It’s just about that time of year, so for those of you looking to get a head start on your holiday shopping, may I suggest a lovely pair of Anti-Rape Panties for the special woman in your life?
And of course, AR Wear, the start up that hopes to manufacturer an entire line of anti-rape clothing, sort of 21st century chastity belts, has already raised over $50,000 through an Indiegogo campaign (there are still nine days left if you want to throw some of your own cash in).
As a feminist, I’m opposed to the idea of anti-rape undies. Doesn’t this amount to more victim blaming? If you didn’t want to be raped, you should have been wearing anti rape underwear! What’s wrong with you?! Going out into the world wearing those purple polka dot Hanes® Her Way underwear was practically an invitation to rape!
(Full disclosure: I actually own a pair of purple polka dot undies, selected for me by my kindergartener daughter who told me to buy them because they were “pretty.”)
As a realist, I’m doubting the efficacy of the undergarment. Is a determined rapist really going to be thwarted by what amounts to be a pair of compression pants (with a sort of combination lock)? Over on feministing, Alexandra Brodsky asks twelve questions regarding the clothing, but you have to look no further than the first to see what is wrong with this concept.
1. AR Wear, if the whole point of your magic anti-rape underwear is that an evil rapist can’t take them off, is it going to take me a really long time to undo all the secret locks if I have pee?
As a parent to two girls, I’m thinking (just for a moment!) maybe these are the greatest invention ever. I can’t find my credit card fast enough to order them! My kids, who have already demonstrated their poor decision making skills by the fact that I am currently wearing a pair of purple polka dot undies, will put themselves into all sorts of dangerous situations that these underwear will surely protect them from!
However, like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects to be raped, do they? I lean toward the schizophrenic end of the paranoid scale, and yet I can think of only one moment in my life when I thought I was in danger (once, while I was out running, a man dressed in Bermuda shorts and a polo shirt reversed course and followed me into a vacant parking lot at five am in the morning. He was middle aged and fat and slow and probably just left his car there the night before).
On the other hand, if you are going through life and the thought occurs to you “I might be raped today” giving you the foresight to strap on your anti-rape underwear, I’m thinking you probably need to start hanging out with a different sort of crowd.