Five Reasons Why "Teach Women Self-Defense" Isn't a Comprehensive Solution to Rape

Before I start this post in earnest, I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting that women should not take self-defense courses, that women should not get involved in martial arts, or that there's no such thing as a woman who has successfully defended herself against assault, sexual or otherwise. What this post is intended to address is the exceedingly common recommendation in rape threads that women should "learn how to protect themselves" as the (one-and-only) solution to rape, and the equally frequent comment that people have enrolled their daughters in martial arts classes so they "will know how to take care of themselves."

Self-protection is, at best, one part of a comprehensive solution to rape--and it's not even as straightforward as it may seem. Looking at the complex and practical realities of what teaching women self-defense in regard to rape prevention really means is the focus of this post.

Its raison d'être is the progressively frequent references to rape's inevitability and women's need to learn self-defense as the only surefire way to prevent rape. (See An Angry Old Broad's comment here, in the Bob Herbert thread, as an example of how this meme is disseminated in the media.)

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.