March 16 2018
Amanda McGrory checks in days before she is to compete in the pro wheelchair division in the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon.
Laurah Lukin ran the 2017 Little Miami Half Marathon, and like so many runners, she was tagged in a race photo on the event’s Facebook page. In the photo, the runner looked strong as hell—powerful form, she was wearing kickass “competition briefs,” looked laser focused and appeared to be running toward an intense goal. She was a badass and, according to a blog post later, she exceeded the goal she set for her that day.
After receiving the Facebook notification that someone had tagged her in the photo, she excitedly checked to see which one it was. But what caught her eye more immediately was one man’s horrific comment, then followup comment, in response to her race attire.
Comment one: That’s because she doesn’t have any damn clothes and is running for her life.
Comment two: No wonder joggers get raped.
As Lukin recounted the horrific comment in a blog post, her immediate reaction was to write an angry response and justify her wardrobe. Instead, she talked about a much larger issue behind the terrible comment and referencing other race photos, saying, “After all, there were photos from the race of shirtless men, men in short shorts, men in tight shorts; yet he did not feel motivated to comment on their potential for inviting sexual assault.”
Lukin broached the underlying problem with this type of viewpoint in a productive way, with one paragraph that especially stood out:
But the truth is, such statements do not decrease the incidence of rape or make women more “safe”. These statements only provide rapists what they’re looking for: an excuse for violence. And while this man may believe his comments qualify as a lesson in how to behave, it only propagates an ignorant, dangerous agenda and further justifies this hateful and disturbing behavior.
Her post has circulated through the running community, and fellow runners are applauding how she responded with authority and power, not anger and backlash. Read her entire post here.