If you reach your hand to a strange dog loose on the street to pet it on top of the head, and it mauls your hand, whose fault is this? One camp would put most of the blame on the dog owner. But most people would blame the victim.
But everyone with half an ounce of sense would agree on one thing: Whose fault it is has NOTHING to do with the importance of doing whatever it takes to prevent a dog attack.
This same principle applies to sexual assault against women. An article on vice.com says that feminist Julie Lalonde isn't too comfortable with the idea of pushing self-defense lessons on women to help prevent rape. Lalonde believes that promoting self-defense skills encourages the idea that rape is a woman's fault.
The vice.com article quotes her talking of how society is constructed such that"...if a woman is sexually assaulted and she hasn't taken a self-defense class, then it was her fault because she could have prevented her rape and didn't."
This mindset is one sandwich and the entire blanket short of a picnic. Again, fault has nothing to do with taking whatever measures are necessary to protect oneself! If it can be accomplished with self-defense lessons, then go for it!
Here's a question for Lalonde and likeminded folks: Which is easier, teaching a woman self-defense or eliminating the urge to rape in a sociopath? Perhaps Lalonde can explain what sort of tactics have been proven to kill a sociopath's or psychopath's desire to violate a woman? Last time I checked, none exist (don't say "chopping it off"; I'm talking about realistically, in our society).
What's realistic and ethical is self-defense lessons. A study headed by Charlene Senn compared women (900 total) who were assigned self-defense training (which included psychological aspects such as assessing a situation) to women who were given only brochures on sexual crimes.
Rape was reduced among the first group of women (self defense) 5.2 percent, vs. the brochure group (9.8 percent), 12 months out from the study's interventions.
Do not people such as Lalonde realize how easy it is to disable a man? Has she never seen a man become immobilized with pain upon accidentally hitting his knee into the edge of a cocktail table?
Or perhaps she's seen too many movies and TV shows in which a man is shown being slammed over the head with a two-by-four, then taking half a dozen punches by another man, kicked in the ribs, knocked off a ledge and falling 10 feet, and despite all that, he ends up beating the tar out of his attacker. In real life, one good sock to the temple will knock a man's lights out.
Self-defense doesn't just involve punches and kicks, but depending on the style, focuses on using the laws of physics to put an attacker in a joint lock.
Predators look for prey. High quality self-defense schools teach women NOT to behave like prey, but to behave defensively when needed.