Five government-sponsored self-defense classes to be held in the San Fernando Valley next month are being challenged as discriminatory to men and boys.
The women-only classes are advertised as free and are being hosted by California State Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian as well as the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department (Mission Hills division), Bright Star ATA Martial Arts and the North Hollywood Recreation Center.
The classes are for any female 12 and older and will highlight common strikes, important methods of disabling your attacker and some hands-on training techniques.
But, Harry A. Crouch believes the classes are discriminatory.
“Men and boys are especially prone to violent attacks,” Crouch says. “The National Crime Victimization Survey reports that men and boys are 2 ½ times more likely than women and girls to be victims of violent crimes.”
Crouch objects to taxpayer money and government property being used “to fund a series of upcoming free, no-men-or-boys allowed, self-defense classes at several City of Los Angeles recreation centers and a City Police department office.”
Crouch is president of the National Coalition for Men, a nonprofit group based in San Diego, which “raises awareness about how sex discrimination adversely affects women and men.” On their website at http://ncfm.org, the charity group describes itself as a “gender inclusive” group “dedicated to the removal of harmful gender based stereotypes especially as they impact boys, men, their families and the women who love them.”
The free classes are to be held in Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Panorama City, Mission Hills and North Hollywood from May 3 to May 17 at local city recreation centers and police departments.
Crouch’s letters of protest have gone to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, Los Angeles City council members Paul Krekorian, Tom LaBonge, Nury Martinez, Felipe Fuentes, Nazarian’s office and others.
Two local activists have contacted the Studio City Community Activism Examiner and expressed similar concerns that the classes should also include men and boys, especially, says one, because of the recent proliferation in bullying at some local schools.
In his letter of protest, Crouch details the man arrested for killing his former lover, whose head was found near the Hollywood sign in 2012, and three boys at Redlands High School who were sexually harassed by their female high school teacher.
There is also concern that transgendered men will be refused to the classes and they "may be especially vulnerable to violent attacks."
The group asks for the classes to treat men and women equally, and not exclude people from the class based on their gender. A recent protest about similar classes held in Glendale caused the classes to be considered “for the whole family.”
Crouch’s letter says:
“Being born with a penis does not mean a person exited the womb with a black belt in the martial arts.”
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