I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Knives make poor self-defense weapons.
Not only do you have to get extremely close to your assailant but the knife can quickly be turned against you — not to mention the psychological ramifications of having to stab someone (sometimes repeatedly) less than a foot away from your face.
But Delhi Metro — the rail system serving the expansive and highly populated city in India — will now allow women to carry knives up to four inches for self-defense purposes.
This may not seem like a big deal here, but Delhi Metro officials apparently search people pretty frequently and have confiscated tons of items.
Now, I’ve never been to India and don’t know too much about the situation there, but this is a simultaneously awesome and worrying policy.
On the one hand, women are empowered to take action against attackers and knives can work quite well in dire situations. I haven’t been able to find any statistics, but I imagine many women have been victims of sexual assault on the metro.
On the other hand, carrying a knife for self-defense can lull people into a false sense of security. Unless you’re using it in a last-ditch effort to escape harm, wielding a knife effectively in self-defense is extremely difficult without proper training.
There are a bunch of other factors to consider as well, including the fact that 91 percent of pickpockets who frequent the Delhi Metro are women and the fact that women will have to use their discretion on what kind of response is fair game for what actions. (Stabbing someone to prevent a rape is a no-brainer but stabbing someone to stop groping may get into iffy territory.)
What do you think? Should women be encouraged to carry knives for self-defense?