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Joanna Walters – Self-defense in Trumpland: how women protect themselves in a climate of hate

“Immigrant!” the customer shouted at the cashier. “Trump!” she shrieked. Antonia Carew-Watts froze in line at the drugstore in Manhattan as the woman in front of her shouted a stream of abuse at the young female Rite Aid employee. Not all the conversation was audible, but Carew-Watts could hear that the cashier had an accent and the customer threatened to get her fired. Carew-Watts was shocked and angered, she recalls, but remained silent.

“Somehow I wasn’t able to stand up for that cashier. I said nothing, I was a coward. No one else said anything either,” said Carew-Watts, an attorney.

Carew-Watts’ lack of action bothered her. Why didn’t she know how to respond? Why didn’t she jump to help the young cashier? So when she heard about a self-defense and conflict resolution class being organized in New York for women rattled about their safety post-election, she jumped at the chance.

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