Is it possible that the need to be a man or to be physically stronger in violent situations is overrated?

Have you ever understood why in Bollywood fight scenes the heroines stand and shriek while the heroes thrash the villains? There are times when the gun is right next the heroine but she doesn’t do what even a child would (hide it, use it, push it to the hero, hit the bad guy with it). Are women like this in real life? (If yes, then is it genetic or social conditioning?)

Have you ever been in a violent or dangerous situation – or simply in an uncomfortable situation (street sexual harassment/eve teasing) and found support from other people present there? Were they always men?

What do you think is needed in most violent crimes?

If one goes by the movies (and Gupta Ji i.e Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta), it seems physical strength and fighting skills are necessary, but in real life, dangerous situations often require quick reflexes, presence of mind and of course a calm mind. Why? Because an average criminal is generally nervous and untrained, could hurt if panicked and could in fact be careless if he doesn’t see any men (or anybody who he believes might put up a fight) around.

What is a man expected to do that a woman won’t (or can’t) in such a situation?

During a robbery attempt in Bombay (Jogeshwari, I think) some years ago, a child locked her room from inside and raised an alarm. The robbers escaped but her mother’s life was saved.

In another case in a robbery in Noida (in the 90s) once a mother begged armed robbers to let her two children live – many family members, all other children and men were killed/injured but these two children were spared.

When I was a teenager our house was broken into one night by armed robbers and my 42 kgs, five feet one inch, mausi (then 27) distracted one of the armed robbers (“Marega?! Maar ke dikha!” she asked) just long enough to let me escape and raise alarm. (And still for many years I continued to think that having men around was the only way to stay safe.)

I have blogged about how my making a noise made four army jawans stop harassing a woman passenger in a train. In another case, the boyfriend negotiated with the three men who wanted to rape the girl friend (on a lonely spot) he assured them she was willing to go with them but they mustn’t be violent and the men became careless, then he threw a brick on one of them and the couple managed to escape. He did not and could not possibly have fought with themMasood too blogged about how he once rescued a woman from being raped, he did not use physical strength either.

And now Wendi Murdoch attacked the man who tried to attack her husband, convincing me further that the need to be a man or to be physically stronger in violent situations is overrated. Do you think courage and quick reflexes maybe more important than physical strength? Can people (women mainly) be trained to handle violent crimes by also understanding how an average criminal is an ordinary person, often very nervous and quite unlikely to be trained for crime unlike in the movies?

Do you feel safer only with men around?  What exactly is a man expected to do in such situations that women cannot do? Fight with armed attackers? Is it fair to expect an untrained man to do that?