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Miss USA recommends self-defense against campus rape; enrages 'feminists'

Ms. Sanchez advises women learn to defend themselves against rapists, and 'feminists' shriek in outrage
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Sunday evening, Nia Sanchez went from being Miss Nevada to accepting the crown for Miss USA. As is typical with these pageants, one area on which the contestants are judged is their short answer to some kind of sociological question relating to issues of the day. This time, they were asked for answers on how to combat sexual assaults on college campuses.

Ms. Sanchez, who has a fourth degree black belt in taekwondo, recommended that women learn how to defend themselves. A safe, uncontroversial answer, one might think, and one that would be universally recognized as a way of empowering women. As reported on Twitchy, though, one would be wrong, at least when it comes to self-proclaimed women's rights advocates on Twitter. Here are a few examples (Note: some of these tweets can only be seen by followers of the Twitter user who posted them):

I'm sorry, but women shouldn't need to take self defense classes to protect themselves from rape #MissUSA—Peter Simon (@PeterSimon12) June 09, 2014

Miss Nevada was asked about rape at colleges and answered that women need to learn to defend themselves... OR MEN COULD JUST NOT RAPE. 9:55 PM - 8 Jun 2014

Not happy w/ Miss Nevada's answer that to stop rape we should teach women to defend themselves…Why don't we teach men to not rape?—Kelsey Bemus (@KelseyBemus) June 09, 2014

Miss Nevada Sick of hearing "women need to learn selfdefense from sexual violence" We need a culture we don't have to defend ourselves from 9:39 PM - 8 Jun 2014

Women shouldn't need to learn to protect themselves against rape #missnevada educate and respect yourself as a woman #rapeculture 9:55 PM - 8 Jun 2014

There were plenty more along that theme--railing against the very idea of women learning to defend themselves, because what is really needed is for men learning not to attack them. Great--wonderful idea. When, though, do these idealists expect that to happen? Over the entire course of human history, we haven't gotten very close to the elimination of sexual predators, but apparently, that's just around the corner. Great news.

As National Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea observes, these people are living in a fantasy world, and want to force others to pretend that fantasy is true--and to suffer the consequences of not having been prepared for reality.

Other tweets accused Ms. Sanchez of "victim blaming," and of supporting the "rape culture" (by suggesting that women learn to injure their would-be rapists?). One twitter user, Elisa Benson, of the magazine Cosmopolitan, called Sanchez's idea "icky."

This is not to argue, of course, that unarmed self-defense--even to the level of proficiency indicated by a fourth degree black belt--can be counted on as being sufficient to stop an attacker likely to be far larger and stronger than his intended victim. But the question, remember, was about sexual assault on college campuses, the vast majority of which still demand victim disarmament, so armed self-defense is off the table.

Of course the best "solution" to sexual violence is that those who perpetrate it stop. Unfortunately, that will not happen until someone stops them, and that will not happen without force. Universities and politicians refuse to allow women to defend themselves with firearms, and others are offended by the idea of them defending themselves with fists and feet. If there is a "war on women," these people would appear to be on the wrong side of it.

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