This McSweeney’s column is my favorite piece of writing right now. I feel like it takes my entire last month’s thinking on the topics of women, protection, community and self-defense, and beautifully writes out the exact conclusion I personally came to as well. I haven’t written anything publicly on this topic, despite thinking about it so much recently, mostly just because there is so much to be said and thought and I’m far from knowing the best way I would write it all up in a public form. But, this article, yes yes yes yes.
Snippet below, but really, read the whole thing. This is the new era of thinking around women, safety and community.
I’m usually a law-abiding person. I don’t advocate retributive violence or acts of vengeance, even though I’m all too susceptible to their appeal. I’ve taught self defense to lots of women, and I’ve spent a great deal of time pondering how I myself would react if I were assaulted. “Protect yourself and get away,” has always been my mantra; fight if you have to, as much as you have to, so that you can get to safety. This strategy assumes that, once you’re safe, someone with more authority and muscle than you will deal with your attacker.
Except most of the time, they don’t.
Or can’t, or won’t; does it matter? Look at the appalling chain of assaults that preceded Esme Barerra’s death, and tell me this strategy works.
So I find, in the weeks since Esme died, that my beliefs about how I should respond to a violent assault are shifting. More and more lately, I think women shouldn’t waste time worrying about whether or how to fight back. Instead I incline toward the view that if you’re attacked, you should just go ahead and fuck the dude up.