2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Interesting Article on Damsel in Defense

http://jezebel.com/5949040/damsel-in-defense-for-the-woman-looking-for-a-feminine-way-to-defend-herself

“Sure, Damsel in Defense’s mission — equipping, empower, educate — is well-intentioned, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make money. But pink pepper spray and other products that are marketed in a way that clearly implies women can only ever feel comfortable protecting themselves if their self-defense is accompanied by ditzy copy won’t cut down on gender violence.”

-Katie J.M. Baker

+1, and I loved the comment section as well.  Gosh it’s been two years now since I started the blog, one since I had to share my name with this company…I wish I could just change the name and move on but I want to leave my content here to help women. *shrug*

On another note I’ve been writing other projects because coming here gives me a bad vibe and reminds me of unpleasant things, so I’m happy to say I’ll have links to new stuff for you soon.

Great Kid Friendly Movie Rating Site

Hi,

Just wanted to mention a site I like,

http://www.kids-in-mind.com/

I think it’s a valuable tool for any damsel in defense.  Since I’ve been talking about children a lot, I remembered this is a great site to go to if you want to protect your children mentally as well.  It breaks down everything in the movie, by profanity, sexuality, and violence, and rates each on a scale.  Spoiler alert.

I’m glad I pepper sprayed myself in the face.

So about 7 years back, long before the damsel in defense blog was born, I came home to my college apartment with a huge case of pepper spray I’d gotten off of ebay.  I planned to give one out to each of the girls in my complex.  Then, because I’m a self defense weirdo, I decided that if I was going to give these to the girls, I should probably make sure it works.  I went outside with it, and meant to spray it down into a corner, but the wind had other ideas.  It hit me full in the face..

And you know what?  I’m glad it did because knowing exactly how someone who is pepper sprayed would feel really gives me insight into how and whether to use it.  It taught me respect for properly and conscientiously using and storing it.

Speaking of which, one of my brother’s friends left a keychain (disguised) pepper spray on my mom’s desk once.  I was holding my niece and saw mom shoot out of the den coughing.  As she passed me, she told me to get the phone.  I assume she’d been having a coughing fit and didn’t think anything of going in.  I had the baby turned into my shoulder, luckily, because what had happened is my mom had thought it was perfume and sprayed it, causing a cloud to rise around the phone.  I immediately tucked the baby’s head into my shirt, and ran out coughing and bleary eyed.  I knew exactly what had happened because it wasn’t the first time.

We all know about gun safety, and you wouldn’t leave a gun lying around for a stranger or infant to pick up.  It’s the same with pepper spray or any other self defense tool.  If you own it, you are responsible for it, for keeping it on your person and secure, away from little eyes or hands, and heaven forbid you leave it with a stranger.

It’s nice for some women that defense items have gotten a lot cuter, pink, and can be disguised as lipsticks or perfume.  But on the other hand, they don’t have the same obvious weapon look to them and could harm other women (Especially the perfume ones) and children who might think they are toys.

Bottom line, no matter how cute it is, it’s a weapon and deserves respect.  In fact, the less it looks like a weapon, the more careful you have to be to never let it out of your hands.

Disclaimer: I’m not suggesting you pepperspray yourself in the face.  This is just my experience and opinion, and hopefully you can learn from my experience and never experience it yourself.  I’m not responsible for anything you do or don’t do.

Your Own Knight in Shining Armor

We all know the fairy tale.  How it’s supposed to happen.  Since we were old enough to be plunked in front of a television we’ve known that women don’t save themselves; they are saved by a prince.

I see the effect of this mindset all around me.  Women jogging at night alone in an area where there was a recent rape, women who won’t carry mace or learn self defense or learn about guns because either:

A: It won’t happen to me, or

B: Someone will save me, obviously

If you want to believe in a fairy tale, that’s fine.  But this blog is about being a damsel in defense, not a damsel in distress.  Daydream all you want about the day your prince rides up on his horse to wake you, or the day your bad boy hero beats up a gang of thugs, or the day you are rescued by the pirate king.  But please ladies, I’m begging you, don’t let that interfere with your responsibility to keep yourself safe.

The rescue fantasy is pervasive and popular, look at the Twilight series for example.  There’s no sex in the first three, but women adore them.  Why? Because Edward ALWAYS saves her.  In fact, he uses his mind reading abilities and his super human strength to do this.

Ladies this should be a wake-up call.  Normal men do not read minds.  Normal men are human.  Even if you have one that cares about you and loves you, how is he going to always be there?

“Okay”, you say, “you have a good point, I don’t expect to be rescued magically”.  Then I ask, do you know any self defense?  Have you explored your self defense weapon options?

“No”, you may say, “nothing like that will happen to me”.

If you are one of the lucky few in this world who has not been a victim and does not know other victims, you should be all the more motivated to keep it that way.  Don’t bank on being lucky.  Assume your time will come.  Are you going to be ready?

This blog is about women deciding to be their own knight in shining armor.  This is about women in my generation deciding not to be victims.  We don’t have to be men, we don’t have to hate men.  We have to consider ways to fight as women, because we aren’t as physically strong (sorry, it’s just the truth, in most cases, we are smaller and weaker).  We have to think of ugly scenarios and plan for the worst, because we are more likely to be targets of particularly disgusting forms of attack.  We have to get real and put the fantasy aside.

So I’ll be talking about female considerations for self-defense, martial arts, concealed carry and anything else in the defense world.  Lucky for us most of the activities that make us safer are a lot of fun, not to mention the security of knowing that you’ve done all you can to be safe.  And then if you want to LET a guy save you, go ahead.

yours,

Peach

Women and Concealed Carry

Concealed carry class is not about being a killer, or being a gun-nut.  It’s about protection.  Even so as a fairly defense minded individual I waited far too long to go take the class.  Until a couple of days ago, I agreed with people’s right to concealed carry, but I thought since I wasn’t sure I could take a life, I shouldn’t bother carrying a gun.

Then Sheriff Richard Mack come to talk at my school.  I didn’t agree with everything he said.  But one thing he said stood out to me:  “One armed citizen could have had a chance at stopping the Virginia massacre”.  Woah, my willingness to be armed could save innocent lives?  Well that was it, I signed up that night and took the course three days later.

And. I. Loved. It.

I’ve shot handguns before.  It’s a lot of fun.  But I didn’t know sitting on a couch learning about guns could be so entertaining.  I know so much more than I did yet still know so little.  I recommend everyone take the course.  Not only is it extremely inexpensive for the amount of instruction you get, but it is a lot of fun.

You may be a person who will never carry or even willingly touch a gun.  I still recommend this course.  What would you do if you needed to make sure a gun was unloaded?  Do you know how to tell?  How to remove a clip?  Do you know all the parts of a gun?  How to hold one if you needed to?  Do you know laws about using force, even unarmed force, in your state?

Women don’t think about protection as much as men do, in my experience.  Good men I have known have innate desires to protect, and it’s a theme that is commonly explored in media.  However women are protective too, in a very different way.  Ever seen a mama bear?  This is why the comment Sheriff Mack made about Virginia Tech affected me.  When I picture someone I care about at the mercy of an armed gunman, my opinion of my ability to use a gun changes drastically.  I imagine it’s the same for a mother picturing her child in danger, but women in general seem to be compassionate towards those in need, and some often care more about safety of others above their own.

The people who want to hurt people already have their guns.  I believe it is our responsibility to ask ourselves if more good hearted, sound minded people shouldn’t explore concealed carry to balance the scales.  And we need at the very least to be educated even about the things we fear or hate most.  I’m not asking you to be pro-gun.  I’m asking you to be pro-thought, and pro-open, and to make sure you are checking all of your options and not letting prejudice or gentleness get in the way of considering all the ways to stay safe in this world.

Thanks for reading,

Peach