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What is the correct way to hold your car keys in when you are in a parking lot?

Women all know the answer, and we know why we know the answer.

If your first response is "huh?" then thank whatever god you believe in that you don't have to know this.

No cheating - no googling the question or asking a woman.

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Comment Preferences

  •  All women are potentially victims (25+ / 0-)

    of violence at almost all times.   My ex-wife explained it to me more than 30 years ago.  When a male walks down the street, they can be unaware, but a woman always has to be aware of people because women are targeted.  The keys are a potential self defense weapon.  

    Women have to worry about being raped in a way most men do not.  

    It's not right.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 07:10:09 AM PDT

  •  if we make eye contact (36+ / 0-)

    with a man, he may think he is invited in.  if we smile at a man,  he may think he is invited in.  if we are alone on the street,  he may think he is invited in.  if we say no! and try to run,  he may think he is invited in.  if we are dead drunk, passed out,  he may think he is invited in.  if we are alive,  he may think he is invited in and sometimes even if we aren't.

    "I am an old woman, named after my mother. my old man is another child who's grown old." John Prine (not an old woman)

    by art ah zen on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 07:20:34 AM PDT

    •  Not long ago a passed a young woman (6+ / 0-)

      on the side walk , she did the whole I don't see you , no smile , no nod , look straight ahead , you don't exist , thing . Then just a little while later I saw her in the library and she did the very opposite , she acted like she knew me or something . If she fears me , thinks that I might do her harm , and most rape is done by
      http://www.rainn.org/...

      Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.
      73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.
      38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
      28% are an intimate.
      7% are a relative.

      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

      by indycam on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:45:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  duh, INSIDE THE LIBRARY is a protected, (4+ / 0-)

        public place! She may know people who work there, there are at least a lot of people around. She can yell for help if necessary, and/or "you"'d have to be pretty nutso to try anything more drastic than creepy speech in such a public place.

        In other words, because of the location, she felt more safe in approaching/responding to you.

        How can you not tell that this is different from being alone on the street?

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:52:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not quite that safe, 'tho. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ramara

          Back in '85 i had to get between a guy and the highschool kid he was about to attack (she was one of our book-shelvers). it was kind of 2nd nature on my part, i'd had several years of martial arts, and had just a moment before been told he'd been following the kid among the bookstacks whispering what he planned to do to her, and the head librarian (a man) said the kid and the kid's supervisor were exaggerating the refused to do anything about it.  i had just told the chief clerk to pair all the kids up and have them work as a teams, none of them alone, i take one step back to the reference desk, see the guy coming at the girl with, as the expression goes, blood in his eye, obviously having heard the whole conversation.  i stepped back in front of the kid, signalling to my subordinate at the ref desk to make the 911 call.  the guy slammed his reaching arms pretty hard at me, shoulder height, rocked me pretty good, but muscle-memory had kept me in good position and moved my arms to deflect him so he sort of lurched sideways.

          Suddenly all the clerks are there, coming up beside and around us, the guy is literally half surrounded by people staring at him who'll know his face & build & hair etc if they see him again. he turned & ran.  it was glorious!

          but my subordinate (a man) had not phoned 911, he had called the building's parking lot security booth half a block away, that didn't have an outside line. they came on the run and one of them went after the guy and the other grabbed the phone and got 911.  cops interviewed all of us and i agreed to press charges for assault & battery but we didn't have much hope.

          cops get a tip a week or so later, the guy was spotted in the university's co-ed weight room by one of our kids who was a student there.  guy saw he was recognized and left.  but the cops got him just another week later, at one of our branch libraries, following another shelver girl around. turned out he was wanted on multiple rape charges. got convicted & sent to prison.

          i got told by the police training officer who came to talk to the staff that i'd taken the correct actions.  but my boss (male) put a reprimand in my personnel file anyway for "confronting a library patron" and for the complaint from my subordinate (male) that i had told him to call security (false, told him to call 911) instead of making the call myself.

          based on what i've read this past week, matters have NOT improved since 1985.

          there's no kind of place in the world i love more than a library, but please keep your eyes open, watch your blind spots, even when you're there, unless there's lots and lots of people around.  because with the public funding cuts lately, you can't really be sure anyone will be nearby to hear if you have to yell or fight to defend yourself.

          •  How outrageous (0+ / 0-)

            that the men did so much to obstruct attempts to deal with the creep. It does seem positive that the community was made aware of him so he actually did get caught.

            Did you have a chance to appeal the personnel actions taken against you? Confronting a library patron indeed!

            We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

            by ramara on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 12:44:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no, it was the 80s. to answer the question, (0+ / 0-)

              no, i did not have a snowball's chance in hell because that would have threatened too many high-rankers in that civil service system for whom it would profit to prove that NOTHING had actually happened.

              if anything actually HAD, the system would be exposed to massive liability issues, and as a self-insured govt entity, their never having to pay the tab for ANY harm their innumerable negligences caused non-management levels of employees resulted in profit to them: county-wide the supervisory levels and up were heavily favored with a pay structure and all sorts of built-in perqs unavailable to the majority of county employees, the ones below supervisory level.  one well-known ploy as an example: many managers would go on worker's comp for 2 or 3 weeks every couple of years with the connivance of local hired-guy physicians saying they had stress, or had been injured on the job, etc ... the same hired-gun physicians denying on-job injuries of low-status employees and facilitating harassing those employees out of their jobs so all actual injuries ceased to be county resposibility.   the management classes got extra-long vacation or extra vacation on a regular basis, higher pay, etc, because low county self-insurance costs provided tha to them: they were incentivized to make sure no liability landed on the county.

              the way it shook down at that time&place, the librarian with seniority was responsible for all emergency decisions, but the chief clerk had actually gone to my male subordinate first that day ...because he was a MAN... and he'd refused to do anything about the situation. so only then did the chief clerk come to me.  

              i later learned she had reported the situation to our mutual boss (male) several times since the stalking had begun, but he'd trivialized her reports, saying she was hypersensitive due to her own daughter having been raped at knifepoint in a hostage situation a few months previously that had been all over the news.

              after the confrontation, my male subordinate trivialized the incident when interviewed by our boss for the official report, because they were pals.  

              the chief clerk (who, it turned out, had yanked the shelver kid behind herself and added her own not inconsiderable bulk right behind me, 'tho i didn't know it in the time) found her reported invalidated and deleted from the record on grounds of her "hypersensitivity' distorting her perceptive of the incident.

              the chief clerk's earlier sponsorship of the complaints of the kid who'd been the target had already been refused official record, so the kid's complaints never WENT on the record and kid's interview was likewise considered to be unreliable and dismissable as an easily frightened little blonde shrinking from the complimentary attentions of a harmless library patron guilty merely of poor judgement. (he hadn't yet been caught far less connected with existing evidence of his previous crimes, so my boss was in no danger of being contradicted by any other public records at that point).

              other clerks and shelvers (including the males) had seen and informally reported the stalking of the kid (including, I was horrified to learn, that the stalker had been following the kid home in his car, so one of the guys on the kid's shift had been driving her home and had already reported that stalker had followed them!!!) but declined to go on record for fear their job situations would be jeopardized, and the chief clerk had not pushed the issue with her & my mutual boss out of the same fear and of course hope that the guy would just go away.

              so the other clerks' and shelvers' reports AFTER the confrontation were not accepted as valid either.   but the fact that they reported after the fact was made part of the reprimand of me, which said that i had encouraged disruption among the clerical staff which was stated to have impaired service to the public.

              there is nothing simple about how The Establishment de-legitimizes and harms its prey. The temporary head of the library system, my boss's boss, wanted her role made permanent and regarded any problems occurring during her temporary position as jeopardizing her ambitions because there were 3 other librarians in the system with more local seniority and more experience as librarians AND as administrators. Her only real advantage was a quickie MBA she'd gotten a couple years before this stalker/rapist event.

              none of the better qualified administrative librarians wanted to have to supervise HER during the period while the county was doing the application search & eval process, and apparently they figured SHE would sabotage herself in the temporary head job, so none of them had put their names in for the temp top dog postion.  their existing job descriptions were not really very affected by her having it, the temporary head powers were kind of limited.

              so SHE was highly motivated to have NOTHING HAPPEN on her watch that would cost the county management classes any of their perqs because that would have cost HER the permanent top dog position.  

              as it happens, her drive to be top dog had not included learning any better diplomacy around her peers OR the major powers in the county than toward the non-management employees.  the county hired someone else from out of town to head the system, (a nice irony against HER rise from outside that she probably didn't appreciate), and apparently that search process included two dozen letters mostly by quite powerful local individuals expressing very negative attitudes about her.  according to the clerks in her office, she then hand-typed, sealed and dispatched a bunch of intra-county correspondence they got no peek of, and then she walked out of the building. a couple weeks later the county was hit with a disability claim from her that job stress had made her permanently incapable of gainful employment.  

              in jig time, the county offered her $20,000 per year for life as a "disability settlement" in exchange for her dropping the suit.  she accepted and moved back to the city she'd come from where, as delightful luck would have it, the realtor selling her a new home there was a cousin of one of our librarians, who reported that this supposedly permanently disabled woman secured her mortgage on the basis of a fulltime management librarian job in her home city.

              nevertheless, our county apparently didn't try to break the lifetime disability settlement agreement.  i suppose that would have sent a message to local management classes that management doesn't take care of its own, and that credo was the foundational rock upon which their entire game was based.

              see how it works? among humans, PREDATION NEVER OCCURS IN A VACUUM. there's always a context, even if the context is that no one steps up to hinder the predators because they've got more to gain by letting the predators get their prey.

  •  I have always said (25+ / 0-)

    that for a man to understand how vulnerable a woman must feel they should imagine what it would be like if they had to walk around wherever they go with a $5000 bill pinned to their shirt. They would then know that at anytime they might encounter a person who is willing to do whatever to get the money for himself. You would then know how alert a woman has to be for the ever-present threat of rape (or even worse for that matter).

    Having said that, I am not really sure of what would be the best way to hold the keys, although I understand they can be used as a weapon.

    "PLEASE STOP EATING ANIMALS" Fourth Grader's Crayon Poster.

    by Pirogue on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 07:31:59 AM PDT

    •  You thread the keys between the fingers, with (31+ / 0-)

      the round ring against the palm of your hand. That provides support if you need to punch with the key points.

      I was taught this in my teens by a friend of my parents who had been OSS in WWII, the spring before I lived on my own in NYC so that I could volunteer as a teacher.



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 07:40:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly, and the next key you need to use should (26+ / 0-)

        be sticking out between your thumb and forefinger so you can get into your car or apartment faster.

        •  many modern keys have large "heads" that (4+ / 0-)

          might provide sufficient back-up inside the hand.

          Not very many people carry their keys on an actual "ring" these days, I think.

          And my DH, who was involved in women's self-defense classes in the past, has a opinion that if you have the right manicure, a slicing sweep with fingers straight out may be pretty discouraging, too!

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 03:56:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  PRACTICE is important too. (6+ / 0-)

            both physical practice and mental visualization will help you actually DO whatever you have planned for the emergency.

            Only about 30% will be able to ACT if they haven't also PRACTICED! (not-acting includes letting yourself get maneuvered into a position you can't get out of)

            related, The Gift of Fear, by security professional Gavin deBecker, is a very important book. Find it and read it, you'll not regret it!

            "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

            by chimene on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 04:05:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  YES! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ramara, RosyFinch, chimene

              take martial arts or self defense classes.  take your sisters & daughters & nieces along, and take your elders and disableds to cane-fighting classes.

              even if you never have to use the skills, it's great exercise, and the sense of solid self you get from it probably shows in how you move wherever you go.  i took my first class ever at the end of highschool (1965, hard to find one that would let in a girl in back then) to stop my older brother battering me - he'd been doing it since i was about kindergarten age. (parents a bit over-focused on saving the world, couldn't see what was going on at home, i guess). very first class session i was taught a technique how to disengage a hand grabbing your wrist or forearm, exactly the skill i needed.  next time my brother tried to grab & twist my arm behind my back to slam me against the wall, i hurt him just bad enough disengaging that he never touched me again.  never.

              next class was 9 years later, the university gave all female late-shift workers free self-defense classes because of attacks and rapes on campus.  i studied karate with that teacher as often as i could afford over the next 3 years.  it depended a lot on whether the jobs i had paid enough to cover class fees and whether i could swap shifts to be able to go when class was in session.   bunch of years later i studied tai chi, picked it up very easily, got hired to teach it when the instructor moved out of town. at one point i had some serious martial arts students taking the class to develop grace or smoothness or something like that.  

              i got my nose cracked (not broken, just cracks in the cartilege) 3 times and my glasses broken once in karate class, i never even won a colored belt, and i never learned to kiyai worth heck (that yell you do just before you strike that distracts/confuses the adversary), but i found that even 'tho i paid a lot more attention to everything around me wherever i was as a result of that class, i was less worried, less tense.  and on the one time something happened that i needed to defend someone else, apparently what i learned had stuck, and i automatically did what was needed.

              the sense of freedom inside, of strength, of being able to hum while walking with that fistful of keys cheerfully jingling in your hand, is worth the money & the driving to class after a whole day of work, it's worth the nights of no television or no dinner out with friends, worth sweating a lather, worth having to buy the martial arts garb and having to add it to the weekly laundry, worth the relatives or friends or coworkers who hear about the classes and sneer or make derogatory jokes or tell you you're too scared, the world isn't that bad.  fact is, they're just whistling in the dark, because the world really can be.

              it's worth it. go to only a well-recommended-class/instructor for-women (and for girls, & hopefully even that cane-fighting class for the elders & disabled, because the attack rate for them is truely appalling too), but do look for that class and do go.  it's worth it. it helps.

  •  And another question.... (16+ / 0-)

    Why are those with daughters always joking about locking them up when they reach dating age?  Or buying a shot gun?  Or having a nice long chat with their first date?  What are y'all worried about?  

  •  And don't assume that a woman (10+ / 0-)

    is safe if your office / building / mall offers escort service to her car. She can be walking right next to the rapist and not know it.

    We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

    by Vita Brevis on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:08:49 AM PDT

  •  I've had this conversation with my wife (14+ / 0-)

    Quite a while ago in fact.  I knew the answer and I wanted to be sure that she did too.  Then I am not one of the ones who thinks women are exaggerating.

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:12:47 AM PDT

  •  my god, it is (12+ / 0-)

    so sad that we all know this.  just as sad as the warnings we give our black children, especially boys, about how to behave in the face of authority.  

    i want to stop teaching defense, fear, submission in the face of this terror by a small percentage of the population and instead teach empowerment, courage, refusal to be cowed.  the majority of us are natural allies against this cultural enemy and yet we let them subjugate and divide us.  i wish i had an answer or at least a suggestion.  

    "I am an old woman, named after my mother. my old man is another child who's grown old." John Prine (not an old woman)

    by art ah zen on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:18:07 AM PDT

  •  i've seen it all my life (9+ / 0-)

    and in myself at times. it's one of the reasons i don't like going to eat with co-workers. they always want to go to hooters or something. there are more bald heads there than boobs but that doesn't stop them.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:00:02 AM PDT

  •  This is not going to help you (6+ / 0-)

    There is a lot that can be said about this thread but I want to just dispel one myth.

    Holding your keys in your hand so that the key points out from between your fingers *is not *  , in my somewhat experienced and moderately expert opinion, and walking that way, a good self defense technique.

    I say moderately experienced and somewhat expert because I have studied martial arts for over 20 years and teach Karate off an on. I won't bill myself as an "expert" on women's self defense, but on the whole, I am very skeptical of these classes.

    *IF, and I say **if* you are lucky enough to be able to jab the sharp point of the key into an eye, you might dissuade a determined attacker. Now think, it is late at night, you are tired, and someone surprises you in the parking lot as you are walking with your key poised to use as a weapon.

    What are the chances you will be able to quickly, decisively and accurately jab this key into an eye and run?

    I have to think this worked for someone, somewhere sometime, or it would not persist.

    For self defense I like:

    1. Awareness of surroundings-what are the dangers and what are your exits;
    2. Cell phones set to 911 or a local emergency number
    3. Wearing flats
    4. Keys ready to open your car (if you are fortunate enough to have the newer remote keys, all the better);
    5. Awareness of distance between you and possible attackers;
    6. Be willing to be rude-be willing to be very, very rude if necessary

    When all else fails, I favor learning a few simple basic strikes. I like elbows for women because with the proper body mechanics a considerabel degree of force can be used. I like a couple of very simple break aways.

    I don't like the idea of taking an opponent to the ground-unless you are Rhonda Rousey or you have studied jiu jitsu for 20 years.

    btw: I do agree that the reality is that women need to be more aware than men and that women are more likely to be attacked than men.

    Even so, men may often assume they are safe, when they may not be.

    In the end, as someone pointed out, stranger attacks out of the blue-though not impossible and they are occurrences-are actually fairly uncommon. Most assaults of any kind, whoever it is against, are from "friends" and acquaintances.

    Thanks for letting me vent spleen a bit here. There are a lot of dangerous myths about self defense and the problem with these myths is that they lull people into a false sense of security.

    Grasping that key tightly may make you *feel* more secure. I am dubious that it does.

    •  Excellent advice! (6+ / 0-)

      If I may add to that...

      If you are confronted and you have something in your hand, anything at all, throw it towards their eyes and run away towards light and people, any people; the more the better.  People automatically protect their eyes and if they are covering their eyes, they cannot be reaching out to grab you.  

      If you know the attacker's name, scream it loudly while you are running away.  No one may hear it but the attacker will take time to think twice before continuing the chase.  These attackers are cowards and they strike only when they think they have no chance of getting caught.

      If you are grabbed and he tries to take you somewhere, go limp, like jelly.  It is very difficult to move a limp body. He may drag you and it may hurt but he has much worse in store for you if he can get you somewhere isolated.  Be prepared to use a burst of energy all at once and the first sign of inattention or a loosened grip.  Above all, fight!  Do not let them get you away from an area with people.  Attackers fear attention of any kind but when given isolation and a powerless victim, they revel in their power.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:37:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A jab to the chest (0+ / 0-)

      with a key could knock the wind out of an assailant.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 12:40:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nzanne, Piren, churchylafemme, ramara

        A jab to the chest with a key *might* (or it might not) cause pain or discomfort. The likelihood is you will hurt your own hand or puncture or cut your own hand and do minor (if any at all) to the attacker. Overall, striking to the chest is a poor target, especially against an opponent with good upper body strength. Basically, you are punching somebody in the pectoralis major.

        Now, locate your diaphragm. It is the point in between your two rib cages, about a quarter inch below where they come together. Press in on your diaphragm. That is the point where a well timed, focused, on target punch will knock the wind out of somebody.

        A key just is not a good weapon.

        The only time to hit someone in the chest is when you are doing CPR.

        •  a single key is indeed virtually pointless, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Buckeye Nut Schell

          (pun half intended), but a fistful of doorkey, office key, car key, churchkey (i needed it because my car constantly leaked oil, others can have it for whatever reason), key of friend's apt in case she lost hers, etc, i had a solid fistful as reinforcing as a roll of nickels, and we were taught in self-defense class that it's not for punching, that will only drive the heads of the keys into the palm, it's for making awkward approximate strikes rake the skin of the attackers's face or throat, hopefully nose and across the eyes if that jingling metal sound doesn't decide him this is no easy target, don't even try.

          that being said, in all the years i worked late shifts and walked to my car or to the bus with that fistful of jingling keys, wearing SNEAKERS or 'cowboy' boots for chrissakes, NOT girly shoes late at night, are you kidding me?? ... anyway, not once did a man ever come near me with any of the body tension that looks like trouble.  and we were taught to look everyone in the eye so we could identify anyone who tried anything and they'd know it.  

          the one time i had to fight off a boyfriend (who put a "bearhug" on me from behind me solely because his 2 roommates were razzing him that his girlfriend took karate classes, and like a fool he feel for it, you can imagine how much longer that relationship did not last) i didn't have keys, i just shifted my weight sideways and sagged so i had free position to smack the back of my forearm into his crotch (he had a grip around my upper arms as well as body but the elbow joint was free to flex so the arm could snap open), and suddenly it was a very quiet room and i was nobody's prisoner.

          maybe a lot of things start small and the guy discovers that he "can" because the woman doesn't know how to cope?  i don't know how much it's an attack of opportunity compared to having the intention and heading out into the street to find just anyone, but having at least some practice and preparedness gives a better chance of stopping opportunism before it's too late.

    •  All that is good advice, except... (7+ / 0-)

      ...that it's not necessary to strike the eyes to be effective. I would try for the throat, a larger target, and quite vulnerable. Slashing the keys across the face can work, too.

      The most important thing is to practice. Learning a handful of strikes and some breakaways as you suggest and being able to use them effectively requires that a person practice them at least a few times a month until they are completely second nature.

      Some of the techniques taught should include what to do if you're thrown to the ground. That's where many of the attacked give up.

      I have always been of the view that girls should all be taught effective self-defense techniques starting very young. I wish  we lived in a world where they don't need to.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 05:26:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  YES, ABSOLUTELY! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Buckeye Nut Schell

        I can't possibly be the only woman who found herself and someone else made safer because she'd learned some effective things to do!  There were other women in most of the classes I took.  They kept coming back and we enjoyed the classes!  It wasn't all grim and dark, at all.  We were TOGETHER and we helped each other learn!  PLEASE try!

        •  The biggest thing martial arts does is... (0+ / 0-)

          teach someone not to be afraid.  Fear immobilizes people at a time they need to be thinking clearly.  

          I was a bartender/bouncer for many years.  I watched people physically stronger and more sober get their asses handed to them because they were afraid and their first evasive action was to cower and cover their faces rather than fight back.  Fear is they greatest enemy at a time like that.

          As I said upthread, people who attack women in the dark are cowards.  They prey on what they perceive to be the defensless.  Having the confidence and the courage to fight back is half the battle.  Having the calm, wherewithal to wait for the opportune moment to get the advantage is priceless.  An attacker will not usually come up from behind and grab you.  It is more likely to a.) come up behind you and try to knock you out with one punch (which doesn't really ever happen like on TV but it does hurt really bad) or b.) try to strike up a conversation and then grab you from the front.  If the first scenerio happens, stay limp until you see an opportune moment.  Do not let them know you are conscious until you are ready to attack and flee screaming your head off.  

          If the second occurs, divert his attention up with a head butt, spit in his face or anything to open up his groin for an attack.  You need to attack, attack, attack repeatedly and coordinate between high and low over and over again until you can break fre screaming as loud as possible until you can break free and start running.  If the person has a weapon, be passive long enough to wait for an opening to run but whatever you do, do not get into a vehicle with him... even if that means getting stabbed.  You have a better chance of surviving a stab wound on the street where others are around than in an isolated area which is where you are about to be taken.

          Tell yourself that there will be time to be scared later.  It is critical that you stay calm and rational throughout the ordeal.  Remember that attention is your friend and your attackers biggest fear and the last thing you want to do is give him control of the environment by letting him take you somewhere else.

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 02:24:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the bloodcurdling bellow (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Buckeye Nut Schell

            of martial arts is said by some to offer the additional advantage --besides usefully distracting the attacker & possibly bringing helpful people to come running-- of kicking oxygenation & adrenalin into gear so you fuel up instantly to be able to fight back.  opinions probably vary.

            sorry i couldn't get back sooner to rec your comment. one added point i wanted to make about martial arts that's also true about contact sports - sheer impact, even minor, is something a lot of girls and women are so unaccustomed to that it can itself be an immobilizing shock.  by learning first to how fall without getting hurt, how kick and punch and how to block, you get used to physical impact in a positive way.  there's tremendous power in discovering that you can take a hit and STILL be effective for yourself.

            i should possibly admit that before even my first martial arts class i had already been in dance performance since about age 8 (and later teaching & choreography) which was a great aid to learning martial arts, so parents who sent their girls to years of ballet can be assured it's NOT antithetical to martial arts, and women who took ballet as kids - you have some learning advantage too.

            •  Great points as well... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mettle fatigue

              I took a yoga class once (once!) with a ballet dancer for an instructor and let me tell you, that guy was amazing.  His muscle control and the things he could do wore me out.  I just took the class because I thought it was a good way to meet hot chicks.  I was big and strong and thought it would be a walk in the park.  I was WRONG!

              Learning that taking a punch is not the end of the world is really important, as you said.  I have hit people so hard that their heads hit the pavement with what I thought was a crushing force and they still got up.  I have never knocked someone out (put a guy in the hospital once but I didn't knock him out).  It is not like the movies where a little bity punch from a little girl knocks a guy out and he stays there for the rest of the scene.  I have also been hit so hard, blood flying, that you would think an average person would be knocked out and all it did was make me really mad.  Your body can take a lot.  That is also why I do not advocate a woman tryng to fight unless it is truly necessary.  Running, surprise attacks and going limp seem to be the best options because a lot of women think they will just kick a guy in the groin and run.  Guys are very adept at protecting their groin (that's why you throw something at their eyes before you try) and even IF you connect squarely, unless it just surprises the hell out of them, they may very well shake it off and come at you even harder.  Strike and run or strike, strike, strike and run are the best.  Once you start attacking, continue over and over again until the grip is released or the path is clear and then run.  Alternate attacking from different directions (head, groin,torso, head, torso, etc...).  Use anything you can, go crazy, screaming, flailing biting, whatever.  I have seen too much, been in too much and have dealt with the aftermath too often.  I watched a girl pick up an old telephone receiver and bash a drugged up would be attacker's head several times before I could get to the guy and restrain him.  She went nuts on him and it completely took him by surprise.  Unfortunately, that was the exception, not the norm.

              Staying focused on getting away, drawing attention and thinking clearly, waiting for the opportunity to either fight or escape are all predicated on not being afraid.  Having been hit before and getting back up helps with that control.  Being more afraid of allowing that person to take you somewhere as opposed to just getting hit is a major part of that clear focus.  

              It is great that you took the time to learn self defense and you have the confidence to use it and a plan if you ever need it.  It is just terrible though that the world is such that you have to have this knowledge to feel safe.  It really shouldn't be this way.

              "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

              by Buckeye Nut Schell on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 07:52:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  can't say i agree on every pt & recommendation, (2+ / 0-)

                but my own experiences are not typical so i wouldn't consider my own recommendations to rank above what an actual self-defense class teaches other women to be able to do.

                No, it isn't actually "great" that "i took the time" to learn self defense & martials: i first studied it in late high school to get my vicious older brother to stop the battering he'd been inflicting since i was about kindergarten age.  it had started small & our parents had not understood the consequences of inattention and dismissive disbelief. I guess they were too busy saving the world for everyone else's children.  

                girls were very unusual in martial arts at the time (1960s) but the teacher was a very decent guy and immediately taught me a grip-disengage, by which i hurt my brother so badly the next time he tried to twist my arm behind my back in order to slam against the wall that he never touched me again.  

                but by then he had already been preying emotionally and financially on our parents (and at times on other relatives) for several years, and my self-defense had no effect on that.  

                in that era, the SHAME of having a parasitic son was impossible to face, i guess.  that's how dirty little family secrets facilitate predators and predation.

                I lived my entire life with the physical damages insidiously worsening, but again, my professional dance experience helped because DANCE IS A CONTACT SPORT and dancing despite pain is the routine, not the exception. besides, i had a living to earn. when the opportunity to study martial arts again came 10 years later, i was glad to take that opportunity and develop better skills.

                but when my father died, the monster's predations upon mom's resources accelerated, just as his battering me had accelerated in youth when he found he could hoodwink his parents and get away with it.  

                sadly, mom had that common obsession with The Son as Wonderful (slacker sons are faaarrr more common than slacker daughters, fairly obviously why), and she kept trying to manipulate and cajole him into being a respectable adult.  a week after she told me on the phone to find her a lawyer to remove the monster from her home, she fell inexplicably ill, and a week later she died.

                coincidence?  i doubt it.

                one of the reasons I don't have a gun (i've had 2 boyfriends who actually gave me gun gifts but i refused to accept) is because if the monster showed up i'd use it.  without hesitation.   but i'd rather kneecap him with my baseball bat (or stab him with my secaturs) and then call 911 and let the authorities deal with him than me have to go through ANY further trouble because of his monstrousness.

                and too many of the women who have spoken up here have gone 'thru far worse and seen their mothers and sisters and daughters go 'thru far worse.

                so i'd like to ask that rather than tell them in words what they ought to do to defend themselves when what they really needs is classes and practice ---there IS NO SUCH THING AS DEVELOPING A GENUINE SKILL WITHOUT EFFECTIVE TEACHING AND PRACTICE, please volunteer like meteor blades did, and be the man in padding who goes to get the stuffing kicked out of him week after week, month after month, while a fully credentialed teacher teaches in real-space, so the girls and women in your community become free, and freedom spreads to us all.

                •  I am sorry for what you went through... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mettle fatigue

                  I had one of those monster (step) brothers as well.

                  Your points are well taken.  I should do more to help teach young ladies self defense.  The fact that I was more of a brawler as opposed to a technical fighter has both pros and cons.  I feel I understand more what really happens out there, more than most but at the same time it is difficult for me to put that into a lesson.  

                  However, that is not an excuse.  One of the things I admire about Meteor Blades and so many others on this site is that they are do-ers as opposed to philosophers like myself.  I talk and think about a lot of things but I do very little of them any more.  It is a flaw in my character that I know I need to do something about (ironically enough).

                  Thank you for the conversation.  I appreciate what you have told me.

                  "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

                  by Buckeye Nut Schell on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 06:20:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  "self defence" ideas that worked (0+ / 0-)

      My mother worked for the Rape Crisis Network in our town, and had some great stories about women who got away from their attackers by having their wits about them. I would like to relate a few as ideas to keep in the back of your head if you ever need them, and to pass along to others just in case.

      The first is more about how not to appear as a victim. I don’t remember the details of the study, but there was one of men in prison. They were shown films of people walking down the street, and then asked who they would choose for their victims, and they all chose the same people. It had to do with body language, how alert they looked, how they held themselves.

      People who looked down, had slumped shoulders, who wouldn’t make eye contact, were chosen over and over. Those who walked with confidence and head held high were not. This is another place where martial arts training can be useful. If you know how to take care of yourself, it will show, and you are less likely to ever need that training.

      As far as I remember, this included male targets for mugging, not just females for attacking. For ‘stranger attacks’ of all sorts, the attackers are looking for people whose body language says victim. This is probably also why a disproportionate number of stranger rapes happens to women having their periods. We don’t feel well and already feel victimized by our own bodies, thus look like victims to predators.

      Other things that worked when a situation started looking bad:
      One woman dropped to her hands and knees and started barking like a dog. Not sexy at all, and very effective. The guy ran off.

      Another stuck her finger down her throat and barfed on the guy. Ditto.

      One woman came back from doing laundry in an apartment complex to find a man in her apartment. She thought very quickly, and said, “Oh, I didn’t know Annie had company. I’ll come back later,” and went next door to call 911. The guy was still waiting for “Annie” when the cops got there.

      One woman was being followed on a dark, lonely street. She turned to the guy and said, “Oh, I am so glad you are here. I hate walking alone, don’t you?” She marched him down the street talking a mile a minute until they reached a well lit and crowded area, then thanked him for his escort and walked off, leaving him totally bemused.

      In a similar case, a woman being heavily pressured and cornered in the yard at a party said, “Of course I will go home with you. Just let me get my coat.” He let her go inside, where she promptly told others what was going on.

      Mom taught young women in her classes to yell. Not scream in fear, but yell in rage, “NO! I SAID NO!!!” People looking for easy victims are mostly bullies, and they want EASY victims. Studies have shown that if an attacker is planning on beating or killing someone, they are already looking for excuses and will likely do so if you fight back or not, and in most cases, resistance and fighting back is more likely to get you out of the situation than going along with it.

      All that said, if you are in fear for your life, do whatever it takes to survive. It is the attackers fault, not the victim’s, and whatever you have to do to stay alive is the right thing to do, and don’t EVER let anyone tell you otherwise.

  •  Kubaton is better (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kj in missouri, ramara

    Amazon sells them. They make good gifts,

    http://www.amazon.com/...

    Cat head key chain. They come in Pink,

    http://www.amazon.com/...

    You Tube has videos. Men should carry them too. They cause significant  pain without too much damage.

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 12:49:34 PM PDT

    •  That looks like it needs too strong a grip to stay (0+ / 0-)

      in a woman's hand. The key rings/chains my karate instructor advised were loops that fit like brass knuckles. Mine's a curlystretchy thing like a short length of old-fashined telephone handset cord with all the keys on the metal ring that connects the ends to make a circle. The churchkey (can opener, for the car's oil actually) length was across the width of my palm for stability, the other keys hanging out a few at each side of my palm and one between index and middle finger.  but that's just the way my teacher taught it.

  •  I helped teach women (mostly) self defense... (3+ / 0-)

    ...decades ago, each of us wearing lots of padding so the trainees could hit us hard the way a person must hit when defending herself. One of the first things we taught was being aware on the street and carrying keys in such a way that they can be used as protection.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 05:13:49 PM PDT

    •  And we learned (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mettle fatigue

      at least the car key part.

      Recently I read or heard something about such a class in which the women, when encouraged to give it everything they could, let loose with so much rage it was hard to get them to stop.

      We need a world in which we ask "What's happened to you?" more and "What's wrong with you?" less. (From a comment by Kossack nerafinator)

      by ramara on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:40:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Catharsis. Altho' after that (0+ / 0-)

        it's worth practicing learning to keep control of yourself and do precisely what you have to and then GET CLEAR.  Because you don't know who may come running if they hear a fight going on. Once you've disabled the adversary, get clear! Safety comes first, emotions second.

      •  Sometimes, that happened. But I found the... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ramara

        ...most difficult to get most women to do (for the first couple of our five-Saturday self-defense program) was to hit hard. I think most girls (at that time at least, the mid-'70s) got socialized not to hit, not to hurt someone. Overall, we should all get that. But when the time comes to defend yourself, if you can't get away or talk your way out of the situation, hitting becomes the last resort and it can't be gentle and achieve its objective.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 06:47:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  man who volunteers to get the stuffing kicked out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ramara

      of his 'gear' by a roomful of angry women week after week is one damn committed feminist and humanist!  more power to'em! my gratitude to you and your compadres for your courage, persistence, & getting up off the floor again and again.

  •  Never thought about the keys (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mettle fatigue, ramara

    It never occurred to me that guys weren't doing the same thing with their keys. It's such a natural part of my life.

    Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. - Ta-Nehisi Coates

    by moviemeister76 on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 11:26:00 PM PDT

  •  share small house/apt building with 5 other apts. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akadjian, mettle fatigue, ramara

    2 on each floor. We are in a mixed income city neighborhood.

    I'm on first floor and home a lot (currently disabled). My cross the hall neighbor is a youngish guy who usually stays with his girlfriend. Everyone else in the building are young couples, the young men ranging from quite fit and active to a triathlete.

    Some absent minded person has been leaving our back door to our house (so 8 feet from our 1st floor back doors) propped wide open. I couldn't sleep the other night so found it wide open at 2am. It had been likely open all night. This is the 3rd time in 2 weeks I found it like this.

    I know who was home this weekend and who was not. I can't help thinking that it is one of the young guys who would do this. I am almost positive it wasn't intentional, "just" forgetful-they prop it open for convenience and forget. Clearly they feel safe if some random person--which we know would likely be a man-decided to walk thorough the wide open door to see if he could easily get into an apartment. Wide open porch door on the 1st floor being, basically, a virtual invitation.

    Heck, none of them are on the first floor-so the are much more safe than us. And of course being youngish and male the feel safe or safer than I because they rationalize that they could fight of whoever broke in. Their spouses/girlfriends feel safe/safer since they are protected.

    I resent this male privilege. They don't feel threatened by an open door so it is easy to 'make a mistake". THeir own agenda is the focus.

    Someone asked me "are you sure You didn't leave it open". Yes, I am damn sure. Because 1) I am particular attune to possibility of a break in as a disabled person who couldn't fight or run 2) I am on the first floor so am more likely to be the one broken into 3) Police told me the apartment back doors are flimsy so our main defense is the door they are leaving open and I believe it 4) I am only one who lived here when other appt on first floor was broken into from back porch, so that security there is on my radar more. 5) I'm a consciencious neighbor, the sort who picks up the trash I  find on our walk rather than walking around it like it seems the majority of our house does 5) I am less overbooked than most people so don't tend to be absent minded. 6) I purposely keep my apartment door wide open when I have back porch door open. So automatically it is harder to forget to shut the porch door. 7) I did not go on the back porch this past weekend

    And the #1 reason we know it is not me who leaves the back porch door open? I am a woman so don't bask in the male privilege of feeling safe, and don't inflict my actions based on that onto all of my neighbors, leaving their safety threatened.

    And why would I live on the first floor as a woman in this neighborhood? Because it is safe enough and the windows are barred. It is not safe with a wide open back door.

    Bet they wouldn't do it if it were a house they owned in this neighborhood.

    •  Everything you sed makes solid sense! (0+ / 0-)

      Any chance the landlord could put some kind of spring-loaded closing mechanism on that door? And send notices around that leaving it propped open is a security violation?  but if the rest are young men, they don't "get" it.

      Stronger doors for your own apartment, maybe, and deep-set deadbolts?  'tho i know those things can be so expensive to make happen.  my 2 doors I semi-booby-trap every night, 'tho I know it's only enough to make noise enough & obstruct so i have time to call 911 and grab one of the sharp gardening tools or baseball bats I keep around... the booby traps are my spare wheelchair sideward to the door that's opposite the end of the fairly close couch, and my tai chi practice mirrors leaning against the other door so they'd make a hell of a lot of noise falling against my metal typing stand next to the desk.

      if the friend who had to call an ambulance for me in an emergency situation last year hadn't known to keep thumping the wheelchair door to gradually shift the wheelchair and eventually reach in to wheel it bit by bit out of the way (we had practiced this once) he said he didn't think he would have known what the hell to do to let the ambulance crew in.  Ironically, it turned out the hallway was built too narrow for their standard gurney so they ended up getting me to the ambulance mostly by my own wheelchair.  AT least the situation demonstrated that impedence has its uses even if perfect obstruction isn't possible.

      •  thanks for comment (0+ / 0-)

        It sounds like you know where I"m coming from. Glad you ahd a friend and the amazing foresight to practice getting in with him. I think a booby trap is in order. Thing is, the door is close enough to my bedroom and I"m such a light sleeper I'd probably hear someone even jiggling the doorknob. If they kick the door in, which is the fear, if I'm home I'd know. I sleep with my cell next to my bed but think I will program 911 as a speed dial in case.

        Landlord  has made clear that he does not, ever, get involved with the people in the house. He would blame the complainer (me) for any problem as he wants to put minimal effort into running the properties. He owns a lot of buildings and views the good tenant as the person who calls him the least or not at all. He's made that entirely clear. And since he has the position of power and keeps our rents low, which I need severely not able to work (disability) much and cannot afford to move, I can't ask him for things like this. I have pushed the envelope as it is. He thought it was weird when I moved in for example, to ask him to change the lock on the front door. He said no one else asks him that. The people in my building are young and maybe feel overly safe- changing locks is common and obvious overall. It's just he doesnt' experience it as much it seems. He thinks I'm demanding. I'm the one who calls if there is a problem in the common areas.

        I do need stronger doors to my apartment. The locks are numerous and more than adequate-the police said the door could easily be kicked in no matter what the locks.

        Not allowed to make modifications myself, asking for something like a new door is way out of my landlords comfort zone.

        I do have one of those door nob braces-basically a pole that goes from floor to door handle. I may start using it.

        •  whatever makes you safer, inc'g re:landlord, (0+ / 0-)

          i hope you can do. i am disabled too. most of my landlords have been like that too, even when they're violating local jurisdictional code for rented residences.  there's never enough staffing of building code offices to deal with a tenth of the health and safety violations.

          yes i am very fortunate to have 1 good friend.  no other friends, no family who would lift a finger even if i were in desperate need, & my next-of-kind is an extremely dangerous person responsible for my mother's death.  the single thing i hate most about being disabled is that everything i did to try to keep her safe was not enough.

          Itzel Alert Network is a dk group you might want to look into.  i admire tremendously how they care about each other in a concrete way.

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