There’s a lot of bad self-defense advice out there but very little of it is as harmful as telling women they shouldn’t defend themselves. I can only imagine this advice was started by some misogynist piece of shit who viewed women as such lesser creatures that they couldn’t possibly defend themselves against a big, strong man such as himself. It’s likely this asshole also had fantasies about teaching any woman who resisted him a lesson so believed it would be safer for women being attacked to just lie back and think of England.
However this crap started it has cumulated in to terrible, harmful advice such as telling women to “be realistic” about their ability to protect themselves, which is a euphemism for telling women they’re incapable of defending themselves against big, strong men so they can only resort to pissing themselves to dissuade rapists.
The fact is women who defend themselves generally fare better than those who don’t:
As a matter of fact, research conducted since the 70ies has consistently shown that fighting back is actually the most effective strategy to thwart sexual assaults.
Studies such as Kleck & Tark (2005) or Reekie & Wilson (1993) or Ullman & Knight (1992), indeed show that women who respond with physical and verbal resistance to the offender’s violent attack significantly reduce the probability that a rape would be completed.
In the 1990’s, German commissioner Susanne Paul examined 522 cases of rapes and attempted rapes to see whether fighting back was a good strategy. Result: fighting back had a 85% success rate.
Fighting back may not work 100% of the time (nothing does) but it works most of the time.
Criminals, by and large, are opportunists. They seek to fulfill their wants with the least amount of effort possible. Like any predatory animal they try to identify the weakest prey. That means they seek the unaware, the physically unimposing, and the ones unwilling to fight back. When a criminal discovers their prey is very much willing to fight back they often disengage.
If you’re attacked always fight back and give yourself as much advantages as you can. Take some self-defense courses or better yet dedicate yourself to the study of a martial art. And if at all possible carry a weapon. I highly advise carrying a firearm since they are the most effective tools for self-defense but if you’re unwilling or unable to do that there are alternatives.