Self-Protection Takes the “Hard to Get” Path Nov 30, 2013
Is it possible that products designed to help prevent rape could do more harm than good?
Anti-rape underwear is a thing now. They are tear and cut resistant. A New-York based company, called AR Wear, is currently raising money to bring their invention to the masses. According to their website, AR Wear is kindly, “offering wearable protection for when things go wrong.”
Needless to say, there are quite a few skeptics.
Criticism of AR Wear’s invention has been endless: many believe that underwear like this will only anger an attacker, potentially making the assault even more violent. Some even argue that the underwear is exploitive, and allows companies to cash in on women’s fear of sexual assault.
This isn’t the first time that anti-rape underwear has made headlines. Last year, anti-rape underwear that included a nifty electric shock feature hit the market in India. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly at all), these inventions have never yet hit the mainstream.
What worries me most about anti-rape underwear is where society is putting their focus in terms of the rape issue: on women, and more specifically, on what women wear. Things like AR Wear’s underwear may even create a slippery slope: will society now assume that women are “asking for it” if they forget to put on their anti-rape underwear that morning?
Creating anti-rape underwear is a little like treating the symptoms of a sickness, and not the actual disease. The money that is being spent to fund this project could instead have been used to try to attack the root of the problem. As a society, we should be working towards reiterating the importance of “no”, and teaching young people, especially the young men whose entire sexual perspective has been twisted by porn, about healthy sexual relationships.
Of course, the blame should not be pinned on all men. It is important to understand that men and women can be raped, and that men and women can be rapists. But changing society’s views is what is going to make a change, not enforcing the awful sentiment that what you wear can cause- or prevent- sexual assault.
The world needs to realize that rape has nothing to do with what a girl is wearing, whether it’s a slinky red dress or combination locked underwear.
By: Carey Roach