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Old November 23, 2009, 01:17 PM   #76
sakeneko
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iam3KBS, nobody is saying your point of view is wrong. Many of us are saying that most women don't hold that point of view, were not brought up with that point of view, and do not see the issue of whether being able and willing to defend yourself is feminine or not in the same black and white, obvious terms that you do.

I grew up in Texas. My family was non-religious, but the "environment" was very religious, and I was taught as a child to say "Methodist" when asked what religion we were. (I didn't realize I was being taught to lie -- I thought everyone was born to some religion and we just didn't go to church.) The majority of people in my neighborhood were Baptist or were members of some other Evangelical church. As best I can tell, they held the same values you do about marriage and family.

I don't think a single woman among them would have viewed self-defense as you do, though. They seemed to think that part of being feminine involved dressing in ways that made them look good but got in the way of comfort and easy mobility (especially those *shoes*). They seemed to think that part of being feminine was being taken care of by men, not taking care of yourself.

I applaud your views. I think they make sense. But despite some superficial similarities you don't sound much like the women I grew up around. I think what WarMare is looking at is how to appeal to people who think more like the women I grew up with, *and* (paradoxically) more like a lot of women whose values and beliefs are less traditional but who also have issues about femininity and self defense.

Maybe what you said would be a good approach to the first group. I don't know, though -- you sound more like me than like them despite our differing attitudes towards marriage and family. ;-)

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Old November 23, 2009, 02:05 PM   #77
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All sorts of people, men, women, gay, straight, whatever, grow beyond the expectations of their parents, families, religions, race, economic status, etc, all the time. I say quit making excuses for the ones that don't. It's a mindset issue and to say its anything else is hosecrap.
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Old November 23, 2009, 06:21 PM   #78
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Another correction is needed - stay on target without insults or rants, if you please. The discussion can be excellent.

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Old November 23, 2009, 09:39 PM   #79
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Pax, I think Gila Hayes has a book back in print? Or a new one? That paragraph you posted from her book, is so succinctly a match to my own background.

Though I was raised by a single parent, in a non-religious household, by a hippy mom, I was still taught to disengage, avoid, de-escalate, and when all else fails, maybe run. I certainly wasn't taught to stand up for myself.

3KBs, I don't think you're really hearing me and I'm not sure if it's possible to change that. You hold views of how the world should be. Those views are preaching to the choir in this venue.

But some of us are trying to talk about past views we've held...or views other women might have. And it seems like those views are so unacceptable and unreasonable to you, that their very existence makes you mad.

Am I reading you right?

I don't think you are typical.
I think most women are FAR removed from pioneer roots of 6-gun Sally.
And I do believe the majority of women are far more likely to react in ways that do not involve fighting back with aggression.

It would be curious to see what percentage of men vs women fight back in crime scenes. But I'd be nearly willing to bet money that men are far more likely to fight back.

As an aside, back to one of your prior posts, you mention women no longer giving a lady-like slap to the face....
That's because most of us realize that if we attempted such a maneuver, it might lead to assault.

Zombieslayer - I love Krav. Wish every woman would study at least a little of it.
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Old November 23, 2009, 10:09 PM   #80
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Krav is way overlooked in america as a SD tool! At my judo club, we have a 14 year old girl who's fought all over the world and has all kinds of medals. But what shes most interested in is hardcore self-defense. She willl ruin some would-be attacker for life one day (maybe she'll never need to). I think the way the world is going we need to start teaching our daughters how to protect themselves. My daughter is 1 year and when she get about 3 or 4, shes starting some very basic judo. my 7 year old can shoot pretty well, but ain't much of a fighter..lol He's toughening up though.
As far as women go with shooting for self defense, most women I know and meet don't like guns let alone the thought of touching one. My Ol' Lady wants a charter arms southpaw. I never saw a lefty revolver before. I'd rathr buy her a s&w
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Old November 23, 2009, 10:24 PM   #81
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One thing I'd like to add- a lot of women delude themselves into a very false sense of security with those $2.99 "pepper sprays" on the keychain or buried in a purse or glovebox. Usually they're a gift from dad that no one ever took the time to buy one and test out the "wicked" foot and a half urine-stream of hot sauce that dribbles out for 5 seconds. after about a month or so, they usually dont work, and they're so awkward to use.. i wish every woman had the wits and training to legally arm themselves and use deadly force to prevent themselves from being another victim. I know women who have survived BRUTAL attacks, and they seem to have a mindset that they arent capable of protecting temselves. They're terrified, but always say something like- "I couldn't shoot someone for any reason, that's murder, etc." Can't wait till my little girl can shoot her first BB gun!!!
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Old November 23, 2009, 10:39 PM   #82
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Zombie, the thing that I love about Krav is that it's teaching me how to use my body aggressively. That's not anything I even thought I was capable of.

KM and guns are like peanut butter and jelly. One tastes much better with the other!

We have an upcoming "street clothes week" where I can wear heels, dress, etc, (as long as I'm okay with getting it all dirty), and FIGHT!

We also have an upcoming simmunition force-on-force training coming up, though unfortunately, I don't think I will be there.

They also do seminars on car jackings, home invasions, and more.

They teach utter brutality in the first 30 seconds so that you absolutely demolish your attacker. No rules.

And they teach gun takeaways, which is also useful for learning how to hang onto your gun (I hope!)
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Old November 24, 2009, 12:05 AM   #83
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This is an excellent discussion thread, thanks to WarMare, Pax, Phoebe, Iam3KBs, Vanya and all our other lady members. I'm learning quite a bit.

Re: Men as Protectors
The development of the role throughout history is, I think, based on the paradigm of survival. When events force you to extremes, a racial imperative comes out. I like the way Robert A. Heinlein expressed it in Time Enough for Love:
All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can -- and must -- be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempts to formulate a "perfect society" on any foundation other than "Women and children first!" is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly -- and no doubt will keep on trying.
The male as "protector" is one that from a racial imperative viewpoint is logical. Once he has passed along his genes to a new generation (in one or more offspring) his existence is relatively unimportant. It is certainly best if he can stick around until the offspring are self-sufficient, but not necessary.¹

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pax
I wish that were always true. From my perspective, a lot of guys who say they want their wives, girlfriends, female friends able & willing to protect themselves, aren't quite so enthusiastic when the women really become self-aware and self-protective.
Perhaps I'm one of those "unique" males. I met my wife at the police academy, helped her learn to shoot as well or better than me and never felt a twinge. I encouraged her to take Tae-Kwon-Do and to become an instructor for the Koga Defense techniques at the academy.

At least she kept me around because I can lift heavy things and kill spiders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoebe
I also had a deep fear of guns. They signified violence. They seem manly. They are noisy. They were unpredictable. They can hurt you. And I have lots of associations to guns and rednecks, uncultured, uncivilized people.

"Thinking, intellectual people don't use guns."

"Women don't use guns."

We use our brains to avoid conflict and use negotiation or discussion to resolve problems, not violence.
And people chide me when I don't laugh at stand-up comedy that portrays "rednecks with guns".

There has been a movement in this country since the 1920's to portray users of firearms or those who resort to violence - even when necessary as uncouth, uncultured, uncivilized, redneck neanderthals. The early progressive party claimed that with our brains we could "choose" to avoid such brutish behaviors. These so-called progressives have tried to instill into us such silly notions as "violence never solves anything" or "fighting back only lowers you to their level".

Back in my college days, a young female student studying in her off campus apartment found herself confronting a obvious rapist coming through a window to the 1 bedroom apt. She prudently grabbed her boyfriend's .270 and warned him to leave. He tried to talk his way into the place but she would have none of it. He finally exited and ran.

But the surprising part was when she related this in our weekly Friday pizza gathering (about 10-15 of us) the women in the group disapproved of her using a gun. They said things like "couldn't you have talked him out of it without the gun?" or "You should have reasoned with him to leave instead."

I think this supports Phobe's remark that women don't use guns. I think women often place too much faith in their ability to "talk things through" or "reason with someone" because that's worked in the past. The failure is to realize that it does not always work when someone is intent on committing a violent act.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iam3KBs
To me, part of being not just female but a lady is to have enough self-respect to know that I have a right to say NO and make that NO be serious. Part of being a lady is the self-assurance to know in my bones that anyone who lays an unwanted hand on me has forfeited his right to continue existing.
I agree wholeheartedly. But the punishment must fit the crime. A slap is certainly warranted for unwanted contact. But cutting his throat for a fanny-pat is excessive and is bound to get you talked about.²

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iam3KBs
I think that my generational sisters and our daughters are missing something very valuable in the loss of the ladylike slap that our mothers and grandmothers understood was their absolute right to deal out to any man who "got fresh" (and the equal understanding among the men that anyone who wished to call himself a gentleman would, first, refrain from ever giving a woman cause to slap him and, second, intervene on the lady's behalf if a slapping situation was obviously developing).
In days of "civility" long past, a woman in a public venue knew that slapping a man's face would acquire the attention of other men. This usually allowed her to exit the situation somewhat gracefully, knowing that other men would not allow the slapped man to follow her. (Or the reverse, the man would walk away while other men watched to ensure he behaved correctly).

Unfortunately, today's progressive-minded prosecutors and others will claim that said slap is "violence" or "domestic violence" and merits the same kind of punishment as a fist to the nose. These same people will prosecute the gentlemen who restrain an angered "slapee" for assault, battery or unlawful restraint.

In an effort to "remove violence" from our lives these "progressive thinkers" have made it a crime to forcibly prevent someone from committing a crime in the first place. For bullies and abusers, the threat of retaliation-in-kind from a capable person is intimidating (they prefer defenseless and helpless victims).

Our culture in the last 30-40 years has been "pacificed" to stand by while people abuse each other. We hear it almost every time the news reports a successful self-defense situation - police remind all of us not to fight with a robber but comply with them for your own safety." or "Police say it's best not to get involved but to call 9-1-1 instead."

In the early part of the 20th Century, a man assaulting a lone woman did so at his own risk. It was likely that she could kill him with near impunity.



¹ This is not advocating leaving unsupported children in one's wake. A man should be present to support, educate and love his children as long as possible.
² A strike to the solar plexus is appropriate, but a knee or foot to the groin is a lot more satisfying.
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Old November 24, 2009, 10:35 AM   #84
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But some of us are trying to talk about past views we've held...or views other women might have. And it seems like those views are so unacceptable and unreasonable to you, that their very existence makes you mad.
Not mad. Baffled.

Why is the idea that I give people credit for the ability to think critically about the expectations others hold for them and to retain to good while rejecting the bad upsetting to you?

I'll freely admit that I don't believe that all beliefs have equal validity. I believe that there is such a thing as objective truth, that some sets of beliefs are closer to that truth than others, and that seeking said objective truth is why we are gifted with the ability to reason.

You accuse me of finding your beliefs unacceptable. Why do you consider my belief -- that the culture one grows up in is not a set of chains but rather something that each, individual person should evaluate and choose to accept, reject, or modify as a natural and normal part of leaving childhood and entering adulthood -- unacceptable?

I came out of lurkdom to present my views because I found them unrepresented on this thread -- which seemed to me to be heavy on the bemoaning of culture and light on the idea that culture is not the be-all and end-all of existence.

If the goal is to "reach" people then, perhaps, one way of doing so would be through encouraging people to think critically about the assumptions they grew up with and, in answer to the objections about self-defense in general and firearms in particular, to offer up the fine examples of womanhood that I have previously mentioned as role models.

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Old November 24, 2009, 11:11 AM   #85
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Quote:
As an aside, back to one of your prior posts, you mention women no longer giving a lady-like slap to the face....
That's because most of us realize that if we attempted such a maneuver, it might lead to assault.
A. If a woman is in the position where a ladylike slap is justified -- because a man is not accepting verbal signals that he's pushing boundaries too hard -- then how does giving in and passively permitting him to continue to run roughshod over her improve matters for the woman?

B. If a man is such a brute barbarian that delivering an unequivocal signal that he has crossed the line would trigger a physical assault why would a rational woman be in his company in the first place?

I have only seen the slap used twice. Once at a distance where I had no firsthand knowledge of what triggered it but could observe that a different man intervened on the distressed woman's behalf and escorted her away.

The other time was among college friends of mine where a young man got carried away and took teasing beyond the realm of fun. My friend, one of the primmest, most ladylike young women I have ever known slapped him. Because he was not a brute and a barbarian -- most men aren't -- he immediately realized his wrongdoing and apologized with great sincerity. And she, understanding the sincerity of his words and having firmly established the boundaries of her comfort zone, immediately forgave him. Afterward not only that particular young man, but the rest of the men she knew were more careful to show her the respect that she deserved.

Has we been a generation younger my friend would have been robbed of a valuable tool. She would have been put into the position of either submitting passively in a situation where a man was physically and verbally handling her in a way that made her uncomfortable and unhappy or sacrificing her dignity by bursting into tears and running off. I don't see either option as an improvement.

Its a fine example of what I said about evaluating the things one was taught and judging if they should be accepted or rejected. It would be helpful if we were all taught only the best and truest and most correct views as children, but in the real world it doesn't happen so we are obligated to separate the gold from the dross as we mature from child to adult.

Last edited by iam3KBs; November 24, 2009 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Dyslexia. again.
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Old November 24, 2009, 11:25 AM   #86
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The male as "protector" is one that from a racial imperative viewpoint is logical. Once he has passed along his genes to a new generation (in one or more offspring) his existence is relatively unimportant. It is certainly best if he can stick around until the offspring are self-sufficient, but not necessary.¹
An excellent post.

I've said it many times -- biology is real.

There are many solid, biological difference behind male and female social roles -- all of them rooted in the inescapable fact that women are vulnerable while reproducing.

But I am quite convinced that cavemen probably preferred a strong, capable woman who could put a javelin into a wolf that came sneaking around the cave while he was out hunting down the mammoth over one who cowered in the back of the cave while the wolf ate his kids.
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Old November 24, 2009, 11:30 AM   #87
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I agree wholeheartedly. But the punishment must fit the crime. A slap is certainly warranted for unwanted contact. But cutting his throat for a fanny-pat is excessive and is bound to get you talked about.²
LOL!

I expect that the library pincher I mentioned hesitated in remembrance of the headache the next time he was tempted to assault a teenage girl.
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Old November 24, 2009, 11:51 AM   #88
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3kbs, I'm not mad. I am frustrated because I say one thing and you respond as if I've said something else entirely.

You're fighting windmills.

No one on this thread has actually disagreed with you on how life should be. The disagreement seems to be that you don't want to recognize how life is for many women, none of whom would be likely to be on this board.

If a woman IS on this board, she has already taken steps to insure that she can defend herself, or she wouldn't be here.
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Old November 24, 2009, 11:55 AM   #89
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Quote:
There has been a movement in this country since the 1920's to portray users of firearms or those who resort to violence - even when necessary as uncouth, uncultured, uncivilized, redneck neanderthals. The early progressive party claimed that with our brains we could "choose" to avoid such brutish behaviors. These so-called progressives have tried to instill into us such silly notions as "violence never solves anything" or "fighting back only lowers you to their level".
Yes! This is how I was raised. I'm not sure if it started out as a progressive thing, so much as Vietnam Era, hippy kind of thinking that has now moved into progressive politics and anti-gun folks' thinking.

I woke up to a stranger in my bedroom and actually had people tell me (after I bought a gun), "could you really use a gun? How could you know what he wanted?"

As if it were my responsibility to invite him in for a cup of tea to discuss his motives before determining what to do.

I was shocked.

These women (and yes, they were all women), honestly thought it would be inappropriate to shoot a home intruder, even if you felt your life was in danger. And they don't see guns as a viable SD option.

Most of these women still think it's inappropriate to have a gun in the home.
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Old November 24, 2009, 11:56 AM   #90
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I'm a guy but I have experienced unwelcome sexual advances. That is in no way a factor in my decision to carry a firearm. Threats to my physical safety is. So far those have always been two different things. If someone threatened my safety with the intention to coerce sex from me I would be defending myself from the physical threat, not the sex. I am capable of discerning the difference and fending off non-violent sexual advances against myself without having to resort to deadly force.

As for women, that is a whole different ballgame. I dated a nurse for a couple of years who had been raped before (by one of her patients). She lived in a not so nice place and I offered to leave one of my guns at her house. Turned out she would rather die than harm someone in self-defense. That's just how she was, I couldn't change her. Logic does not apply.

Something should be done to make women aware of the seriousness of the crime. I perceive that there has been a big change in how violent sexual assault is conducted these days days due to the hardening of penalties. Used to be the penalty for being caught for rape was similar to a normal felony (ten or fifteen years). Sure the victims were brutalized and suffered lifelong emotional distress but now it's changed to penalties of 30-40 years, perhaps even life. IMO this has motivated a lot of criminals to not leave their victim alive to witness against them. They must figure since the penalty is no different than murder why not try to improve their odds of escape?

These days child molestation and rape are practically synonymous with murder of the victim. They go hand in hand. It used to be rare but these days it is epidemic compared to how these crimes used to end. The game has changed, women however stayed the same in their reluctance to harm their attacker. It's as if they do not realize the escalation of danger which sexual assault has undergone.

I don't know of any such study but some statistics bringing this to light might help them to understand?
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Old November 24, 2009, 12:34 PM   #91
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Phoebe,

Yes, Gila's got a new book out, Personal Defense for Women. It's basically a complete upgrade and rewrite of the old Effective Defense, with several new chapters, lots of new or updated information, and all new illustrations.

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Old November 24, 2009, 01:30 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iam3KBs
If the goal is to "reach" people then, perhaps, one way of doing so would be through encouraging people to think critically about the assumptions they grew up with...
Yes, critical thinking is a wonderful thing, but very few people are able to do it.

When you challenge people's assumptions, many just won't hear, and many actually become enraged. Critical thinking is scary, because it entails admitting that you might be wrong. It's also scary because most people believe the things they do because their beliefs work for them: reassure them that they're good people, that they're part of the right group, that the world isn't as bad as it looks sometimes -- et cetera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe
3kbs, I'm not mad. I am frustrated because I say one thing and you respond as if I've said something else entirely.

You're fighting windmills.

No one on this thread has actually disagreed with you on how life should be. The disagreement seems to be that you don't want to recognize how life is for many women, none of whom would be likely to be on this board.

If a woman IS on this board, she has already taken steps to insure that she can defend herself, or she wouldn't be here.
Phoebe, you beat me to it.

The "should be" vs. "is" thing is exactly the issue. Yes, people "should be" able to think critically -- but most are not, and just "encouraging" them to do so rarely works. (Trust me on this, I used to be a teacher. )

The whole purpose of this thread is to explore the question of how, exactly, does one change women's minds -- "encourage them to think critically," if you like -- about the worth of using firearms to protect themselves. In order to do that, we've spent a lot of time discussing specific cases, ourselves or other women we've encountered, and talking about why this notion is so hard for most women to accept.

And yes, one big reason is the messages this culture sends to women about what it means to be feminine. Phoebe has spoken eloquently, firsthand, about the ways those messages make it hard for a "feminine" woman to change her behavior in this area. It is what it is, and saying it shouldn't be that way doesn't change it.

It misses the point to say, "Well, they should just be able to figure that out for themselves." The problem is that in the world as it is, most women don't. That is a fact, and blaming them for it doesn't lead to a solution.

Why shouldn't Warmare, or any of us, want to change the way women think about self defense? It's possible in principle: there's an entire technology dedicated to changing people's attitudes and behavior, and it's very effective; it's called advertising. It can be done; it's just a matter of finding the right approach.
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Old November 24, 2009, 09:47 PM   #93
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I, too know someone who was raped severely in a home invasion. I've took her shooting, and shes a great shot... but when I try to give her a .38 snub, she tells me over and over about how she could NEVER shoot someone for ANY reason. She, too, said she'd rather die than defend herself with any kind of weapon. It really has baffled me, and to be honest, I really care about her and it worries me that she seems to have NO instincts of self defence. It's encouraging to hear about women who are concearned about not being the victim, and take a proactive role in taking care of themselves!
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Old November 25, 2009, 12:18 AM   #94
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Zombieslayer, that's really sad.

Have you asked her if she would shoot someone to defend a child? I think some women can envision that far more easily than they can shooting in self defense.
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:14 AM   #95
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Zombieslayer, that's really sad.
No kidding. :/ I know some pacifists, mostly religious pacifists, who take a principled stance of never fighting back when attacked. Many of these have thought through the implications of their stand and know what they are doing, so I respect them and don't worry (too much) about them.

I *do* worry about a whole lot of (mostly) women who refuse to think about or provide for their own self defense because of an emotional revulsion against the idea of committing violence. That sort of "pacifism" is the result, not of long thought and consideration, but conditioning, often conditioning from childhood. Human beings should *not* let their conditioning make decisions for them. We are free willed beings, although I often think that might as well not be the case for all the use some people get out of their free will. :/

Quote:
Have you asked her if she would shoot someone to defend a child? I think some women can envision that far more easily than they can shooting in self defense.
A lot would, and this is a useful tool to get many women to think about this issue rather than stay in conditioned-reflex denial of the whole thing. I know that this vexing question is one reason why I never could fully commit to pacifism even in my hugely idealistic teens and early 20s. I also thought about the world that I would be helping to create by refusing to defend myself. Perhaps those of us who trust God would be better off with Him than on earth, but those we left behind would in most cases be significantly worse off because the decent human being would be dead and the predator would be both alive and have his predatory ways reinforced by success. Objectively, that is *not* a good thing for individuals or society.
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:20 AM   #96
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Women's Instinct for Violence and Aggression

To include self-preservation vis-a-vis men, is powerfully muted by the influence of maternal mortality upon childbirth.

Until an eyeblink ago in historical time--and then only in the developed world--women died in huge numbers in childbirth. They still do in the developing world. 1940 was the first time the mythical average American woman's lifetime risk of childbirth dropped below 1%. In 1920, it was 2.4%. Black women, of course, had far higher maternal mortality rates: the underlying cause was probably poor maternal care, rather than malnutrition, although poverty was the underlying cause of both. In modern Afghanistan, it is about 16%, or about 1 in 7. That's probably on par for the world throughout much of history. (Sweden, which found that it had a maternal deathrate of about 900 in 100,000 live births, which is to say less than half of modern Afghanistan, began in 1751 to create a national surveillance and training system, and reduced maternal deaths to 230:100,000 by 1900..)

High rates of maternal death mean not only that life is at the cost of life, they make it normal and natural for men to kill women and one principle means was sexual intercourse. It is not only for racist and property reasons that rape was considered a capital crime in many societies, and it is also why rape was so commonly the fate of conquered women, who because they generally did not bear arms were immunized from the sword. (In this case, add to maternal deaths, deaths from complicated abortion.) There are not a lot of ways to cope with that and retain your sanity, not as a man, and even less as a woman. How did you cope with the fact that even if he loved you, even if he made no sexual demands upon you, your husband or male lover was likely to kill you?

This is A hard, painful thing to write. To face it as a man must be profoundly shameful.

For a woman to reject learned helplessness and passivity, particularly vis-a-vis a male bent upon sexual violence, is in many ways to totally reject the fundamental meaning of feminity and even womanhood. Certainly it is to do so if WE realize that WE may end up defending OURSELVES against a current or former male intimate. (There are some cultural traditions of women either defending themselves as their husband's wives or as virgins for their future husbands; there are also some cultural traditions of women committing suicide, rather than killing their attacker. But that is not the same thing as defending OURSELVES.)

I've come to believe that until ETA: THAT knowledge is central to self-defense aimed for women, efforts to reduce the number of women hurt/victimized/pick your verb are not going to go very far. This is very much in line with what Tom Servo said, and also Phoebe, about the past being the past (and if you lived, you did the right thing) and women adopting a variety of strategies to protect ourselves that do not involve face-to-face confrontation and violence.

Erin

Sorry, been mulling this over while I slept.

Last edited by WarMare; November 25, 2009 at 07:35 PM. Reason: Look at the caps.
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Old November 25, 2009, 11:53 AM   #97
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Erin,

Good and terrible post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoebe
Have you asked her if she would shoot someone to defend a child? I think some women can envision that far more easily than they can shooting in self defense.
I hate this meme on a personal level, and utterly reject it for myself. MY life would be worth defending even if I never had children. My life was worth defending on the day I was born, it was worth defending on the day before I wed, it was worth defending the day before my first child was born, and it continues to be worth defending even as my children grow up and leave the home, not needing me as the primary caregiver anymore. My life is worth defending!

And so is yours.

So that meme, "it's for the children..." just simply does not resonate with me. I seem to be missing whatever-it-is that's hardwired into a lot of women, to refuse to claim her own worth & value unless and until it is tied to childbearing in some way.

Nevertheless, I too use that meme sometimes, because it is so deeply engrained in nearly every other mom I've ever known. I think my failure to resonate with it is a lack in me, not a strength. Undoubtedly it means I have less natural talent at being a mom than most.

But as I said, I do use that meme sometimes, because it's a powerful one.

"Growing up without a mom would harm your children..." is one I've used, both in conversation and in writing. This one helps a woman begin to claim her own value, I think, when she first begins to realize her tremendous worth in the eyes of her children. (It saddens me; why can she not see that worth for herself, with her own eyes? And yet so many can't...)

Another: "Would you protect your child from a kidnapper who entered your home? If so, then how would you do that? With everything you had? Or would some tactics be completely off the table?" Obviously all these questions are not strung one after another rat-a-tat-tat-tat, but rather dropped slowly and carefully into a reflective conversational pool, one at a time, watching the ripples spread slowly from the center, allowing the implications of each to sink in until the tiny little wavelets come rippling back to shore, one after another, inescapable and plain to see.

But for myself, the reasoning is foreign to me. My life is valuable and would be valuable even if I had no husband, even if I had no child, even if I were barren and unloved and unwanted by the rest of the world. My "go" switch, the thing that motivates me to respond, is the value of my own life, not my children's need for me. (And thank goodness for that; they'll be out of the house soon and my goal has always been to teach them to be independent and without need of me.)

Human life is worth defending. Even when it's your own...

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Old November 25, 2009, 12:17 PM   #98
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As baffling as it is, there are a vast number of people who don't posess the mindset to use deadly force in their own defense. I've asked my friend if she could take action with a firearm to prevent injury or death to her kids, and she said "I guess, I don't know...What if god tells me Im a murderer on judgement day??" Any answer other than "yes I'd definitely do ANYTHING to defend my children" means that in the heat of the moment, the person probably would NOT have the instinct and self preservation "circuitry" wired into their psyche. If one isn't prepared mentally and emotionally to deal with self defense, they probably shouldn't own a gun, anyhow. It would probably get taken from them, and become the instrument of their own death, IMHO. Just my 2cents
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Old November 25, 2009, 12:26 PM   #99
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Quote:
I've asked my friend if she could take action with a firearm to prevent injury or death to her kids, and she said "I guess, I don't know...What if god tells me Im a murderer on judgement day??"
zombieslayer, for that one, if your friend is a Bible-believer, you can point out that the "man after God's own heart" (King David) killed more people than almost any other man in the Bible. God did not judge him for his righteous actions that protected God's people even at the cost of other lives. Rather, He praised him for them.

Edited to add: Also, whether or not she's a Bible believer, you'll probably have better luck starting a bit further back. Don't start with the use of a firearm. Start by asking, "What would you do to defend your children?" and explore that topic very gently for a bit. You will often find that someone who would not be willing to use a firearm to protect their children would be quite willing to do other things that could be equally deadly. In which case the hangup, no matter what the surface appearance might be, isn't really over deadly force at all.

Further, even the most strongly pacifistic will express willingness to "call the police," knowing that the police are authorized to use deadly force if necessary. Is it really more moral to command someone else to kill on your behalf, when you are unwilling to do it yourself?

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Last edited by pax; November 25, 2009 at 12:38 PM.
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Old November 25, 2009, 12:36 PM   #100
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The ladylike slap...

Quote:
Originally Posted by iam3KBs
I think that my generational sisters and our daughters are missing something very valuable in the loss of the ladylike slap that our mothers and grandmothers understood was their absolute right to deal out to any man who "got fresh" (and the equal understanding among the men that anyone who wished to call himself a gentleman would, first, refrain from ever giving a woman cause to slap him and, second, intervene on the lady's behalf if a slapping situation was obviously developing).
I realize that the above is largely nostalgia for some sort of (mythical?) "good old days," and it's taken me a while to decide whether to comment on it, but I think someone needs to.

The point of this thread is that women are capable of defending themselves and should take responsibility for doing so. It's counterproductive to suggest that a woman should respond to an assault by a man with a "ladylike slap," trusting that other men will rush to their defense.* The implication is still that it's not our job to defend ourselves if push comes to shove. Women need to be able to defend themselves effectively, which means having a range of skills and a variety of tools. As Phoebe and others have stated, a gun isn't enough. Martial arts training and pepper spray or other less lethal tools ought to be part of the repertoire.

If someone lays a hand on a person without permission, that's not "getting fresh" -- it's assault, and he needs to be told to keep his hands to himself, or else. Once he's been told to desist and doesn't, effective defensive measures, proportionate to the threat, are justified; calling the cops may be, as well. (Going somewhere else may be another good alternative... and if you're followed, that's a threat, and you're entitled to respond appropriately.)

If a person lays a hand on another in a sexual way, it's sexual assault:
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault, or indecent assault, is the unconsented sexual contact or touching of another by use or threat of force or violence. Unlike sexual battery, sexual assault does not require penetration to constitute a criminal violation.
...
Sexual touching, or contact, is knowing or purposeful touching of the intimate or private parts of another to arouse sexual desire in either party. The touching may be accomplished either directly or through the clothing. Sexual touching or contact may include actions such as inappropriately grabbing the buttocks of a person, even if covered by clothes.
Is it OK to defend yourself against a sexual assault? Yah, you betcha. Again, a verbal warning may be appropriate, but after that, it's time for effective self defense. (The threat in the paragraph above can be inferred from the typical disparity in physical strength between men and women; men get away with this stuff because they are stronger.)

We could probably start another whole thread on the subject of the level of force that's appropriate in situations like this. I'm certainly not suggesting that deadly force is called for in a case of buttock-grabbing. (The 400-page book applied forcefully to the head might not be a bad option, although... can a book be a deadly weapon? I actually sort of like the idea that it might be. )

Quote:
Originally Posted by pax
MY life would be worth defending even if I never had children. My life was worth defending on the day I was born, it was worth defending on the day before I wed, it was worth defending the day before my first child was born, and it continues to be worth defending even as my children grow up and leave the home, not needing me as the primary caregiver anymore. My life is worth defending!
Yes, exactly -- well said! And so is your person -- your body and your right to control it, even without a threat to your life.
.............

* For the record, I'm not suggesting that it's wrong for a man to intervene if he sees a woman, or another man for that matter, being threatened or abused. My point is that it's not required, nor is it something an adult of either sex should count on.
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