Monday, May 22, 2017

Help Us Plan the IMPACT Chicago 30th Anniversary


From IMPACT grad  & Board Member Deb Mier:

Hello, fabulous IMPACT grads!!

As you may already  know IMPACT Chicago has entered its 30th year. An accomplishment that we want to recognize officially and publicly. 

We have two events coming up in 2017 to celebrate the IMPACT Chicago 30th Anniversary.


-The first course was offered in August of 1987. On Sunday August 6, 2017 (30 years later) we will cheer on graduates as they complete their course at the Cooper Center, followed by a special program.

-On Tuesday October 24, at the School of the Art Institute in the Loop, we will host filmmaker Ellen Snortland and executive producer Yudit Sidikman and screen Beauty Bites Beast , a film about the transformational experience of learning verbal, emotional and physical empowerment based self-defense.

I am Chair of the August event and am seeking a co-chair and a committee to help plan the event. The commitment is time-limited (3-4 meetings) and our meetings will be brief. We can also use help the day of the event if you want a one-day only commitment. Our first meeting will take place in the next few weeks. Looking forward to it, should be fun!!

We are looking for grads to help us plan these two events. If you are interested,  contact info@impactchicago.org.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Facing Sexual Harassment

Women deal with street harassment all the time. Usually it comes in the form of being stared at, or a comment directed at our appearance. It’s irritating, but not usually worth responding. There are times, however, when a response is necessary. 

In the winter of 2017, I encountered two instances of aggressive public sexual harassment. The first one happened on the street as I was coming around a corner. A man was there asking for spare change, and when he saw me he turned and said “Whoa, baby”, while looking me up and down. Then he asked for money. I told him I didn’t have any and kept walking. He started following me, continuing to ask for money but in a tone that was sexually suggestive. I turned around, looked him in the eye, and said “I have nothing for you.” He looked shocked and stopped talking, so I turned back around to walk away. He called me a bitch and something else I didn’t hear clearly, but I didn’t care. He wasn’t following or talking to me anymore, which was the goal. 

The second instance happened a few weeks later on an L platform. As I was waiting for the train, a man came up the stairs onto the platform and said “Damn! She is fine! Look at that ass!” He was so loud that the whole platform probably heard him. I didn’t
think he was talking about me, though, because I wasn’t anywhere near him. But then he walked up to me and started talking about my body, what it looked like, and what he’d like to do to it. I told him to leave me alone, but every time I opened my mouth to speak, he spoke louder in order to drown me out. So I stopped talking, turned to face him, and looked him square in the eyes. I didn’t blink or flinch, just kept my gaze locked with his. Eventually he got the point, called me a bitch, and walked away. Later on, after we’d all gotten on the train, he caused problems in another car. It was so bad that the conductor had to get off the train at the next stop and walk down the platform to sort everything out. The conductor had to physically remove him from the train, almost resulting in a fist fight.

Both incidents were upsetting and scary, and things could have gone much worse if I had handled them differently. The men I encountered were predators, and predators feed on fear. I wasn’t afraid of them, though. I was angry. Livid, actually. How dare they treat me like a plaything? I am more than that, and I let them see it. I am also proud because I didn’t let the anger take over and cloud my judgement, and instead I used it to fuel the faith I have in my ability to protect myself. In these instances, I didn’t have to do any more than stand tall and look them in the eyes with no fear. I was willing to do more if I had to, and was standing strong and ready, just in case. They saw this and considered me to be more trouble than I was worth.

I know many women who would have been afraid of these men, and they would have
let that fear show.  Because of that, these kinds of situations could go very poorly for them. It makes me mad, both that there are women who don’t have the training I have, and also that they need it. I want the world to be a better place, and there are things I can to do help make that happen. I have been an assistant teacher at Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center for three of the six years I’ve been training there, and these two incidents inspired me to expand that role. I am now a full martial arts instructor, and also an assistant self-defense teacher. 

I am strong. I am fierce. And, because of that, I am safe. I strive to reach as many people I can, sharing my experience, tools, and skills so that they, too, will be safe.

Tabitha Olson
1st degree Black Belt
Seido Karate
Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center
 Facing Street Harassment
Women deal with street harassment all the time. Usually it comes in the form o
f being stared at, or a
comment directed at our appearance.
It
s
irritating, but not usually worth responding. There are times,
however, when a response is necessary.
In the winter of 2017, I encountered two instances of aggressive public sex
ual harassment. The first one
happened on the street as I was coming around a corner. A man was
th
ere asking for spare change, and
when he saw me
he
turned and said
Whoa, baby
while looking me up and down. Then he asked for
money. I told him I didn
t have any and kept walking. He started following me, continuing to
ask for
money but in a tone that was sexually suggestive. I turned around, l
ooked him in the eye, and said
I
have nothing for you.
He looked shocked and stopped talking, so I turned back around to
walk away.
He called me a bitch and something else I didn
t
hear clearly, but I didn
t care. He wasn
t following or
talking to me anymore, which was the goal.
The second instance happened a few weeks later on an
L
platform. As I was waiting for the train, a man
came up the stairs onto the platform and said
Damn! She is fine! Look at that ass!
He was so loud that
the whole platform probably heard him. I didn
t
think he was talking about me, though, because I wasn
t
anywhere near him. But then he walked up to me and started talking about
my body, what it looked like,
and what he
d like to do to it. I told him to leave me alone, but every t
ime I opened my mouth to speak,
he spoke louder in order to drown me out. So I stopped talking, tu
rned to face him, and looked him
square in the eyes. I didn
t blink or flinch, just kept my gaze locked with his. Eventually
he got the point,
called me a bitch, and walked away. Later on, after we
d all gotten on the train, he caused problems in
another car. It was so bad that the conductor had to get off the t
rain at the next stop and walk down the
platform to sort everything out. The conductor had to physicall
y remove him from the train, almost
resulting in a fist fight.
Both incidents were upsetting and scary
,
and things could have gone much worse if I had handled them
differently.
Th
e men I encountered were predators, and predators feed on fear. I wasn
t afraid of them
,
though. I was angry. Livid, actually. How dare they treat me like a pl
aything? I am more than that, and
I
let them see it. I am also proud because I didn
t let
th
e anger take over and cloud my judgement, and
instead used it to fuel the faith I have in my ability to protect my
self. In these instances, I didn
t have to
do any more than stand tall and look them in the eyes with no fear. I
was willing to do more if I had to
,
and was standing strong and ready, just in case. They saw this and considered
me to be more trouble
than I was worth.
I know many women who would have been afraid of these men, and they would have
let that fear show.
Because of that, these kinds of situations could go very poorly for them
. It makes me mad, both that
there are women who don
t have the training I have, and also that they need it. I want the
world to be a
better place, and there are things I can to do help make that happen. I h
ave been an assistant teacher at
Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center for three of the six years I
ve been training there
,
and these two incidents inspired me to expand that role. I am now a ful
l martial arts instructor, and also
an assistant self-defense teacher.
I am strong. I am fierce. And, because of that, I am safe. I strive to reac
h as many people I can, sharing
my experience, tools, and skills so that they, too, will be safe. Facing Street Harassment
Women deal with street harassment all the time. Usually it comes in the form o
f being stared at, or a
comment directed at our appearance.
It
s
irritating, but not usually worth responding. There are times,
however, when a response is necessary.
In the winter of 2017, I encountered two instances of aggressive public sex
ual harassment. The first one
happened on the street as I was coming around a corner. A man was
th
ere asking for spare change, and
when he saw me
he
turned and said
Whoa, baby
while looking me up and down. Then he asked for
money. I told him I didn
t have any and kept walking. He started following me, continuing to
ask for
money but in a tone that was sexually suggestive. I turned around, l
ooked him in the eye, and said
I
have nothing for you.
He looked shocked and stopped talking, so I turned back around to
walk away.
He called me a bitch and something else I didn
t
hear clearly, but I didn
t care. He wasn
t following or
talking to me anymore, which was the goal.
The second instance happened a few weeks later on an
L
platform. As I was waiting for the train, a man
came up the stairs onto the platform and said
Damn! She is fine! Look at that ass!
He was so loud that
the whole platform probably heard him. I didn
t
think he was talking about me, though, because I wasn
t
anywhere near him. But then he walked up to me and started talking about
my body, what it looked like,
and what he
d like to do to it. I told him to leave me alone, but every t
ime I opened my mouth to speak,
he spoke louder in order to drown me out. So I stopped talking, tu
rned to face him, and looked him
square in the eyes. I didn
t blink or flinch, just kept my gaze locked with his. Eventually
he got the point,
called me a bitch, and walked away. Later on, after we
d all gotten on the train, he caused problems in
another car. It was so bad that the conductor had to get off the t
rain at the next stop and walk down the
platform to sort everything out. The conductor had to physicall
y remove him from the train, almost
resulting in a fist fight.
Both incidents were upsetting and scary
,
and things could have gone much worse if I had handled them
differently.
Th
e men I encounteFacing Street Harassment
Women deal with street harassment all the time. Usually it comes in the form o
f being stared at, or a
comment directed at our appearance.
It
s
irritating, but not usually worth responding. There are times,
however, when a response is necessary.
In the winter of 2017, I encountered two instances of aggressive public sex
ual harassment. The first one
happened on the street as I was coming around a corner. A man was
th
ere asking for spare change, and
when he saw me
he
turned and said
Whoa, baby
while looking me up and down. Then he asked for
money. I told him I didn
t have any and kept walking. He started following me, continuing to
ask for
money but in a tone that was sexually suggestive. I turned around, l
ooked him in the eye, and said
I
have nothing for you.
He looked shocked and stopped talking, so I turned back around to
walk away.
He called me a bitch and something else I didn
t
hear clearly, but I didn
t care. He wasn
t following or
talking to me anymore, which was the goal.
The second instance happened a few weeks later on an
L
platform. As I was waiting for the train, a man
came up the stairs onto the platform and said
Damn! She is fine! Look at that ass!
He was so loud that
the whole platform probably heard him. I didn
t
think he was talking about me, though, because I wasn
t
anywhere near him. But then he walked up to me and started talking about
my body, what it looked like,
and what he
d like to do to it. I told him to leave me alone, but every t
ime I opened my mouth to speak,
he spoke louder in order to drown me out. So I stopped talking, tu
rned to face him, and looked him
square in the eyes. I didn
t blink or flinch, just kept my gaze locked with his. Eventually
he got the point,
called me a bitch, and walked away. Later on, after we
d all gotten on the train, he caused problems in
another car. It was so bad that the conductor had to get off the t
rain at the next stop and walk down the
platform to sort everything out. The conductor had to physicall
y remove him from the train, almost
resulting in a fist fight.
Both incidents were upsetting and scary
,
and things could have gone much worse if I had handled them
differently.
Th
e men I encountered were predators, and predators feed on fear. I wasn
t afraid of them
,
though. I was angry. Livid, actually. How dare they treat me like a pl
aything? I am more than that, and
I
let them see it. I am also proud because I didn
t let
th
e anger take over and cloud my judgement, and
instead used it to fuel the faith I have in my ability to protect my
self. In these instances, I didn
t have to
do any more than stand tall and look them in the eyes with no fear. I
was willing to do more if I had to
,
and was standing strong and ready, just in case. They saw this and considered
me to be more trouble
than I was worth.
I know many women who would have been afraid of these men, and they would have
let that fear show.
Because of that, these kinds of situations could go very poorly for them
. It makes me mad, both that
there are women who don
t have the training I have, and also that they need it. I want the
world to be a
better place, and there are things I can to do help make that happen. I h
ave been an assistant teacher at
Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center for three of the six years I
ve been training there
,
and these two incidents inspired me to expand that role. I am now a ful
l martial arts instructor, and also
an assistant self-defense teacher.
I am strong. I am fierce. And, because of that, I am safe. I strive to reac
h as many people I can, sharing
my experience, tools, and skills so that they, too, will be safe. red were predators, and predators feed on fear. I wasn
t afraid of them
,
though. I was angry. Livid, actually. How dare they treat me like a pl
aything? I am more than that, and
I
let them see it. I am also proud because I didn
t let
th
e anger take over and cloud my judgement, and
instead used it to fuel the faith I have in my ability to protect my
self. In these instances, I didn
t have to
do any more than stand tall and look them in the eyes with no fear. I
was willing to do more if I had to
,
and was standing strong and ready, just in case. They saw this and considered
me to be more trouble
than I was worth.
I know many women who would have been afraid of these men, and they would have
let that fear show.
Because of that, these kinds of situations could go very poorly for them
. It makes me mad, both that
there are women who don
t have the training I have, and also that they need it. I want the
world to be a
better place, and there are things I can to do help make that happen. I h
ave been an assistant teacher at
Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center for three of the six years I
ve been training there
,
and these two incidents inspired me to expand that role. I am now a ful
l martial arts instructor, and also
an assistant self-defense teacher.
I am strong. I am fierce. And, because of that, I am safe. I strive to reac
h as many people I can, sharing
my experience, tools, and skills so that they, too, will be safe.