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A Feminist Response to Critique of Self-Defense

January 3, 2019

This past October, at a high school gym in Astoria queens, the girls in the junior and senior classes had the opportunity to participate in a self-defense class.


But while most of the students were practicing techniques for getting out of a hair/hijab grab or a grab from behind, a student named Batoul Saleh looked on from the sidelines.


In an article entitled “A Feminist Critique of Self-Defense,” Saleh explains that her reasoning for skipping the class was that she considers herself a pacifist. Due to her curiosity and the fact that she also considers herself a feminist, she chose to stay nearby and listen to what the instructor had to say.


Long story short, she was not impressed.