Today I was googling, “Mother’s fighting off an attack with children present,” for reasons I will get into here in a minute. I was genuinely curious as to what would pop up on such a vague search. It was not at all what I expected. On the very first page you will see not one, but two different articles with the headline going something to the effect of, Mom Fends Off Cougar to Save Her Children. At first I thought this was the same story, but no, one was in Canada with the other in Colorado. If that wasn’t enough there was also an article of a mother fighting off a bear to protect her kids. A freaking bear. All on page one.
We lived in rural Washington about 6 years ago. Male mountain lions would come down from the Cascades looking for territory and cute little baby lambs. Neighbors would pass grapevine information to each other and you would quickly hear when one was in the area if a rancher lost a sheep or two or three. It was during that time that you would maybe tell your kiddos they were playing inside for a couple of days until you learned the situation had been taken care of. These were no idle threats so the idea of coming across one of them by myself let alone with my babies was daunting. Chelsea Lockhart, one of the moms that took on a cougar, “Just leaped on it and tried to pry its mouth open.” It had chomped down on her boy’s arm and she managed to literally fish-hook its mouth. The other mom, “Charged the animal, yanked away one of its paws and discovered her son’s whole head was in its mouth.” Geez. An average male cougar weighs approximately 140. When I put that in perspective of my frame and weight and what these women stood up against and fought off I am in awe. These kitties are capable of running 50 miles per hour, climbing trees so there is no escaping. They are lean and strong with 20 affixed blades and a mouth made for swallowing lambs heads whole. A big ball of scary fury.
A friend of mine recently posted a much more tactful rebuke to something a troll had wrote on his page. After dwelling and stewing and then boiling over about it I am not sure my response will be as PC as hers but I will try. My personality is not one of girl power, in fact I sort of cringe when I read it on a hand me down t-shirt that my 11 year old daughter wears. I am totally more likely to tease my husband about, “screaming like a girl,” when he almost falls off the ladder while cleaning our windows and a behemoth of a spider crawls over his hand…. I want all my children empowered regardless of sex. I also recognize that there are just some things I flat out cannot do physically as a woman that a man can and I am completely okay with that. I can learn the same stuff as a male in marital arts, but whether I can pull it off like an average one of 197 pounds (you can google that….) is an entirely different story. I am not saying it’s impossible, but I am a realist. Thems the breaks in biology.
Men, if you are reading this understand my disclaimer that this is not a man bashing in any way but an address to the troll that wrote something super offensive to mothers all over the world. I am not going to say a name because truly that’s not the point and maybe some day he can read this and be educated on his ignorant state of mind, but this is a MMA gym owner who wrote on his Facebook page “encouraging,” men and women (I guess weirdly in his brain this made sense…..) to get back into training. #youaredoingitwrong.
The post goes as follows, “if you’re a man who doesn’t regularly workout/train and push yourself to be stronger and more physically and mentally tough, start thinking about what you want for Mother’s Day. This means your workout has to be: hard, sweaty, challenging, difficult. Get to it men (and women!) May 9th, 2021 will be here before you know it!” Yeah.
So I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that maybe he just didn’t comprehend how just awful that post is. I don’t know the guy and would like to give him the benefit of the doubt as well as a few things to ponder. Again this is not a women are better than men post, but just a few things to roll around in everybody’s mind.
Ironically while I was thinking on this article my sister came over and was telling me about a rather interesting conversation her and her husband had. I am going to run the risk of being crass, you are being forewarned, however the phrases being discussed are quite common. She had read somewhere that was questioning why people use the term in regards to being tough as, “having the balls,” when the testicles are the most vulnerable part on a mans body. In retrospect if you are weak or a coward you are called a, “pussy.” I thought that brought up a good point knowing where babies come from. Seems maybe the sayings should be reversed…..
The first medical anesthesia was used at Massachusetts’s General in Boston October 16, 1846. Cool. The earliest medical journals that started recording cesareans was in the early 1600’s. So like 200 years prior in a medical atmosphere women were biting sticks and downing laudanum to get them through their stomach being sliced open in order to become a mom. And we aren’t even talking about the times they were hacked up out of desperation and survived; like the time a Swiss man named Jacob was able to perform, “surgery” on his wife. No anesthetic and she went on to have five more babies including a set of twins. And how about vaginal birth? I myself have never been pregnant, but I have been the witness to both my daughter and sister bring a baby into this world and there is no other word other than, wow, for what a woman’s body is capable of in regards to a pain threshold.
Again please note I am not spewing women power. I have known many many tough men in my life, I am certainly not going to trade blow for blow with a man, he can hit harder, facts. Hell I watched my grandpa Mac once literally explode his thumb with a hammer on his roof; he casually wiped the blood off on his Carhartt coat and moved on with the next shingle. Me? I would have probably been taken to the hospital after I flailed myself off the roof screaming as many expletives I could think of. Also I would very likely milk that injury for at least half a year, not roofing my house.
When talking about women’s self defense with Giles, a trainer out of Jacksonville, FL, he said that when teaching his class he will use the idea of a woman’s children to drag the fight out of her. Many times women won’t fight for themselves when faced with an attack, but put a kid in the mixture and they go, pardon my joke, “balls to the wall.” I was discussing this subject and different dangerous scenarios with my second oldest daughter; she has a three year old and a two month old. Only being a mom of a little over three years she understands the day that switch flipped on using everything in her arsenal to keep her children safe. I feel this is the same likely for women everywhere, when my kids are present, I ain’t playing. I think to the story I told of annoying wedding guy a few articles back and had I been trapped on the elevator with one of my babies that guy was not walking out of that six by six foot box physically on his own steam. At the very least I would have been a hell of a lot less polite. My demeanor is completely different with kids than without. I remember the day I became a mom. I was driving home from the children’s shelter in awe that they just handed a two and six year old over to me to keep alive. I had to have help from one of the social workers to even put the car seat in. Sure I had been vetted and background checked, but it was surreal. I kept looking at them in the rear view mirror and my gut knew nothing was ever going to be the same. I drove differently, I was more alert in crowds with them present. I became a mom. I also had no fighting experience at that time but you can bet I was going at anybody like a feral dog if anyone tried to hurt them.
That’s why this guy is so damn ignorant. Which gender has a higher threshold for pain? There are mixed studies and it doesn’t matter honestly. That’s not the point, my husband would fight off a cougar for our babies too. The point is do not categorize a mom with a weak man incapable of tough physical and mental things because a mom is instinctually capable of tough physical and mental things especially when the odds are stacked against her. I love my friends classy response to that post, she listed all the Krav Maga black belt mamas that she knew with pictures and there were a lot. My recommendation for this guy is to maybe not make such a stupid statement again unless he want to unleash a fury similar to mom zombies from World War Z descending on Brad Pitt.
Also a second point that is quick but just as important, ladies if your biology innately can switch to where you step in front of a cougar or a bear to protect your kids, if your body can physically push out a baby that defies all logic when it comes to sizes of child and exit, then you can take a punch. You can learn to fight, you can spar, you can take that hit and so much more. Make the time, get in there and learn how to do some damage to that cougar next time.
And troll? I am proud to fight like a mother.
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Author- Christun Erwin
"Thank you for your words. They make an impact and its important that, human to human, woman to woman, mother to mother... you know that you make a difference, even to those you never knew your words" -Krystal