Here’s a question I have been meaning to share.
Prakhyath asked in an interview: For all these rapists, I believe they are using the girl’s lack of physical strength as an advantage. Don’t you think martial arts/gym and being strong will help them? Do you believe in self-defense kit for girls to fight rape?
My response : I should blog about this. While physical fitness would help in any crime or violent situation, I am not sure if it would protect a woman from a gang of, say eight or ten, or even four violent criminals. It seems, in 90% of sexual assault cases, the rapist is not a stranger, so it might help some women in dealing with those acquaintance rape, where there is only physical force being used and not some other form of coercion (like blackmail or verbal threats).
Martial arts require training, practice and general physical fitness, so how much time should women be expected to devote to keeping themselves safe from sexual assaults?
Also not all sexual assault victims are young adults, there are also the disabled and older women and children, not sure who and how much gym and fitness would help.
I am sure, it could give confidence and could ensure that one is able to escape if and when there is a chance to escape. Being able to jump over a wall or fence, being able to run reasonably fast, being able to drive, being able to use a cell phone, knowing emergency numbers etc should also be equally helpful, I think.
Many who suggest martial arts/self defense training for women may or may not approve of Indian girls playing in the sun, wearing anything but (often difficult to run in) traditional clothing, traveling alone for work or classes, jogging or walking alone, participating in sports (Uterus might slip!) or using cellphone, even eating before their husbands and brothers.
Women are rarely encouraged to be, or to look strong.
“Hers is a body that is so different from the usual physical ideal that is shoved down women’s throats — the slim, uniformly “toned” but not muscular, waifish model body… “[Link]
And yet Patriarchy celebrates acts of violence (like a slap or burning of a motor cycle etc) by women who are protecting that which belongs to Patriarchy – their modesty/honor/chastity. And it also assumes all rape victims are young women being assaulted by strange men.