Why we need more than bright lights and busy streets

Over the past few years, as awareness of the prevalence of sexual violence, rape culture, domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the risks women face in public spaces rises, the conversation tends to focus on re-education boys and men, and often populations at large, about gender-based violence, whether to ensure on an individual level that men’s anger shouldn’t be taken out on women or on a structural level to take women’s safety into consideration when designing products, prescriptions and public space.

Rightly so; however, this re-education, research and re-design takes time. Meanwhile, every two minutes somewhere in the United…


When workplace sexism is used as a distraction from something darker

[European Union 2021]

On 6 April, representatives of the European Union met with the President of Turkey, to discuss several pressing political matters. The EU representatives were Charles Michel, President of the EU Council President, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission.

But at the meeting with Recep Erdogan, President of Turkey, only one EU President got at seat at the table.

Both Presidents hold equal diplomatic rank, and both Presidents represent the EU on the world stage. Hosting the two Presidents in Ankara, Erdogan led Michel and von der Leyen into the room where the meeting was to take place…


What does endurance mean and why is it so important now?

Photo by Andrew Tanglao on Unsplash

Lately I’ve been using Twitter a little more heavily, mostly to keep up with developments I’m following in a few different areas. This article about our current pandemic situation and finish-line anxiety popped up in my feed yesterday:

This article reminded me of a conversation I had just had on Lunchclub with an anthropologist, who told me his work right now is focused on the modern definition of “endurance”.

Endurance is a funny word, that has both positive and negative meaning associated with it. Endurance is what powers you through a marathon; but in contemporary Biblical terms (and older Puritanical…


Statistics on violence against women are sending the wrong message

One in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner.

Violence against women has been at the forefront of the news the past couple of weeks: from the accusations of rape in the Australian Parliament to the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard in London to the mass shooting in Atlanta targeting Asian women working in massage parlors.

As the media covers each of these events, the sheer prevalence of violence against women mentioned in every story, and the following UN Women stats are always cited:


Women’s Socialization and Safety

Photo by Artem Labunsky on Unsplash

Last summer in Berlin, our corona-incident rates were low enough that the city eased COVID restrictions so Berliners could go out and play.

And Berliners did: after making it through the first, grim lockdown of 2020, the city poured out into the parks, to the lakes, to the streets — socially distanced of course. But still, the city was full of people picnicking, playing frisbee, hiking, biking, and of course, running.

That was in May.

In June, reports of rape were starting to circulate: first in Facebook groups (“Ladies: there is a rapist attacking joggers” was the common message), then…


What women’s experience can teach all of us about healthy work environments.

Photo by Lorraine Steriopol on Unsplash

International Women’s Day is almost upon us, a day originally created to advance working women’s rights to shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. Today the holiday gives us a chance to recognize women’s experience and what women bring to the table economically, culturally and politically.

In 2015, biographer Ashlee Vance released Elon Musk: Space Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. …


What martial arts has taught me about staying in the game

Photo by Susie Kahlich © 2021

“I kind of just rolled with it. Adaptability — that’s from the training.” That’s what one of my Ninjutsu training partners said to me last week while we were heading home after a rare training session. We hadn’t seen each other or been in much contact over the past year, due to lockdowns and social distancing and busy with work, etc., so we were catching up on how each of us fared during the upheavals of 2020.

A filmmaker friend of mine is making a short documentary about women being independent, and asked me if she could film a training…


What exactly are we teaching boys about sexual violence?

Photo by Susie Kahlich © 2021

This meme popped up in my Twitter feed recently:


The low-key misogyny of calling women “gifted”

National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reads her work, “An American Lyric,” at the inaugural reading of Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, September 13, 2017. Photo by Shawn Miller. Public domain.

The world was introduced to US National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman on January 20th this year, when she read her Inaugural Poem The Hill We Climb to commemorate the swearing in of the 46th President and the 49th Vice President of the United States of America.

I don’t know Amanda Gorman, but I know one of the organizations that has played a pivotal role in her development as a poet, WriteGirl. …


The role of daughters when our mothers die

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Last night I had a long catch-up chat with a friend, a single woman in her 40s. She’s been on quite a ride lately: over the past couple of years, she suffered a concussion, her mother suddenly took ill and died, and she herself recently had a skin cancer scare. She told me that she had spent the past few days managing logistics of state-funded healthcare and childcare support in her country, as she has decided to have a baby.

So that’s what we talked about: my friend, as a single mom.

Actually, we talked about her doubts, and her…

Susie Kahlich

Founder of Pretty Deadly Self Defense @ prettydeadlyselfdefense.com // Former producer of art podcast Artipoeus: art you can hear @ artipoeus.com

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