like most runners, I’m concerned about safety on the run*. But it really pisses me off that as a woman runner I think I need to be more concerned about safety than my male counterparts. That I believe I am more likely to be a target of violence. That I feel I’m taking a risk if I’m running alone, especially in the dark. That I live in a society in which running websites need to post tips to help ensure women run safely. That there are places I won’t run or am cautioned not to run simply because I am woman. That I don’t always feel safe on the run and that the men I run with don’t seem to experience this unsettled feeling to the same extent.
As I overheard a speaker say at that ceremony today, we won’t stop until violence against women stops. Fear doesn’t stop me. But it pisses me off.
Title: No Doubt – I’m Just a Girl. 1994.
*These are my personal opinions and I do not meant to imply all women/men share these feelings or that my perception of safety is grounded in any statistical reality. It even pisses me off that I feel this way.