Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fighting Back

A few weeks ago, I was minding my own business on the street in Manhattan. It was the day before I was to be published in the Huffington Post. Things were going well. That is, when I was approached by a man I knew in passing. We began talking and the next thing I knew he grabbed my hand. His grip was hard, iron clad. I asked him to let my hand go and he said no. I repeatedly asked him until I yanked it out.

I was alarmed. I never realized this acquaintance was such a sick fuck. As a young person, and I have written about this, I experienced a violent relationship with a former fiancé. One thing about me is that I don't take any kind of bullying-especially bullying from a man-lying down. So just when I didn't think it could get worse it did. The idiot asked me if I could have a hug. I told him no. And then he had the nerve to ask me why. That is when I cursed him out. I was so angry and scared that I didn't know what he was going to do next. But this idiot wasn't going to take advantage of me. So I stomped on his foot, spit on him, and ran in the other direction. For the rest of the day I was so angry. I was angry some sick man thought he could take advantage of me because I was a woman who wasn't all that big. I was angry that for as bright and accomplished as I was, and as many women are, we still are treated like second class citizens on the street. I was angry that in a world where women supposedly have equal rights we are still victims to sadists who feel this behavior is appropriate.

Later, I found out this idiot had a history of doing this to women. Many of these women either got upset and changed their routine as not to see this creep, or they just felt uncomfortable and sick. They told me I was a "hero." Still, the whole experience left me shaken. I wanted to believe so badly sexism was dead, but unfortunately the beast is alive and well.

I am writing this because had I not known self-defense I would have been a victim. While women's rights have come a long way, unfortunately we are still moving targets on the street. There are men who still prey on us. This is why we need to fight back.

I am writing this blog to encourage all women to take self-defense. Take it at your local YMCA or karate school. Not only is it a good workout, but it also centers you and is a great way to express anger management. The common misconception about self-defense is that it teaches you to be a hot head. The first thing any self-defense instructor will tell you is that a truly brave person avoids conflict, and fights when they have no other option.

Yesterday Aries, the assistant, spoke of a champion MMA fighter who had come out of an abusive marriage and trained with him. Having no money, she cleaned mats at his gym. But she trained and said she would never let that happen to her again. It gave me hope not just after my little scuffle, but that I had been doing the right thing by transforming myself from the pathetic person who had endured the bully of a partner I had at twenty-one.

It was the universe's subtle way of letting me know that yes, this was a good thing I was doing for myself and I had to continue to do good things for myself. It also let me know that it was going to be alright. The message self-defense gives women is that they can only be victims if they allow themselves. The message I give anyone regardless of race, color, creed, or gender is that you are only a victim if you allow others to make you so. It also makes me more fearless with my activism. While that is an identity that makes some uncomfortable, it serves to help others.

There are no victims, there are only volunteers.

If my message is too much for some (and when I say some I mean mostly men unfortunately), I am sorry I am not in the comfortable mold called pathetic woman. If my message is too in your face, I am sorry I don't speak like a lady. If you think labeling me as an angry woman for the way I handled that dip shit is appropriate, do it. I will lose no sleep.

I could speak about the issues the world at large has against women. About how the white, hederosexist majority has declared a war against my gender. About how religion in general has declared a war against my gender. But that is for another blog. However, one must always fight back.

That is why I recommend Jeanene and Aries at the UFC Gym. Request their seminar when you can.

xoxoxo
April
I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a Singing Telegram Delivery Girl
Paperback available on Amazon and 877-Buy-Book
E-Book available on Kindle and Nook, also through Brown and NYU Books
Audiobook available on itunes and Audible this Summer
www.youtube.com/aprilthestarr
Portion of proceeds go to Ali Fornay Center

2 comments:

  1. sorry you went through this..hope he finds an ass whooping soon.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Champ. Can I send him to you so you can beat his ass? Black man trumps creepy white dude every time xo

    ReplyDelete