Writer, galloper of imaginary ponies. Wannabe side-saddle enthusiast.
Hi Pinners - I love the Hairpin and am super pleased that you featured this article. I'm actually doing my doctorate on Sudanese skeletal material stored in the same room as this woman's mummy and have seen the tattoo up close. However, it's a little disrespectful to call it a tramp stamp; we bioarchaeologists strive to always be respectful to the deceased.
(And yes, @HereKitty, tramp stamps are always on the lower back.)
@Onymous Respectfully, as an Old I'd have to say full-force training is pretty damaging to people over time. After your twenties, your joints become less forgiving. Women's self-defense in my line can't be taught full-force anyway, since someone would have his eyes gouged out.
@Onymous Just wanted to say that, as a former boxing trainer who had several female students, I discouraged them from thinking of boxing as self defense or believing that, if threatened physically, they should rely upon what I taught them.
Boxing is a craft. It is occurs in a confined space, under a specific set of rules, which include which parts of the body can strike and be struck. That in no way mimics the reality of an attack. There may be elements of boxing involved in practical self defense, but the two are not equivalent.
I love boxing. I think it's great for fitness and, like anything that requires dedication, focus and study, can be really rewarding. But if you wish to learn to defend yourself, I imagine classes explicitly aimed at such things are the way to go.
Must respectfully disagree with you here. I don't really have an opinion re: the merits of Krav Maga, but the rest of your comments aren't really accurate in terms of teaching short-term, empowerment-based self-defense to women. Just a few reasons why:
* "Sparring at full resistance/force" may be a great way to learn to box for those who want to do so, but it's a myth that that is required to learn to defend oneself.
* Full-contact sparring will put many people off entering a school entirely, and as I learned from my teacher, we don't learn best from being frightened and/or hurt. At the very least, full-force is not the *only* way to learn.
* Women's bodies are different from men's. Techniques that men may be more likely to choose, e.g. pitting strength vs. strength, are not necessarily going to be the best choice for a woman, especially one with limited training. They may not even be relevant to her situation at all, e.g. she is unlikely to encounter an attacker who wants to box with her. This does NOT mean there's nothing she can do to defend herself.
* Proficiency in boxing and judo takes years. It's important to be able to provide training that does not require any particular athleticism, nor years of commitment to be effective.
* Full-force sparring can be intimidating and triggering for survivors of violence, and it's wrong to indicate to them that that is the ONLY way to learn how to fight.
* Lastly, with many women, half the battle is emotional and psychological; we lack the sense that we're entitled to take care of ourselves, the daily visual/verbal/physical assertiveness skills to express that entitlement, and the belief that we'll be successful if we try. Self-defense training that just focuses on fighting techniques but ignores this crucial element is what gives SD a bad name.
Again, I say this with respect because I know your comment was well-intended, and because I'm a big fan of martial arts training. The author of this article gives links to loads of research informing a different approach to women's self defense -- interesting to read if you're so inclined.
Extremely excited about this series.
@juksie what? you may never have written for women's mags before. since i have, a lot, i found it so on target that it had me lmao even after reading through a couple of times.
@juksie Why do you hate it? Although this is a bit of an exaggeration, women's magazine editors will actually send feedback like this. It's funny because it's true.
@LunaLunaLunaMoth @LunaLunaLunaMoth I don't have a problem with her English at all. That's not what I'm saying. What I have a problem with is the author's choice to portray this woman's thoughts through his own lens and his own perspective, without bringing in a third party to try and bridge the language gap to gain a deeper understanding of what Christina/Angela is saying on a more nuanced level, and/or by writing out the "pidgin" version of their conversation. (In an English-language written piece, especially a narrative like this one, the person "speaking" in broken English is inevitably going to come out sounding like the less eloquent/intelligent speaker.)
I work at an organization that deals pretty heavily with human trafficking/sex trafficking, and I spend a lot of my time handling media portrayals and cultural biases surrounding trafficked women, sex workers, and the gray areas in between these two extremes. It's true that women like Christina/Angela don't tend to write essays for the Hairpin - but that's all the more reason to give them appropriate platforms for when their voices do make it onto sites like these. Sex workers and prostitutes are used way too often as navel-gazing devices for essay writers and society at large - we really don't need another piece that uses them as literary metaphors to make a point.
For what it's worth, I really did think the prose was lovely, their interaction at the end was nice, and if this was done just a little bit differently I would be a lot more comfortable.
@myeviltwin Honestly, I really like the new 'Pin team, and have been a fan of a lot of the stuff that's been put up so far! Maybe it's on me for not commenting more when I like something (?). That said, I feel like there are problems in this piece that need to be addressed...it may just my line of work (human trafficking reporting and prevention) that make me so interested in this. I don't want to not point out problematic issues just because I don't want to offend anyone. (that said keep doin yo thang Jia and Emma, you rock, etc etc).
@mollpants Thanks. I was reminded of that one gay friend some of us had in high school. The one who went out of his way to point out how gross he thought women's bodies were, and sort of got off on making us feel hideous.
I mean, he basically brags about how fond of him she seems, then turns around and makes gaggy barfy gestures.