I contemplated if writing this post was appropriate, as I generally don't touch on such heavy topics. However, a multitude of reasons (and a few of your tweets) lead me to believe that someone else could possible benefit from hearing this, and to me that out ways everything else.
Yesterday I had an incident while out alone. In reality, it could be seen as no big deal (it was over in minutes and I was left unharmed). On the other hand, however, it can also be seen as being a very big deal, and for this I feel it's important to talk about it.
While out running errands in a fairly small, fairly unfamiliar town I was placed in a situation that made me question my safety. I had been in a local shopping plaza for about 20 minutes, going to one store, and then to the next to pick up lunch to-go. I walked out to my nearby vehicle, got in and locked the door (I always, ALWAYS keep my car doors locked), and went on to situate my drink/bags in the passenger seat. A minute or so later I heard a knock, knock on my driver side window, and turned around to find a man in his mid-to-late twenties staring at me. In the second, and seconds following the moment I saw him my mind swirled around and thoughts like my locked doors came to mind, and what did he want, and what was I to do if he tried to open the door or brake the window. I knew to keep the doors locked, and the windows up. I wasn't going to be foolish about this, even if he meant no harm.
Through the window the man kept staring at me, expecting me to roll down the window or open the door. I looked at him and finally asked him what he wanted through the rolled up window, and with a confused face he told me he wanted to ask me a question. I tried to stay calm and asked him what, and he replied that he wanted to know if my truck was for sale. I immediately told him no, and with an "oh" he walked away, down to an old, beat-up car at the end of the parking lot that had another man standing outside, and one-two other people in the car. I drove off as soon as I could get the truck into gear, shaken up a bit, but knowing that I did the right thing.
Now, I feel I should start by saying that in no way does my truck have any kind of writing, sticker, or anything that would indicate that it was for sale. It has an out-of-state plate, and is solely a personal vehicle. Also, I know that maybe the man meant no harm and possibly just wanted to talk to me, but his actions were done in such a way that would make someone worry that his intentions meant otherwise. However, I feel sometimes women (and people in general) can be too trusting, especially in a moment of confusing and disarray, and it's important to alway be aware and keep yourself in the safest situation possible (especially when you're alone).
Since this incident occurred the idea of taking self defense classes has been on my mind. I never want to be in a situation where I can't take care of myself, or be put in a situation because I was not paying attention.
I would love to hear your thoughts/experiences on women's self defense. Also, please know that I wrote this post in hope that one day I could help someone else who may find themselves in a similar situation.