North Texas Daily

Self-defense classes neglect the real issue

Self-defense classes neglect the real issue

March 21
20:25 2018

An excerpt from the Larry Nadeau’s Rape Aggression Defense (R.A.D.) self-defense program participant manual from 2006 reads:

“Keep in mind that without some preparation, you may actually increase your already statistically significant chances of being selected as a target.”

That’s right ladies, you can never over-prepare for literally being attacked at all times. Sexual abuse is already “statistically significant” for you just because you exist, so you are going to have to put in time and effort to make yourself less of a “target.”

And even then it is not guaranteed.

Nothing says “women’s safety” like a self-defense program created by a dude.

Why are people sexually assaulted? If your answer to this question is, “because they can’t defend themselves,” you are already barking up the wrong tree. And you’re victim-blaming.

The real answer is, “because some people have sexually violent tendencies and skewed ideas on respect and consent.”

Why aren’t we starting there, where the problem originates? Why is male violence treated as a default, unavoidable constant that women must protect themselves from, to such a degree that they change their lifestyles, learn physical assault tactics and carry weapons of defense? Why isn’t male violence thought of as the issue that needs fixing?

We live in a society that socializes men to be more violent and drastically fails at sexual education, yet refuses to acknowledge this combination yields sexual abuse.

Ultimately, self defense classes reinforce that the responsibility is on women to “avoid getting assaulted” instead of on men to not commit assault.

And if they weren’t already problematic by nature, I have yet to see a self-defense program that does not rely on the stereotype that sexual assaults are committed by crazy criminals in dark alleys.

Sexual violence statistics are readily available all over the internet. A five-second Google search would let anyone know that much more often than not, sexual assault victims know their assailant. More often than not, the perpetrator is someone the victim is well-acquainted with and interacts with willingly, not a random stranger that jumps them from a bush.

Do self-defense experts and police not have access to Google? They must not if their programs so blatantly ignore what accounts for the majority of sexual assault.

If you’ve taken a defense program like this and enjoyed it, I’m not mad at you. Empowerment is always a good thing. And who could blame you? I can imagine elbowing a guy dressed like a clunky, red Bionicle would be pretty sweet.

The fact is that self defense classes aren’t effective in preventing the real issue.

After a house fire, we might equip our houses with better fire alarms or a sprinkler system, but the real prevention comes in the form of education and ridding the house of hazards that caused the fire in the first place.

Featured Image: Illustration by Gabby Evans

About Author

Rachel Herzer

Rachel Herzer

Related Articles

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","https://chimpstatic.com/mcjs-connected/js/users/de9596854f37498d65b58fa8f/42480106fd1ae582112be0c96.js");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Twitter Feed

North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@Reed_Smith25: 30 minutes out from kickoff between North Texas (6-6) and Miami (OH) (6-6) at the Frisco Football Classic.@ntdaily is going bowling, folks.Follow this thread for live tweets, updates and analysis in this matinée bowl game matchup! https://t.co/tS8iZ6pVca
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
ICYMI: Dominant play pushes men’s basketball toward win against UMass📝@Tzac24 📸@TylerLukerNTD https://t.co/QI9fxGxIgU
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@TylerLukerNTD: @MeanGreenMBB will be tipping off against the UMass Minutemen in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at 3:30 p.m. today! The Mean Green hope to improve to 5-3 on the season. Tune into this thread for live updates. @ntdaily
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
All-Conference USA Team announced: North Texas football with seven selections📝@Kvn_Wlkr14 📸@zachdelbello https://t.co/lZh3eoWKPR
h J R
North Texas Daily @ntdaily
@OberkromJaden: Enjoy the greatest podcast episode we’ve ever done. https://t.co/xlKyXqgnA2
h J R

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad

Instagram