Our friend Nikki shared a harrowing experience on Facebook that our Serve 2 Unite Peacemakers used as a seed for thought and discussion about how men should act and how human beings should treat each other.

Nikki’s status:

“A question to men: When you are out running/jogging/walking/etc do you often receive inappropriate/sexual/obnoxious commentary from passersby? If you do, I’m sorry, because it’s not fun or flattering. I would love to be able to go for a run in whatever running outfit is comfortable for that day and not be shouted at, or honked at, or whistled at. I have a feeling other female runners can relate to this. I just went for a run in Forks, WA and was shouted at by a black truck of 4-5 men FIVE TIMES. Five times this truck of strangers drove past me and felt it was there right to holler rude and disrespectful comments at me. They felt I did not have the right to run in silence and solitude without feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable. While I was running today being followed by this group of strange men, I felt moments of panic, fear, and anger and wondered the whole time when they would be back. These are not things any person should ever feel because of any other person. I should be able to go for a run and feel good about myself. I should be focused on pushing myself and doing something healthy. Instead I feel nervous and wonder why I’m out. This is not the first time this has happened to me, and I’m sure it’s not the last. I can only hope there will be a time in my life where a female can go for a run without feeling like a spectacle while trying to exercise. That is not why we are doing it and it shouldn’t have to be clarified.”

 

Response from S2U students:

“Women shouldn’t feel scared or intimidated to go jogging or walking. But because of how men are acting towards these women they have no choice but to feel intimidated. I think we as men can help by standing up for women and telling other men to stop acting like that.” —Shawn, 8th Grade Westside Academy II

“This made me feel sad because as a boy I wouldn’t want anyone doing that to the girls in my family.”—Joseph, 8th Grade Westside Academy II

“I feel like I can’t walk anywhere by myself because I know some dude will try to talk to me”—Jessica, 8th Grade Westside Academy II

“This makes me feel like I need to stop yelling at girls myself and stop others from doing it.”—Alex, Grade 9 Washington High School

“No female should have to go through what Nikki did. I think we can reach out to other young men and teach them that what happened to Nikki isn’t acceptable.”—Donya, 8th Grade Westside Academy II

“I think this is sad and that it is making us guys look bad. As a guy, sometimes when a girl is doing this to me and I don’t want to talk I feel stalked. I really think this needs to stop it’s not cool at all.”—Davontae, 8th Grade Westside Academy II

“I feel like I should have been there to help and defend her. Even though I don’t know her, I still would have helped. No woman deserves to be treated like that.”—Daevaughn, 7th Grade Westside Academy II

“People should treat people the way they want to be treated. Be respectful. Men should think of their mom before acting like this.”—Jody, 9th Grade Washington High School

“Everyone should wear what they feel comfortable wearing without someone looking at them the wrong way. Men should learn how to maintain their sexuality without being disrespectful.”—Tyreie, 9th Grade Washington High School

“No woman should have to go through what happened to Arno’s friend Nikki. We need to protect her and all women!”—Dante, 8th Grade Westside Academy II

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