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Old November 25, 2009, 12:36 PM   #100
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
Posts: 5,185
The ladylike slap...

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. )

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.
Never let anything mechanical know you're in a hurry.
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