Monday, April 18, 2011

Ten Things Every Woman Should Know

Ever run across the book by Pearl Cleage What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day? In it, she makes a list of 10 things every women should know. Here's the list:
What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day
“Ten Things Every Woman Should Know”
1. How to grow food and flowers
2. How to prepare food nutritiously
3. Self-defense
4. Basic first aid/sex education and midwifery
5. Child care (prenatal/early childhood development )
6. Basic literacy/basic math/ basic computer skills
7. Defensive driving/map reading/ basic auto and home repairs
8. Household budget/money management
9. Spiritual practice
10.Physical fitness/health/hygiene
I like the list. I've got some significant work to do on a few items--#7, #1 in particular! But I want to bring your attention to #3, as one of the most important parts of my life is creating opportunities for women to develop self defense skills as a core part of what we need as women.
There are many things I do that bring me joy and balance that I like to talk about (Martial Arts, Bikram Yoga, watching bad romantic comedies, eating chocolate truffles). But I have no agenda in convincing others to do these things also--there are many paths to a happy, balanced life and chocolate is only one of them.
But self defense is something else altogether and I proselytize about it freely. Amidst all the beauty in life are parts that are dangerously unbalanced--and violence is one of those. As women, we can be targets for this violence and it happens to countless of us every day in every corner of our country, our cities and our suburbs. Our daughters and nieces and girls who live on our block face it too. There is no warning, there is no time to prepare when the threat is imminent. If a violent threat came into your life, you should have your preparation already done, your power already tapped into so that you can pull it out when you need it.
These are not ordinary times. If they were, learning how to fight wouldn't be on the list of things we need to know along with growing plants and children, fixing our cars, spiritual practice. But do not turn your head away from the world as it is--be your own example of power and strength, be the example for the girls growing up behind us.
Isn't it time for you to make time to promote self-defense for women and girls? Or take IMPACT if you haven’t already done so? Won't you join my cause and forward this to women and girls you know? Be part of our goal: to make attacking a women or girl a very dangerous thing to do.
Next Core Program is May 14, 15, 21, and 22 at Dominican University Gym, River Forest. For information and registration: Go to Or send an email to Or call 773 561 9000 begin_of_the_skype_highlightingend_of_the_skype_highlighting. Or do all three.

Margaret Vimont
Senior Instructor
IMPACT Chicago

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