There are a lot of folks out there who really do believe that women just cannot effectively defend themselves. So it's somewhat refreshing to see this article about a veteran police officer, Captain Kirby Lee Maybush, teaching women to defend themselves. Self-defense needs a positive mental attitude (PMA), which you get from your physical, mental and spiritual strength (PMS) and the will to survive (WTS). According to the article, "being called to hundreds of crime scenes -- from domestic violence to rape or physical abuse -- motivated him to teach women not only how to defend themselves, but empower them to believe they can do it. . . [F]ear is paralyzing; knowledge about what to do in a threatening situation is empowering -- even though it offers no guarantee of a safe outcome."
The good: Strong emphasis on awareness and prevention, and how you carry yourself physically. Also recognizing threats, including your own state of mind.
The not-so-good: Examples of women who got rid of men harassing them at bus stops by peeing herself, or by picking her nose and drooling. Evading assault by disgusting the potential perp? On the one hand, in self-defense there are no real rules and whatever works is great. On the other hand, a woman may have to do some mental juggling to construe these tactics as empowering. Regardless, if it makes you more powerful, do it.