Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's All About Control. But You Already Knew That.

All women may be at risk of sexual assault, but risk is not evenly distributed across the ages. Younger women are at higher risk, with those ages 17-24 and in college at the peak of peril.

Among the several reasons that younger women are at higher risk is that they are more often more trusting, and more easily misled. So when I read this article on why some* men in their late 30s/40s say they prefer to date younger women, the similarities were quite impressive. Each respondent phrased their answers more agreeably, but each one came down to "because younger women are easier to control."

Some select quotes, and my interpretations:
They don’t (yet) have a laundry list of what they want in a partner, in a career, in a life. . . . I think that kind of attitude appeals to thirty-something guys who want a relationship to really be on our terms.
Interpretation: Because she doesn't have strong opinions of her own (or I can safely ignore them and she'll go along), I get to call the shots.
They tend to be untainted by experiences that have hardened older women. Like when a woman’s been lied to a lot after years of dating, she always thinks you’re lying to her. And that’s a turnoff. Younger women are less cynical and that’s a big draw.
Interpretation: I can get away with lying to her.
She’s interested in the here and now, in going out, in having fun. It may sound like a cliché, but it’s reality. I’m not anti-marriage, I’m just anti-agenda.
Interpretation: I'm not really anti-agenda, I'm for my own agenda and only my agenda.
You can play ‘cruise director’—show her all your secret favorite places that she probably hasn’t experienced yet. They’re easier to impress and very willing to be escorted around.
Interpretation: I get to call the shots.

In short, it's all about the power.

And that is the connection with sexual assault. I'm not asserting that the guys interviewed for this article are rapists, not at all. What I am saying is that there's a LOT of overlap in what these middle-aged men were looking for and what most serial acquaintance rapists are looking for. So if you are a young female, and find that you're attracting attention from somewhat older men who are happy to take control (however they care to phrase it), please give some thought to your own desires and plans (your "agenda"), and how you express them.

Nobody will give you power and control over your own life. You just have to take it.

These critical life lessons are covered in Self Defense 101 as well as the intensive Self Defense Weekend Workshop.

*This definitely un-scientific survey reflects the views of only a small group of men specifically selected to make a point (and a pseudo-news story), and is not intended to make global assertions about Mankind.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On the Airwaves

In light of recent attacks on women joggers, I was interviewed on KOMO Radio live! We aired Tuesday, December 21 at 12:46 in the afternoon, and you can listen to it here:  http://www.StrategicLiving.org/Joanne_Factor_on_KOMO.mp3.

One point of contention is whether women should be running in the early morning hours or in the evening, when it's dark outside. I say yes, many runners enjoy the calm and solitude at those times, or that's really the best time for them. I also say recognize that you are at higher risk for assault, so be prepared and aware. The bare minimum self defense skills you should know are (1) which are higher-value targets on an assailant's body (eyes, throat, groin, knees), and (2) use your voice LOUD (give direct commands, such as STOP! or LET GO! or BACK OFF!).

To date, those women who have been assaulted succeeded in fending off the attacker. They fought back and used their voices. And prevailed. You can too. The next round of self defense classes will begin in about a month, see the schedule at http://www.StrategicLiving.org/classes.htm. And have a safe holiday shopping/jogging season!