FemDefence: A Protection Against Rape
April 19, 2005 10:52 AM   Subscribe

FemDefence: A Protection Against Rape • "Femdefence is an on-going project first presented in 2003. The project includes the creation of an imaginary product, which bears the project’s name. The 'product' is a kind of protection against rape, somewhat similar to a tampon in that its user carries it inserted in her vagina. In it there is a sharp pin which has a penetrating effect on the perpetrator’s penis in the event of a rape."
posted by dhoyt (82 comments total)

 
OW! OW OW OW OW OW!!!
posted by Mach5 at 10:55 AM on April 19, 2005


Ouch!

Stay on the good side of your significant other.
posted by mygoditsbob at 10:55 AM on April 19, 2005


First featured in Neal Stepheson's Snow Crash?
posted by PantsOfSCIENCE at 10:56 AM on April 19, 2005


"Vagina Dentata
What a wonderful phrase..."
posted by cmyk at 10:57 AM on April 19, 2005


How ... unimaginative. See, what I'd do is rig up a little tube thing with spring-loaded hooks. You stick in, fine, but as soon as you try to pull out, all these barbs and razors catch on your wang, tearing it up and leaving you with a metal tube attached to you. Preferably activating some manner of tracer, possibly RFID-based.

It'd be uncomfortable to wear, probably. And after it activates, the guy would probably kill you. But that's true even of this thing. And, oh, he'd be in pain.
posted by kafziel at 10:58 AM on April 19, 2005


Would such a device run afoul of booby-trap laws?
posted by Kwantsar at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2005


Let the Vagiseal jokes commence.
posted by bwilliams at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2005


What if your attacker is into sodomy? You'd have to install a second booby trap, a booty trap.
posted by jonmc at 11:01 AM on April 19, 2005


Yeah, that's what I want...some sicko bleeding inside of me. Great idea.
posted by duck at 11:02 AM on April 19, 2005


Reminds me of the bad joke we told in middle school about the king who puts a razor blade in the princess' hoo-ha to keep her chaste, then goes away on a trip.

Comes back. Asks royal guard how things went. Royal guard mumbles because his tongue is gone.

Ahh, middle school. I guess it had its moments.
posted by bardic at 11:04 AM on April 19, 2005


It's a most interesting statement. (And odd timing: I just received an email from a friend about how rapists choose their victims, and how to avoid being a good target.)

As is pointed out in the interview, I wonder if men would view it as unparalleled aggression...
posted by Specklet at 11:07 AM on April 19, 2005


Would such a device run afoul of booby-trap laws?
posted by Kwantsar at 2:01 PM EST on April 19


No, it would have to worn much higher-up on the body for that.


(Sorry.)

Duck's point about the bleeding is a valid one, though.
posted by BoringPostcards at 11:10 AM on April 19, 2005


I don't have a vagina, so maybe I'm wrong about this, but wouldn't the wearer of such a device be so self-conscious as to be immobilized? I mean, I wouldn't want to be walking around, then make a quick turn and have my vaginal wall pierced.
posted by aaronetc at 11:12 AM on April 19, 2005


What about the fact that the vagina would have to be, well, penetrated before this device takes effect? This isn't really a defense against rape, so much as payback for it.

With that in mind, this MUST be a joke...

... right?
posted by kableh at 11:15 AM on April 19, 2005


Keep in mind it's a fictional product, guys. It's not a joke, it's a statement.

Practically speaking, the vagina would be penetrated only marginally before the penis would run into the spike. And the rapist would pull out very, very quickly, probably before even begriming to bleed.
posted by Specklet at 11:18 AM on April 19, 2005


I think Neal Stephenson thought past the sicko-bleeding-inside-you issue. In his version in snow crash, the small needle delivered an electric shock or nerve toxin or something or other.

Sounds great, but yeah, what aaronetc said.
posted by gurple at 11:19 AM on April 19, 2005


Specklet...you're kidding, right????
posted by HuronBob at 11:20 AM on April 19, 2005


Not kidding, but it's beside the point to think about this on a practical level.

It's not about how the device would work (or wouldn't work) it's about what the "inventor" is intending to point out: issues surrounding women defending themselves against rape.
posted by Specklet at 11:38 AM on April 19, 2005


Although I feel compelled that they did address practicality. The picture on the front page is shown with the pin exposed. Think like a cat's claw.
posted by Specklet at 11:40 AM on April 19, 2005


Good to see I'm not the only one who immediately thought of Snow Crash.
posted by Remy at 11:46 AM on April 19, 2005


Ok, Specklet... Your comment is understood... (doing my best here to avoid the word "point", but fairly amused by the word "begriming", which actually works pretty well in that context).
posted by HuronBob at 11:49 AM on April 19, 2005


Erm... wouldn't the assailant simply... ah... pull it out first? If, you know, we're going to talk about this like it's real.
posted by odinsdream at 11:50 AM on April 19, 2005


Yeah, this wouldn't, say, anger an armed attacker and turn rape into a homicide, now would it?
posted by interrupt at 11:50 AM on April 19, 2005


Sorry about "begriming". And the use of "point". Ahem.
posted by Specklet at 11:51 AM on April 19, 2005


(also, yep.. snow crash was the first thing I thought of. Seems like Neal's idea was much better anyway - sedate the assailant instead of just pin-pricking him.)
posted by odinsdream at 11:52 AM on April 19, 2005


holy fucking shit.

This isn't really a defense against rape, so much as payback for it.

I guess the 'defense' part is along the lines of guys being afraid of vagina dentata, and so not raping strangers that might have teeth shoved up there.
posted by mdn at 11:57 AM on April 19, 2005


mdn, if someone punched you in the face repeatedly while demanding you hand over your wallet, and you hit them back, would your action be considered defensive or be seen as payback?
posted by Specklet at 12:03 PM on April 19, 2005


From a practical standpoint, this idea is silly.

From a theoretical standpoint, this idea is great. It would be great if every vagina under the sun was implemented with some such protection device, to tell the fucking worthless pieces of shit rapists that they don't get to do whatever they want to any woman's vagina.

Unfortunately, in reality, the rapist would merely force the woman to disable the device before he raped her, upon penalty of death.

I also wonder how a woman removes such a device that has deployed (assuming it is not always spiky). Seems like it would be injurious to both parties.
posted by teece at 12:07 PM on April 19, 2005


Hottentot Venus, or Sara B: the real origin of 'vagina dentata'. (maybe NSFW - drawings of unusual vagina)
posted by dfowler at 12:07 PM on April 19, 2005


The more I read this thread, the more I clutch my crotch. I am feeling very uncomfortable right now.

ow ow ow!

[tries not to imagine the device at work]

ow ow (didn't work)
posted by madman at 12:13 PM on April 19, 2005


Many women have problems remembering to take their BC pills. Imagine forgetting to take that thing out before visiting the boyfriend/lover/husband... ouch!
posted by clevershark at 12:14 PM on April 19, 2005


Don't even try that on me Specklet: I've got these cheek implants with retractable claws...
posted by graventy at 12:15 PM on April 19, 2005


Metafilter: The more I read this thread, the more I clutch my crotch.
posted by mazola at 12:30 PM on April 19, 2005


The best rape-pervention tecnique is to release your bowels.

Unless your would-be rapist is some sick german dude into scheitze movies.
posted by jsavimbi at 12:41 PM on April 19, 2005


Well, dang, this would be awesome for going to bars and parties and whatnot. Date rape could be a thing of the past!
posted by schroedinger at 12:44 PM on April 19, 2005


Date rape could be a thing of the past!

It would still happen, but recidivism would drop to nothing.
posted by clevershark at 12:49 PM on April 19, 2005


Rape isn't about sex, It's about violence and power.
It sounds to me like this device would be a good way to get a woman killed.
posted by DemeterMaid at 1:08 PM on April 19, 2005


As far as getting the woman killed--a lot of times she gets killed anyway. Going along with the rapist is no guarantee of survival. So there are some women who would risk that, much as some men would risk fighting off, say, a carjacker or mugger.

But still, yeah, silly, and ow, the accidents that could happen...no way. Me, I'm more interested in personal force fields that protect all of you. When will we be getting those, again?
posted by emjaybee at 1:15 PM on April 19, 2005


Demeter--

Oh, that lie?

Steven Pinker has this astonishing section on the subject in his book, "The Blank Slate". After making the obvious argument -- theft has violence, sure, but the thief still wants your money -- Pinker brings up some pretty unassailable statistics. The recividism rate for rapists is something on the order of 45-50%. The recividism rate for chemically castrated rapists, however, is approximately 4-5%. But chemical castration has been successfully suppressed, because of the claim that "rape is about violence, not sex, so just removing sexual desire wouldn't do anything".

It's one thing to have a belief not grounded in reality. It's quite another when your belief has led directly to a ten-times increase amongst a population of former rapists. That particular delusion has caused rape, has led to rape, has allowed rape to continue. No more.
posted by effugas at 1:21 PM on April 19, 2005


Rape isn't about sex, It's about violence and power.

sure, but it's about a very specific form of power, the sexual domination of another. The rapist enjoys gaining his physical pleasure through the subjugation of a woman. I think it's become way too easily interpreted as rape having nothing to do with sex. I don't think that's true; I think it has a lot to do with an unhealthy and unfortunate relationship to sex as aggressive domination.

It sounds to me like this device would be a good way to get a woman killed.

should she just 'lay back & enjoy it'? Any defense runs the risk of pissing off the attacker, but that in itself isn't the reason to avoid it. The problem with this solution to me is that, as above, he'd have to already rape her for it to work, and plus it is just kind of creepy. My advice: be smart about who's around to start with, remain calm/confident, etc, but if he surprises you, kick him in the motherfucking balls. (or knee or grab him, or poke him in the eyes, or palm him up against the chin to throw him back, or ... just go take a karate class).
posted by mdn at 1:25 PM on April 19, 2005


I don't think the maker of this device would argue it's a subsitute for self-defense classes or safe behavior. It's a last-ditch defense, and one I think would be highly effective. Yes, the rapist might get angry--but he also might get angry if you kick him in the balls or punch him in the face. And it's a lot easier to get up from getting punched in the face than getting a spike driven up your urethra.

Given that most rapists are known by the victim and rapes often involve alcohol and other things that may incapacitate the victim from fighting back, I really do think this is a great idea. Sure, he would alread need to start for it to be effective, but it would ensure the man wasn't going to finish.

Not all girls can take karate classes. Not all girls want to dress in sweatpants and sweatshirts and clutch their drinks to their chests whenever they're in a public area and live in fear of their male aquaintances. C'mon guys, rape is not the victim's fault, any more than robbery or murder is the fault of the guy who forgot to lock his door. Just because you've left yourself more exposed to the crime doesn't mean the criminal has to perpatrate it. This stuff would allow a girl to get a little tipsy and not have to worry about some dude taking advantage of it.
posted by schroedinger at 1:43 PM on April 19, 2005


I've actually seen a serious patent application for this type of device. I'll see if I can google up a link, but what I saw was remarkably similar except that the tip was barbed, making it very difficult for an attacker to remove the device without medical assistance.
posted by bashos_frog at 1:51 PM on April 19, 2005


I more or less agree with shroedinger. This thing quite probably will piss off the rapist, but so what? It will also really hurt the motherfucker, and as a last ditch effort give the woman a chance to kick him in the balls again and get the hell out of there. She has no guarantee of survival anyway -- she might as well fight if she can. And if it is acquaintance rape, the device would be even more helpful.

BUT, and its the big but, the rapist could just require removal or forcefully remove the device.

It's an imaginary device. It is entirely impractical, at least as envisioned. I suspect that women would show up at the emergency room with injured vaginal walls as often as rapist showed up with pierced penises. Of course, a pierced penis would be grounds to call the cops in the ER, and that would be great. That organ bleeds, a lot, so it might make it easier to catch rapist.

But really, this is a statement about rape, not an actual product.
posted by teece at 1:52 PM on April 19, 2005


This stuff would allow a girl to get a little tipsy and not have to worry about some dude taking advantage of it.

Actually no. In order for the thing to work rape has to have taken place already. I know it's an imaginary product and all, but clearly the device's "creators" haven't really thought things through.
posted by clevershark at 1:56 PM on April 19, 2005


various patents related to this
posted by bashos_frog at 1:59 PM on April 19, 2005


Who would have thunk it, bashos_frog?

The barb idea is genius, assuming it worked. If it hooked the guy's penis, it would a) come out of the woman's vagina when he pulled out, and b) hurt like hell, continuously, and c) require the real possibility of medical attention to remove, thus exposing a rapist. Excellent all around, assuming the device didn't randomly or accidentally hurt the female wearer.

But, the fact that patents exist for these things, yet I have never heard of anyone actually having (or using) one, makes me think the idea that they are impractical is correct. Even if they could be made to work correctly, you'd have to convince women to wear them. I suspect that would be hard.

Or maybe they aren't that impractical, but men have historically run things and thus had no real interest in pursuing such a device. Who knows?
posted by teece at 2:09 PM on April 19, 2005


The best rape-pervention tecnique is to release your bowels.

Who here can shit on command?

It sounds to me like this device would be a good way to get a woman killed.

Bullshit. Experts advise fighting back.
posted by Specklet at 2:19 PM on April 19, 2005


On preview:

The problem with this solution to me is that, as above, he'd have to already rape her for it to work...

In order for the thing to work rape has to have taken place already.


Sorry to add yet another comment, but I want to point out that there isn't a device out there that would prevent a rape before the rapist attacked. This device would prevent the rapist from: a) penetrating fully (as an owner of a vagina I can tell you that the tip of the barb would only be about 2 inches into the vaginal canal), b) causing extensive wounds from violent intercourse, and c) completing the act and ejaculating. It would be a rape, but it could definitely be worse.

Even if they could be made to work correctly, you'd have to convince women to wear them. I suspect that would be hard.

I'm sure they could be made to work correctly, and I'll bet some women would use them, and use them regularly. I'm not one of them, for various reasons, but I know some women who would definitely buy one if they could.

and plus it is just kind of creepy.

Riiiight. That's why it won't work: it's creepy.
posted by Specklet at 2:44 PM on April 19, 2005


It also gives you somewhere to stick your receipts.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:48 PM on April 19, 2005


> Experts advise fighting back.

I'm sure this is good advice when you're faced with an unarmed opportunist rapist in a relatively public place. Faced with an armed intruder with sadistic tendencies who had planned an assault on your house though, I'm not sure how helpful it would be.

I also imagine having some degree of training in these issues would make a significant difference -- in part because it would train you to have an effective defensive response, but it might also train you in the art of evaluating the situation so that you can figure out when fighting back could be counter productive.

While I'm sure that there are some rapists who seek the path of least resistance, I'm equally sure that there are others who could be provoked to do serious physical harm when faced with someone who has the temerity to resist.

In many of the things I've read about men being raped in prison, fighting back doesn't seem to have any effect unless you're able to physically overpower your attacker. Where the attacker is more powerful though, or is raped by a gang, the victim generally ends up being repeatedly beaten *and* raped.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:49 PM on April 19, 2005


first reaction : wow thats a devilishly good idea, to omfg thats a bad idea.
posted by nola at 2:59 PM on April 19, 2005


In order for the thing to work rape has to have taken place already.

I guess you have to define successful rape. Yes, the guy's got his penis in for the thing to work, but not any more than the first time and he sure isn't going to reach orgasm. It's a bit like a mouse trap. Yeah, the mouse got the cheese--but its neck is broken. I guess I would say that's a pretty effective trap, but if you think the fact it got the cheese invalidates the entire mechanism that's your opinion.

Anyway, like I said, it's a last-ditch effort.

As for fighting back, even if you ignore all the advice from sexual assault experts that advocates fighting back it still makes sense simply from a psychological point of view. Perhaps the worst part about rape is that the victim feels guilty for being attacked. Fighting back, any sort of defense can help allay this feeling. I think a black eye is not such a bad trade-off if it means a few less years of counseling.
posted by schroedinger at 3:05 PM on April 19, 2005


There's a phenomenon at work here whereby a non-trivial percentage of males, upon hearing about the injury of another male's genitals, not only feel a strong surge of empathy, but feel compelled to inform others of that empathy. Assuming (and maybe I'm wrong) that similar comments wouldn't show up in a thread about, say, a device that thrusts hundreds of knives into the torso of a potential assailant (ouch): Why?
posted by nobody at 3:14 PM on April 19, 2005


It sounds to me like this device would be a good way to get a woman killed.

Completely agreed. Fighting back is a great idea, but I would imagine most rapists would expect that, and thus not go completely ape-shit when a woman kicks or punches him. This is going to completely enrage the rapist and cause him to beat the ever-living shit out of his victim, probably until death. And what duck said about some guy's blood in your vagina and all the disease implications.

Also, this is a very, very old idea. There are chastity belts dating from the middle ages with similar construction.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:21 PM on April 19, 2005


Previously unmentioned possibility:

Young dumb couples who forget, in a moment of passion, that the vagina-owning member of the couple is packing this particular protection.

And you thought forgetting to bring a condom was bad news.
posted by verb at 4:04 PM on April 19, 2005


What bugs me about this are two things.

The already stated worry about a guy bleeding from his penis into a victim's vagina, which has got to be truly unhealthy, and the first time a woman forgets this thing is in her vagina and a consensual lover gets pricked in the prick. Nevermind the possibility of malicious use, such as against an unfaithful lover.

It's very possible he may become violent, feeling he was outright attacked. Most guys would never trust this woman again at the very least, and when word got out of what happened, there'd be definite social stigma.

As well, you know there'd be a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Definitely the most convincing argument against making these, it's just asking to have your company sued out of existence.
posted by Saydur at 4:16 PM on April 19, 2005


This device would prevent the rapist from: a) penetrating fully ... the tip of the barb would only be about 2 inches into the vaginal canal), ...
Except that, for some of us, that is full penetration.
*cries*

Yeah, the mouse got the cheese--but its neck is broken. I guess I would say that's a pretty effective trap, but if you think the fact it got the cheese invalidates the entire mechanism that's your opinion.
Except that the object of a mouse trap is not to stop the mouse getting the cheese.
posted by dg at 4:20 PM on April 19, 2005


But if all other lines of defense have failed, this one will at least be a sure-fire way of causing some pain.
posted by schroedinger at 4:31 PM on April 19, 2005


To play devil's advocate:

The already stated worry about a guy bleeding from his penis into a victim's vagina...

Have you ever pricked your finger? It takes a moment for the blood to well up. I personally think that the guy would have his dick out of there so fast there would be minimal blood, if any, left in the vaginal canal. Pre-cum is more of a possibility than blood. Or perhaps the device would have an electrical shock, as someone mentioned.

...and the first time a woman forgets this thing is in her vagina and a consensual lover gets pricked in the prick.

I'll admit there is a possibility that this might happen, but I have never, ever forgotten exactly what is in or not in my cunt before having sex.

Never mind the possibility of malicious use, such as against an unfaithful lover.

So anything that could be used maliciously against another person should not be manufactured? Like knives, rope, belts, and alcohol?

Most guys would never trust this woman again at the very least, and when word got out of what happened, there'd be definite social stigma.


And there's not already a stigma about sex and abuse and rape already?
posted by Specklet at 4:32 PM on April 19, 2005


Have you ever pricked your finger? It takes a moment for the blood to well up.

It's hardly analogous. I'm sure there would be blood; we're talking about a big barb here, not a small prick.

OK, I admit it, the pun was intended...
posted by clevershark at 4:42 PM on April 19, 2005


posted by Specklet: Who here can shit on command?

Clearly, you've missed some of the more egregious FPPs here and in MetaTalk. I'd say the number is around 100%.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:01 PM on April 19, 2005


I have not read through all of this, but my two cents is that rape should not be taken lightly, it is life threatening act of power that is therefore life altering (to the victim but also people around them.)

Rape does not have to be vaginal to be rape. In circumspect, many rapists will tell the victim (survivor) that they weren't raped because no penetration occurred. Many survivors will believe this.

This product appears to be someone voicing their anger at the action of rape, the loss of control and overwhelming power in the act itself. Rape is a complicated and violent act.

Remind your significant other to be careful. Take a self defense class together. Walk in groups, call security for a late night walk to the car (office, dorm, condo, etc.) Make yourself available to others if a walk partner is needed.

As to the product, as duck noted, why would want the person bleeding inside of you. I would add, perfect not only raped but now the rapist is incredible pissed off.
posted by fluffycreature at 5:09 PM on April 19, 2005


The device might work, if the device's goal is to hurt rapists. Another possible solution: a very small nuclear device implanted in the vagina, detonated by touch. It would make as much sense.

I don't want to say that women shouldn't worry about being raped, but this just seems a bit overboard. The majority of rapes occur to people who already, in fact, have every oppurtunity to injure their rapist. Daddy is, of course, sleeping right upstairs. The real issue is the perceived risk of stranger rape, which is a rarity. I simply don't think we're at the point where women need to arm their vaginas.

If we want to protect girls against rape, a better solution would be to increase sex-ed education for children.

As for the issue of angering a rapist: a certain type of rapist would almost certainly be scared off by a device like this. Another kind of rapist would almost certainly be driven to murder.
posted by Doug at 5:31 PM on April 19, 2005


The dentata in Snow Crash was a much better idea. (Won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read the book.)
posted by grouse at 5:33 PM on April 19, 2005


Well, Specklet, you may be right about the blood. Still, this would be a fairly good wound, especially if the guy goes about it violently. Electric shock would probably be too risky for the victim too. I mean, would you really want a taser in your vagina? As well, it's not that everyone would forget. It'd just take 1% of 1% of women to forget it once, and it'd be considered more dangerous than lawn darts, whether fairly or not.

So anything that could be used maliciously against another person should not be manufactured? Like knives, rope, belts, and alcohol?

That's really an unfair comparison. This would be a device designed for the explicit purpose of causing penile damage. There is a legitimate self-protection angle, but proper use of this product would cause physical harm. Even guns have alternative uses (target shooting, hunting) and a constitutional amendment with the specific purpose of keeping gun ownership legal.

And there's not already a stigma about sex and abuse and rape already?

There is, and it's grossly unfair. However, if a woman impaled a consensual lover's penis maliciously or negligently, there'd be a fair bit more outrage. Just think, if she were to go without this protection device and were raped afterwards, she'd have a hell of a time in the courts. The rapist could probably even get away with it, claiming that she would have had protection and impaled him if she didn't want it. Blaming the victim for not locking the door, essentially.

So yeah, nice questioning there, but vagina spikes are definitely not a good idea. It'd probably also just increase the frequency of anal rape, or potentially dangerous object insertion to remove/set off any possible traps.

Personally, I suggest fighting back smart. Gouge out his eyes or smash the testicles. Neither takes much strength, and it's hard to protect both at once. Plus, both are remarkably incapacitating and painful, good chance to escape.

In short- More sex ed, no vagina spikes.
posted by Saydur at 6:17 PM on April 19, 2005


I've no experience with rape.

That said, would a woman not be well-off to "negotiate" cock-sucking instead of vaginal rape... and then bite the bastard's penis clean off? I can't imagine many rapists are going to hang around abusing her further whilst bleeding so profusely. As an added bonus, he'll be much easier to identify, and he won't be raping anyone in the future.

There will be blood. I don't think it should be of much concern. Vaginal rape would have spread his communicable diseases, and perhaps more easily.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:24 PM on April 19, 2005


five fresh fish: You're completely solved the problem of rape. Congratulations.

To be marginally less snarky: Rape has occured since, presumably, the dawn of humankind. Perhaps what you're suggesting has occured to others, and been rejected. Why? Some things to consider: the mental status of a woman during rape, the threat posed by a rapist, the force required to successfully bite through a penis, and mankinds natural aversion to chomping off each others appendages.
posted by Doug at 6:40 PM on April 19, 2005


This post me laugh my ass off. Also the comments about "deliberate penile injury"... don't want it injured? Keep it someplace safe. The occasional guy gets his dick cut off but I've never heard of knives being discussed in such serious tones. Not to mention the huge number of women killed by men. You never hear of that in gun control or other debates about weapons.

She has no guarantee of survival anyway -- she might as well fight if she can.
Frankly, I find these comments condescending. I have been attacked on the street and I kicked the shit out of the guy. Women are every bit as capable as men of being vicious in a fight, teaching them to fear retaliation does them no favors. Nor does second guessing their reasons if they decide not to fight back to the full extent of their capabilities. Maybe the guy has a gun. It doesn't make the woman hopeless unabel to defend herself. She made a decision.

The rapist could probably even get away with it, claiming that she would have had protection and impaled him if she didn't want it. Blaming the victim for not locking the door, essentially.
That is ridiculous logic. This type of device is obviously only ever going to be used by a woman who lives in fear of an ex husband or BF or a previous assailant. Someone with that kind of history isn't going to get away with such a lame argument.
posted by fshgrl at 7:12 PM on April 19, 2005


Wow, a whole lot of people are completely missing the point. Sigh.

On another note:
The best rape-pervention tecnique is to release your bowels.
Actually, many women do urinate, defecate, or vomit in rape situations, partially out of fear and panic and partially in the hope that it will disgust the rapist and he will move on. Sadly, it seems that this just makes it easier for the rapist to view his victim as less human, and the violence is often escalated and prolonged.

I have never, ever forgotten exactly what is in or not in my cunt before having sex.

God. Seriously. Do you guys think it's like a big purse?
posted by LittleMissCranky at 7:25 PM on April 19, 2005


God. Seriously. Do you guys think it's like a big purse?

*blinks*

Yes.

No.

Shit.

*searches Amazon.com for "vagina"*

Seriously, though: interesting imaginary device. It speaks a lot to the amount of time women have to think about how to avoid being raped, and is an interesting artifcact w.r.t. violence and gender. Nice hack.
posted by Coda at 7:46 PM on April 19, 2005


Rape isn't about sex, It's about violence and power.
It sounds to me like this device would be a good way to get a woman killed.


I was just watching Richler, Ink the other night with a group of feminist authors, and one was talking about how the "all rape is about power" idea is one that should have been discarded early on. If all rape is about power, they asked some time ago, why aren't men just hitting them? I don't think that's the whole answer. I do, however, think that there are probably a large variety of motivations for rapists and that sex is a "legitimate" one. The date-rape-druggist isn't making the same kind of violent point as the alleyway mugger. For one thing, many date rape drugs are mixed to eliminate the memory of the event. Why, if you're trying to terrorize, do you want that? It really isn't difficult for me to imagine some borderline type resorting to rape to get the woman he "can't have otherwise".

Don't let political thought get in the way of realism.

As for getting a woman killed, there's still this incredibly naive image a lot of women have that a good kick between the legs will immobilize a man and allow her to flee unscathed -- rather than enraging him. It's basic psychology from the rat on up that pain induces a sudden surge of aggression.

I agree that this is an interesting idea because of the discussion it provokes, but not as a thing to be implemented.
posted by dreamsign at 7:50 PM on April 19, 2005


Maybe I'm too practical, but I think that .45 ACP and a little training is a pretty effective rape prevention device. It might cost a little bit more but you don't have to get penetrated to use it. It's also more certain to completely immobilize the attacker.

Downside is, some some staggering percentage of people who are shot by criminals who have wrested the gun from their victims. The upside is that most gun shops or shooting ranges offer (or can refer you to) courses in gun safety and retention.
posted by Jon-o at 8:12 PM on April 19, 2005


dreamsign: I agree that this is an interesting idea because of the discussion it provokes, but not as a thing to be implemented.

One of the interesting features of this discussion is that everyone seemed to miss that this is a product that no-one intends to produce. Unfortunately, the discussions it seems to be producing don't go much beyond, "Owww, ouch, that is MEAN!"

But I agree, that it is rather lame to try to eliminate sex out of the equation entirely. On the other hand, the whole sex-drive alone doesn't explain why rape when most men out there have a quick and easy way to take care of sexual tension in their own hands. Power doesn't explain things because there are lots of easier ways to get power over someone; and sex doesn't explain things because there are easier ways to have sex.

Putting the two together makes sense, but that's too far within the boundaries of "McDworkinite" land to be fashionable, sweet and cordial.

Specklet: I'll admit there is a possibility that this might happen, but I have never, ever forgotten exactly what is in or not in my cunt before having sex.

Which is one of the reasons why I think the, "oops, I forgot" bit of Snow Crash is not one of Stephenson's brighter moments as a writer. Then again, one of my many nerd heresies is that I find Snow Crash to be highly overrated in general.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:24 PM on April 19, 2005


One of the interesting features of this discussion is that everyone seemed to miss that this is a product that no-one intends to produce.

It's a 'product' intended to make people think about rape which it has successfully accomplished.

Entirely tangential but interesting is the lack of thinking through part by some folks here. Once every woman is using one, what's to stop every man from first testing with fingers... possibly hers after a sufficient beating if necessary, just in case.
posted by scheptech at 9:44 PM on April 19, 2005


What if instead of something in the vagina, there was something you were above it that could snap down like a guilotine and effectively cut off an attackers penis. It would be far more effective.
posted by drezdn at 10:11 PM on April 19, 2005


In Emily Prager's 1982 short story collection A Visit To The Footbinder, the Lincoln-Pruitt Anti-Rape Device (or LPARD) has four modes, stab, poison, guillotine/prevent entry, and... and shred, I think.

Dentata is a far more elegant and likely name. Methinks.
posted by Sallyfur at 11:39 PM on April 19, 2005


Whether they're produced or not a conspiracy ought to be started.

"80 million devices produced by the govt. and circulated to women"

"65% of women said to wear device regularly"

"Rape attempts down by 75%"

"Christmas has been moved to June"

*sigh*
posted by peacay at 3:45 AM on April 20, 2005


I'm not sure why this has garnered so much discussion - it's not a real product, nor is it practical in any sense.
posted by agregoli at 8:15 AM on April 20, 2005


What a classy response, Doug. Fuck you.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:37 AM on April 20, 2005


Doug: I don't want to say that women shouldn't worry about being raped, but this just seems a bit overboard.

LittleMissCranky is right: a lot of the posters are missing the point. Of course it's overboard. It's a statement about issues surrounding rape. Of course it's impractical. It's not meant to be taken as a production-ready implement. (However, as bashos frog pointed out, others are indeed thinking about how to make a device like this work.)

Saydur: Never mind the possibility of malicious use, such as against an unfaithful lover.

Me: So anything that could be used maliciously against another person should not be manufactured? Like knives, rope, belts, and alcohol?

Saydur: That's really an unfair comparison. This would be a device designed for the explicit purpose of causing penile damage. There is a legitimate self-protection angle, but proper use of this product would cause physical harm. Even guns have alternative uses (target shooting, hunting) and a constitutional amendment with the specific purpose of keeping gun ownership legal.

I see your point, but I was responding to your comment that a jilted girl might deliberately misuse the device to hurt their lover. It's like tire puncture strips that prevent people from skipping out on their parking garage charges: even proper use of the device causes damage, but no one should install them backwards. That would just be malicious. If women want this device, they shouldn't be denied it simply because it causes damage. Oy.

Saydur: Most guys would never trust this woman again at the very least, and when word got out of what happened, there'd be definite social stigma.

Me: And there's not already a stigma about sex and abuse and rape already?

Saydur: There is, and it's grossly unfair. However, if a woman impaled a consensual lover's penis maliciously or negligently, there'd be a fair bit more outrage.

So I was basically playing devil's advocate. I don't think this is a practical or effective solution to rape. So although I think we mostly agree, Saydur, this line of commenting really makes me angry. More outrage than what? Rape? Are you kidding? And while I agree that no one should use a device like this to deliberately hurt someone, why would it be any more of an outrage than someone using a knife in an assault, or getting someone drunk to take advantage of them?

five fresh fish: That said, would a woman not be well-off to "negotiate" cock-sucking instead of vaginal rape...

Sure, this might work in a very specific scenario. Sometimes you can talk your way out of it. But all rapes are different and require different and specific responses. Over half of the reported rape victims knew their attacker. Most of the rapists that are unknown by the victim do not have a weapon; they are looking for a target that won't fight back. A small percentage of rapists are absolutely psycho motherfuckers who will kill a woman if she fights back.

fshgrl: Also the comments about "deliberate penile injury"... don't want it injured? Keep it someplace safe. The occasional guy gets his dick cut off but I've never heard of knives being discussed in such serious tones. Not to mention the huge number of women killed by men. You never hear of that in gun control or other debates about weapons.

Yes, thank you.

agregoli, I think the thread got way off topic with all the discussion about practicality. We're missing an opportunity to talk about gender issues, women's rights, morality, etc. etc.
posted by Specklet at 10:10 AM on April 20, 2005


I'd rather have something that reaches out, snares the testicles, and severs them. Instant genetic death penalty. Also solves some of the problems of exposure to testosterone.

I like peacay's idea.

But seriously, the reason why rape is still with us is (at least partly) because it is (or at least has been) an effective reproductive strategy. If we sterilize all rapists (castration would be preferred by me), then we go a long way towards reducing the problem forever.
posted by beth at 3:23 PM on April 20, 2005


dreamsign: I agree that this is an interesting idea because of the discussion it provokes, but not as a thing to be implemented.

One of the interesting features of this discussion is that everyone seemed to miss that this is a product that no-one intends to produce.


Um, yeah. The discussion it... ah, never mind.
posted by dreamsign at 10:00 PM on April 21, 2005


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