Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An odd controversy ensued across social networks recently, around newly crowned Miss USA Nia Sanchez.

During the contest, pageant judge Rumer Willis asked with a reported 19% of U.S. undergraduate women victims of sexual assault, did Sanchez think the issue is being swept under the rug, and what should be done about it?

Sanchez said that schools might well want to sweep sex crime statistics on their campus under the rug, as it could result in a bad reputation for the school. The 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo also suggested women learn how to protect themselves.

“I think more awareness is very important so women can learn how to protect themselves,” she said. “Myself as a fourth-degree black belt, I learned from a young age that you need to be confident and be able to defend yourself and I think that’s something we should start to really implement for a lot of women.”

As a child, Sanchez and her mother lived in a women’s shelter. She started Taekwondo lessons at the age of 8, to learn self-defense and build confidence. As an adult, she has volunteered at women’s shelters, teaching residents how to defend themselves and teaching kids about “stranger danger.”

“I relate to them on a personal level because I’ve been there myself,” she said. She also hopes to use her position as Miss USA to encourage women to learn to martial arts.

Bizarrely, some of the feedback on social networks was negative.

Feminism has a long and honorable tradition of encouraging women to take up combat sports, but a lunatic fringe has descended into very nearly saying the opposite.

Colleen Gibbons @GibbonsColleen
If #MissUSA2014 is the girl who thinks girls need to learn self defense to prevent rape, I'll be furious

Haylee @hayleethikeo
sorry miss Nevada. we do not need to teach women how to better defend ourselves. We need to teach men not to feel entitled to rape

 Elisa Benson @elisabenson
I get that the college sexual assault problem can't be solved in 30 secs but still icky to pretend like self defense is the answer.

UFC women's bantamweight Shayna Baszler stepped up to Sanchez's defense.

 Shayna Baszler @QoSBaszler
While the #YesAllWomen people are busy crying about “victimization”, I was at the gym honing my whoop-ass skillz.

Next to step in was Dr. Ann Maria DeMars, America's first world Judo champion, and Ronda Rousey's mom.

 DrAnnMaria @DrAnnMaria
@QoSBaszler That's fine because you WANT to but you shouldn't HAVE TO http://www.thejuliagroup.com/blog/?p=3851

“I don’t know about you, but I totally DO recognize that it is NOT okay that to sleep peacefully at night as a woman in technology it is helpful to be a crazy psycho bitch willing to cheerfully off attackers,” explains Dr. DeMars in the blog linked above.

 Shayna Baszler @QoSBaszler
@DrAnnMaria i also shouldnt HAVE 2 prevent my acct from fraud, or HAVE 2 lock my doors at night

 DrAnnMaria @DrAnnMaria
@QoSBaszler No, you should not. Which is why we arrest people who commit fraud & not say you had it coming

 Shayna Baszler @QoSBaszler
@DrAnnMaria i agree w/that. Just not all the hate @MissUSA is getting

 DrAnnMaria @DrAnnMaria
You do realize the #yesallwomen thing originated from a guy shooting women at a distance? I'm pretty bad ass but I don't see how that helps

Shayna Baszler fights Bethe Correia at UFC 176 on Aug. 2, live on PPV.