How to fight like a girl; when your female protagonist is attacked

At some point in your writing, your female protagonist might be attacked by a man. If you haven’t given her super powers or a strong background in martial arts getting her out of the situation might be tricky. It’s an undeniable fact, men are physically stronger than women. I’m not turning in my feminist card with this statement and I’m not suggesting you write in a savior for her (unless that’s how you want your story to go).

In movies, books and tv, this point frequently finds the protagonist tapping into some previously undiscovered well of fighting knowledge or strength that allows her to fight and beat her male opponent with punches,kicks and flips. It’s a cheap way out. When attacked the human body does release adrenaline which can up strength but it also makes it harder to focus, difficult to maneuver the body in anything resembling grace or precision.

The average person will panic when they are attacked with no warning, and panic does not make for good fighting.

But hope is not lost. Even if your character is 90 lbs soaking wet, she can fight, she can get away, she can even win.

But she has to fight like hell and she has to fight like a girl.

By fight like a girl I don’t mean hair pulling and cat scratching. Lets just get away from that stereotype right now.

What I mean is fight dirty and aim to do some serious damage.

In college I took a women’s self defense course. The two large male cops who taught the class made it extremely clear.

You cannot overpower a male attacker.

Going along with them will almost always get your raped and/or killed

You need to fight smart and like your life depends upon it because it does


This image from India Parenting is a pretty good place to start. It shows the most vunerable points and the best way to get at them depending on how you are being attacked, but do your own research when you come to the scene. Based on how she is attacked, the internet is full of information on how to fight and win like a girl.




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