Kung Fu Fighting

[Here’s a reference to a more contemporary song than we usually use! Kung Fu Fighting.]

It is mid-October in real-time. Here in the States, on the election front, we are hearing about bad behavior. A lot of the bad behavior they are talking about has had women as the targets.

Sir John Dalberg-Acton is credited with saying “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Add to that the fact sexual assault is generally believed to be a crime of power and control and you have a very nasty mix. One has power. The other does not. Throughout history this has led to a perpetrator and victim relationship an uncountable number of times.

I bring this up not because of the political scene – I will remain mute about that – but because we seem to have the problem locally. There are rumors one of the transportation drivers is soliciting passengers! He is said to be doing this in a rather vulgar fashion.

In classic form, he is targeting women whom he sees as having little power. The rumors say he has approached addicts and women of color.

I do not know which driver the rumors are about. I do not think he will approach me. I present myself as confident and competent. They take me to professional jobs….I have a lot of vision left.

But what happens when my vision gets much worse? Will the power balance shift? Will people who get their jollies from abusing a power differential see me as a victim?

I have no great desire to live in fear of people who think it is fun or makes them important to prey on those with a disability. Just the same, loss of a sense means a loss of power. How does one try to keep the balance a bit more even?

In the modern way of getting information, I did a web search. There were some suggestions that sounded like they would be a lot of fun. Cane-Fu (think Kung Fu), Grasshopper, is said to increase physical fitness and confidence. A white cane can be a great weapon of opportunity and used to trip and smack shins. Like I said, sounds like fun☺.

The American Council for the Blind endorses a program called 1 Touch. According to the article, the program was developed in London by a martial arts instructor, Stephen Nicholls. The technique uses balance, coordination and dexterity as well as situational awareness. The article talks about using leverage and joint locks.

All of which is great but suggests to me that having to use this technique means things have escalated way above where I would want them to be. I prefer not to have to engage in hand-to-hand combat!

Since I prefer to avoid a problem rather than defend myself physically, I offer as kinder and gentler options with some suggestions as made by Peter Shankman in How to Avoid Being a Victim Anywhere, Anytime. Shankman suggested things like not developing patterns of travel and both knowing and being aware of surroundings.

Situational awareness is priceless. Also priceless is your ‘gut’. Listen to what it is telling you. If you sense danger, get away!

Things like carrying a whistle and having a buddy system are important. Don’t fumble for keys, etc.

Equally important is not looking like a victim. Try to keep your head up. Keep as close to the center of the walkway as you can when walking. Try not to look helpless or fearful. Be confident. Maintain your dignity.

Keep your power. Present yourself as someone they would not want to tangle with. Attitude will serve you well.

Next: motley connection

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