Last Friday I worked late. As my car squeaked through the parking structure, I drove past a girl walking toward her car, head bent busily texting/Facebooking/whathaveyou. I seriously considered attacking her, or the less crazy option of rolling down my window to tell her what a great victim she would make! It’s not the first gal I’ve seen put herself in a potentially dangerous situation that makes me shake my head. How many times have you been guilty of walking to your car without your keys in hand, talking on the cell phone or otherwise distracted. Some women argue that they keep someone on their cell phone so that should something happen, the person on the other line can hear it. Really? By the time the person on the other line hears you being attacked, it’s too late. PUT THE PHONE DOWN!
Later that same night, as I left the grocery store just before 8:00 p.m., a sheisty character loitered near the exit and asked me for change. I looked him right in the eye and said, “No!” I felt like such a beyotch, but it felt so good.
It might seem like an exaggerated reaction. “He was only asking for change! Why do you have to be so mean?” Let’s look at Exhibit A. Just a week ago in Reno, in broad daylight and directly across the street from a police station, a guy was sliced with box cutters after a group of guys asked him for change. (He survived.)
Tonight is the third class in Manfriend’s women’s self-defense classes. It’s my second time taking his course. He is a trained black belt, practicing his techniques at least three nights a week. I, on the other hand, work out when I can, and only sometimes think about the lessons taught in class, and even more rarely practice the techniques I’ve learned. Realistically if I was attacked today, I may or may not remember what my weapons are, or what the assailants targets are on his body. Luckily, my Manfriend cares about such things and reminds me of how important it is to practice and keep these things top of mind.
If you don’t have time to take a self-defense class, consider the Four A’s of the book See Sally Kick Ass:
Theoretically, if you’ve employed the first three A’s, you shouldn’t need the fourth. Similarly, I think all women should read “The Gift of Fear”. The author has studied violence for decades and discusses how not all acts of violence are random. If you trust your instinct, and are smart about how you approach your surroundings you can avoid becoming a victim. For women especially, we’re automatically a beyotch if we’re mean. If someone asks for change or directions, you don’t want to be mean and say no, so instead you stop what you’re doing and walk closer to the potential assailant. Next time someone asks you for the aforementioned things, or offers to help you carry things to your car/home, YELL, don’t just say, NO.
And before I forget, practice yelling. Yes, I said “practice” it. Nagging at your kids doesn’t count. Really force your voice to climb to a level you didn’t know was possible, so that if and when someone does make the mistake of thinking you’re a victim, you can ruin his eardrums and save your life and possibly someone else’s.