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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Echo Chambers Are Bad for One

I value people who make me think, and who make me question ideas. One of the reasons I became involved in Tony Blauer's PDR program was precisely because Tony would say stuff that would make me go "huh...I never looked at it that way". Rory Miller sometimes pushes similar buttons.

My friend V (not the person in the Guy Fawkes mask, duh) tends to push my thinking in a different way. While she's trained with me, she's not a martial artist or a combat athlete. She's not involved in that culture. But she thinks very critically, and has a very strong interest in social justice, which means she sees problems from a perspective I sometimes never considered.

V recently sent me a pair of articles discussing some social aspects related to rape, victimhood, and how our society copes (or doesn't) with those things. On a certain level, it directly connects to my work. On another, I feel like it's WAY outside my bailiwick.

The connection to my work should be obvious; I want to help people avoid becoming victims. These people, likewise, want to stop people from being victimized.

The reason I say it's outside of my bailiwick is because it's a completely different approach. I'm starting from a point of view that says "the world contains within it people who will try to rape you, and these are the things you can do to stop them."

These folks are saying "our culture is structured in a way that permits, enables, and possibly encourages rape, and how can we change that?"

I think it's a worthy question, and a noble goal. There's places where we probably disconnect. I believe in the existence of the 3%er--the authentic sociopath who is going to rape because he wants to rape, and notions of cultural bias or programming don't really matter to him. Changing culture won't stop someone who never believed you were human in the first place.

On the flip side: as self-defense instructors, I think there are times when we may be TOO willing to shrug and just say "hey, this is how the world is. Changing it isn't my job."

Stuff worth thinking on.

(Title is from V as well. I like it.)

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