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Schrodinger’s Rapist: Or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced

“…a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.

So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.

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I’m on the ground, rolling and looking around wildly. My two attackers circle around me, trying to get close. “I’ll get her legs, you grab her arms,” the bigger one says. Only if you can get close enough to grab me.

I’m lying face down on the ground, eyes closed. Suddenly, two men are on top of me. I fight like a cornered alley cat. “Get her clothes off.” Do so at your own risk. You picked the wrong girl to mess with.

I’m being dragged across the floor, my ankles held captive as I twist and turn. My shirt is pulled up over my bra but I don’t stop fighting. I don’t stop fighting until I’m free.

It was hard. It was scary. But I did it. I faced my fear. The knowledge that at least 3 of my friends were lifting me up before the throne helped. Do I ever want to be put in this position? No. Am I going to go looking for trouble? Definitely not. But I faced my fear and now I have a better chance if I ever find myself in that position again. And every time someone had me pinned, I was able to break free. Sometimes it took longer than others. But I got away every time. So did the other two ladies who looked as wigged out as I felt. Makes me wonder if they aren’t fellow survivors.

I faced the terror, the flashbacks, the potential for nightmares. Because if I hadn’t, then he would have won. And that will never happen again.

So tomorrow in my self-defense class, we will be learning how to fight once your attacker has you on the ground. (This is assuming all of our awesome moves that we’ve learned up to now haven’t turned him into a quivering pile of lime jello.) Needless to say, I am not looking forward to this. Two weeks ago when one of the other girls and I were somewhat injured and we were talking with the instructors afterward, she was asking about what you do when you’re wrestling with your friends/boyfriend/whoever and they straddle you over your hips and pin your wrists down. One of the instructors showed her what to do and I almost had a conniption watching it.

Will it be good to know how to get out of these situations? Yes. Will it give me more confidence for the future? I certainly hope so. But for all that to take place, I have to get through tomorrow. Without panicking. Without flashbacks. Without reflexively freezing and crying and begging him to stop.

This is gonna suck.

“I’m not bitter. I’m mad as Hell!” – Diary of a Mad Black Woman

So last night was my first self-defense class at school. I am extremely sore today. Not only did they have us start practicing punches but they also “showed” us where the main pressure points on the human body are. And by showed I mean they gave a “light tap” to those pressure points on each of us. And since myself and two of the other girls were the only ones brave enough to volunteer when they needed to demonstrate something, we got it even worse. I got laid out on my back at one point. But it was fun, in a scary, “please don’t ever show me that pressure point again” kind of way.

90% of a woman’s self-defense against becoming a victim is preventing it in the first place. This is done in numerous ways, which I won’t go into here. Our class is a very top secret, girls only (except for two of the instructors) thing. Because if our prevention tactics fail, we need to have the element of surprise on our side. So girls, if you want to know, ask me. Or, the thing I highly recommend, go sign up for a self-defense class. They have the specific class I’m taking (R.A.D. = Rape Aggression Defense) in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. After you have paid for and taken the class once, you can take it as many times as you want for free. It does not make you invincible but it does give you options.

The fact that it doesn’t make you invincible is the thing I want to talk about here. They had us standing in a circle and one by one we had to go into the middle and practice the punches they had showed us on the guy instructor. One of the times I was in, I heard one of the other girls say “Oooh, she looks mad.” And I was mad. I was mad that I hadn’t taken this class in Jr. high or the beginning of high school. I was mad that I had wound up helpless. I was mad that I couldn’t hit harder. I was mad that it wasn’t *his* face I was punching, instead of the instructor’s padded arm. I was mad that no matter how many self-defense classes I take, no matter how many gallons of pepper spray I carry, no matter if I buy and learn how to shoot a gun, I can still become a victim again. There is no fool proof plan against it. My chances are better but they are still just that: chances.

This became even more clear at the end of the class when they were telling us about the 10%. They told us that what they had taught us and would be teaching us was stuff that would work against 90% of the population. But there is 10% that nothing will stop. These are the people who care nothing for you. They do not see you as a human being. They are out to destroy you. There is no pleading, no begging, no appealing to their humanity. In effect, they have no soul.

That is what makes me mad. That is what makes me want knock the head off any guy who tries to grab me in a bar. The fact that I am not Wonder Woman and that I don’t have superpowers and will always be helpless to someone, infuriates me. So be careful whose butt you choose to grab in a bar or walking by them at a Dave Matthews concert. Because it might be mine and I can’t promise I won’t start practicing my punches on you.