Personal Safety

1024px-Chess-kingAs I progress more and more into the mode where I take hormones that match my presumed-to-be-female brain structure, I’m slowly turning things around to how they should have been all along.

In the context of a female brain structure, testosterone has a counteracting effect, sort of like a stagecoach being pulled by two horses; one horse veering more left and the other more right. So now they’re more and more pulling in the same direction. Better. Things feels different too, mostly mentally.

However, two more side effects are likely:

  1. I’ll look more feminine yet, in general, and
  2. My muscle mass and strength will diminish.

As to the former, yay though this will probably spark more animosity yet from homophobes.

As to the latter, this is also a welcome development since the cosmetic benefits are of value to me and since I don’t particularly focus on doing things by brute strength anyway.

Here’s a little anecdote to show how I think about this: I used to work on cars with two contractors, both smart and nice people. One was a gentleman who was immensely strong; by far the strongest man I’ve ever met.  At some point he and I were working on a BMW 3-series car. Granted, most of the parts had been stripped from the front of it already, but even so … at some point we had some or other problem and lifting the front of the car would solve the problem. I started thinking about engineering solutions. The contractor simply approached the car, squatted down and lifted the entire front of the car up.  By hand.  Wow!  Although he was red-faced and panting soon, I remain most impressed. He used his strength to solve many problems. However, these often weren’t problems best solved in that way.

The other contractor is a 5′ tall lady, very petite of build. She used to be a cheerleader and she was always the lightweight girl whom the other cheerleaders tossed up in the air. She was unlikely to go around picking up cars, and yet she also helped me work on cars.  She was even more effective than the gentleman. She would figure out brilliant ways around the problems. More often than not, her way got the job done with far fewer parts broken. With so much engineering savvy, I don’t recall that there was ever a problem she couldn’t solve.  So, I’m fine with losing some muscle strength as long as I remain mentally sharp.

One of the points made to me by transsexual girls on feminizing hormones is that the waning of testosterone helped them think more clearly. That certainly bodes well. So, I’m happy about this direction I’m moving into.

The problem is that these developments make me more vulnerable in a self-defense context.

Just as I was pondering the issue, an email from a t-girl friend asked me some questions on the subject, as recently as today. Her questions inspired this post.

By far the best step that I think a girl can take is to read and assimilate Jeff Cooper’s
Principles of Personal Defense … even if one doesn’t use a gun, the principles apply.

But as to owning and being skilled with a hand-gun, I recommend it. I have a concealed-carry permit and I own several guns. Recently, I was at a very remote gas-station-and-convenience store at 1 a.m.  In the parking lot, not by the store or by a gas pump, an old van was parked, with four or so sketchy-looking characters milling around.  They didn’t have the typical sense of purpose: park, buy something, and leave. They seemed to be hovering. I seriously considered moving on, but I really needed to buy something (long story) and I was in the boonies with the next store almost an hour away.  So, I parked at the extreme opposite end of the lot, with my car and I facing the van, far away and positioned so nobody would come close to me without me knowing.  If someone approached, I’d drive away … one more good reason to not have the gas tank on my car ever be too close to empty.

I watched and waited. They didn’t seem to have noticed me (good) and I tried to figure them out, to either reach the point where I would consider them unsafe enough to leave, or safe enough to mellow out. Minutes passed, and neither tipping point was reached.

I took a lot of comfort from having my .357 Magnum, loaded with a full cylinder, next to me. For better concealment such as in my purse, I also have a Beretta Tomcat with me, with a full magazine. I watched and waited some more. As the military saying goes, a lieutenant may be forgiven for being defeated but not for being surprised.  So I like being alert and prepared. Eventually I decided the situation was safe enough to exit my vehicle and walk briskly to the store. Once inside I was encouraged to see it had half a dozen sharp-looking employees around, and I felt better yet.  But I liked being aware, and wary.

My t-girl friend who emailed me also acknowledged that avoiding conflict is a good first line of defense. I agree. Statistically, by far the biggest danger to girls like me is violent men. So, I’m generally wary of men. In public, I actively avoid eye contact with men or guys, lest one of them is a homophobe and I trigger his weird defense mechanism.  I used to smile at guys when I was more naive, and I got sneered or glared at or insulted so often that I went back to the drawing board and analyzed the situation and came up with a better approach.  So now I do avoid eye contact, but I also look up and past them to not mislead them into appearing weak.  As for females, I make eye contact and I smile unless they’re with a guy, in which case there might be a weird jealousy dynamic too. I’ve triggered that once and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

In general, I make a point of being situationally aware. For example, if I’m at a hotel and someone steps off the elevator at the same floor as I do, then unless they’re harmless e.g.., a family with children then I would hang back … focus on my phone, look in a mirror, do whatever so that they walk away while I wait.  This way, I avoid someone walking behind me (not safe) and knowing which room I go into (also not safe). Even if things go south, I figure I’m safer being right by the elevator, than anywhere else.

It’s kinda fun in a way, almost like real-life chess. And my life depends on it.

* * *

Additional information: one of my friends, also a t-girl, commented via email on my post. She mentioned the need to perhaps one day get into a demolition derby with an aggressor’s car. I can foresee many potential problems so I’m more inclined to highlight what I’d do than to tell you what to or what not to do. Dealing with violence solo is not as smart as calling in the cavalry, so I like to make sure I always have my cell phone with me and it’s charged so I can call the police, and I know it’s important to be calm and clear and highly descriptive and to to generally be able to tell them where I am and what’s going on, not how I feel about it. Example: “What is your emergency?” – “I’m in my car being chased and battered by another vehicle. My license plate is XYX123 and theirs is ABC876. I’m in a gold-colored BMW and they’re in a white Chevy pickup truck with a canopy. I’m at the intersection of Williams and Allen, headed east on Williams. I’m alone, in their vehicle are two males, both seem to be in their 20s.”

Since I’d have some control as to the direction of events I’d take the chase to a densely populated area or brightly lighted and/or near a law enforcement agency location at which point my attackers might well decide to leave. I also have a back-up phone just in case. And I just realized I don’t have my license plate memorized so I plan to go write it down on paper in big letters so I can read it at night if I need to. If it becomes a chase, then I like the idea of it not being a high-speed chase since the chances of a bad accident go up. I’d prefer to keep circling, ducking, swerving rather than outrunning. Besides, the local, low-speed approach makes it easier for the cavalry to come find me. It’s also a personal preference because the cars I drive are nimble and quick.

I also like to have my camera tied to DropBox so anything I take gets auto-uploaded so even if someone grabs and smashes my phone, it’s too late to help them stay anonymous. I also like to have the timer set to off, and the flash to “on” … ready for the worst-case scenario.

Playing the automotive battering-ram game is a specialized field of endeavor and one problem is that even if I succeed then I might then have somewhat of a legal challenge not being labeled as the aggressor. Anyway, if push comes to shove, literally, then I’d use the rear of my own vehicle as the point of impact, never the front. There’s not much to get hurt there that can disable my vehicle. Fuel tanks are nowadays front of the rear axle and out of the crumple zone, and fuel pump wiring and hoses have a lot of flex too. But the front of the car is super vulnerable. I’d use the back rear corner of my car to hit the front wheel of the aggressor’s car. If I hit it just so, they’ll soon be walking. With a little luck this might also deploy their air bag yet not mine, and that might also be pretty darn unnerving to them to where they decide to leave me alone. That said, I’d wanna have my head against the headrest when the impact happens to prevent whiplash. And better yet is to avoid this sort of situation altogether, but if I can’t, then I’m ready enough to be confident.

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4 thoughts on “Personal Safety

  1. No wants to be a victim but women, and men for that matter must take steps to protect themselves. Like the saying go’s “it’s a jungle out there”. I like your idea of using the rear of a vehicle as a battering ram, and you still have working headlights if it’s dark. Most would use the front end. We can’t always go on the offensive but so long as people are aware of the dangers and potential risky situations they can reduce the chance of becoming a victim. A matra I like is “who trains wins”.

    • Sorry, one other thing. I don’t carry as I live in the UK but was just wondering…should you have a full cylinder on your revolver, would it be safer to have the hammer on an empty chamber to avoid accidental discharge? Or do you carry on half cock? Silly question i know, but hey, I’m a silly girl x

      • Not a silly question. And no empty chambers in this girl’s revolver — at the beginning of the story, anyway. One of the most gun savvy people I know taught me to have each gun be loaded and to treat it like it’s loaded — I can elaborate but you can see what I’m getting at. The “oh, it’s not loaded” or “oh, it’s not on a chamber with a bullet” sort of mindset isn’t one I would consider safe. The thing is lethal and dangerous, including .to me potentially so I’m always alert and wary when it’s near.

    • Yes, good .logic. And avoidance helps. For example, at a multi-lane traffic light, I like to stop with my car not directly next to the car in the other lane but a few steps back, so when they look sideways, they see my car’s front fender, not my facial profile. I stop so that their B pillar is between their face and mine. They’d have to crane to see me. So I avoid some of the “oh look, there’s a t-girl let’s go hassle her” mindset.

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