14 June 12

“You’re Expendable?”

Comments on women’s security planning, from a colleague:

“As you noted in your last Quip, many of our female students, and some males too, envision their roles in this life, and within their family, as strictly supportive and non-assertive. Many thus find what we’re teaching to be in conflict with their perceived roll of mother and wife. Accordingly, they have difficulty embracing the notion that some day they, personally, will have to participate directly in their own survival by aggressively defending themselves via gunfire. Many have, in fact, volunteered that they don’t think they could shoot a VCA… unless they believed their children were at risk!

The logical flaw in this brand of thinking is that they consider themselves, and their lives, ‘disposable!’ I’m not sure I’m prepared to explain where that pernicious notion comes from, but we see it expressed often.

So, I routinely ask them to re-assess their roll within their family. I ask them, ‘Who is going to protect your children after you’ve thrown your life away? What will their lives be like without their mother? Assuming you want to represent something to them besides a fond and fading memory, you will have to confront the reality that your direct participation in your own security planning is mandatory. For their sake, you must be every bit as prepared and willing to defend yourself, as your are to defend them!’

I am routinely shocked at the number of women who respond, ‘… I’ve never thought about it that way!’”

Comment: Lapsing into the “I’m expendable” argument is little more than a pseudo-sanctimonious excuse to avoid confronting the truth. It is a way women, and men, can abstain from thinking critically about their own security/contingency planning.

As instructors, we need to gently remind them that the “I’m expendable” routine is BS, and that we don’t want to hear it!

We’re a team, and we have no “disposable” members. Each of us has to be ready and willing to step up to the plate. Each of us is magnificent, unique, and irreplaceable. We have no place for, nor interest in, sacrificial lambs. That is the only way our family’s security plan has any chance of working.

“You don’t have to sing. You don’t have to dance. But, nothing’s going to happen until you take a chance!”

Poker Player’s Axiom