I Refuse to Be Scared


    Being a woman is hard. I think of the Des’ree song, “You Gotta Be.” We gotta be “bad, bold, strong, and calm” all at once. We gotta be so many people at once: mother, spouse, daughter, sister, caregiver, breadwinner. As women, we can’t simply be. Every day, we are reminded of that, especially whenever a woman dies senselessly or is harassed, and it makes the news. If you don’t know Eliza Fletcher, you should. She was a mother and a teacher who went on a morning run and never came home. As a fellow mother/wife, I was saddened for her young family. As a woman and fellow runner, I was angry and scared. Another woman runner was murdered senselessly. Another mother, sister, daughter, teacher, and friend lost. I scaled back my outdoor runs after I followed the story. Even with my safety precautions, running alone felt dangerous.

    Victims note the police response time…

    The scary news hit closer to home this week. The other day, the SF Chronicle reported that an alleged stalker of teenage girls was back on the streets in the city. This morning, NBC Bay Area News reported that one man was harassing women in San Francisco’s Marina District. In both stories, victims complained about the slow police response. I do not know about you, but I am livid. I am livid for every woman and girl that is harassed every day. I am livid that our local representatives aren’t talking about public safety or are taking more action. Public safety has been an ongoing issue throughout the pandemic. At the height of the pandemic, our car was broken into three times at the beginning of 2020.
    Until the third break-in, we had parked our car on the street for five years without incident. The worst part was that the thieves didn’t take anything, because we didn’t keep anything in our car. Between the issue of public safety, homelessness, and the wealth gap, is it any wonder why residents are migrating in droves out of San Francisco?

    San Francisco is my home.

    At the same time, I will not leave. San Francisco is my home. I love San Francisco and believe things can improve in the city. Perhaps the city’s improvement needs to start with everyone doing our part, whether it be looking out for others, speaking up, or exercising our privilege to vote. I ran my first long run last Friday in preparation for the 10K virtual race I will be completing this week. I shared my route with my spouse (Good safety tip!) I looked at everyone I ran by the entire time, so they knew I saw them. I saw other runners, and we acknowledged each other. Seeing them reminded me that there is so much good in this city, and our communities were beautiful. I know I gotta be a good mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, coworker, and volunteer. What I will not be, what I refuse to be, is scared.

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    Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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