You can call me Ollie.
This is a BBC Sherlock fan blog 99% of the time. Sometimes I post other stuff, but usually it's Sherlock. Occasional Star Trek. And just funny stuff.
Warning: Contains Johnlock. So much Johnlock. Oh my god. And Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman's faces. A lot. I really like them, guys. I can't help it.
This is a rant for women to hear. I think all women need to hear this, especially young women. I never heard this, growing up. I learned this along the way.
Anyone who tells you that you need to live in constant fear of rape, sexual violence, and the advances of men who want to take advantage of you is wrong.
Yes, rapists are real. Yes, threatening men are real. They are real threats. But, another threat no one hears about is the threat of your own self-doubt undermining your ability to defend yourself.
This is about how to prevent victimization. Rape is never the victim’s fault. But, you can stop thinking of yourself as someone who is bound to be victimized. Obviously, men can help by not being rapists, but as long as rape culture exists, here are some practical things I have learned about not thinking like a victim, and learning to go about your life like the capable person you can be.
We always tell women that they are weaker than men. This is a big problem. Certainly some men are stronger than some women, but some women are stronger than some men.
Some men are small, have small muscles, are physically ‘weaker’ than other men physically. No matter what size you are, there will always be people bigger and stronger than you are.
If you think that just because you’re a woman you are more inherently physically vulnerable than a man is, think again. You can use smaller size, speed, and calculation to your advantage in any fight. If you’re a taller, larger woman, you can use your size, weight, and muscle to your advantage. It’s all about using what you’ve got.
Don’t EVER think you don’t have anything to fight with. Anyone who tells you that you are unmatched, that women are weak, that a woman can’t expect to win a fight with a man—they are all wrong. They are perpetuating a myth of female frailty.
You don’t need to be afraid, because you’re not weak.
Be assertive, smart, and practical. Even if you are a tiny little thing, you can be strong. If you are able-bodied, you have muscles, and a body you can use to defend yourself. Don’t underestimate your own physical strength or ability to defend yourself. You’re not a tiny little fawn who needs protecting. You’re a person, and people can learn self-defense and can learn to be assertive and smart in the face of aggressors.
I highly recommend taking a martial arts and/or self defense class, and improving your physical fitness in ways you enjoy. It is empowering to know that you have skills that could protect you and others from harm. Even if you are small and light, you can go ninja style and distract and then run like hell. You are not doomed to lose an encounter with a man, just because you’re female. He might be larger than you (or he might not - lots of guys are short and squishy or lanky light beanpoles), but don’t count on that being the one deciding factor.
It is damn hard for one person to physically dominate another person who is prepared to fight back viciously, and the very fact that you are prepared to fight is usually enough to dissuade men who think they can easily beat you up or take you down.
Show no fear. You are your own defender. Often, women won’t learn the skills necessary to really excel in something (like self defense, for example) because we are encouraged to outsource those skills to men who will do them for us, better than we can do them. Why learn to defend yourself when you can just find a big strong dude to protect you?
Because sometimes there is no big strong dude around, and because bullies seek out victims. You are not a victim, so don’t ever act like one. Empower yourself. Fight back. Tell people no. Don’t be afraid to assert your power physically or mentally when threatened. Sometimes stepping toward a person, telling them to back the fuck off is all it takes to make someone stop viewing you as an easy target, and start to get nervous that you’re going to embarrass them by mopping the floor with them.
Chances are, if they’re the kind of asshole who is trying to take advantage of a woman, they also don’t want to risk getting beat up by a girl.
As soon as they think it’s a fair fight, or that it even MIGHT be, they back down. They get scared. They don’t want a fight. They were just looking for an easy win. They are cowardly. You don’t have to be.
Maybe you don’t have giant biceps. Big fucking deal. Lots of dudes don’t have giant biceps, either. If the dude giving you a hard time DOES have giant biceps, don’t let them get you in a headlock. Act quickly, before that can happen. Exercise all of your options. Yes, there is a strong chance you could lose a fight with a guy, especially if you are outmatched, but it is extremely rare that a VERY physically weak woman will be attacked by an VERY physically buff dude. These are EXTREME body types and abilities. Most people fall somewhere in the middle. The vast majority of the time, a guy is not hugely overpowered, and you are not as small or helpless as you think you are, or that society tells you you are.
Men have physical vulnerabilities you don’t: their balls. Women have wider hips, lower centers of gravity, and generally more muscular legs (vs upper body) than men do. Perfect for kicking that motherfucker in the crotch as hard as you fucking can.
Train yourself to be able to find the advantage, wherever it is, and use it. This is what could save you.
Do not think you can’t fight for yourself. Men aren’t taught to believe they are inherently weak or need protecting. Even a relatively small, physically unimpressive man usually believes he is capable of defending himself independently, should the need arise. The mere fact that he BELIEVES this gives him the strength to do it. He does not doubt himself, because he has not been taught to doubt.
Learn effective strategies to defend yourself, as a woman, and walk with the confidence of knowing you are not a victim. You will be surprised how some basic skills will improve your self-confidence, and how a self-assured attitude and trust in your own competence will affect the way others perceive you. Competence and confidence have a way of deflecting bullies, sexual aggressors included.
It has worked for me more than once. I have never once had to physically injure a man to defend myself against a physical threat. The mere fact that I was willing to seriously, confidently threaten physical violence against him was enough to make him back off.
Be prepared to defend yourself, and you will know your own power. It is invaluable.
This is the best advice I have for fellow women. Learn the necessary skills, believe in your own abilities, and let your personal confidence obliterate your doubts. You will feel safer, more prepared, and more free. You are first and foremost a human being, and you have every right to live like one.
Please reblog to spread awareness.
sherlock holmes: a man who claims that sentiment is a chemical defect found on the losing side and yet he can’t bear the sight of john’s chair empty, a man who defines love as a “human error” and comes back to life only because the love of his life may be in danger; a man who doesn’t consider himself a hero and who kills someone knowing fine well it is a death sentence on himself, to make sure john is safe and happy living a life he always wanted
the world’s only consulting hypocrite