Part 2 of a series

?Don?t fight back or the attacker will become more enraged and hurt you worse.?

I am saddened and surprised that this myth is still being spread by various self defense instructors and other ?experts? in the field. Yet practically every month I hear new cases of people still being told this. Probably well meant but horribly misguided, this strong myth has led to many disastrous incidents.

Although Law Enforcement agencies have taken the ?don?t fight back? stance in the past, they have done a complete reversal of mindset. Current evidence is overwhelmingly in favor in most cases of fighting back. So why is this myth still so often prescribed?

My theory is that past inadequate training, poor socialization of women, and ?good ole boy? mentality historically conditioned women to play the consummate victim. With all this conditioning to fight against, women in general were typically not empowered to fight back. In fact to the contrary, women were taught to be ?nice? and ?not make a scene?. Thus there were most likely many incidents where women made half-hearted frail attempts to resist, which may have lead to greater severity in the attacks, causing law enforcement agencies to take the ?no fight? stance.

The difficulty increases when you add the statistic that approximately ? of assaults on women are committed by someone they know. It?s one thing to deal with an attack in a dark alley when it?s very clearly an assault. It?s a whole other thing when it?s someone the victim knows, maybe even likes, respects, or even loves. The role of ?caretaker? for which women are so famous and which we men are so grateful, further inhibits taking strong action in self-defense.

Then there is what I refer to as the ?good ole boy? network that is invested in preventing women from being strong and empowered. Although slowly changing, this network is still unfortunately very alive and well. From Law Enforcement agents to politicians, executives to teachers, this fear-based mentality continues to exist and proliferate the victimization of women. Recently I heard of a High school gym teacher who pointedly told female students to just ?relax? and ?take it? if attacked. His advice was that they should carry condoms to have their attacker ?cooperatively? wear while raping them. Incidentally, this golden pearl of wisdom was made in the presence of the boys in the class. So much for the education of our youth.

Traditional self-defense courses (often taught by good ole boys) failed to address the effects of the adrenal fear rush. Multitudes of courses instilled false security, infusing students with complicated moves and strategies. Good money was wasted on devices like mace and key chains and myriads of other survival wonder gadgets. Guns were purchased and tucked away for fear of ever having to actually use them. Firearms training was typically centered around shooting at static targets 50 feet away, in sterile non stress conditions.