As many of you know, the latest Old Money book ‘Old Money, New Woman’ will be available soon. In it, I covered a multitude of subjects: how to look at your life objectively in order to see where you are and more effectively determine where you’re going and how to get there; how to implement a better decision-making process through ‘protocols’; the three important components of ‘presentation’, i.e., how you present yourself to the world; personal finance fundamentals, obviously; and some wardrobe advice, among other things.
What I didn’t cover in detail was the issue of a woman’s personal safety with regards to sexual assault. I didn’t feel qualified, and, as a man, I was reluctant to address an issue that impacts women on such a deep, personal level. I mentioned this in a conversation with Melissa, one of our frequent contributors in the comments section. As it happens, she’s taught self-defense for women, to women. I asked her to contribute to this post, and she generously accepted. Below are her thoughts.
My hope is that this might start a conversation about how we can address the problem of sexual assault in our society. Women should have all the resources available to them, both in terms of prevention and treatment. Even more important, I think we need to educate men on boundaries and how to handle emotional issues more effectively.
These are just my random thoughts. I look forward to hearing everyone’s perspectives, if not experiences, with this difficult issue. Thank you, Melissa. Your contribution is much appreciated. – BGT
Oh how I wish this article did not need to be written. I would love it if men and women could live together more harmoniously. I realize however, that in order to be as safe as possible, I must be the one to take responsibility for myself… and so must you. The lion does not concern itself with the safety of the gazelle. It does not feel guilty for what it does. It is up to the gazelle to be alert and aware as much as possible or risk becoming the lion’s meal.
All predators are creatures of opportunity. The lock on your front door does not prevent a battering ram from breaking down your door, it keeps the opportunistic thief out of your house. Personal safety is about keeping opportunistic sexual predators from putting you in a position of vulnerability by making sure you avoid unnecessary ‘conflict’. The best fight, the easiest fight, to win is the one that does not happen.
My perspective on the world… based on training I have received is not, ‘Oh, no… that teacher became a pedophile!’ It’s, ‘That pedophile became a teacher.’. As I said, predators go to their prey if they cannot get their prey to come to them.
While there are kidnappings and assaults that happen outside the home & office, in bars, frat houses, etc., assault against women (and children) happens more frequently from someone they have grown to trust. Background checks serve a purpose but all they really do is show you the predators stupid enough to get caught.
The average assault can last up to, and sometimes over, 6 hours. The youngest victim is recorded at only a few months old. The eldest victim has been in her late 80’s. Assault is not about youth, beauty or attractiveness. There is a misunderstanding out there that a woman can be too undesirable to assault. Assault is not about love, or attractiveness.
A lion does not attack a gazelle because it thinks the gazelle is cute. It attacks the gazelle because it is there, and the lion is hungry. The gazelle serves a purpose and the lion does not over think its actions. It’s the same with assault. The victim served a purpose. It doesn’t matter if the assault was part of a lengthy ‘grooming’ effort or if it was a sudden attack. The aftermath leaves the victim forever altered.
During the early days of the #MeToo movement, a woman and I engaged in a conversation about assault. Her view was that if I were a ‘good person’ I would ‘take-one-for-the-team’ meaning- if I ever found myself in a situation of being assaulted, I would not try to defend myself but let my attacker do whatever he wanted so that his next victim would be spared from any additional injuries. She thought that by fighting back a ripple effect would happen and the next woman would be treated even worse as a direct cause of defending oneself. This is not the case. Attackers often escalate no matter what the victim does. The more they get away with, the more they try next time. The decision whether or not to fight back is absolutely personal. No one can tell you what to do not even a self defense ‘expert’. The best we can do is to educate you about the realities of personal safety and assault so that if the time comes when you do need the information, you are as informed as possible and able to make a decision based on solid information and not Internet opinion. If you decide that you cannot fight back, do not feel guilty for anything that happened. If you do fight back and your attacker gets away and hurts the next woman he attacks, that is not your fault.
If you are concerned about your personal safety and that of your family, I do recommend looking into self defense classes in your area. Self defense classes are not necessarily about the religion behind martial arts. They are about situation awareness, how to fall, how to hit, etc. (Yes people need to learn how to fall to avoid injury.) and may even go over weapons training including proper handling of firearms.
There is no justification for assault. Nothing can make it ‘ok’ to victimize another person. Do what you need to do to be as safe as possible.