Life, More Life
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2 Self-Defense Lessons for Women

I did my PhD in Chicago. During my PhD, I took three semesters of self-defense classes. The instructor was a middle aged white male, with a bald head and a strong grip. He taught us two lessons of life.

1. Play the survivor, not the victim.
The instructor wanted all the women, who attended the class to takeaway one message. ‘If you are in a compromising situation, fight with all you have got. If something bad happens to you, you will be able to live with yourself, knowing that you did all you could to escape from that situation.’

2. Show no mercy on the attacker.
We  practiced one self-defense technique every semester. He grabbed us, dragged us, lifted us, pulled us with our hair and choked us with his bare hands. We had to escape from those situations.

As the semester progressed, we perfected the technique. A few sessions would be so intense, that he had to clap on the floor three times to escape from us. That was our cue to stop practising the technique.

In such situations, the ‘sorry’ genes of women used to kick in. A few of us, involuntarily used to tell him sorry after the attack. Even though both of us would be tired after the attack, he used to pounce on us. That was our lesson, ‘Never say sorry to your attacker, no matter who he/she is.’

Do we find any real-life examples of women who practiced these two lessons?

Yes, the Rohtak sisters. The initial version of the story said, they fought back against molestors on a bus. They played a survivor and showed no mercy towards the attacker. The later versions of the stories brand these two sisters as cheap women who go around beating men for no reason.

Before you start bitch-ifying the sisters, I ask you to take into account these two generic facts about Indians.

1. The behaviour of a man is 100 % certified. He can do no wrong. The behaviour of a woman is 0% certified. Her character is always questionable & malign able.

2. We Indians, never recognise the merit of our fellow Indians. We recognize only if a U.S. based agency recognizes them. Then, we all want to bask in the limelight of fellow Indian-ness.

I want the Rohtak sisters to be given the bravery award. Why?

I am tired of all the rape victim stories in the media. We need survivor stories. This incident is the right survivor story to make that transition.

rohtak sisters


The Rohtak sisters

Rohtak sisters image from Image from

Featured image from Photo Credit: Clearwater Public Library System Photos via Compfight cc

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