Huh.... this advice from cracked is actually pretty.... good. There's a little bit too much of "you'll get killed in the street!" and "Criminals are invincible ubers so don't even try."
But.... The points about the value of alertness, deescalation, realizing a fight can be sudden, unexpected, and more brutal than one expects are valid. As is the article being open about saying it is not a fitting venue to tell people how to fight back.
There's also passages like this which are entirely good advice:
So while a lot of armchair badasses may think "I want to train to fight so I can pull the knife out of a mugger's hand and shove it aaaalllll the way up his ass," Richard does not consider that self-defense. Self-defense is saying, "Well shit, he can have my wallet. It's not worth a freaking blade in my lung." Or even better, saying, "That guy's acting weird, I'm getting out of here" five minutes earlier.
Yuuup, a good class will spend as much time on when to use force in response to an attack as what options are available.
Of course then the article undercuts everything by ending with:
"It's also not a bad idea to do what millions of women around the world have done, and get yourself a can of mace."
This isn't to knock a spicy treat dispenser; they have a very valid role, but.... after an article full of cautions and caveats ending with "Little Lady should just buy X" kinda undercuts the whole thing.
(For one such dispensers will blow back when used, and have a limited range, and may not work, so practice and training can /really/ help)