I am a peaceful person. Nevertheless, I am realistic about possible future unfolding scenarios, that will be driven by anthropogenic climate change, peak fossil fuels, human population growth and global biodiversity loss. I am just beginning to explore the possibilities and the options, but I have to admit that the likelihood of significant hardship -for everyone- on a level not seen since WWII, to me seems high.
I am deeply peaceful (let me say it again.) Nevertheless there are certain physical self-defensive practices it would be prudent to get familiar with. I mess around with hitting punch-bags, and I have a good spatial awareness. I don’t know what good this will do me or how far I will go with this.
I am also well aware of the patriarchy inherent to modern global civilisation. I am very aware of the global gender power imbalance, the global gender pay gap, and the prevalence of violence and sexual harassment and assault against women, globally, (read these statistics compiled by the United Nations).
All of this was far from my mind as I played rough-and-tumble with my beautiful three year-old niece this morning. As she screamed and giggled with delight, we engaged in a dancing wrestle, with her for the most part being thrown and rolled around my body, until a moment where I ‘gave in’ with her wrestling me to the ground.
The sheer joy of this child, the unobstructed eruptions of pleasure and laughter. As she bumped into me and ran around me and grabbed hold of me forcefully, there was clearly no thought of aggression or harm, but there was a playful understanding that we were opponents…