START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
908,457 people care about Women's Rights

Wearing a Modern-Day Chastity Belt Is Not the Solution for Rape

Wearing a Modern-Day Chastity Belt Is Not the Solution for Rape

Ladies, get ready to lock yourself into your underwear. A New York-based company has created anti-rape panties designed to thwart would-be sexual assailants.

AR Wear uses cut-proof, lockable straps to fix the form-fitting underwear onto a woman’s pelvic area.

According to their website, the company believes that “rape is about as wrong as it gets,” and declares that “the only one responsible for a rape is the rapist,” but disingenuously proceeds to say the product is intended to provide women and girls more control over their own bodies.

“We wanted to offer some peace of mind in situations that cause feelings of apprehension, such as going out on a blind date, taking an evening run, ‘clubbing’, traveling in unfamiliar countries, and any other activity that might make one anxious about the possibility of an assault,” the company says.

The underwear uses a waist strap that cinches tightly closed and can only be unfastened with the use of a two-point, “clock hands” style lock. The voice-over declares that it is easy for the user to remember the exact position of those clock hands.

The waist, thighs and central panels are protected with specially designed, cut-resistant straps and webbing, while the waist strap prevents the underwear from being pulled down, and thigh straps prevent leg openings from being lifted or shifted to the sides by someone else.

Doesn’t that sound like fun to wear?

You can check out their product here:

The idea of anti-rape undies is wrong in so many ways.

As Amanda Hess writes in Slate: “Nothing makes a woman feel comfortable in her own body like a constant physical reminder that she’s expected to guard her genitals against potential sexual assaults at all times.”

Yes, wearing a skin-tight chastity belt is physically uncomfortable, not to mention what might happen if the user forgets the all-important position of those clock hands to free herself.

Worse than that, AR Wear claims its product “can give women and girls additional power to control what happens to their bodies in case they are assaulted.” I disagree. This modern-day chastity belt is yet another product of a society that teaches women to avoid being raped rather than teaching men to avoid raping.

AR Wear seems to be saying that women are responsible for stopping their own rape. Yet again, let’s blame the victims and not the rapists.

Another troubling aspect of AR Wear is that it resurrects the old myth that most rapes are committed by an evil stranger, lurking in the bushes, ready to throw himself on any unsuspecting woman. The reality is that approximately two thirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to their victim.

As Vicky Simister writing in The Guardian points out:

In a world where an Australian judge ruled that a sexual assault “must have been consensual” because she was wearing skinny jeans that he “doubted could be removed without any collaboration”, aren’t we giving the misogynists out there another weapon to excuse away rape? If your AR shorts are faulty, will you be blamed for the attack? And if, heaven forbid, this product becomes a du jour item of female fashion, will a victim of rape be called into question for not wearing them?

(….)

Resorting to literally locking away our vaginas in order to prevent rape indicates just how much work there is for us to do in the fight against rape culture. A modern-day chastity belt demonstrates just how little women’s sexual rights have progressed since medieval times.

Preventing rape has everything to do with the rapist and a culture of victim-blaming. Instead of producing panties with thigh locks, we need to work on changing the mindset of the assailants.

Read more: , , , , , , , , ,

Photo Credit: >a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mopuMMt_Hg target="_blank>WorldstarHiphopVids

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

186 comments

+ add your own
9:29AM PST on Feb 27, 2014

Sorry, I think it 's a great idea! Needs another name though....

12:26PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

and now in my current job I see young women being stupid. mostly white females being taken advantage of by black men.

Am I a racist for saying this? or am I am feminist for standing up for womens rights?
or should people no matter what they have between their legs or what color their skin is STOP with the hate

and start caring

9:41AM PST on Dec 14, 2013

very strange!

7:59PM PST on Nov 30, 2013

sigh

2:22PM PST on Nov 20, 2013

how about actually being able to start teaching boys from a young age that rape is wrong, wrong, wrong....and then actually punishing rapists....

very sad that it has come to this and somebody is out to make more $$$ out of a sick and sad part of society

5:41PM PST on Nov 18, 2013

The title of the article biases the whole issue by calling it a chastity belt. Historically, those were applied by men to control women. This item is willingly used by women to exercise some control over what men can do.

5:36PM PST on Nov 18, 2013

Only women who want this will buy it. No one is forcing it on women. Why wish this company to go broke if it provides a product that makes some women feel safer and be safer? What is wrong with women taking steps to be safe, even if they are steps that are only somewhat helpful? Would some of you condemn women for taking martial arts classes too because they are doing something to protect themselves or would you fault them because the skills they learned are only good enough to fight of some but not all attacks? Why not use a multi-pronged approach to prevent rape? Teach women self-defense skills in gym class, let them have access to protective clothing if they want it, teach boys to treat women properly in sex ed classes, and meaningful laws and consequences for teenage boys and grown men. By meaningful laws and consequences, I mean inpatient mental health treatment for sex offenders who are truly mentally ill, but for those who are not, we should consider a combination of incarceration, counselling/education on respecting women, and a trip to the whipping post. Part of sex education for high school boys could be having to watch a video of what a session at the whipping post looks like. In some Asian nations, students are shown demonstrations of what adult caning looks like. Most rape is date rape committed by adolescent males and males in their early twenties. I am sure that seeing a video of a sex offender being caned, strapped, or whipped would make a lot more

5:03PM PST on Nov 17, 2013

People have been trying to "teach" others that RAPE is wrong, right? and other commenters have said a lot of women get raped by people they know, correct?

So TEACH women to not be VICTIMS! It seems obvious that education/whatever is not preventing rape. I bet a woman who is taught to be confident and to not be dependent on a$$hole "friends" or acquaintances for their self-worth would be able to make better choices and possibly not be raped or be able to defend herself.
I think you are all coming at this problem from the wrong direction. TEACH WOMEN!
rapists are not teachable. Women are.

11:20AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

hmmm.....

10:44AM PST on Nov 17, 2013

Another sick way to make money. They deserve to go broke.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free

more from causes




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.