So, as you have probably already seen in the media those last days, a German company has created an anti-rape pants. Wow!
I do not put any link as you probably know what it is about and you can easily find it anyways.
The pants come with coded lock and loud alarm in case the lock is forced. Am I alone here or this let you think of a modern chastity belt too?
Well, I shouldn’t be negative. It must be a great invention right? Anti-rape! No more rape! You just need to wear (and previously buy it of course, it is a company who created it,not an NGO) and you won’t have to fear to be raped anymore.
Ok. Just let’s think for a second. Here are some of my thoughts and questions:
-What if you attacker threaten you with a gun to make you open the lock and take off the pants?
If you take it off to avoid a gun shot and your attacker rapes you. Do the police, the judges consider it was rape since you removed it by your own and it is your version vs your rapist’s ?
-What if your attacker threaten you with a knife to oblige you to open the lock and take the pants off? (well, you could wear turtle neck sweater , what do you think?)
If you take it off to avoid to be stabbed and bleed to death and your attacker rapes you. Do the police, the judges consider it was rape since you removed it by your own and it is your version vs your rapist’s ?
Do you remember this case in Italy, Korea and Australia? I do.
-What if your attacker does not have any weapon but get very angry and upset by this unbreakable lock and hit and punch you and kick you to oblige you to open your safe shorty?
– What if the attacker is a family member? Do you have to wear it 24/24 and 7/7?
-What if it is your boyfriend that does not listen and does not to hear your “no” or does not bother about the absence of an enthousiastic “yes”?
Actually all reports and studies about rapes show that an average of 80% of cases are perpetrated by a familiar or an acquaintance.
-What about the others forms of rape than vaginal/anal? Should we wear a coded lock gag to avoid rape by fellatio as well?
-Why is there a female version only?
-What if you don’t buy it, don’t wear it because you can’t afford it or you find it uncomfortable to wear daily 24/24 or just because you don’t want to wear it? What if you don’t like the idea to locked yourself, to locked your own body like you would lock an object? Would you be make responsible for your rape? Well, it is already the case indeed. Victims are already shamed for what they were wearing or not wearing, where they went, etc (remember the turtle neck sweater from James is dead, link above? It explains very well). Will we just be told things like “You were not wearing your locked pants, so honnestly, did not you want it? Even a bit? You have been imprudent. Well don’t tell you didn’t asked for it. You should have protect yourself more. People worked hard to create tools for you, you cannot say that nothing has been done to protect you.”
These are just the first remarks that popped up in my mind. It might be some situation in which this pants could prevent rape but staying at home locked in your room refusing the entrance to any man could also save you from rape too.
What could be seen as a good idea appears to reinforce the idea that women (and only women) must do everything to not get raped and therefore carry the responsability of their own safety. It carries on rape myths such as only women can be raped, the perpetrator must be a stranger, the danger comes by night and/or isolated area. And that’s wrong.
I agree the topic is sensitive, that we won’t get rid of rapists and rapes with a click of your fingers. But is it really judicious to tell once again women how not to be raped? Especially when we consider all the questions above.
Is really a chastity belt the solution? In 2017?
Can’t we just listen, believe, support victims, all victims? Can’t we provide them appropriate help and care instead? Can’t we blame rapists and make them responsible for their action instead? And can’t we take rape and sexual violence seriously and not as a fatality we have to live with?
I think we can. And we must.