Wait, that wasn't the question.
The question actually asked at this one forum was "What is the best self-defense gizmo for my Significant Other to carry if they won't carry a gun?*" The general consensus was some sort of good-quality OC spray. While not perfect or foolproof, a quality spray hits the sweet spot between ease-of-use, stand-off distance, and least amount of commitment required to carry.
See, someone who, for psychological, dress-code, or workplace policy reasons won't strap on a Glock is just as unlikely to get a Spyderco P'Kal, the associated dull training blade, and get trained in its use, or to shell out for a Taser, and keep it holstered where it may actually be useful and, besides, for the purposes of just breaking contact and getting away from the bad guy without getting hurt yourself, OC is probably superior to either of those choices.
Inevitably in any of these threads, the Society for Creative Anachronism shows up, claiming that they, their spouse, their sprogs, and the dog all pack a foot or so of cold steel everywhere they go. Our correspondent went on to state:
I will say that the mere presence of that big ass knife on the hip is a deterrent in and of itself and anyone that sees it understands what it can do. Predators dont pick hard targets, especially if they know it could cost them everything.**Leaving aside the argument of who criminals pick to jack up, I have to say that in a lot of environments, and certainly where I live, a "big ass knife on the hip" is simply a no-go.
Were I to open-carry my heater, as long as I was well-groomed and wearing neutral clothing, most folks wouldn't bat an eye. A gun on the hip in that situation registers to most people as "cop". (And even then, the occasional remark or question is enough to get me to usually wear a gun burkha, because I ain't got time for that.) A big knife on the hip, on the other hand, is going to either read to passersby as "Jason from Camp Crystal Lake" or "Weirdo Who's Escaped From The Renaissance Faire And Could Go Aurora Batman Premiere At Any Moment".
Further, I question the willingness of someone who is not willing to pack a J-frame to strap on their Crocodile Dundee every morning, even if you get them a sheath that matches their Dooney & Bourkes and is dress-code compliant at the bank.
*"Oh, Tamara," you say, "I love how you made that sentence all PC and gender-neutral." Hey, I've had boyfriends who I couldn't convince to CCW. Oh, sure, they'd throw a pistol under the truck seat if they had to use the ATM at night, but carry a gun? Everywhere?
** I'll at least give him points for not writing that "...a blade doesn't jam or run out of ammunition!" Every time I read that on the internet, I want to hit the writer with a sock full of nickels until it jams or runs out of ammunition.