Re-Examining Girl Power – Dispelling Misconceptions of Strength

This it the low down. I’ve been involved, in some way or another, in self defence since I was ten years old. I started teaching in my teens, mostly to women and girls. 

There are a million frustrations I could talk about as far as the misconceptions of keeping yourself safe.

BUT today I’m focussing on the common ways many women and girls see themselves, especially pertaining to their strengths in comparison to men.

DISCLAIMER: these are common views that I’ve come across, based off of concerns I frequently address. I don’t mean to villainize men, because that’s ridiculous, and I don’t mean to say that all women have these perceptions. 

Alright let’s get started.

1. I’m smaller than he is, I can’t do anything.

This is straight up ridiculous. Are you bigger than a spider? Yes. Are spiders, while fascinating, creepy and scary? Yes. SIZE ISSUE RESOLVED.

2. Wait, I’m not creepy like a spider. How dare you!

Alright fine, spiders have lots of legs and eyes and you’re adorable. But cats are adorable. And I don’t mess with angry cats. 

3. But cats have claws! 

Yeah, and you’ve got jewelry. A pen. Teeth. Fists. Knees. Shoes (high heels wooo!). 

4. Alright fine. But I don’t want to hurt anybody!

Here’s the deal. Go out and slap somebody in the face for not lending you a pen = unreasonable. Kick someone in the groin because they looked at you funny = unreasonable. Remaining still and quiet while someone puts you in the back of their car to drive you away from everyone you know and love = unreasonable. See what I did there?

It’s important to recognize that violence isn’t the answer, but complacency isn’t either. Even if you want to be a completely non-violent pacifist, there’s still the option of non-cooperation (think civil disobedience). While most people wouldn’t be so extreme, the idea is that HURTING PEOPLE IS WRONG, KEEPING YOURSELF SAFE ISN’T. 

At the end of the day, nobody checks what gender a shark is before screaming their head off. Nobody looks between the legs of a snarling dog to determine how dangerous it really is, and nobody messes with a mama bear. 

Women and girls are as strong and scary as we are awesome and brilliant. Don’t be fooled into thinking anything different.