Sharp Women: A Must-Read for Women (and Men)
We are big proponents of situational awareness at Better Protectors. It should be a part of everyone’s daily practice. Getting training and putting it to use is a “best practice”. Getting that training can be through life experience, in a classroom setting, or sometimes by reading. There are some good books on the subject, including the one we’re discussing today: “Sharp Women” by Kelly Sayre.
What is Situational Awareness?
We dove a little further into that question in an earlier article, but to recap it here:
Situational awareness is the ability to understand and anticipate potential threats in your surroundings. It involves being aware of what is happening around you, analyzing the information you gather, and making decisions based on that analysis. In other words, it’s about paying attention to your environment and being proactive in protecting yourself from potential dangers.
The TL: DR version: It’s paying attention and applying your life experience and training to interpret what you see and how to react.
The Sharp Women Approach
Sharp Women takes a little different approach to the topic. Author Kelly Sayre blends her life experience, stories of others, and material that you’d expect to find in a book on situational awareness to create a book that is easy to read and very practical to apply.
What makes this book different from many others is that it’s aimed at women and girls and written from their perspective. Early in the book (Chapter 2 to be exact), Sayre attacks one of the biggest enemies of the safety of women; the idea that they must comply with certain social norms that actually weaken their safety. She makes the case that many of the social mores that we teach girls set them up to ignore their intuition and make them better victims.
Case by Case
Sayre takes readers through many different hazards, such as travel, work, or social scenarios, as well as discussing teaching our children from an early age. Consistently, she lays out a solid foundation and presents practical suggestions that can be applied immediately. Perhaps equally as important, she does it in a way that isn’t over the top or fearmongering. Her frank, yet balanced, approach builds her credibility.
Another part I found interesting is that the book is a look at Sayre’s own journey. She wasn’t born an expert n situational awareness. She wasn’t a member of a military special operations team or a federal agent. She learned this through life experience and through the experiences of others. She is a regular person on a journey and I feel like readers connect with that.
Practical Takeaways from a Sharp Woman
I asked a woman who had taken situational awareness training from Better Protectors to read the book and give me her perspective. She loved the book and said, “Overall, it was a well-rounded book for women and easy to read.” While much of the practical tips were things she already knew through prior training, there were still points that were picked up.
I asked for her biggest takeaway and she said,
“I think the biggest takeaway that made me pass it on to others was the information about how to help our daughters recognize their intuition and not ignore it.”
Why Would a Man Read This?
I recommend Sharp Women to many men. If they have a wife, daughter, girlfriend or significant other that they want to keep safe, then I recommend it to them. But why? How does it benefit a man?
First and foremost, it helps them understand the extra obstacles women are overcoming. It also helps men identify some things they may be doing inadvertently that add to the problem. In addition, it gives men a good understanding of how to guide and encourage their daughters or wives if they are new to the idea of situational awareness.
From a trainer’s perspective, it gave me some points I hadn’t considered. I’ve begun to talk to female students about intuition in a different way than I do with male students. It also helped me identify holes in my course of instruction.
Give the Gift of Safety
This blog is being published in late July. That means that students are heading back to school in the next 4-6 weeks in most cases. Having your daughter read Sharp Women is one of the best things I can think of before they return to high school or leave for college. And hey, you can wait to give them as Christmas gifts, but why wait? Help the women in your life stay safe during holiday travel and shopping by giving it now.
How to Get It
Getting your own copy of Sharp Women is easy. Visit the Sharp Women website. Not only can you find out more about the book and Kelly, but there is a store that has the book and some other non-lethal items to help with personal safety. In fact, there is even a personalized package for students.
Often, when it comes to situational awareness, particularly with women, the book “The Gift of Fear” is the first suggestion. Not from me. While Gift has some good content, it feels very dated to me, and it just doesn’t read the same. Sharp Women is encouraging and uber-practical. That is why I recommend it above other books. A good second place is “The Power of Awareness” by Dan Schilling.
Shameless plug time: If you are interested in Situational Awareness training, contact us. We can do it for families, small groups, churches, and workplaces.
Have you read Sharp Women? What did you think? Are there other books you recommend? Let us know in the comment section below.