Wow, I just read something amazing in "The Fat Girl's Guide to Life" by Wendy Shanker.
"It's not my job to defend myself against this girl. It's her job not to attack me" (10).
Wow. That really hit me hard. It's so true for women and human beings in general. Too often we get into the habit of victim blaming. (I'm talking about every kind of victimization, from rape to racism.) It's easy. It takes the pressure off. It helps us cope with violence or uncomfortable emotions like hate. We can say that the victim "should have" done this, or could have "defended themselves" in this or that way. We say this because it helps us believe that we have options if we get in the same situation.
But all of that is a lie.
The bottom line is this: It's not our job to defend ourselves. It's other people's jobs not to attack us.