Recent Murders Of Female Joggers Highlight How Unsafe Women Are Everywhere

In the past two weeks, three women have been found dead after going out for a jog. One woman in Michigan, and two from New York City, one of whom was found in Massachusetts hours later. Authorities are saying there is no confirmed connection between any of the murders, but the recent killings of female joggers show how unsafe women are, everywhere. Even when they just want to work out and let off some steam.

Alexandra “Ally” Brueger was shot in Michigan July 30 while out for a run. Then, there was 30-year-old Karina Vetrano in New York last week, who went for a run at dusk and was found in a Queens park, known for being a shady place. This Sunday, 27-year-old Vanessa Marcotte went for a run while visiting her parents in Princeton, Massachusetts and was later found dead.

New York Police Department deputy chief Michael Kemper said in a statement Monday that investigators on each case are working together. “We are comparing evidence, we are comparing notes; simply put, we don’t believe there is a connection,” he said. OK, so maybe the same guy didn’t murder all three women, but there’s a more subtle connection: women can’t do fucking anything without worrying someone is going to kill them.

Vetrano’s father reportedly warned his daughter not to run in that park because it was dangerous and the NYPD is planning on putting cameras in the park, according to DNAInfo. But that doesn’t change anything, except highlighting that there are certain places women just really can’t go. While it’s great to have a camera that will perhaps deter future crimes or easily catch a perpetrator after the fact, it doesn’t change the fact that women are always targets.

In Michigan, police are warning women to “pay attention to their surroundings” and run with partners. As if women aren’t always paying attention to their surroundings. I know I am. Men get to just pull on their sneakers, turn up the volume on their music, and do their thing. Women have to plan ahead and think about the best time and place to go for a run. I keep the volume on my headphones turned way down when I decide to walk home at night and take the shorter, but possibly more dangerous, route. That way, I think, I can hear someone come up behind me, but when you think about it, that’s no way to fucking live.

Sure, I could get a cab, or take a longer route home, or leave earlier. These women could have chosen a “safer” park or… or what? It all boils down to the fact that women are often seen as prey when they’re out alone or in groups.

The same culture that assumes a woman shouldn’t get drunk if she doesn’t want be sexually assaulted is the same culture that urges women to not run alone or at night. It really is a man’s world.