Tag Archives: mothers

Fighting Violence – The Way That Works

Women do not have to tolerate sexual harassment

In the world we live in, everyone is fighting for something.

We each have our cause, a problem we’re battling; poverty, sizeism, racism, terrorism, etc. These are all big problems. Huge problems. Problems which are too big for one person to fight, originating in human survival instincts. These issues are going to exist for as long as humans exist, because it’s who we are, and how we survive.

And here’s another one: Rape.

Why is rape set aside from the others? Rape is a giant, universal problem, claiming more and more victims every day. One in THREE women – those are the statistics! So why am I mentioning it down here, and not up there with the rest of its friends?

Because rape can be fought.

With kicks and screams. With an aggressive look in the eye. With a single word.

Most of the problems I stated above have an idea at their basis. For instance, the idea that someone who is different is a threat (racism), or the idea that being fat is unhealthy (sizeism). In both of these cases the problem originates from a survival instinct, but is fueled by our subconscious belief that this idea is solid fact. In the case of rape, this idea is that men are stronger than women.

IMPACT battles this concept at its roots, shaking up humanity at its most basic, existential levels. Beyond proving without a doubt that women are equally strong in their bodies as men, IMPACT says: women do not have to tolerate sexual harassment. Women do not have to tolerate verbal abuse. A woman does not have to stand there quietly while someone hisses and whistles at her. She’s allowed to stop him the instant she feels slightly uncomfortable. You don’t have to wait for him to hit you in order to tell him to leave you alone. All of these things seem so trivial, we shouldn’t even have to think about them. And yet, the opposite is so deep within us, it has become our nature to tolerate abuse and disrespectful behavior.

So many women go through years unable to say the word “no” without feeling pangs of guilt. IMPACT teaches us that it’s never too early to say no to something you do not want. You’re allowed to say no to the way someone looks at you. You’re allowed to say no to people you love. You’re allowed to say no in random, everyday situations. You’re allowed to say no in the middle of sex, and you don’t have to feel bad or apologize for it. No one has the right to force you to do anything, and no one has the right to cross your own personal boundaries. And if you don’t think you can stop them, you should learn how.

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Filed under IMPACT, Violence Prevention, Women Empowerment

What Is Wrong With Being A Little Boastful?!

Last night I taught a self defense workshop. Now, that is nothing new, but what is new is that I had a epiphany.

I have said many times that the first step in learning self defense is to accept that you are worth defending. If you do not believe that basic premise, you will have a super hard time standing up for yourself. To me this is just plain and simple.

So, I handed my lovely unsuspecting students white El HaLev T-shirts and told them that they needed to write on the back of the shirt “I’m [blank]” and that the blank had to be positive. The group consisted of pairs of mom’s and daughters and their two social workers. Some of them wrote “I’m strong!” “I’m pretty!” “I’m independant!” and neither of the social workers wrote anything. I prodded them a little…… but nothing…..but a blush…..

Driving home I was thinking to myself, what is it about accepting that we are good at something that is embarrassing. I had done this exercise before with 6th grade girls and of course there were a bunch of them who wouldn’t do it but I figured….teenagers….. so I ran this past a few of my staff today and one of them said to me, “Oh, I wouldn’t do that.” “Why?” I asked. “Well, it is boastful” she answered. “What’s wrong with that?” That’s the real question. What is wrong with that!? What is wrong with being a little boastful.

A memory arises of the great question of how could Moses be the epitomy of humility when he himself writes that there will never be a greater prophet than Moses. The answer, and here I cannot give a source, other than to say I know there is one 🙂 , is that humility is not about what you are but rather knowing where it came from. Moses knew that his gifts were from G-d. I know that my gifts are from G-d. Therefore, saying I am smart isn’t boastful, it is acknowledging who I am. And so what if it is boastful! I think that there is a huge difference between acknowledging who you are, lifting yourself up and putting others down. That’s where being boastful can go bad. To me it is simple common sense that it is no ones job to believe in me more than I believe in myself. I am smart! I am capable! I am me!

Now, go get a white T-shirt. Put your “I’m [blank]!!!” on it and wear it for a day. Then tell me how it felt 🙂

That's me being a little boastful

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Filed under Violence Prevention, Women Empowerment, Yudit Sidikman