GLENDALE (CBSLA.com) — A Glendale self-defense class geared toward women and girls has been postponed for a second time this month after a national men’s group threatened a discrimination lawsuit because men aren’t allowed to participate in the course.
Harry Crouch, the president of the National Coalition for Men, drafted a letter to the city, demanding it open the class to men.
“There’s no problem with having self-defense classes geared toward women as long as they have the same self-defense classes geared toward men. It’s about the discrimination. It’s not about who beats up who most often or who needs protection the most,” Crouch said via Skype.
Organizers of the class said keeping it women-only is for their benefit because people have often been victims of sexual abuse and having a man in the class could be a trigger for them.
Asked if it’s sexist to market the class toward women, resident Ayse Arf said, “I think it’s being realistic about the people to whom the majority of sexual assaults happen. [Men] don’t have that same twinge of fear a woman has walking down the street at 2 a.m. when it’s super dark and someone appears behind them.”
Not every woman agrees that men shouldn’t be allowed in, however.
“I have a son. And I’d want him to be safe. I’d want him to know how to defend himself,” a woman said.
CBS2’s Kristine Lazar reported that more than 100 women signed up for the two classes and another 70 are on the wait list. The city council will decide whether to allow men in the classes or cancel them.