Women Just Love Running Alone at Night, According to Samsung’s New Ad
We live in a great world.
A world where women can jog happily through London’s dark streets, alleyways and deserted bridges in the middle of the night entirely alone. And with earbuds in.
Yup, that’s right.
That’s how it really is.
At least, according to the creative team at Samsung, that just released an advert showing exactly this situation.
But as a young female specimen living in London, I can confirm that they couldn’t be more spot-on.
Because I, too, frequently run or wander around alone at night and never have to worry my pretty little head about being harassed or stalked or assaulted or kidnapped or raped or murdered by men like thousands of women are every year here.
We live in a great world, indeed, don’t we?
No, I don’t have to endlessly think of ways to manage my safety
Before leaving my house, I don’t have to do much, really. Whether it’s morning, afternoon or evening.
I don’t have to ponder whether my outfit is too revealing or too tight, and some male stranger in a crowded tube will think it’s an invitation for him to grab my ass.
I don’t have to worry that if I put on bright lipstick, some other male stranger might think I’m in a mood to be sexually harassed that day.
I don’t have to think twice about whether my shoes are comfortable and sensible enough to allow me to walk quickly or even run should someone decide to stalk me.
I don’t have to let anyone know where I’m going, for how long and with whom, and share my live location once I get there.
I just put on whatever outfit, shoes and makeup I feel like putting on and leave my house without telling a soul about it. Yup, that’s it.
So what that in the last year the number of sexual assaults reported by women was the highest ever here, and that it increased 13% from the previous year? Or that even serving police officers can’t exactly be trusted because sometimes they, too, simply can’t help it and end up kidnapping, raping and murdering women they encounter on the street?
I don’t let any of that spoil my fun.
Being out is stress-free as well
Although I’m no longer in Leonardo DiCaprio’s dating age range of 18–25, I’m still somewhat young. And have a good few years before I expire.
Which, statistically, actually makes me more prone to be sexually harassed in a public space.
But that also doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
So no, I don’t cross the street to avoid passing by a group of men out of fear of being catcalled or worse.
I don’t choose well-lit roads and avoid sketchy alleys at night.
I don’t constantly look over my shoulder and hasten my steps if I feel like someone is following me.
I don’t watch my drink at all times or get paranoid that someone will try to spike it and then take advantage of me.
I don’t worry that if I get tipsy and someone assaults me that night, I won’t be believed by the police because I wasn’t in the ‘right state of mind.’ And was probably asking for it, anyway.
I really don’t need to go to great lengths to create a sense of safety by trading in my freedom and headspace and doing everything I’m supposed to do to avoid getting assaulted, raped or murdered.
How wonderful, isn’t it?
And on my way back home, I love to smile and giggle at random men that pass me by
Coming home is usually my favourite part.
Although it’s true that one in two women — compared to just one in five men — feel unsafe walking alone after dark in a busy public place. And that one in two women — compared to one in seven men — also feel unsafe when walking in a quiet street near their home. And that one in three women often feel like they are being followed.
Still, I put in my headphones, play loud music and enjoy being outside.
And just as it’s shown in Samsung’s new advert, if I happen to pass by anyone — like a man on a bike or a man saluting me out of nowhere — I just smile and giggle, fully relaxed.
Oh, how nice it is to encounter male specimens on my lonely walks or runs, especially when no one else is around!
Truly a pleasure.
It definitely doesn’t frighten me or make me unnecessarily paranoid or anything like that. Nope. Not at all.
And when I finally come back home, I just can’t wait to do it all again.
On a more serious note, it’s almost laughable how unrealistic and utterly tone-deaf Samsung’s latest ad is. Especially in light of what happened to Ashling Murphy.
She was a 23-year old primary school teacher murdered earlier this year by a random man while out jogging in Tullamore, Ireland.
No, it didn’t happen in the middle of the night.
It happened at 4 PM.
But it shouldn’t matter what time of the day it was. What was she doing. What was she wearing. Or any of that.
These despicable acts are never justified.
However, they still occur. And worryingly often at that.
Which is why I don’t know any woman who’d feel safe running alone in the middle of the night, in a city, wearing headphones. I don’t even feel safe walking or running alone in the daylight.
I used to do that more when I was younger, but I stopped after being followed, interrupted, and harassed countless times by male joggers or random men. Now I only do that when I’m with my partner.
Because as much as I wish we lived in Samsung’s version of reality, we don’t. Women don’t have the luxury of this type of freedom with their safety.
Not yet, at least.
And it won’t be anytime soon if we won’t do more to make our world a safer place for women and girls.