Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I really have no idea what to feel about this device. I'm guessing that further study will show that it will do more harm than good. Even if it works, it seems a little too... barbaric? Still though, how can you blame women who live in areas like these for wearing something like this?

On the other hand, is it possible that it will be used against innocent men? Would it be possible that women could actually lure men in and attack them with it?

So... strange.

South Africa anti-rape condom aims to stop attacks

KLEINMOND, South Africa (Reuters) - A South African inventor unveiled a new anti-rape female condom on Wednesday that hooks onto an attacker's penis and aims to cut one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.

"Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time," Sonette Ehlers, 57, said of the "rapex", a device worn like a tampon that has sparked controversy in a country used to daily reports of violent crime.

But the "rapex" has raised fears amongst anti-rape activists that it could escalate violence against women.

"If a victim is wearing such a device it may enrage the attacker further and possibly result in more harm being caused," said Sam Waterhouse, advocacy co-ordinator for Rape Crisis.

Other critics say the condom is mediaeval and barbaric



grrrbear said...

I'd think that people would be more concerned about the inevitable violence that would be perpetuated against women who actually try to use this thing. I mean, if the guy is violent enough to rape you, he's probably not going to stop just because his wang is put through the proverbial meat grinder.

~ange said...

I think the only sad part about this invention is that it does no permanent damage to the rapist. I think it should have razors that cut the thing completely off- but that's just how I feel about rapists. If a woman being raped uses another weapon- a knife or something- that might also incite violence against her- but she's fighting for her life (by avoiding HIV). This is also a weapon, but it's a last level defense weapon. I say fight away. If a woman is found dead and a man is admitted to the hospital with a need for the rapex to be surgically removed, covered in her blood and vaginal secretions, I hope the police will be able to figure that out. It also might act as a deterent to rape if men know some women are wearing these things. As for the luring men to harm them on purpose- after he gets out of the hospital- couldn't he prosecute? It's interesting that you bring up male fear when this device is a solution to female fear.

Theo said...

I'm just saying that new violence isn't necessarily the best way to combat existing violence.

Africa has a number of structural problems that have led to an environment ripe for HIV and rape. I'd be surprised if these devices will have the appropriate effect because they do not address the central problems that have led Africa to this state.

Distributing guns throughout the ghetto to give ghetto residence protection isn't going to stop the problem of ghetto violence. Additionally, simply criticizing people in the ghetto for becoming violent won't do much either. Ghettos are symptoms of a larger problem, and what is going on in Africa is the same way.

~ange said...

I don't see it as additional violence though. It's a passive device. It may not solve Africa's problems or the proliferation of HIV, sure, but it might make a difference in one woman's life. I guess I just always cheer for victims- I never blame them for self-defense.

Theo said...

I'm not blaming them for anything, nor am I bringing up male fear.

I'm saying that women who wear these things will probably get even more physical harm against them.

Additionally, you say that a man who is wrongly snatched by one of these things could prosecute. What makes you think that in a place where rape is so common that the law provides a convenient way for men to prosecute? And how could the man prove that he was wrongly snatched? Couldn't the woman cry rape?

I don't think this device is a "solution" to anything, especially fear. I don't think news of the existence of these things will spread through the would-be rapists, so I don't think it will have an effect on reducing the number of rapes.

And, most importantly, there is a reason why in civilized societies there is a recognition that victims or those very close to victims cannot determine the punishment for crimes against them. Sure, this device might just be self defense, but you're statements take it to a whole new level. You suggest permanent damage. You are appalled that the devices don't do more. You say that the devices aren't simply a deterrent -- they are a punishment. Do you really think that rape is a special case where civil liberties do not apply?

~ange said...

Forgot Blogger had scheduled maintenence yesterday-I should've copied it b4 sending, but here's my condensed message:
I was giving my viewpoint not as a person trying to save the world, but as a woman seriously thinking about how I would react living in SA.
I wouldn't care about "inciting more violence" towards me because it's already going to be an all out bloody violent fight to the death- either his or mine.
Even if he got away with it, I'm not so sure I wouldn't go Pulp Fiction on his ass. But that's just me- and perhaps I need to examine this thought that rapists should be prosecuted in one way of another. Sure castration is ideal, but I'll take 8-10 years behind bars without chance for parole just as well- as long as they do pay. I understand there are a lot of women /men that would rather roll over and give it up peacefully, then forgive him and not care if he's prosecuted or rapes others, but I'm just not wired that way. It's not so much about vengence as it is about protecting the victims after me. If he goes out and rapes/(likely)infects with HIV 100 other women, I would feel responsible for their deaths because I didn't stop him- knowing that I have the courage to do so. Again, in one way or another.
As for the men who are afraid they're going to be snatched during consensual sex, I would say don't sleep with women you don't trust- or if you have to sleep with a woman that hates your guts- finger her first. It appears it doesn't matter if she cries rape cuz rape doesn't seem to be a legal priority there.
Maybe news of this device might not spread deterringly though the legions of would be rapists, but the news coverage all over the world bringing to light the amount of rape might be enough to embarrass the government into doing something serious about the crisis.

I hope so.