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

I teach empowering self-defense from a radical, feminist perspective. I do NOT teach "don't walk alone" or "why didn't you fight back?" or "you should have done something differently." Those statements (which I know are used by some instructors of non-feminist, non-empowering, status quo so-called self-defense) can be read as victim blaming.

I agree with the author, it's NOT victim blaming for us to say - until rape culture is entirely dismantled, we need to organize on ALL fronts. Teaching women, girls, and other targeted people how to physically defend themselves in an emergency, how to use awareness to notice when they aren't being respected, and how to get help from bystanders and others is NOT victim blaming. It's realism!

As she writes - there's a paradox here - - perpetrators are 100% *responsible* but that does not mean that intended victims and survivors are 100% POWERLESS.

Posted on January 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm 7