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Women’s Self Defense Classes @ UREC

I’ll admit, I have not been to UREC ever since it was required for my freshman GenEd health class, but I was intrigued to learn about this class offering. In case, like me, you didn’t know, UREC provides women self defense classes here at JMU.

I am really happy to hear that such a class exists but also want to point out that it isn’t the women’s responsibility to protect herself from sexual assault. Self defense is a great skill to have in general, but targeting this class towards women shows the double standard on campuses that it is our problem to protect ourselves.

A friend of mine was describing the class as “really beneficial” because it could “get you out of a bad situation.” He said, “women deserve to walk around knowing what it takes to be safe.” This is all good and true, but completely pervasive of this idea that men are somehow excluded from the equation. The class is really well intentioned but people need to remember that sexual assault is still the perpetrators responsibility to NOT do it. Another thing to think about is how most self defense classes exclude scenarios where most sexual assaults actually take place. It would be interesting to see how this one is. If anyone has taken the self defense classes at JMU, comment below letting me know!

It shouldn’t be a pre-requisite for every woman who wants to take a walk that she has taken a self defense class.

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However, now that I have said that, if you want to go learn how to kick some ass, then go for it!

3 Responses to “Women’s Self Defense Classes @ UREC”

  1. truequeerlatte

    Thanks for writing this! It’s so important to point out that self-defense classes really don’t make women safer in protecting themselves from sexual assault, as most assaults are perpetrated by someone the victim knows and trusts. UPB recently won a Dolley Award for a women’s self-defense class that was specifically targeted toward preventing sexual assault. Even though CARE refused to co-sponsor they went ahead with the event and earned University recognition. It is unfortunate and ultimately harmful that our campus views prevention as the responsibility of the victim, that we regularly talk to women about what we can do and never tell men, Stop Raping Women or Rape is a Crime.

    Reply
    • mymanifesta

      Thanks for the comment – I was unaware about UPB’s Dolley Award. It’s a hard line to navigate because I want to applaud these organizations that have self defense classes and that are making strides, but it keeps happening where no one is talking about the perpetrators, only the victims.

      Reply
  2. Joe

    I support the thing that has been pointed out here. Women can’t defend themselves after one class and also that the one who attacks will always be someone they know for a sometime. Studying self-defense is good for women.

    Reply

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