Upcoming Self Defense Classes

Check out these upcoming classes with Defend Yourself!

DEFEND YOURSELF from A to Z 

In this eight-week class, you’ll learn how to deal almost everything, from harassment and other verbal situations that make you uncomfortable all the way to physical attacks. You’ll learn to defend yourself from the ground (not just standing up); you’ll practice almost-infinite varieties of verbal and physical defense scenarios so that the skills are part of your “muscle memory” and you can rely on them when there’s no time to think.

Call, email, or check the web site if you want details.

  • Mondays, Feb. 6 to March 26, 7-8:30 pm
  • For women and teen girls age 16+
  • 14th St. and Florida Ave., NW, DC (near U St./Cardozo on the Green Line)
  • Discount for registering before Jan. 8

Learn self-defense basics in one afternoon

If all you’re looking for are some quick skills, sign up for “Introduction to self defense”: Saturday, Jan. 28, 1 pm at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Derwood (Rockville), Md. For details go here.

Argh.

I was going for a jog after work through Logan Circle, up 14th Street, down Florida Ave., and through LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale. On multiple occasions, older men (probably 40+) either made comments as I passed them (one I heard saying “you don’t need to run to look like that”), leered at me, or jokingly ran along.

Finally, I passed a gentleman and I turned behind to see him staring at me and saying a comment about my butt that I couldn’t clearly hear. Incredibly frustrated after this experience, I angrily told him “do not say a word to me,” and kept on running.

It was probably not the best response that I could have given but I was really quite demoralized and upset by the end of the run. Whether they intended to or not, I was feeling self-conscious about running in spandex by the end of my jog, or that my running served no purpose besides their consumption. Argh.

Submitted by ME

Location: LeDroit Park/Bloomingdale (two separate areas)

Time of harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

“The Ten Shadiest Things Strangers Have Ever Said to Me”

After a street harassment experience in DC, Alix compiled a list of the 10 creepiest things strangers have said to her. Check out her post on the Importance of Being Alix.  

Thanks for sharing, Alix!

Since switching jobs, I started walking to work. I now spend an 35 minutes on foot each way, what would be a pleasant walk if it didn’t also provide an easy 70 minutes each day to be harassed by random men on the street. Yesterday, I was honked at, got catcalled, and had a man ask me, “Haven’t I seen you in a magazine?” I did not stop to hear which publication to which he was referring, but I’m willing to wager it wasn’t the Wellesley Alumnae magazine.

Sadly, I’m very used to this behavior. I’m not sure why I am such a magnet for shady, shady dudes, but I am. It has some advantages–for instance, I sometimes get free food at restaurants, although I am usually just extremely confused about that (“But I haven’t given you my money yet!”)–but mostly, it’s just super creepy and unwelcome. I guess it makes for good stories? For your entertainment, I’ve assembled a list of the ten creepiest things strange men have ever said to me:


10. Champ de Mars, Paris, France – 2008
Anyone want to learn how to French Kiss? Or Vodka Kiss?”

I have to give him props–upon hearing this line, I was amazed that I’d never heard it before (the French kiss part. Not the vodka kiss part. That doesn’t even make sense.). But he was still a miscreant French youth, so he would have been creepy no matter what came out.

9. Dharamsala, India – 2007
“I’m going to teach you Punjabi. Thohade aakha baut Suniya ne. That means ‘Your eyes are looking amazing.'”

This would have been a lot less creepy had his girlfriend not been sitting directly next to him at the time. This was also the same day that I accidentally spent with a punjabi pop star, who I’m sure would have also had some creepy shit to say, had his command of the English language allowed it. Instead, he just kept shouting things like “CUTE BABY!” every few minutes.

8. Library of Congress, Washington, DC – September 2011
“You seem like a nice girl, Emma. Are you Jewish?”

7. The Red Line to Shady Grove, Washington, DC – 2010
“Can I like, try something with your hair?”

Read the full post here.

How NOT to Pick Someone Up

Need a bit of comic relief this Thursday? Watch our fav local comedian Lucé Tomlin-Brenner take on NYC. We love that she uses comedy to raise awareness about street harassment.

We promise she will have you doubling over in laughter within the first 30 seconds.

Even In Front of My Children

I was taking my children to lunch when an older man on a mobility scooter (yeah) rode along side us, remarking about my looks.

I told him how inappropriate it was for him to say those things, particularly in front of my children and luckily, he got the point and rolled away.

My 8 year old son asked me if he said those things because he didn’t know I was married. I told him it didn’t matter, as it was disrespectful and rude (and inappropriate). My son then said, “I don’t understand. Even if you weren’t married, why would you want to marry him?”

EXACTLY

Submitted by SPM

Location: 8th and Pennsylvania Ave, SE

Time of harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

Too Many Occurrences

Image by Lighthelper via Flickr

I was walking home from work at 16th and 1 block below P Street, NW, when two guys approached me and told me I have a fat ass. I said no thank you and kept walking, at which point they started following me. Fortunately, a bus pulled up and I was able to cross the street and catch it in time. It was very unnerving.

I also had an experience a couple weeks ago in front of the Target in Columbia Heights were a man asking for donations for Planned Parenthood, of all places, approached me to ask for money and then kept on about how he had watched me walk up the street and when I came out of Target wanted to talk to me. Ew.

Submitted by Elizabeth
Location: 16th and P St. NW
Time of harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

Do I need to grow thicker skin?

I was on my way home from Thanksgiving in New York with my family. My train got into Union Station a little late, so I decided to take a cab so that I could get home quickly without having to drag my luggage through the Metro. After waiting in the taxi line for 10 minutes or so, I get in a cab. He seemed a little irritated that I kept my suitcase with me in the back seat (instead of putting it in the trunk so that he could get an additional fee), but it didn’t seem like a big deal.

After we get a block or two away from the station, we pass a young college-student-type guy on the street, dragging a big duffel bag and trying to hail a cab. The driver of my cab wants to pick this guy up too, and I say no. It’s against the rules for a cab driver to pick up additional passengers like that! So the cab driver immediately starts cursing at me and kicks me out of the cab.

At this point, I’m angry, so I flip him off and tell him to fuck off. At which point he starts saying, “You want to fuck me? Yeah, girl, you should come right over here and fuck me.” Repeatedly. Clearly, he’s more interested in antagonizing me than in picking up another fare, since the college kid hailed another cab so that I could get away. Unfortunately, I was too rattled to get the cab driver’s information or remember the name of the cab company.

I called my mom afterward, and she told me that I shouldn’t have antagonized him, and that I need to grow a thicker skin. Not exactly helpful.

Submitted by KBF

Location: Massachusetts Ave & North Capitol

Time of harassment:  Night (7:30P-12A)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.