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Swedish jogger praised for viral feminist post

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Swedish jogger praised for viral feminist post
Joakim Rosenqvist was inspired to write the post after bumping into a scared woman while out jogging. File photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
10:58 CEST+02:00
A Swedish man has been praised for his viral Facebook post about female safety after meeting a terrified woman while out jogging.

Joakim Rosenqvist, 20, was out jogging one night on a running track in his local area of Bohus, north of Gothenburg, when he almost bumped into a woman coming around the corner.

His encounter with the woman inspired the jogger to document the experience on Facebook.

“I really scared a girl tonight on my run when I came around a corner and accidentally shone my head light straight in her face,” he wrote.

“Of course I stopped and asked why, and then she explained how the events of recent weeks meant that she barely ventured out on the running track for fear that she'll be the next victim, which is very sad because she, like me, loves night runs. I offered to follow her around her route and we had a nice conversation the rest of the way.”

Rosenqvist's experience led him to reflect on women's security in Sweden today.

“I was horrified to realize that even today girls can't enjoy the same thing as me. They can't put their feet on the gravel and feel their pulse rise in time with your steps, with the peace and security of this. The fact that almost daily we see a new report or a new article in the paper about women of various ages mugged, beaten and raped when they are out on the run is terrible."

“I can't imagine how it feels for them, because I will never have the same feeling while out on the track. I will never feel the fear of putting your feet down on a dark path and running, and think that behind every bush or tree trunk there may be a man who plans to violently abuse me, degrading my body, my mind and my place in society. That total ruin of my self-esteem, my psyche, my self-image and my picture of others in society."

“Is this a growing ‘trend'? Don't non-males have to endure enough things today? Should they not even be able to feel safe to train? Not even broad daylight seems to offer enough security.”

Jag känner mig inte osäker eller rädd med att ta ett steg ut genom dörren och ett steg in i skogen på löpslingan. Jag kä...

Posted by Joakim Tjockisen Rosenqvist on Thursday, 27 August 2015

The jogger then went on to reflect upon his position as a man in Sweden.

“I see what incredible privileges I have as a man in society. I could never imagine my life without these, and then I can also can't imagine how only some people in society should be part of this. I will never be able to understand the human reasoning that one gender is above the other."

“… If now feminism means that both a guy and a girl should be able to go for an evening run without anxiety, or to be able to dress how you want without 'provocative clothing' being used as an argument for rape, that I simply want everyone to be able to feel what I feel, then f**k it, I'm hardcore!”

Since the post was published last Thursday it has been liked by almost 30,000 people and shared by almost 8,000.

Nevertheless, Rosenqvist denied that his actions were anything extraordinary.

“It's funny that so many people responded to what I said and want to share it further, but at the same time it's a little sad that it is seen as something amazing when it should be seen as normal,” he told Metro.

Rosenqvist's experience reflects that of 23-year-old Stockholmer John Nylander, who in February took to Facebook to complain when a woman bolted when she saw him walking through a dark forest.

"I first felt really stupid that I made a girl so scared and shocked that she ran as soon as she saw me,” he wrote. “But now I just feel sad. I feel so bloody sad that we have reached the point where girls run as soon as they see a man walking towards them. It's completely f**king insane."

“…Together we have to make sure future generations of girls don't have to run. You're done running now. Us men need to take our bloody responsibility to make sure that no one has to run any more. I hope that all you other men who read this are with me and will help make this a reality," wrote Nylander at the time.

Rosenqvist's Facebook post comes almost a month after a woman was murdered while out jogging in the Stockholm suburb of Upplands Väsby. The perpetrator has not yet been found.

Days later, thousands of people took to running tracks across the country in a show of solidarity for the victim as part of an initiative organized on Facebook. 

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