Fight Like A Girl: How Benevolent Sexism Drove Me Away From A Sport I Loved

I love martial arts. I’ve wanted to be a martial artist since I knew what the term meant. For various reasons, I never got the chance growing up.

So imagine my joy a few years ago when a Krav Maga studio opened near enough where I lived for me to go.

And I did. And I won’t lie. Krav is TOUGH. It’s messy, it’s brutal, and for someone who’s used to pretty much everything coming easy, it was hard. fucking. work.

But I did it. I got up every Saturday and Sunday at 6 AM and bused out to the studio. I didn’t care that I was often the only girl there. I didn’t care that after two hours I was sore and achy and more exhausted than I thought it was possible to be. I didn’t care that I had to go to the gym five days a week just so I could be fit enough for Krav, or that training came very close to injuring me several times- I did, in fact, break a bone in my hand during a fall gone wrong. I didn’t care that the common reaction to me telling people about learning martial arts was a joke about wanting to beat boys up. or admonitions that I should do something more ladylike.

What finally drove me away?

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