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Her Own Hero

Her Own Hero
The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement

First Edition
  • Wendy L. Rouse - Assistant Professor, Social Science Teacher Preparation, Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, San José State University, USA

Other Titles in:
Sociology | Women's Studies

February 2018 | 268 pages | SAGE Vistaar

At the turn of the twentieth century, some women were inspired to take up boxing and jiu-jitsu for reasons that ranged from protecting themselves to rejecting notions about feminine weakness. Women’s training in self-defense was both a reflection of and a response to the broader cultural issues of the time, including the women’s rights movement and the campaign for the right to vote. The discussion surrounding it opened up conversations about the less visible violence that many women faced in their own homes. Through self-defense training, women debunked patriarchal myths about inherent feminine weakness, creating a new image of women as powerful and self-reliant.

Whether or not women consciously pursued self-defense for these reasons, their actions embodied feminist politics. Their collective action echoed through the twentieth century, demanding emancipation from the constrictions that prevented them from exercising their rights. This book is a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to one of the most important women’s issues of all time.
The Womanly Art of Boxing
Jiu-Jitsu, Gender, and the Yellow Peril
Self-Defense and Claiming Public Space
Self-Defense in the Era of Suffrage and the New Woman
Self-Defense in the Domestic Sphere

Wendy L. Rouse

Wendy L. Rouse teaches U.S. history and social science teacher preparation at San Jose State University. Her research interests include childhood, family, and gender history during the Progressive Era More About Author

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ISBN: 9789352805297