broadsideblog

Want Your Body Guarded? Hire A Woman: Beyonce And Prince William Did

In Crime, women, work on December 8, 2009 at 2:59 pm
NEW YORK - APRIL 16:  (L-R) Rudy Giuliani, for...

A female cop helped save his life on 9/11.Image by Getty Images via Daylife

It shouldn’t be surprising that women make great bodyguards –mostly because so many people can’t imagine that’s what they’re there for.

For my book on women and guns, which includes a chapter called In The Line of Fire, I exclusively interviewed Patty Varone, a gorgeous 40-something, and an NYPD veteran who served for nine years, including on 9/11, for former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

She told me she routinely got hit on at events as, doing her job by standing some distance away from the mayor and watching the crowd carefully, guys would see her and assumed the good-looking redhead must be there socially, not professionally.

“Funny the mayor doesn’t have any security,” they’d say. “Funny,” she’d agree.

Yet it was from her mouth to his ear that morning that the World Trade Center had been hit. She’s my hero!

According to a recent story in Marie Claire, more and more women are being tapped as bodyguards worldwide.

“Attackers don’t expect women to be security,” says Laura Weber, 35, head of the female unit at GSE Ltd., a London-based security firm. “People are realizing that women can be more covert and blend in as nannies, personal assistants or secretaries.”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by celebritywatch, Tweets Tube. Tweets Tube said: Want Your Body Guarded? Hire A Woman: Beyonce And Prince William Did http://bit.ly/64Uvj7 [...]

  2. Female bodyguards and security personnel in general are also important because many cultures prohibit women from being touched by non-related men. Having a woman present who can step in and navigate a tense situation while respecting the culture of all the participants can make a huge difference. Also a good reason for police departments and military to seek out competent women.

  3. Great point, datajunkie. Thanks!

  4. In some countries the notion of a woman providing the service once thought to be only offered by hulking men could sound very strange and unacceptable. Although women already has make their appearance in ”masculine jobs” for decades now working in shadows, they’re are still treated with prejudice and suspiciousness. Some times even they have to deal with negativity and slighting discussions for their professional abilities.

    Being in the security industry since the age of 20 and in a country that female bodyguarding is something very new, I was asked to prove my abilities all the time.

    The question I have always had to answer was ”Can we trust and feel secure from a female bodyguard?”. Professionals know very well that we should erase the myth that says bodyguards to have the look of a giant with a stalwart shape to cover his clients body in the case of danger or ”big” enough to hold down the attacker.

    Reality and experience has shown us that the best bodyguard is the one who has done the necessary training which is based in real conditions and situations. They have the ability in an impending attack to make the best evaluation of threat and react fast and effectively.

    We know that the male body, by his nature has bigger musculature structure than a woman’s. So, to the question what is going to happen in close quarter combat, we already know that if someone with a small body type is properly trained, then she can deal with someone ”bigger” than her and hold down the attacker. This is why training is especially important for women as we do not have the ability to work from our size. We must prove ourselves through proper training and utilization of our brains for strategic thinking.

    Women also have the ability to pay attention to more descriptive information in an environment. If you ask a man to describe you a person who just past in front of him, the chance is that he will give you general information.. However, a woman is naturally trained to do that. We do that all the time even when we are off duty. Those small but important observations about a person appearance is very important in our job.

    Also imagine a woman bodyguard with a VIP in an event. She is surely to be considered by others as his spouse, partner, or colleague. The fact is that women offer greater flexibility ins shadow security details. She can be part of a male team performing the functions of the shift or detail leader because she can be in close when the environment necessitates a close protection female. For us as female’s being able to act as an associate to our client may also prove beneficial to providing close protection to male principals. Additionally, lest not one forget, that our female principals benefit greatly from our presence. We offer peace of mind, yet bring comfort in her knowing she has another female with her to relate too.

    Ending, it is important to mention the power of influence that a female may exercise over males. It may be easier for a woman to extract information and confirmation about someone’s intentions, and secure her principal and teams safety. Women by nature have the ability to get things done with the power of persuasion. Men relate well to women and women relate well to women.

    So, there is no such thing as men vs. women in our job. It is men and women who cooperate in order to decrease the percentage of risk and threat and keep their client and team secure and safe. We must all work together, but women must make their presence known and not back down in a traditionally male dominated industry. The more we share our story, the more we share and teach the advantages the more the ‘perceived’ disadvantages will disappear. We are a powerful force in the next generation of executive protection.

    Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS
    Founder of Athena Academy

    • Fascinating to hear from someone who’s in this profession. It reminds us of the many advantages women can offer beyond the obvious choice of power or brute strength.

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