It is interesting that we would go to such elaborate measures to defend ourselves against rape, using a device made for writing, while we dare not attack the genealogy of rapist mentalities using the same object, in the appropriate manner. While I would never defend a rapist, and believe that all women ought to learn self defense in order to deter the psychologically deranged from attacking, it is not feasible to expect absolutely every woman from the ages of 1 month to 110 years to learn tactics of self defense. Sexual assault is a plague on our society, and instead of solely demanding every woman to be prepared at every moment, to defend herself by any means necessary, there ought to be some consideration given as to how to prevent the rapist mentality in the first place.
If there was a correlation between a womans ability to use weapons effectively and rape reduction then we would not see women (with combat training) in the military being raped and sexually assaulted at significantly higher rates than in civilian society (almost twice the rate of rape in US society). On the one hand we have increasing rates of sexual abuse out of the military, and the other shows the effects of militarization in domestic situations; Holly G. Prigerson, an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale found that “combat vets were 4.4 times more likely to have abused a spouse or partner than other men.” While hierarchal institutions, and patriarchal hegemonies not only breed controlling masculine mentalities, the same type which produce rapists, they also lead to impunity for men, enabling them to go unpunished for crimes of sexual assault. I am not saying that this self defense seminar ought not to exist, but I would love to see it coupled with a seminar related to dismantling the mentality of a sociopath. Perhaps, if the point was to decrease the amount of instances of rape in the united states, the seminar ought to assert that women avoid contact with current military solders and/or military vets.
The use of a pen/pencil to defend the rights of women is far more effective when used to produce words, especially when it ultimately leads to an attack of the hegemonic structures which produce the sexually and psychologically deranged. A detailed study of cultural hegemony applied to gender theory might have far reaching consequences in finding the genealogy of rape, opposed to reactive 'just in case' scenarios proposed in self defense classes. Unfortunately the literary/intellectual attack of such institutions often goes disregarded, while reactive self defense initiatives seem to be the only attempt we can make at solving this widespread social disease. (See Noam Chomsky's “Hegemony or Survival” and “The Responsibility of Intellectuals” for examples.)