Fear And Loathing On Manhattan Avenue

April 20, 2009 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 


Not since I was knee-high to Willie Horton have I seen an advertisement that so flagrantly plays upon race, gender and class anxiety. Way to go Williamsburg Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you’d make Lee Atwater proud!

Miss Heather

P.S.: This one isn’t much better.



6 Comments on Fear And Loathing On Manhattan Avenue

  1. rowan on Mon, 20th Apr 2009 1:26 pm
  2. if i may: i took a jiu-jitsu/women’s safty class once. aside from the self-defense techniques, one of the best things we were told was that it is not necessary to instantly succumb to fear and the feeling of being helpless, even if your attacker towers over you, is trying to attack or rob you; you can use that against them.

  3. missheather on Mon, 20th Apr 2009 1:38 pm
  4. EXACTLY. That’s one of the reasons I find this flier so offensive. It suggests that women are not capable of defending themselves in the event of an attack: they cower in fear.

    Of course I suppose the woman in this flier is shying away from something other than a knife-wielding maniac. Maybe she just got the statement for the balloon mortgage on her “luxury” condo by McCarren Park?

  5. rowan on Mon, 20th Apr 2009 2:07 pm
  6. I’ll clarify: the class that I took told us that most people do freeze. It has nothing to do with sexism, it is panic kicking in. The idea behind the classes is to give you the mindset of keeping your wits about you under attack, keep your cool and improve your chances of not becoming a victim. This also applies to children, both male and female.

  7. missheather on Mon, 20th Apr 2009 6:14 pm
  8. I do not disagree with you, Rowan. But context is everything. In this case it is the content of these advertisements, the imagery employed and where they have been placed. I have seen these all over the “Northside” and in Greenpoint. Mostly around the Nassau Avenue stop. I do not recall seeing a single such flier south of Grand Street, e.g.; the 90th Precinct— where it could be argued such workshops would be most relevant.

    But there are no fliers on the Southside. Which leads me to think this whole ad campaign is geared towards a particular group of people: affluent, “crime conscious” white people. All people, regardless of race or income, should not become victims. But it usually doesn’t work out that way.

    All this kind of stuff does is feed fear— and sadly, racism.

  9. superclam on Mon, 20th Apr 2009 6:59 pm
  10. I don’t know about racism, but a photo of a woman looking strong & confident might have been more effective and less, I don’t know, exploitive? than a woman looking terrified and at first glance, naked. Kind of like the photo of the boy.

  11. WBJJ on Mon, 27th Apr 2009 3:55 pm
  12. I’m new to the neighborhood I don’t know all commercial places. That is why you only see it in some places. So far we have placed flyer’s in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. As well as many police precincts trough out Brooklyn and Queens.

    I apologize if anyone took the women’s safety flyer offensively. But I do not see how putting a picture of a women regrading a “women’s safety seminar” is sexiest or raciest. my goal to educate the community on personal safety; that is way I’m offering a seminar which is free by the way. In no way was I trying to make Women seem powerless, on the contrary I am just trying to empower women. One thing I teach in these seminar is for instance; to take precaution, an example I learned from a FBI agent that was regrading a case he had.

    “That an attacker was waiting in a parking lot and the way he picked who he went after was if they wear holding there car keys in their hand. That showed the predator that the women was alone, so therefore no one will be able to help her ”

    Being scared happens to everyone, not just women. The picture in the flyer is what I’m trying to prevent. But anytime someone is in a Adrenalin state their thinking processes decreases, everything comes back to habit. How are they trained to react. The seminars are designed to instill habits of self-defense so when someone walks in the street their not paranoid but aware of there surroundings, and god for bit an attack does happen they know what to do. With out be scared or intimated and this can only happen if one has been trained

    Once again if you got offended I’m sorry, feel free to contact the school regrading any questions or concerns.


    Prof. Roger Mamedov
    Williamsburg Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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