We Don’t Need Another Hero

When a heroine will do.

Susie Kahlich
4 min readMay 28


Cristi Johnston is a certified Pretty Deadly Self Defense Trainer living in a small town in Michigan close to the Canadian border. She told me recently there have been a spate of kidnappings in her area, the most recent being an attempted kidnapping of a small girl — eight years old — that was heroically foiled by her big brother.

The story itself sounds like something out of an ’80s preteen blockbuster:

The girl was playing in her family home’s backyard when she was approached by the 17-year old suspect, who attempted to restrain her by covering her mouth and dragging her into the nearby woods. The girl screamed, struggled, screamed again and managed to break free.

Her 13-year old brother, who was playing inside the house, responded to the second scream, looked through his window to see the suspect trying to “hurt my sister”, shot the assailant in the head and chest with a slingshot.

The kidnapper ran off, and was later found by the police and identified by the slingshot wounds on his face and chest. He was arrested, and confessed to premeditated kidnapping, with intent to harm, and will be tried as an adult.

Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash

As someone with three brothers, who have on occasion also stood up for me, I can confirm that it’s almost like a storybook feeling to know your big brother will protect you. And the boy is being celebrated as a young hero in the town, as well he should: his coolheadedness, his excellent aim, and his confession of “I kind of love her a little” as the reasons for defending his little sister are the stories of which legends are made.

The boy has lived up to every definition of maleness and manhood: he protected, he defended, he’s a hero. And now that’s his story for the rest of his life, what will probably become the driving force behind his personality, and that will most likely influence the choices he makes and the things he does throughout the rest of his life.

But what about the girl?



Susie Kahlich

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