Her Own Hero, by Wendy L. Rouse

Did you know that women in the United States were signing up for boxing and jui-jitsu classes over a hundred years ago? Her Own Hero, by Wendy L. Rouse
March is Women’s History Month, I teach self-defense for women, and I like books. Here’s a happy convergence. Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement by Wendy L. Rouse (NY: NYU Press, 2017) goes into the social herstory of women’s self-defense in the Progressive Era (1890s through 1920s). We most often associate women activists of that time as fighting for the vote, and here they were also fighting for fighting back against misogyny and mashers.
Sure you can buy Her Own Hero on Amazon. But you can also get it at a local independent bookstore. Both Elliott Bay Books in Seattle and Powell’s in Portland have it listed on their shelves (as of today).
I have not finished reading it yet, so no review today.  What I’ve read so far is great.  I did hear Dr. Rouse give a talk on this research at the Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference of 2018, and was fascinated.  I had not considered before that there was a history of self-defense and personal safety organizations before the second wave of feminism.  But, yes, here it was.  Check it out.
And if you’d like to become your own shero, do check out our current class listings.