So, I've been running at night in a safe part of London while I'm staying here, and it's fine other than the usual street harassment, which I have lost the ability to NOT respond to without regard for my safety (yesterday I yelled at two guys— one I stopped and interrogated for several minutes about why he felt like anyone gave a shit about his opinion about my body). Yesterday, an older man and a young boy— about ten— were walking; when I passed them, the man nudged the boy and they both like half-ran after me. I went into a store farther up the road for water, and when I came out they had passed me, and the same thing happened— that time I asked the older man why he thought it was a good idea to teach kids to chase women alone at night. He had no response.
Tonight, this running after/fake running/running up and alongside me thing happened like three times. It's happened before, usually with younger teenage boys with their friends, which, okay, teenagers can be weird and silly with their friends and have lots of jokes that don't make sense to other people, so whatever. But these were all adult men. So, like, what is this? Do they need to show dominance because they feel threatened that a woman is exhibiting any kind of physical ability? Do they think this is going to get them a date? Like this is much stranger to me than the shouting unsolicited comments form of street harassment, because that's clearly an entitlement and power thing, and this seems like a power thing too, but it's just weird.