Monday, April 21, 2014

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2792: The First Woman to Run The Boston Marathon - Katherine Switzer and an Assault Warning Sign - Body Language (PHOTOS)

Forty-seven years ago, Katherine Switzer was became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Famously, the milestone involved more physicality than was otherwise expected during the grueling 26.2 miles.

One of the race co-organizers at the time, Jock Semple, jumped out of a media truck two miles into the race and yelled at Switzer, "Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!" His intention was to physically remove her from the marathon. Switzer's boyfriend, Tom Miller, came to her aide and knocked Semple away - preventing him from assaulting Switzer.

These images were taken in rapid succession and exemplify a very important threat assessment body language signal - the Jaw Jut.

In this more detailed image, Semple's Jaw can clearly be seen dramatically thrusting forward as he attempts to assault Katherine Switzer and pull her from the race.

In this moment, although in lower resolution, both Semple's (partially occluded by Switzer's left shoulder) and Miller's jaw can be seen clenching and jutting forward.

As her own emotions transition from fear to anger, Switzer's own jaw also juts forward.

The jaw jut is an extremely common nonverbal seen just prior to physical assault (with fists or firearms). This is particularly true when a simultaneous (or nearly so) fist clench is also present. 

Congratulations to Katherine Switzer for her pioneering spirit, her bravery and her athleticism. She later went on to win the 1974 New York Marathon. Her personal best was in the 1975 Boston Marathon with a time of 3:07:25. Ms. Switzer was instrumental in raising the Women's Marathon to an Official event (1984).

See also:

Nonverbal Communication Analysis # 2231:  A Common Facial Expression of Mass Killers - Using Body Language as a Threat Assessment Tool

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2658: Misidentifying Emotional Expressions - Greece's Golden Dawn Party Arrests - Body Language and Threat Assessment

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2656: Threat Assessment during Robbery - Body Language of Perpetrator

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2500:  Ft. Hood Shooter Nidal Malik Hasan and Contempt  The Body Language of Threat Assessment

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2785: Oscar Pistorius - Another Day of Testimony - Low Confidence Body Language Display

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2525:  President Obama's Anger in Response to Republicans'  Threat to Shut Down Government & Possibly Default on Debt  In Efforts to Appeal Obamacare 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 2791: Sofia Vergara, Threesomes and Fear - Body Language & the Fading Gigolo