Posts Tagged: self-defense
13

Weapons

The bell buzzed. Then again, more forceful this time, and lingering. I woke up; the clock read 12:36. “Someone’s at the door,” I whispered to Joe, who slept heavily beside me. He barely stirred. The buzzer sounded again, and I tapped him. He gasped, awake now. We listened. The buzzing continued, like something broken and angry. Joe got up, crept to his office, grabbed a set of bicycle handlebars. My heart pounded. I took the cell phone, dialed 911, kept my finger on send.

Growing up in Rudy Giuliani’s New York, I’d never been robbed. It wasn’t until college that anything really dangerous happened to me. Senior year, a man [...]

32

7 Classic Film Heroines Who Suck at Personal Safety

Hollywood has given us many strong, smart, heroic female characters. But for every Grace Kelly in High Noon, gunning down one of her husband's enemies and gouging out another's eye with her thumb, we're afflicted with a real dud of a heroine—one who seems to willfully put herself in harm's way. Here are seven female characters who set terrible examples of personal safety. And while we would never presume to tell a real woman who has suffered violence what she did "wrong," we do have some advice for today's screenwriters and directors: Personal safety is often just common sense. Is that too much to ask for in our heroines?

1. [...]

71

The Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear: Why I Teach Women Self-Defense

I took my first empowerment-model self-defense class in 1999, and I've been teaching it since 2000. For 14 years, I’ve been deeply invested in this way of helping women, children, and other targeted populations discover their power and reduce their risk of harm.

Empowerment self-defense, or ESD, was developed by feminist activists who rejected the old, male-designed-and-taught self-defense models of the '50s and '60s. They wanted a system that taught practical skills within the context of rape culture; one that addressed the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social/cultural components of self-defense. The ESD model is constantly fine-tuned by the people who teach it; today, for example, the National [...]

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On the Death of Renisha McBride

Renisha McBride was a 19-year-old girl who'd just graduated from Southfield High School and gotten a job at the Ford Motor Company. Late last Friday night, she got into a car accident, alone. With her phone dead, she left her white Ford Taurus on foot to seek help. An hour or so later, she reached Dearborn Heights, a city west of and adjacent to Detroit, and knocked on a stranger's front door. He shot her point-blank in the face with a shotgun and she died.

Her family was not notified of their daughter's death until Monday. The police initially told the family that McBride's body was "[...]