Why is the only campus self defense course I’ve heard of for women? Did I teleport to a magical world where women are delicate flowers and men are brawny and never get hurt?
-It’s Kind of Sexist
Dear Kind of Sexist,
I agree there should be a myriad of classes available to all students who are interested in self defense and the martial arts. Maybe you could even take the initiative to start one up yourself, you know, be proactive instead of making a petty and offensive argument in an attempt to be … humorous? I would like you to take a moment and ask yourself, “Why are so many self defense classes directed solely towards women?” Go ahead, take your time. Is it because our school believes women are fragile little flowers, as you asked? Is it because one in six women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime (according to RAINN sexual assault statistics)? Is it because our female students deserve a safe, respectful place to learn how to effectively defend themselves? Is it because maybe, just maybe, a victim of sexual assault is attending these classes, and could be emotionally triggered by the presence of men in the class? Stop and think, really think, about what you are asking me today. Women take self defense classes because the “magical world” you described is frighteningly close to the one women face every day, where we have to walk in buddies at night and guard our drinks and are often told that the crimes committed against us are our fault. It’s not a matter of contrived gender stereotypes – men and women both can benefit from self defense classes. What matters is the bigger picture, the larger implications of your question; of why there needs to be a place where women can learn to effectively and efficiently protect themselves in the company of those who understand. And as I walk home at night from the “Etownian” office or a friends’ room, clutching my hot pink pepper spray keychain, I am thankful that our school provides such a class.
For additional statistics, help, news and other info, I encourage everyone to visit the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) at http://www.rainn.org/
My girlfriend contracted an STD, and not from me. Should I stay with her?
Sadly, Anony, this is one question that only you can answer. A big “no” or “yes” from your friendly neighborhood advice columnist, who doesn’t know you or your gal or pretty much any of the deets, is going to do more harm than good. I can, however, give you a few things to think about before you make a decision.
First things first: talk to your girlfriend. Talk, not scream or argue, because this is a conversation that calls for maturity on the part of both partners. Discuss when and how the STI (aka Sexually Transmitted Infection, which is becoming the preferred medical term, as it is a bit broader than just “disease”) was contracted, as not all STIs are transmitted through genital contact or are immediately apparent, in terms of either visibility or dormancy. Yet if you both are truthful and open with one another, there is a chance you will find out something that you do not like. If your partner has cheated on you, you can take a couple of different routes, but all of them depend on how you feel about honesty and trust in a relationship. I’ve known couples to work through infidelity and achieve happy, healthy relationships but I have also known couples who have broken up in similar situations. If you decide to stay together, work towards sincerity and improving trust, don’t shy away from counseling if you feel it’s needed, and research and discuss ways to keep sex safe and pleasurable for the both of you. If you decide to move on, then do so with grace, as you would expect of your partner if the tables were turned on you. It all comes down to what is right for you and your girlfriend, what you value, what you are willing to work toward, the importance of this relationship, and a million other things that only you can ask yourself.
Thanks y’all for your continued questions and support! As always, I will try to answer all questions in a timely manner, so don’t get discouraged if yours doesn’t make it in right away. Until next time,