In A Pickle  

Time for women to embrace their inner Amazon

Women fighting back

I served up a humiliating kick in the pants to a perverted middle-aged man.

It amazed me that my Kung Fu fighting skills awoke after a 15-year hiatus. The creep clenched my hand, muttering obscenities, and got a cheap thrill from the rough hand shake. Feeling angry and embarrassed, I told him to stop as I tried to pull away.

When that didn’t happen, I waited until his grip loosened, then I latched onto his wrist in praying mantis style. Now the tables had turned, I yanked him off balance and hoon-kicked him with the top of my right foot. I enjoyed watching his facial expression change from lecherous to fearful.

It felt disgusting, and I wanted to wash my leg with disinfectant. He scurried away, red-faced, into the crowd because a girl had whooped him. Doing my best Clint Eastwood impersonation, I growled, “You’d better run punk, run.”

There was only one witness to the altercation, a retired cop, who stood there with his mouth open. He was as shocked as I was with my slick ninja moves. The perv behaved properly with me afterwards, but had a history of harassing and preying on women. This confrontation happened when I was in my mid-40s.

In my 20s, I had taken Seven Stars Praying Mantis Kung Fu lessons for self-defence and stopped being victimized. While training, I was skeptical, as I was a puny 110-pound female after all. Despite that, I pinned a muscular fifth-level black belt instructor against the wall with his arm bent behind his back. The guy was in his prime. At that moment, I realized this stuff really works.

After being dominated by my ex and some older brothers, I was done. And I wanted to even the score. "Embarking on a revenge journey? Dig two graves," said Confucius. Nonetheless, I would no longer turn the other cheek. I had taken too many beatings from them.

Unexpectedly, I felt at peace because I could protect myself, and I didn't need to use my newly found skills. Had I used those combat moves on the ex, I would have done time in the big house, where some female convicts end up. Sometimes they kill in self-defence, or they just snap from stress, substance abuse, jealousy or rage. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. What would now be criminal behaviour, was once acceptable. All is fair in love and war.

Female warriors have existed for thousands of years. Japanese warriors (Kunoichi) were the first of their kind and the most dangerous. Legend has it the expert female assassins came about in 1561; starting with a widow named Mochizuki Chiyome. Takeda Shingen enlisted the woman because of her ninja fighting skills.

She recruited and instructed about three hundred orphaned girls and prostitutes. Outwardly, she appeared to be a motherly figure. However, Chiyome secretly taught them how to seduce, spy, and slaughter. Those femmes fatales infiltrated royal courts, posing as actresses and geisha. Others came under the guise of priestesses, servants, mistresses and concubines. Captivated by their beauty, the drunken emperors caught on too late. The Kunoichi eliminated the males either with their poison tipped painted metal claws or with a boomerang style Kitana (war fan). It had razor-sharp edges made of steel. An elaborately embroidered silk cloth camouflaged it. Stealth and surprise were the modus operandi of those deadly ladies.

Female ninjas weren’t the only warriors to exist amongst the gentler sex. We originally thought of Amazonian women as a figment of Greek mythology.

Artists of long ago painted scenes of Greek heroes battling Amazons on pottery and jewelry. However, it got real in 1990 when a joint-American Russian archaeology team found a 2000-year-old grave site near the Kazakhstan border.

The spot was filled with the skeletal remains of warrior women and located right where Greek stories placed those Amazons. They buried many female corpses with weapons, including metal daggers and archery equipment. The relics had arrow tips embedded in their chest cavities. One such female cadaver showed she was bow-legged from horseback riding and had the same weaponry on her.

Those tribal women had to fight alongside their men in order to survive and protect their children.

Oh, the complexities of womanhood! With one hand we can calm a crying baby and with the other fling a boomerang-style steel fan.

Isn’t it time we embrace our inner Amazon?

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Doreen Zyderveld-Hagel writes about the humour in every-day life, and gets much of her inspiration from the late Erma Bombeck’s writing style. 

Doreen also has a serious side, shares her views on current events, human-interest stories and sometimes the downright bizarre. 

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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