Are you tired of bad Weiner’s weiner jokes yet? Alas, I’m not quite done. This very short ditty is a contender for the William Hung Perfect Pitch Award.


That Weiner Dog

If you were amused, feel free to share. If not, please direct your ire at Apple for making the technology readily available to anyone, regardless of ability or good sense.

I was just surfing on the web this morning, and came across an ebook with a totally AWESOME title:

Self-Care and Self-Defense Manual for Feminist Activists

I haven’t had a chance to read it cover-to-cover, but just leafing through the pages this appears to be a very thorough and articulate personal safety book.  Certainly better than 99% of what’s on the market.

If you are concerned about social justice issues, if you want to be out there making a real difference in the world, and you want to keep yourself physically and emotionally together, download and read!

Raise your hand if you feel there’s not enough gratuitous, needless, and random violence in the world. Hmmm, not seeing a whole lot of hands out there. I thought as much.

Valentine’s Day is not exactly the first holiday that pops to mind when thinking self-defense training. But it could be.

In all my classes, you use your voice. You also raise your voice, deploying words like NO and STOP and LET GO and BACK OFF. These are not exactly your positive relationship-building, Valentine-inspiring words. But they are important words to use at the right time.

If you are like virtually all my students, you want to recognize when someone means you ill. You want to have what it takes to say NO to people and events that will negatively impact the quality of your life. And you want to be someone who makes a difference.

You want to be able to say NO some of the time so that you can more confidently, more assuredly, and more enthusiastically say YES to people and events that will engage you, that will offer you growth as a person, that will provide exciting challenges. You want to say YES to good friends and productive opportunities. You want this world to be a better place, and you want to contribute to this work-in-progress.

One of the foundations of this work is in the relationships you forge with others, particularly those closest to you. True, February has become a “Hallmark Moment.” But we do not have to wait for marketers to tell us when it’s OK to treat one special person extraordinarily well for one evening. If I were Supreme Ruler of the Universe, Valentine’s Day would be a Day of Service (similar to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in January) focusing on bringing vivacity and gusto into our spheres of influence.

My challenge to you for today: come up with one way you can make somebody else’s today a tad better.

Sincerely, Joanne

PS – As my Valentine’s Day gift to you, I’ve created a new handout on healthy relationships. Feel free to download it and share with family and friends.

Do you have a story to share? I’ve noticed some outstanding self-defense stories in the news lately.

One was this 12 year old girl who heard a noise downstairs, went to investigate, and came face to face with a hooded intruder. Not only does she kick him in the crotch, after he runs she draws a sketch to make it easier for police to find the guy.  Read the story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1299920/Home-girl-foils-burglar-groin-kick-draws-police-picture-him.html.

Then there’s the 13 year old girl who fought off a guy with a knife! Read her story at http://www.thegrio.com/news/13-year-old-girl-fights-off-knife-wielding-attacker.php.

And a third happened here in Seattle, when a woman jogging in Seward Park fought off an assailant. Read her story at http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013154472_attack14m.html. This woman was reported to have said to her assailant, “not me, not here, not now.” Many students in my recent classes read about this attack, and took this woman’s mantra to heart.

“Not me, not here, not now.” The power of the story.

Over twenty years ago women were dismayed to see virtually no self-defense success stories in the news. They reached out to the community — posters, ad in papers and on campuses, word of mouth — and were rewarded with an overwhelming abundance of first-hand reports of successful self-defense.  The results became Her Wits About Her: Self-Defense Success Stories by Women, edited by Denise Caignon and Gail Groves, and is a classic in self-defense studies.

An article in the current issue of the academic journal Violence Against Women explores the power of the successful self-defense story. Author Jill Cermele notes these critical benefits of telling women’s self-defense stories.

  • First, they are real examples of real women successfully defending themselves. When more of us know what other women have done successfully, we are more inclined to use resistance.
  • Second, by telling successful resistance as an event that happened, rather than a non-event, we recognize that women have positively acted and DONE SOMETHING POWERFUL.

[from Telling Our Stories: The Importance of Women’s Narratives of Resistance, by Jill Cermele.  Violence Against Women, 16(10): 1162-72, 2010, http://vaw.sagepub.com/content/16/10/1162.

Please share! I’ve begun posting stories I find, or that others have found, on my Facebook page. If you come across any stories, please email them to me or post to my FB page. I can assure you that other self-defense instructors will re-share them. The more the word gets out, the safer we and our communities will become.