Sunday's post about the anti-rape panties landed me in some great conversations, both with people who agreed with me and a few who didn't. Even the ones who thought the anti-rape underwear was a good idea preferred my "Lock Up the Penis" idea.
It also prompted my future daughter-in-law Montana to send me an article about a special anti-rape condom called the Rape-aXe. (WARNING: Going to a website named Rape Axe could result in the rape of your computer. Stick with the Snopes on this one. There are lots of bad people out there, and I'm just lucky Avast was watching over me. Now, back to our regularly scheduled post.)
The Rape-aXe is a condom a woman wears inside her vagina. It's embedded with fish hook-like barbs that grab onto the rapist's penis and don't let go. Even after he pulls it out. Especially after he pulls it out -- with the axe attached. The creator of the device, a South African woman named Sonnet Ehlers, claimed it could only be removed by a surgeon. And until it had been removed, the rapist could neither pee nor walk.
Ms. Ehlers got some shit about her device, which was apparently never actually produced for sale, because some people thought it was barbaric. Because, you know, rapists have feelings too.
Others were concerned that it's like a chastity belt, although .... c'mon. A chastity belt simply locks the rapist out. This condom is like feeding the rapist's dick to a shark.
Frankly though, I don't give a shit about the rapist. I don't give a shit about any rapist. Fuck them with a shark mouth. A barbed condom is certainly not as barbaric as rape.
But I do have the same concerns I have with the anti-rape underwear. It doesn't address the real issue, which is that violence toward women is wrong in whatever culture it occurs, and that's what needs to stop. It's not up to us to grow teeth in our vaginas.
I'm repulsed by the idea of carrying a weapon in my vagina, even to protect myself. Not to get too sappy, but my vagina is there for pleasure and childbirth. It's not a weapon.
I understand that I'm privileged compared to many women around the world that most often -- not always though -- my vagina has been used for those purposes. I would be a hypocrite if I didn't say there is one time I wish my vagina had had teeth. This is a complex issue that can't be untangled in one blog post ... or even many.
Also I worry that it could give women a false sense of security. I've worked with rape victims. The penis in the vagina isn't always the worst part of a rape. Rape is a violent act and the penetration often comes after the beating.
I worry that it could cause worse violence than the intended rape would have. How much worse might the situation become if it malfunctioned? No man wants to know a woman was going to fish hook his penis.
And while this condom might exact some satisfying revenge for the attempted rape, after the condom has come off, I'd worry that revenge would be coming down from the other side in a more permanent form.
Because if rape is an act of violence, this device is an act of war. Men who rape will not accept this type of defeat without fighting -- or killing -- in return.
When I imagine a scenario in which this device is used, my first reaction is that I'd be glad he got what he deserved. My second is that I'd never sleep with both eyes shut again. Even if he went to prison. We all know how long rapists usually go to prison. Not long enough if at all.
Just like the anti-rape underwear, I don't think this is the answer.
In the comment section of the article Montana sent me, someone wrote about another kind of anti-rape device called the Smart-Safe app. One thing the app does when it's activated from a cell phone is take photos and record sound while it lets loose a siren and verbally warns the attacker. It can also call the police and the victim's friends, and send out a GPS signal. Pretty sophisticated stuff.
My daughter Elvira questioned whether it would be effective in most cases of rape, because the woman would have to have access to her phone. I agreed there would be times it would be impossible, but most of us keep our cell phones close. If the rapist knew his photo had been sent out and the police had already been called, it's possible he would stop. It's the 21st-century version of a whistle on a lanyard. It's free, so what could it hurt to load it up just in case?
I noticed on the website that the Smart-Safe app has other uses too. And one of them I would probably use far more often than the rape alert function.
There's a function that silently records bullying or sexual harassment and sends the audio file to their website in an email(s) as it's happening. Just in case the bully becomes suspicious and takes the phone.
Unfortunately, I could use a anti-bully app like this and probably will.
There are other ways to use the app. It will send out photos every 5 minutes, which could be fun at a party or at karaoke. Or if you're walking down a dark street late at night.
Of all the anti-rape devices I've encountered so far, this one seems like it would provide the safest, most reliable deterrent. And I love the anti-bully feature. They seem to have put a lot of thought into its various uses.
I suspect this is my last post on anti-rape devices. I hope to have some exciting (for me) news to share tomorrow.