The Current State of Feminism: Victim-Blaming

I have never been afraid to call myself a feminist. In fact, I thought it was odd that women steered clear of the word with such vehemence. As of late, however, I have been contemplating the word within the context of todayโ€™s cultural and social atmosphere.

The #MeToo Movement has brought upheaval within the nation by bringing to light injustices that many women have experienced. It has also brought about much conversation. There was a good four months where you could not go anywhere or speak to anyone without the topic or a new accusation being discussed.

It was during one of those conversations that a good friend of mine called me a victim-blamer. I was making the point that a great way for women to find strength from this movement is to be proactive in setting boundaries and knowing that you can protect yourself if needed. These are two simple tenants that are discussed in any good martial arts school. I told my friend that if more women clearly stated their boundaries and had the skills to defend themselves, then most likely, many negative situations would be prevented.

I have been practicing martial arts for 5 years, and during that time the above has been instilled within me. I have no issue stating my boundaries, and I know that I have the knowledge and skills to defend myself if a situation were to reach that point.

Jiu jitsu has been used to prevent assault. In 2015, a woman in the UK was able to successfully defend herself with a triangle choke. By no means am I saying that it is fool-proof, but it has the potential to keep many from being harmed. For some reason, however, stating this made me into the type of person that blames women for being assaulted. I find this to be odd because I recognize how traumatic such an experience can be, and that certain situations can pose their unique challenges.

If something can be prevented, however, how is that a negative thing?

In todayโ€™s climate, it seems as though, people remain too steadfast in their own beliefs making any other point automatically negative. For me, setting boundaries and learning self-defense seems like a natural way to keep oneself safe. This was even the topic of the first video I uploaded to my YouTube channel. I also know women who have attended free self-defense classes. Even if a martial arts school is too expensive or simply not your thing, there is still a way to learn these critical skills.

This is something that has been on my mind for a while now, and that I wanted to share to gain some insight from all of you. Have you ever been called a victim-blamer? How do you feel about self-defense or martial arts for prevention?

Best,

TheWritingSol

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8 Comments

  1. I’ve never been called a victim-blamer. That being said though, shouldn’t it be clear that the boundary for sex is “no” unless both people say “yes”?

    In terms of martial arts as self-defense, speaking as someone who did karate for several years, it might work in some situations, but in situations when you’re dealing with a perpetrator who’s strong of body or a martial artist, it might not work. There are also many many people who have physical limitations that keep them from doing martial arts (wheelchair-bound people, among others).

    Like

    1. Regarding boundaries for sex, yes, I agree. There were stories that came out, though, where people were using a lot of body language for communication. Although that is common in such circumstances, sometimes taking the extra step to be clear is necessary.

      That’s the beauty of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, though. It was invented so that a smaller opponent can overcome a bigger, stronger person. There have even been people with disabilities that practiced bjj.

      Like I said, it’s not 100% fool-proof. It’s also not for everybody. I do think, though, that it has the potential to help many.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There are several martial arts that allow a smaller person to defeat a bigger and stronger person. I am not a huge guy but I am pretty atheletic and strong – clearly much bigger and stronger than my wife – but she would definitely take me down in a fight because of her hapkido skills. She has practiced since she was just 6 and I know most women haven’t had that much training but the point is a woman can absolutely defend her self against a strong man by using martial arts.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very well said! I totally agree with you and this is something my wife – as a hapkido teacher – has actually heard many times from feminists: that learning and promoting martial arts as a woman is somehow victim blaiming! It was just baffling to me when I heard it the first time – could hardly believe it. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I find practicing martial arts and, in my experience, Brazilian jiu jitsu to be so empowering. Granted, I hope to never find myself in a situation where I need to use it, but that skill set is there just case. Martial arts are a concrete way to keep oneself safe. It just makes sense. There will always be bad people out there.

      Your wife is a black belt in hapkido? That is amazing and inspiring.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Absolutely! Hopefully and probably you will never have to use your brazilian jiu jisu skills in a โ€œrealโ€ situation. But at least you know that you can defend yourself if you have to! As you say, there are a lot of bad people in the world.
      And yes I can very much imagine how empowering it must be โ€“ especially for a woman! So good for you! ๐Ÿ˜Œ
      Yes she is a black belt in hapkido! She is so amazing at that!

      Liked by 1 person

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