Patterico's Pontifications


Claim: Women’s Only Self-Defense Class Discriminatory

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

Discrimination rears its ugly head again:

Five government-sponsored self-defense classes to be held in the San Fernando Valley next month are being challenged as discriminatory to men and boys.

The women-only classes are advertised as free and are being hosted by California State Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian as well as the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department (Mission Hills division), Bright Star ATA Martial Arts and the North Hollywood Recreation Center.

The classes are for any female 12 and older and will highlight common strikes, important methods of disabling your attacker and some hands-on training techniques.

But, Harry A. Crouch believes the classes are discriminatory.

Crouch is “president of the National Coalition for Men, a nonprofit group based in San Diego, which ‘raises awareness about how sex discrimination adversely affects women and men.’” Quotes from Crouch’s letter are at the link. Crouch argues: “Men and boys are especially prone to violent attacks” and notes that men are not necessarily born martial artists.

I can see people being divided about this, which makes it a fun topic. Discuss away.

25 Responses to “Claim: Women’s Only Self-Defense Class Discriminatory”

  1. government approved discrimination, funded out of your tax dollars: what’s not to like?


    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  2. I don’t mind female-only classes…

    as long as there are male-only classes set up in parallel with exactly the same requirements.

    Dan S (00fc90)

  3. This is in the same realm as the Denver Post having a “young people in journalism” seminar that is open to minorities only. Yes, they did do that, and they had some sort of diversity-speak defense to it as well. We do have a double standard in America on these things. It is legal to have a class for women only, but not to charge differently for haircuts.

    Denver Todd (e238a0)

  4. You ever seen the King of the Hill episode where Bobby accidentally ends up in a women’s self-defense class? One of the all-time great episodes from one of the all-time great shows.

    JVW (9946b6)

  5. Meh! Women are different. And God bless the difference. If men want to become like women, there are operations and hormone treatments available. And, frankly, when men complain about “preferential treatment” for the gentler sex, I’m inclined to question their masculinity. In most instances.

    I’ve taken martial arts. And I have a daughter. I wouldn’t want her, for the sake of her self-confidence, to have to mix it up with boys, at least not for a couple of years. And I was grateful in my own classes not to be shown up by girls, not to mention not having the class toned down by the instructor to accomodate the girls.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Self-defense is a contact endeavor. Co-ed yoga, step & water aerobics, spinning, kick boxing with heavy bags, etc., are enough for mens to enjoy time with the fairer sex.

    I’ve done a little Shorin Ryu and the opportunity for injury, even in demonstration of ‘pulled’ moves is real.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  7. Don’t they realize that none of this will matter when CA gets wide-spread concealed carry as the streets will be just one continuous Dodge City/OK Corral?

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  8. I don’t know, askeptic. I offered my twelve-year old daughter her own rifle and to teach her to shoot. She said no. I offered to teach her to drive. She said no. At twelve, I would have been ecstatic if my father had offered me those things. Girls are just so … girly.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Never teach your child to drive, you’ll stress out, and they’ll hate you (even more than teens already do).
    It pays to have the skills involved in driving, and shooting, explained by professionals. You just have to be a “good example” when conducting these activities in their presence.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  10. I’m fully in support of women-only self defense classes, at least at the introductory level.

    I believe that anything that encourages them to take seriously self-defense, especially armed self-defense, is a good thing.

    Guys are going to want to do it anyway, and there is no shortage of opportunities.

    Beyond that, though, I truly believe that most women–most women, mind–have different needs than most men, from different hand size and strength to different carry options. Not to mention that they face different threats.

    I look for the day when Congress exercises its Article I, Section 8 powers to train the militia, such as with a Militia Ed highschool class, modeled after drivers’ ed. This class would strive to train and put weapons in the hands of every citizen, including women.

    Until that day, give the women this extra opportunity.

    (Note, however, that I am utterly against placing outright restrictions on males in an attempt to achieve some kind of quota. We all know how that will work.)

    DJMoore (89aba0)

  11. Speaking as a martial arts instructor:

    A true women’s only class is foolish. Most enemy attackers will be male. A woman must practice her techniques against males of different sizes and weights and strengths in order to learn realistically. Otherwise they are being taught to fail.

    Now, if they have a primary female instructor and then male instructor/punching bags in padded suits like the Model Mugging course does, then fine, go to it.

    The only episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians I ever saw has them going to just such a women’s self defense course. They come home confident with what they have learned, and the boyfriend in a friendly way, says, “Well, let’s see what you got.”

    He proceeds to manhandle them and they are powerless to stop him. It is demonstrated that they learned nothing useful.

    The rest of the episode takes place at a shooting range. :)

    luagha (5cbe06)

  12. i would ask if those of you supporting “women only” classes see a distinction between private parties offering such options and the government using your tax money and public facilities to offer benefits to one sex that they don’t provide for other orientations?

    the bottom line is, should the government discriminate?

    if they can, where on the slippery slope do you draw the line, and how?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  13. i’d also remind everyone that this is the same state & local government that will hound you to the ends of the earth, should you discriminate against anyone for their gender/orientation/race/ADA issues/etc….

    but it’s okay for them to do the same thing? how does that w*rk?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  14. Atixa tip of the week:

    Finding each of the accused in violation of sexual misconduct is sex discrimination.

    We are making Title IX plaintiffs out of them.

    He says in any situation where both the malke and the female student are intoxicated it would amount to sex discrimination to charge only one of them with misconduct.

    A good policy cannot make it a violation simply for male students to have sex with an intoxicated person, if they are completely ignorant of that fact.

    Thus, they are just having sex. They do nothing that additionally transgresses, is wrongful or is intentional any more than they do every time they have sex. There is no need for an intent to rape, but there has to be something more than an intent to have sex to make this an offense. Otherwise, men are simply being punished for having sex, which is gender discrimination under Title IX, because their partners are having sex too and are not being subject to the code of conduct for doing so.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  15. You have two issues at work here:
    1. Sex-segregated classes
    2. Sex-exclusionary grant

    There are many legitimate reasons to have sex-segregated classes for something self-defense training. There are techniques men will gladly do that women will be reluctant to consider, and descriptions of where to strike involve “graphic” language.
    Of course that ignores the various legitimate reasons for needing co-ed classes, and the entire debate of sex-segregated anything in general.

    The real problem is sex-exclusionary grants.
    Offering self-defense classes for females but not for males (and let’s not get started on “others”) cannot be anything but discriminatory.
    Of course that gets caught up in the whole “affirmative action” debate, were offering more to a “historically disadvantaged” group is intended to make up and such.

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  16. I dream of a world where people are free to associate with one another based on any criteria they desire, without fear of harassment or lawsuit.

    We do not live in such a world. And to the extent that we do not live in such a world, it is greatly because of the spirited destruction of the freedom described in my first paragraph.

    Female-only self defense classes make entirely too much sense; that someone wants to make a point about it is sad.

    But the point was made long ago. It just has echoes….

    Pious Agnostic (7eb3b0)

  17. say i go down to the local city park, and fill out an application to have an event there.

    what do you think my chances are for approval if i tell them it’s open only to males over the age of 12?

    why should the outcome be any different for me than for the Assemblyman? if i can’t do it, neither can he, or are some pigs more equal than others?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  18. Most guys know how to take care of themselves, one way or another. Now pole dancing is a different matter. Very few guys know how to pole dance due, of course, to societal gender role stereotyping. How about offering those “males” who are complaining a state-funded, men only, pole dancing class, to even things out. G-strings and pasties at own expense.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. 18. Eeewwww! My mind is undergoing prophylactic shutdown.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  20. I know you wouldn’t go for that, gary. I meant the Federal Association of Guys (or some name like that) who are complaining.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. so, we have “nk” as formally being on record as supporting tax funded discrimination.

    interesting position to take, but a brave one.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  22. You guys are confusing apples with horse apples. There is no meningful difference between “races”. There is a meaningful difference between the sexes. It would be irrational to pretend that there is not. And, actually, court cases involving sex discrimination do recognize that.

    But I also recognize that when the Pope is tweeting liberation theology that I may have drifted into a different space-time continuum. A stranger in a strange universe. And no, it’s not a joke about the Pope.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. I can see people being divided about this, which makes it a fun topic. Discuss away.

    This right here, Patterico, is why you’d never make it in academia.

    /Welcome at my house anytime, tho.

    ras (1b2ec9)

  24. I’ve taken martial arts. And I have a daughter. I wouldn’t want her, for the sake of her self-confidence, to have to mix it up with boys, at least not for a couple of years.

    Then your sensei sucked. There’s no excuse for classes sucking at the public tit to be “women only”. Period. You might as well talk about classes being “black only”. It’s wrong. >:-/

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  25. There is a meaningful difference between the sexes.

    I agree with this. But this is not one of those arenas where it has any business being argued for.

    What next? Shall we have different standards for women in getting their belt advancements?

    If you want to separate out the classes, so the men and the women don’t fight, you MIGHT use this argument in favor of that.

    However, this idea would be a bit stupid, too, because that’s what they’re trying to LEARN about, presumably — And if a woman does not understand how much stronger a man is than she is, then she’s not going to be able to USE anything she’s learned in a fight. A trip or a hold or a takedown that would work on another woman her size and weight would NOT work without substantially more force against a man. He would knock her down… and she’d be so stunned, probably, by the fact that something she had worked to perfection in class had no effect, she would not know what to do in response.

    And if she doesn’t learn how to block a serious blow a MAN would throw at her, then her first attempt to block an actual strike is going to knock HER out.

    Making sure the sensei has the right attitude is the main thing here — he has to put the more experienced ones against the noobs, just so they won’t overpower them at every turn and discourage them.

    And a huge chunk of early martial arts is, or should be, usually forms anyway, which noob women can do just as well, perhaps more (it is, in a sense, like dancing, which women have more practice at).

    And even IF you’re just teaching “the dirty tricks”, that can work, but even there, she needs to be able to practice them against both MEN and people larger than she (i.e., mostly men), so she understands where she needs to grab varies with size. If the opponents are all women within 6″ of her own height, then she’s probably going to grab someone 4″ below where she needs to, or underestimate the significance of an opponent with 6″ more reach or 12″ more height in making a move that involves unbalancing your opponent.

    So, yeah, DUH: there IS a difference between men and women, and if a woman is attempting to learn combat, she really, really needs to practice it against potential opponents, not just other women.

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

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