Walking in fear

Discussion in 'Women's Self Defence' started by Mrs Owt, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. Mrs Owt

    Mrs Owt New Member

    Very often when other women find out I do MA they comment that they too have thought about it and we start discussing their thought process as to why they want to study it. Usually it comes down to that they are walking scared through life. They are scared in parking lots, in mall washrooms,elevators, home alone at night, working late in their office building. It comes down to intimidation. I used to be the same way and still am to a large degree. Just because I have studied MA doesn't mean I am any safer, if anything I realise how much of a disadvantage I have against a man because I train with them all of the time. I guess I just wonder if you really want someone to not be afraid, at least a little bit, because I would be concerned about a false sense of security. Learning a Muay Thai kick in your kickboxing isn't going to help you if someone grabs you from behind. Or in my case practicing kata isn't going to stop a knife. So, what do I tell these women? Usually I tell them the most important thing I have learned is to not be there if possible, not to look like a victim and have good cardio so I can run away fast and as long as I can and to be able to recognize a situation turning sour.

    Today there are actually many more people that intimidate me than before I took MA because I know now what depths people are capable of and that some will stop at nothing to hurt you. Before I was relatively ignorant of the malice in people, they will take what you have if they can't earn it on their own. So, what it boils down to is do you think that most MA's that say they have self-defence components are realistic in stressing the avoidance factor and awareness or are they usually more concerned with techniques and making women feel "empowered"?
  2. SecurityAdvisor

    SecurityAdvisor Valued Member

    Hi Anything,

    My female friends, family and clients often express the same concerns over day to day safety. While I wholeheartedly agree that avoidance and awareness is the key to self defense, these techniques fail to mitigate the fear of violence. I don't have any solid answers for you, however, as a matter of ethics, I believe that well meaning men can, and should, take steps to lessen womens fears.

    Most men (outside of martial artists and like fields) don't give very much thought to their own personal security. As a result they don't realize that their behaviors can be intimidating to women, who do often think about personal security.

    I think that if most men took the following steps, most women would be less fearful.

    1. When in secluded areas create and keep distance from women you don't know.

    2. Being polite is one thing, but don't go overboard. If, for example, you offer to help someone carry a package and she declines, don't become insistant. Just leave her alone

    3. Don't be insulted if a woman you don't know quickly leaves when she realizes she is alone with you. (like in an elevator)

    4. Don't stare. Noticing that a woman is attractive is one thing, but long stares can be intimaditing. Not a great way to meet women.

    5. Don't ask for personal information such as telephone numbers etc until you know the person well.

    6. If you've just met someone, let her be the one to decide when and under what circumstances she wishes to be alone with you. Don't ask for rides. Don't offer rides. Don't offer escorts.

    7. Don't conduct research to find out personal information. I have seldom met a man who hasn't, at one point in his life, searched for telephone numbers and other personal information about a woman he was interested in. If she wants you to know her phone number and address she will give it to you.

    8. Some people (men and women) are more affectionate than others. If you are man and you meet a woman for the first time, don't give her a "friendly" hug. If she wishes to hug, let her initate it.

    9. Refrain from language that society considers inappropriate for a man to say in front of a woman. I know, women swear and tell racy jokes too, but that's not the point. In western society, its considered impolite for a man to swear in front of woman. Don't believe me? How would you like someone who constantly swears in front of your mother, wife or sister? If you are willing to cross the threshold of civil discourse with a woman you've just met, it begs the question of what other thresholds you are willing to cross.

    10. No means no. Not maybe, or not now, but no.

  3. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    Unfortunately, Anything ... you have to learn 'common sense' on your own. No martial art is going to take you by the hand and "learn you that". :)

    Good tips SecurityAdvisor .... for the guys to keep in mind.

    I had a minor confrontation the other day. I had to go into the city with my daughter to apply for her license at the DMV. There were no parking spots available .... 'cept for one down an alley way and slightly off to the right of the building in the back.

    Upon returning to my car, I noticed 2 men parked alongside my car (driver side) with the window down. (It was a cold day out...)
    Instead of going on my side to open door and get in car.... I went over to passengerside and opened door, sliding in to the drivers-side and guiding my daughter in beside me and quickly locking door.
    If looks could kill ... the guy stared me down and mumbled something to me ... I won't repeat it here... but obviously either I spoiled his 'agenda' or my actions conveyed to him that I thought he was a would-be thug.. which he took offense to.

    Never feel that you are going out of your way to protect yourself for fear that you are going to convey the wrong feeling to someone. If you feel the situation isn't right.... let your intuitions rule.

    We women have that special 6th sense.... lets start using that, it's just common sense
  4. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Smile, laugh, be happy!

    Just to be the Devil's Advocate here... Sometimes a man is just trying to be nice. Be aware, not hysterical. Not all people are evil. As KC said "use common sense."
  5. Mrs Owt

    Mrs Owt New Member

    I think you are right, we don't want to be paranoid but to use common sense. Unfortunately, even people we know can let us down horribly and behave in ways totally unexpected. So the face that is presented to you may not reflect their true agenda. There are a lot of sick puppies hiding behind quiet, non-aggressive exteriors. Just be aware is my message, even with people you know or 'think' you know.

    And to Security Advisor - thanks! that is great advice and something I will teach my son.
  6. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    LOL .. I have to laugh at that one Bigfoot because I am guilty of just that.... having had taken what was presumably a wink and a smile for an attack.

    To make a long story very short.... I was robbed in the neighborhood grocery store when I was with my young son .... actually in the frozen food aisle. I noticed this guy following me throughout the store and did feel uneasy about his stares. So I thought he obviously is enjoying what he sees..... well what he was doing was planning his attack and he ran off with my purse.

    Months later, I walk into this same store and walk past this gentlemen who eyed me up and down and also went as far as sniffing my hair as I went by :rolleyes: .... anyway, I walk in and over to produce aisle and bagging some items when I sensed a person to the right of me, uncomfortably closing in on me.... I turn around dropping the bag and extending my hands out defensively and this same guy flew backwards startled.... remarking that he only wanted to tell me that I had a pretty smile.... sheesh!!!

    I really felt bad but I was relying on my instincts and they were probably a bit too heightened from what happened in past circumstances ...or is that what they call paranoia?? :D
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2004
  7. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Smile, laugh, be happy!

    I have to commend you on your actions, KC. For even though they were born out of circumstance (paranoia), they were the correct response to a potentially threatening situation. Rather err on the side of safety. I would much rather run away from a would-be attacker, than face him (her) and take a gamble on the out come. Does this make me paranoid? I would tend to say intelligent. Paranoia comes from seeing evil in every possible situation. Prepared is seeing the potential for evil in every situation. I guess that is where the difference lies.

    I saw a black man (let’s say John) on the Ricky Lake show this morning, (yes, I stoop to that level every now and again) talking about his friend, who was a big time ‘player’. He spoke about how he saw his friend arguing with the husband (unbeknownst to John at that time) of a woman his friend was sleeping with. He then said that he ran over to his friend (here is where I jumped to the conclusion that he would help his friend beat up the husband) to separate them and pull his friend away from the potential harm.

    I was ashamed of myself for assuming that because John came out on stage (in jail-like clothes) that he was a predator. Perhaps I am paranoid? In Denmark there has over the last 25-30 years been a drastic rise in the predominance of ethnic people. In this time, there has also been a heightened coverage of especially racial/ethnic violence in the media. Especially on how most of the (sorry to say it, but Turks) have a tendency to abuse the social system and just make trouble. The general attitude here is that if you are attacked by a Turk, all of his friends (usually 15-20) join in and help him. This is by no means an excuse as to my own prejudiced, but perhaps one of the contributing factors.

    Either way, I can easily see how woman could get the impression that MEN are bad, just as I can get the impression that Turks are bad. This does not necessarily make it true, though. I know many Turks that are very friendly and contribute wilfully to our society, just as I know many men that would not abuse a woman. The potential is always there – does that warrant negativity? I believe it warrants respect/awareness, but not fear.
  8. Kenpo Kicker

    Kenpo Kicker New Member

    Can't blame the women for being scared. There are alot of male nuts. I would suggest to not be alone in these bad areas and bring a good male or female friend. I think you are less likely to be attacked with a friend.

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