Spring brings flowers, blue skies, and a yearly flood of articles on how to run safely outdoors as a woman. With such original victim-blaming nuggets as “don’t run by yourself in the dark” or “don’t say where you plan to run on social media” and, my personal favorite, “don’t run on the trails alone!” Because if someone decides to attack me, it’s definitely the woods’ fault.
I’m not making light of violence against women. I’ve been violently mugged, which is just punishment, apparently, for feeling so entitled as to leave my house after dark. Nor do I have a solution, though sometimes I think we should all be learning Krav Maga so that people who want to f*ck with us will deeply regret their decision. But I deeply resent the suggestion that fear should rule our actions, or the insinuation that letting down our guard and enjoying our time alone in nature means we’re inviting trouble. Most of all, I despise the fact that there is now a whole fear industry that wants to profit on our fear and vulnerability with a vast array of pink, sharp, made in China “personal defense” items for women like that cat-shaped claw thing! To hurt people with! Idk just give us your credit card number kthxbye.
Which just begs the question, are you really going to inflict damage with three-inch plastic cat ears to anything except your own hand? I’m all in favor of cat-shaped anything, but when it comes to self-defense, let’s not settle for that cheap plastic crap. Let’s go back to a time when settling interpersonal conflicts with artisanal blunt objects was the order of the day. Medieval weaponry is the next big thing in safety, ladies. Read more >>