author={Patricia Searles and Ronald J. Berger},
  journal={Gender \& Society},
  pages={61 - 84}
This article discusses feminist self-defense as a victim-prevention strategy, describes the nature and scope of the self-defense movement, examines a case history of a women's self-defense organization, and analyzes the mobilization and organizational dilemmas that confronted that organization. We compare self-defense services with victim services to help explain the development of the women's self-defense movement, and in particular, its feminist component. 

In Defense of Self-Defense

Abstract Some feminist theorists have argued that emphasizing women's self-defense mistakenly emphasizes women's behavior and choices rather than male aggression as a cause of sexual violence. I

The Fighting Spirit

This article presents ethnographic research on women's self-defense training and suggests that women's self-defense culture prompts feminists to refigure our understanding of the body and violence.

Empowering Self-Defense Training

It is argued that an empowerment approach to self-defense training contributes to the anti-violence movement in multiple ways: providing a pathway to increase women’s and girls’ safety and their potential for becoming powerful and effective social change agents right now.

The importance of self-defense training for sexual violence prevention

Women’s self-defense training has been excluded from sexual violence prevention efforts for a variety of reasons, including concerns that it is ineffective, encourages victim blaming, neglects

A Feminist Response to Rothman's ''The Interweaving of Community Intervention Approaches''

This paper critiques Jack Rothman's ''The Interweaving of Community Intervention Approaches'' (this volume) from a feminist perspective. A feminist version of his intervention typology, using a wide

Fighting Back Works: The Case for Advocating and Teaching Self-Defense against Rape

This article is designed to encourage educators to teach their students self-defense skills applicable to rape resistance, so that educators can have a significant role in preventing sexual assault through promoting self- defense training.


This article analyzes feminist organizations as a species of social movement organization. It identifies 10 dimensions for comparing feminist and nonfeminist organizations or for deriving types of

Self-defense training for college women.

  • N. Cummings
  • Education
    Journal of American college health : J of ACH
  • 1992
This article explores the effectiveness of self-defense training for college women, reviews the relevant literature, outlines practical suggestions for initiatives in this area, and describes a model self- defense course at one university.

Women's self-defense and sexual assault resistance: The state of the field

Public attention to sexual assault has increased dramatically over the last decade, spurring questions about how it can be prevented. One approach that has received scant attention is women's self ‐

Full Contact: Sexual Assault, Combat Sports, and the Myth of Self-Defense

The essay considers the unique rhetorical dimensions of sexual assault in the combat sports setting, centering on three central arguments. The first is that traditional recommendations for



Rape as a Social Problem: A Byproduct of the Feminist Movement

I analyze the anti-rape movement from a theoretical perspective, emphasizing interest-group formation and action and the generation of social problems by social movements. Although a variety of

Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: Toward Feminist Jurisprudence

  • C. Mackinnon
  • Sociology
    Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
  • 1983
Feminism has no theory of the state. It has a theory of power: sexuality is gendered as gender is sexualized. Male and female are created through the erotization of dominance and submission. The

Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory

  • C. Mackinnon
  • Political Science
    Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society
  • 1982
Sexuality is to feminism what work is to marxism: that which is most one's own, yet most taken away. Marxist theory argues that society is fundamentally constructed of the relations people form as

A group called women: Sisterhood & symbolism in the feminist movement

This book is an account of the author's dissertation fieldwork while participating in the New York City women's movement from 1971 to 1973. The book is separated into two parts, the first concerning

Self-Defense for Women: Translating Theory into Practice

As rates of violent crime have risen, grassroots women's organizations, hospitals, and other community agencies have begun to respond to the needs of the victims of violent assault. Currently, many


Wife beating has become the object of media attention and government policy, not because of an increase in its frequency, or because the public has become more concerned, but because a social

Rights Consciousness and Victimization Prevention: Personal Defense and Assertiveness Training

In personal defense and assertiveness training women learn how to avoid being victimized. The actual behaviors the students learn are not very novel. What is novel for them is engaging in those

Violence against Women: Some Considerations Regarding its Causes and its Elimination

Violence against women is identified as an outcome of the social structure and ideology of gender domination. Its very definition is problematic and political, related to changes in women's place in

Gender expectations and their impact on black female offenders and victims

The characterizations of females presented by early theorists were based on an image of the ideal woman that was specific to upper class white women. Literature in the areas of female crime and and

Negotiating Trouble in a Battered Women's Shelter

The treatment of battered women is discussed by examining the micro- and macropolitical forces impinging on the operation of a battered women's shelter. Funding agencies, other social services, and