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Miss USA speaks up for self-defense against rape

An answer that makes sense angers many.
An answer that makes sense angers many.
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Last night Miss Nevada, Nia Sanchez, became Miss USA. As part of the process to become Miss USA, Miss Sanchez was asked a quesiton about sexual assaults on college campuses. Her answer was spot on, and it has obviously irritated many. The backlash to her answer as seen on Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets is simply astounding, and incredibly misguided.

“How did she win after that awful and offensive answer? Idiot.”
“I’m sorry, but women shouldn’t need to take self defense classes to protect themselves from rape”
“Let’s hope Nevada uses her media tour to reiterate that teaching girls self defense is NOT the best way to protect against assault”

Let’s break these three responses down. How is suggesting that we teach anyone, man, woman, or child how to defend themselves “awful and offensive”? This is the core of the Empowerment Movement that is so popular with most Feminists and some of the worst backlash is coming from those groups. Yes, it would be fantastic if it were true that women did not have to protect themselves from sexual assault and rape. The cold truth is that these crimes are committed and when a woman has had no training or education it makes her more susceptible and more likely to be subjected to severe trauma, both physically and emotionally. As to the last statement, what would be your suggestion for her message? If we better empower women to detect potential threats and give them skills to actively defend themselves we have made them stronger and safer. Again, how is that a bad thing? How is suggesting this course of action, empowering and teaching our young women, in any way “awful and offensive”?

“Miss Nevada, who just reinforced victim-blaming rape culture to millions of viewers, is crowned”
“Miss Nevada described how individuals need to protect themselves from rape, instead of teaching others not to rape. Stop the victim blaming.”

You have to hand it to these two bloggers; they have hit on the latest “buzz word” in an attempt to spread the lunacy. Yes, we live in a world that is contains a significant “Rape Culture” and the best way to kill any culture is to taint the food supply. Think about it this way, if we teach women, making them better able to avoid those situation that put them in harm’s way and give them skills to fight back when attacked we have just made it significantly harder for sexual predators to do what they do. Not only is their next potential victim more aware and alert, but that lady could very well seriously injure or even kill them. Makes the act of stalking and assaulting women far more dangerous, a great deterrent. Miss Sanchez’s answer in no way “blamed” the victims or potential victims. Her answer was given as a way to reduce the number of victims through education and training. There is no blame being placed, only wisdom being disseminated.

“Miss Nevada was asked about rape at colleges and answered that women need to learn to defend themselves… OR MEN COULD JUST NOT RAPE”
“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?”
“Sick of hearing women need to learn self defense from sexual violence We need a culture we don’t have to defend ourselves from”

Rape and sexual assault have been around as long as there has been man and woman. Yes, we need to be doing a far better job of teaching our young men to respect women. We also need to overhaul popular media; the objectification of women in television, movies and music is a major issue that needs to be addressed. This will take time and not every man will be reached or educated, some are simply sociopathic and psychopathic, they either do not see any other alternative for behavior or fail to understand the immorality of their actions. In the meantime, let’s make sure ladies are prepared to stay safe and defend themselves if necessary. The best solution to any problem always has more than one active component. In this case, while we are busy trying to retrain our culture and incarcerate those who don’t “get it”, we should be making sure we are helping the potential victims of these heinous crimes.

As with many things in our world today, the “poplar opinion” has managed to get their collective concept of how the world works backwards. Reducing rape and sexual assault starts with teaching both men and women to take personal responsibility. Women can take control of their safety through education and training while the “boys” learn how to behave towards women. Ms. Sanchez has said, to the world, exactly what needed to be said. Well done Ma’am, well done.