There is absolutely no way to make life completely safe. (Something is going to kill you, no matter what you do to avoid it, anyway!) That doesn’t mean we don’t have laws and police and prisons – though we can argue about their most effective deployment – but the truth is, laws and police and prisons only get involved AFTER something bad has happened.
Which means that every capable adult is responsible for her own safety. You are your children’s last line of defense. The adult males get shoved to the front lines and expected to die in defense of women and children; adult women are the children’s second-line, last-ditch defense against the myriad ways nature, unfortunate accidents (also known as “physics”), and evil are plotting to kill them. Of course, nature and physics don’t actually plot; that’s just the evil people.
That’s why every woman needs to learn how to fight in self-defense: because you can’t protect those weaker than you if you’re already dead.
And if you’re an Equal Feminist Woman, you don’t get to depend on good men to protect you from the bad males. That privilege is reserved to women who honor The Patriarchy for its tendency to die to defend women’s lives. Of course, there’s a significant number of women in our Western mode of Patriarchy who’ll be right beside their men shooting the bad guys, but that’s because we’re not fainting flowers who need other people to conform to their ideals in order to feel “safe.” Magical unicorn rainbowland still has bad guys; haven’t any of these idiots watched My Little Pony? The world they’re demanding is less realistic than a TV show aimed at six-year-old girls.
In a long comment thread over at Larry Correia’s place, there are a large number of highly educational responses to his assertion that women should learn self-defense. I’m going to excerpt a few of them here:
Matthew Carberry, in the context of most rapes being committed by “someone you know”: “Merely being introduced to someone doesn’t mean you “know” them in any meaningful way.”
Yes, which is why it’s a dumb-ass stupid idea to put yourself in a situation where you’ll be alone in a secluded place with someone you haven’t thoroughly vetted, and preferably have had vetted by a large portion of your social circle. Double stupid if you do this with alcohol involved. How do you know he’s not just a very charming sociopath? That’s who gets away with serial rape, after all – the charming, narcissistic sociopaths. Of course they know that “rape is wrong” – but they don’t care. They’ll do anything they think they can get away with, and because of the “charming” bit, they can get away with a lot. And because he said/she said is so hard to prove in court, in the absence of video recording of the sex in question, it usually takes multiple victims before there’s enough evidence for “the law” to do something about that kind of predator. And sometimes, if they’re also politically powerful, they get off with a wrist-slapping.
bjlinden, on what constitutes rape: “If I feel scared, or pressured, or worried that I’ll ruin an otherwise good relationship, then too bad for me. I still made the choice not to speak up. A person’s choices are their own, and while peer pressure may suck, and people who push other people into doing something using it are kind of shitty, the pressured individual is still making a choice.”
The feminist argument that the definition of “rape” needs to be expanded to include non-criminal persuasion is remarkably similar to the social mores of bygone eras, in which a young, single woman was never permitted to be alone with a suitor. Because then he might try to seduce her, using the prototypical excuses “I love you/we’re practically married already” and she might feel pressured or scared or worried that he’s going to dump her if she doesn’t say yes. I guess we should all go back to chaperonage then, because women are delicate flowers in need of protection from those icky men with their silver tongues, and no woman should ever have to stand up for herself in the face of mere verbal opposition! Jeez.
Look, part of this situation is also playing it safe – aka, don’t put yourself into a position where you would feel unable to say “no” if your partner started pushing for sex. Always keep the high ground for yourself: don’t let him drive you to his apartment for drinks unless you’re totally okay with him finding the courage in the bottom of a bottle to ask you to have a wild, kinky night with him. Yeah, if you let yourself get into that position – where you’re alone, out of reach of anyone else you know, and totally dependent on the other person to return home, then DUH YES you’re going to have to have metaphorical balls of steel to rebuff unwelcome advances after three beers. (Also, he shouldn’t be driving after that, either.)
Eamon J. Cole, responding to a deeply confused woman: “If one party can validly believe they are engaged in a consensual activity, and the other party can, with equal validity, believe they are being raped then consent is meaningless and rape is meaningless and the discussion is hopeless.”
Lube the situation with enough alcohol, and you can have a situation in which the girl feels sexually assaulted and the guy probably thinks it’s nothing more than a minor disagreement over the night’s activities. This is where the obligation to correct the misunderstanding falls squarely on the “victim” – you cannot reasonably expect a man to read your mind even when he’s sober; and if he’s a few sheets to the wind, you can’t reasonably expect him to be able to read body language any less subtle than a fist to the face! This is where those metaphorical balls of steel come in: if you’re going to engage in intimate relations with somebody, you need to have the confidence to correct misunderstandings with someone who’s likely larger and stronger than you, no matter the circumstances. Or, alternatively, not put yourself in that situation in the first place. Ask for a ride home after the first beer, for example. That’s what we mean when we say women should learn self-defense: not just the ability to throat-punch somebody who jumps you in an alley, but the ability to read situations, think about what bad things might happen, and what YOU can do to make sure that they don’t. You can’t control what sociopaths or drunk people do – only what you will do.
TM, on the usual “technique” woman use when a man starts using all that icky logic in a discussion, here quoted in full:
Once in one of these discussions I had someone state the same thing that advocating for self defense was victim blaming. When I pointed out similar things to your comment Larry, I was informed that as a man, I would never know what it’s like to be told to watch your back every where you go. Never know the fear of walking through a dark parking deck alone. And never know what it feels like to have to constantly think about who or what could be a threat around me.
Apparently this person (and frankly all of these “self defense is victim blaming”) people have never actually met a man. Every single man I’ve ever known (at least that was raised correctly) was taught self defense. Was taught to watch their back in strange places. Was taught to keep a high alert when alone (especially in places like a parking deck). Every man I’ve ever known is constantly evaluating other people (and especially other men) for potential threats. And while it is true that as a man, I will likely never have to fear that another man is going to sexually assault me, my wife has never had someone start following them around and threatening her because she apparently looked at them wrong or some such thing. I on the other hand (and many men I know) have.
It’s not that men wouldn’t know or experience these things, it’s that we’ve been taught it from day one. The substantial difference to me is that men have also been taught from day one that we must defend ourselves (and indeed we are expected to). Teaching (and for that matter encouraging) self defense isn’t victim blaming, it’s elevating women to the same standards that men have been held to since the beginning.
The feminists who say that women shouldn’t have to learn self-defense, that men should learn not to rape, are living in a fantasyland. We can’t even teach all men how to read: how are we going to teach all men not to rape? Mind-control beams? Because that’s what it would take to eliminate rape entirely: not just something to control what evil men do (the charming sociopaths) but also to ensure that no misunderstandings between two people ever occur, even if they’re both half-drunk at the time. What are these people smoking? Are they brain-damaged? Experimented a little too much with pharmaceuticals in their misspent youths?
Look, nobody’s pretending that teaching women self-defense is going to 100% solve all rapes. Not even all forcible rapes at gun/knifepoint – one woman against a gang is not going to end in her favor. Sometimes the “bad guys” will win, and that’s when the law gets involved, to make that “win” a temporary state of affairs. But teaching women how to not be a likely victim will cut down on the number of bad things happening: the “perp” can’t find a sufficiently helpless-looking potential victim and it starts raining so he goes home; or maybe exactly what some of those “untaught” sexual predators need is a lesson delivered via a kick, punch, or 9mil round. (Most 9mil gunshot wounds aren’t fatal, for those of you who don’t know anything about guns. Of course, it only takes one if it’s a good shot, so bad guys beware!) And a woman taught to defend herself by not deliberately placing herself in a powerless situation, when it comes to acquaintances and miscommunication, is going to have the mental tools necessary to do exactly as all those “explicit consent is necessary!!!” feminists want her to do: lay down her boundaries and make them stick.
Or, you know, we could go back to Ye Olde Dayes, and never allow a man to be alone with a woman who’s not a relative or his wife, because he might rape her, sexually assault her, or seduce her. (Fun fact: “seduction” was actually a crime in those days. Yes, a man could be criminally prosecuted for persuading a woman to have consensual sex! Now, why does that sound so familiar….?)