It was dusk, my kids were in bed and my mind was on Mollie Tibbetts. I said her name as I laced up my shoes and stepped off the front porch. I looked left and right, wondering which way was best lit- which way was safer.
I’m not sure if I went tonight because of Mollie, or despite what happened to her. Perhaps most accurately, it was my silent rebellion- a way of honoring her and all women who occupy space.
I put my headphones on, out of habit- but didn’t turn on the music. I said her name, under my breath at first and then audibly, later, when my lungs felt tight and my legs wobbled. I thought of her when I wanted to quit and turned up my pace instead.
Running alone, outside, day or night, dusk or dawn- it is not a privilege.
Mollie Tibbetts was found today, murdered because she while running alone, she asked a man to leave her like that- alone, in peace, unharassed.
Since she disappeared, I’ve read about how women shouldn’t run alone at night. I’ve read that our immigration policies are to blame, as her alleged murdered is undocumented. I’ve read some say that it is not safe for women to be outside alone after dark.
None of this sits well with me.
I will teach my daughter diligence. I will teach my son about consent. (I will teach my son about diligence. I will teach my daughter about consent). I will teach my children to not live in fear. I will teach my children that evil is colorblind, but so is kindness.
Tonight I am taking a moment to grieve a stranger, a victim, a woman who did nothing wrong. Rest In Peace, Mollie Tibbetts.