BBB flips ideas about female helplessness, as women undertake the transformational experience of learning verbal, emotional and physical empowerment based self-defense. How often can you say a movie will save lives? This one already has.
Our aim with Beauty Bites Beast is to 'normalize' the idea of women's self-defense - and by extension, kids' self-defense - as a human need and right. We want to inspire those on the fence to see that the drive to protect oneself is not a gendered attribute and to thereby get behind the movement to make empowerment self-defense accessible, portable and affordable.
As a mother's son and sisters' brother, I understand the point of "Beauty Bites Beast": the world is a scary place for women, who need to learn to defend themselves.
As a man, I found the documentary to be yet another tiresome misandrist manifesto (pardon me, womanifesto) declaring Men as The Enemy and Women as Eternal Victims (of Men). Its presentation, to me, was offensive, simplistic, and ridiculing. The male narrator alone deserves a good, swift kick in the cojones for his annoying, belittling tone.
Not all physical attacks on women are by men. I would have been more receptive to BBB had the producers been equitable and also reported on women-on-women violence. Case 1: the recent shooting of Marshae Jones in Alabama. Case 2: a woman friend who was brutally battered and bloodied by a psychotic member of her own sex (for being overweight) -- that case was also in the national news.
Yes, self-defense is good to know. But, it is no guarantee against being victimized. While in college I took a class in self-defense . . . skills that were absolutely useless when I was mugged several years later. The mugger held me up at gunpoint (guns: the great equalizer) and didn't even bother to get out of his car. Because a judo flip, karate chop, or wrestling chokehold can't deflect a bullet, I complied with the mugger's order and handed over my wallet.
Role model Nia Sanchez (2014 Miss USA), profiled in BBB, is a fourth-degree Black Belt. What happens when male attackers also know martial arts? See the news story on Rachael Ostovich-Berdon. What happens if Ms. Sanchez is attacked by a FIFTH-degree Black Belt? Again, martial arts does not endow someone with invincibility. See the news story about Olympic Judo medalist Dirk Van Tichelt.
. . . and what happens when male predators watch BBB ("Hmmm. Looks like I better take a self-defense class!")?
The Web is scrofulous with videos and news stories (many of which hail from Brazil) of women beating up men and besting male attackers. Perversely, much of such entertainment is consumed by, produced by and produced for a weird subculture of submissive, masochistic "men" who get off on being physically, psychologically, and verbally dominated and humiliated by "Amazon women."
Male aggression, male violence, and "toxic masculinity" do not result because they are learned behaviors taught only by men to men. Women need to take responsibility in such inculcation. When women pay more than lip service to wanting "men to become more like women" (and in the idealistic context of "equality," what does THAT even mean?) . . .
. . . when women start walking their talk and begin admiring, desiring, and respecting the "Sensitive Man" ("beta males," "omega males") instead of wetting their panties over macho male sports jocks and military jarheads and romantically fantasizing about fifty shades of alpha dog magnates . . .
. . . MAYBE the world will change and peace, love, and harmony between the sexes will blossom, flower, thrive, and prevail. Until then, take your empowering self-defense classes, Wonder Woman, and address the symptom but not the cause of the problem.
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