Whendy Self-Defense 101

Another deep post from Whendy, this week is just bringing it out…..

Today, through Facebook, I learned that a friend of a friend was brutally raped at 19th and Capp here in San Francisco. They had to stitch her cervix back together. THEY HAD TO STITCH HER CERVIX BACK TOGETHER.

(Ladies and Gents of San Francisco, keep an eye out for two Hispanic men, aged 20-25, one lanky, one chunky. One has scratches on the side of his face from the attack. I wish I had more of a description, I know this isn’t that helpful)

As a victim of sexual abuse, (not that non-victims can’t feel this way), I am so enraged that I’m getting the tingly-temple feelings of an oncoming migraine. I’m not going to go on and on about how disgusting rape is, how totally damaging, and the ramifications of our slut-shaming rape culture. That’ll just make my head hurt more. So, what am I going to talk about?


As a woman in this city, I have been physically assaulted once, the recipient of unwanted touching a MILLION times, and verbally harassed more times than I can fathom. BUT, I have not feared for my safety in years. I have read acres on rape-prevention and taken Self-Defense classes and I recommend ya’ll take heed.

Alright, punks, it’s time for Whendy’s Self-Defense 101!

1.Keep your wits about you. If you’ve seen me walking around this city, especially at night, odds are those headphones I’m “listening” to aren’t pumping out any tunes. It’s my excuse to ignore you, but you can’t sneak up on me. I’ve deflected two “stalkers” by realizing they were behind me, turning on my heel and looking them dead in the eye. And then taking a picture with my phone. Then running like a psycho in the opposite direction. You want some of this? YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO CATCH ME FIRST, DUDE.

1a. Technology has brought us many a fucked up thing. Have you seen that “Girls Near Me” App? HOLY GOD. People, stop fucking checking-in places, seriously. BUT, technology has brought us some awesome shit too. The One-Touch SOS app sends your location to 3 contacts you choose and alerts emergency folks at the touch of one button. It’s available on Droid and I’m sure there’s an Apple equivalent.

A word on stalkers: Try to not always use the same route home, especially if you’re a walker like me. Make your route unpredictable, so some crazy fuck-wit can’t determine exactly where you’re likely to be at 5:15 on a weekday. This also enables you to learn the ‘hood for your enjoyment and know-how.

2. Most attackers DO NOT WANT TO BE CAUGHT, duh! If someone grabs you and tells you “not to scream”, your best chance is to scream like a fucking Banshee. But, always listen to your gut. If someone has a knife to your throat…..look for a different opening. And practice screaming, go ahead! It’s fun and therapeutic! Most of us don’t get the chance to really let loose with those vocal cords, and we’ve all had those dreams where a scream was in order, but you just couldn’t make it come out.

Let’s face it. Even if you scream, there’s a possibility that no one will come to your rescue. People in this day and age are more prone to chicken-shitedness instead of holding other humans accountable. BUT, if something terrible happens, and you screamed the hills down, people in the vicinity can say…”No officer, I didn’t see anything but I DID hear a gut-wrenching scream around 9:30pm.”

3. A Few Effective Ways to Take Down a Bastard

(I’m not saying engage in a fight with an attacker, these are all “Do this and then BOOK IT, baby!”

-Don’t go for the groin. Odds are you may miss and just piss him off more. And there are way better things to do.

-As Dwight Schrute once said, “The eyes are the groin of the face.” Yes, yes they are. I know it sounds intense and wicked gross…BUT GO FOR THE EYES. Poke a finger in, hook it, and yank. Horrifying yes, but I bet you waylaid that motherfucker long enough to bounce.

-A swift kick straight-on to the knee cap or just below the knee HURTS LIKE A BITCH. That, or crunch down on their instep (the top off the foot, above the arch.)

-A punch to the throat is always a good bet.

-If someone grabs you by the wrist, twist in the direction of their thumb. The thumb is the weak-link of the fist, that’s how you break out.

“Wait, you want my money, not my body?”…..

If someone wants your wallet, GIVE IT TO THEM. It ‘aint worth it, yo. You can cancel all your cards, and odds are you’re not rolling around with a bunch of cash. The creepiest part is that they might have your ID with your address on it. Don’t want to think about that? Hey! I have an idea: get a cheap wallet, fill it with random crap, business cards etc. That’s now your new Mugger Wallet! If someone demands your wallet, take it out and throw it down, DO NOT GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO HAND IT TO THEM. Throw it at a 45 degree angle away from you and fuckin’ run like Flo Jo!

A Note on Personal Weapons: Weapons have the capability to be taken away from you and then used on you. Proceed with caution. For home invasion, (or zombies), I have a hockey stick and Wasp Spray. Wasp Spray is stronger than most Pepper Spray AND can reach up to 17 feet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come in a handy purse size.

I cannot recommend taking Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai enough. My brother, Brian, is a Feather Weight Jiu Jitsu Champion in Puerto Rico and is always trying to do horrible moves on me. Don’t laugh at the “Feather Weight”! Jiu Jitsu, to me, is the most effective fighting style because it takes minimal strength and force to achieve maximum damage to your opponent. And, your prime position for taking someone out is basically Missionary Position, which makes this AWESOME for rape-prevention. Some guy wedged between your thighs? I can show you how to choke him out with his own shirt.

Watch “Ong Bak: The Tai Warrior” if you really want to get your juices flowing. He does Muay Thai, and all his stunts are real. Ever wanted to elbow someone in the face? Yeah, me too.

There is literally a BUTT-LOAD of all-female Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai classes in this city, look them up and start kicking ass. I don’t condone needless violence, but I fully support women and men learning to defend themselves the best they can. I haven’t had my safety compromised in YEARS. Why? Because I watch my back, and I have the confidence that I can handle myself in a bad situation. I no longer “look like” a victim.

And, I know the reality. If an attacker was strong enough, or if (god forbid) there was more than one….my chances of escape are slim to none. As women, we live with this reality. (And YES, men get raped as well, I just don’t think that they are trained from childhood that this is something for them to expect).

My darlings, arm yourselves the best that you can. And take care of each other. Keep your damn eyes open, and don’t be afraid to help others. Strangers have come to my rescue, and I have run to the aid of strangers. We NEED to perpetuate that. I don’t think we will ever see the end of rape, but we can make these Sub-Humans think twice before they hurt people.

There is definitely a guy in this city that will remember me as “The Girl that Smashed my Head into A Gate on Langton and Fulsom”. And I would do it again.