‘Men’s rights’ group claims free self-defense classes for women are sexist
A “men’s rights” organization has objected to a pair of free self-defense classes for women in Glendale, California, saying they violate the equal protection clause of the Fourth Amendment, the Glendale News-Press reported on Thursday.
But National Coalition for Men President Harry Crouch stated in a March 13 letter (PDF) to commission chairperson Denise Miller, City Attorney Michael J. García and the course instructor complained that men were being excluded from the sessions.
“Simply advertising self-defense classes for only women and girls, or for only men and boys, may also violate anti-discrimination laws, just as if the City of Glendale advertised a job opening for a police officer or librarian as being available to only male applicants,” Crouch wrote.
Crouch does not mention in his letter that, according to data from the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), women are the victims in 90 percent of sexual assault cases. Instead, he listed examples from two different cases involving male sexual assault victims, including that of 66-year-old Hervey Coronado Medellin, who was allegedly killed by his 38-year-old former partner, 38-year-old Gabriel Campos-Martinez. Campos-Martinez was arrested and charged with murder earlier this month.
“Mr. Coronado Medellin might be alive today if he was able to participate in free self-defense classes as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month,” Crouch wrote.
The courses are led by SHIELD Self-Defense, an organization that states on its website that it was specifically created “to empower women and girls against sexual assault. Based on a mixture of martial arts principles, self-defense and street fighting skills, SHIELD Women’s Self Defense was created exclusively for women and girls.”
City officials are reportedly reviewing state and federal law before preparing their response to Crouch’s group.
[Image: “Angry Young Man,” via Shutterstock]