Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Where Are The Men?"

In a previous post, I wrote about a discussion I had about women and the martial arts. I neglected to mention that the conversation was a women's panel discussion and was televised on the local community station. I was asked to join the discussion by my instructor and the focus was on the evolution of women in martial arts.

Since the segment was being taped "live", home viewers were allowed to call in and ask questions. Half way through the discussion, we had a call from a male home viewer. His question was regarding self-defense and why we needed to learn martial arts. He asked:

"Where are the men?"


Then an answer.

I responding by stating that my personal safety and self-protection were my responsibility. I explained that often in the two-car, two career society we live in today, my husband and I are going in different directions. He is not with me all the time nor do I expect him to be.

I was surprised by the question but confident in my answer. What do you think about the question "Where are the men?"


Colin Wee said...


I must be an oaf. Until now I thought that you were a guy!!! The profile pic is so small and the spelling of your name just triggered me to think of 'Michel' rather than 'Michelle'.

Hahhahaah. How embarassing!

You're right. A lot of people drop responsibility for their own interests. I've seen that in many areas ... my Dad writing his banking passwords on a piece of paper next to his highly-trafficked workstation, my colleagues not doing backup of very important data, doors being left unlocked at my MIL's house, children not taught to swim from an early age, CPR training, self defence, etc.

In my previous women self defence class I said that the session itself was not sufficient for participants, and each had the responsibility to go away, think of the material, visualise being attacked, make decisions about the course of action, and to *give* *themselves* *permission* *to* *self* *defence*.

Many people think that one technique or two will do it. Needless to say they should be driven by objectives and not by a step-by-step formula spoon fed by a 'self defence instructor'.

Good on you for doing this.

Traditional Taekwondo

Colin Wee said...

I explained that often in the two-car, two career society we live in today, my husband and I are going in different directions.

Actually, an aware family greatly decreases the risk of a sexual assault.

I'm not saying that there is no risk of the random home intrusion or snatch theft. But unlike single young women who would have an active social and personal life, you won't be going out on a lot of dates with people you hardly know nor drink much in public. Or for just younger females you wouldn't be left in the care or presence of a much older male authority-figure. Or in the case of much older women you wouldn't require or depend on other people for your well being.

The truth is self defence is really sorely needed by those who don't really think much about it.


Colin Wee said...

Michele, I've created a link to this post at Taekwondo and Self Defence.


Meg said...

You're this society, when we're stretched out as far as we can be, knowing how to take care of yourself *is* your responsibility. Women are not "hothouse flowers" to be cared for by our spouse. It's good to have that foundation to be able to stand up for ourselves.
Hooray for your answer!!

Steve said...

What else did he say besides, "Where are the men?" What was the context he was asking the question?

Michele said...

Colin: You make a good point that taking responsibility must carry over into the rest of your life.
I really should get a better picture. :)

Meg: Thanks!

Steve: He started out with a statement wondering why we needed to learn self-defense and martial arts. He then asked the question "Where are the men?".

Sue C said...

Of course women need to take responsibility for their own safety - we're usually the victims of sordid attacks. I'm a lot less likely to be attacked if my husband is with me - it's when I'm on my own that it's a risk! My husband is very keen that I should be able to defend myself and has taught me several simple but effective jujitsu techniques - mainly escapes. I also do karate so no how to land some pretty mean strikes and kicks. It makes perfect sense for women to learn some self defense.

Michele said...

Sue: Thank you for visiting my blog. You make a good point that the risk of an attack increases when alone. Karate and Jujitsu ... good for you!