Anti-Rape Panties – because rape shouldn’t be easy.

You know when you stumble across something online that seems so utterly ridiculous and inconceivable that you know, despite all evidence to the contrary, that it just cannot be real, humanity cannot have stooped to such lows, it must be some elaborate hoax or spoof designed to expose the very nonsense that it appears to condone?

Yeah, this is one of those kind of things.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you AR Wear, a new clothing line offering “confidence and protection that can be worn”. A range of Anti-Rape panties “for when things go wrong” (I’ll come back to this point imminently) but who don’t want to put rape in the title incase it might make everyone a little uncomfortable.

Let me begin by stating that after much research I am still not entirely convinced of its authenticity. The Indiegogo website hosting the advertisement is genuine and people are actually donating very real money, the counter went up by $4000 just during the writing of this. Also, promotion of anti-rape wear is not uncommon in the USA, it would be perfectly conceivable that this enterprise is genuine were it not for the overwhelmingly patronising tone of the whole thing, the fact that AR Wear creators Ruth and Yuval have withheld their surnames to protect their identities and the sheer ludicrousness of the whole concept. But the more you read, the more real and simultaneously unbelievable it seems.

Friends and regular readers will testify that I am a fairly angry person, easily riled by any hint of sexism or social injustice, but I don’t believe my blood has ever boiled quite so quickly or to such volcanic temperatures as it has over AR Wear.

The very fact that this product exists and that anyone believes it is a viable solution to rape culture is infuriating beyond explanation. It is the same school of thought that produced bulletproof backpacks for children in America while still proclaiming the legal right of every citizen to own a gun. The specific marketing and business model of this particular product is even more exasperating in that it suggests that all women are potential victims of sexual assault or rape (a difficult truth to swallow, one in three women will be victim to sexual assault in her lifetime). But by the same questionable yardstick can we assume then that all men are therefore potential rapists? As helpless and blameless as the victims themselves?

If so, what fashionable solution will AR Wear produce to help men protect themselves and potential victims from any danger?

Perhaps some electro-charged briefs capable of delivering a kick big enough to kill any sexual urges at the first sign of arousal (if you think I’m being flippant, check out the female equivalent here). Maybe self-constricting Y-Fronts that cut off blood flow to the problem area are the way to go, thus disabling the helpless male from his primal urges.

The possibilities are endless.

It’s a wonder it’s taken AR Wear so long to produce such a simple solution “for when things go wrong”.

Because as the advert so poignantly states in its own soulless fashion copywriting style: “Rape is as wrong as it gets”, even worse than the mortal sin of wearing double denim.

But AR Wear are being realistic, they know that “only by raising awareness and education, as well as bringing rapists to justice, can we all hope to eventually accomplish the goal of eliminating rape as a threat to both women and men”.

What a perfectly logical and sound disclaimer to pin on the advertisement of a product so brazenly exploiting the existence of rape culture for financial gain. AR Wear make all the right noises, and yet somehow I just don’t believe anything they have to say.

Perhaps that has something to do with their ghastly, vomit-inducing video.

The film plays like a overly-patronising infomercial designed to enlighten awkward teenagers of those more sensitive ‘lady issues’ such as periods or physical development, like sexual harassment is just a part of the package so bulk-buy your anti-rape panties now ladies.

I half expected Simpsons regular Troy McClure to make a cameo appearance:

“Hi I’m Troy McClure, you might remember me from such informative films as “Women, know your place” and “Rape – it’s all your fault”.

"Hi I'm Troy McClure and you're reading this in my voice"

“Hi I’m Troy McClure and you’re reading this in my voice”

The angelically sweet young woman playing McClure’s role in this groundbreaking enlightenment may as well be dressed in full 1950s housewife garb, cutesily shrugging off the rascal behaviour of her sexually deviant husband while cleaning the oven, baking a cake, mixing her man a cocktail all the while perfectly balanced in six-inch heels.

Just as simply as if she wear selling a new microwave, Little Mrs 1950s explains that these innovative garments consist of strengthened, skeletal structured fabrics, cut resistant straps and webbing, with a combination of thigh and waist locks – oh that ‘thigh lock’ could have remained forever in my mind as some vague reference to a wrestling hold or pole dancing move.

The products are demonstrated by butter-wouldn’t-melt models, young, white, slim and pretty, the danger personified by a Black homeless man on the street (don’t even get me started on that one…), while a helpful male assistant attempts to tug, cut and tear the specially designed pants to prove their strength.

Need a drink? AR Wear "understand"

Need a drink? AR Wear “understand”

Little Mrs 1950s gives a knowing, patronising tilt of the head as she expands on the necessity for anti-rape wear. AR Wear “understands” that sometimes women drink too much, are drugged, or even fall asleep, leaving them incapable of voicing any opposition they might have to any sexual activity, but you know what those rapists are like, they won’t be put off by something as trivial as your lack of consciousness, the scamps!

After all, as the advertisement itself states, women aren’t always alert enough to use their self-defence training, pepper spray or stun guns to deter an attacker – I mean, for goodness sake girls, hasn’t society given you enough to defend yourself against sexual predators already??

Well not to worry ladies, no matter how many G&Ts you’ve knocked back at cocktail hour, by wearing AR Wear’s anti-rape pants ‘you will send out a clear message to any would be assailant that you are NOT consenting’… so he can jolly well pack himself back up and trot off home.

Oh and good luck to all those AR Wear customers who do go out “clubbing” and have a little too much to drink (no judgement here!) if they should find themselves at breaking point in a toilet cubical too incapacitated to operate their combination lock and remove their chastity belt in time – as if playsuits weren’t already challenge enough.

Co-creator Ruth (Unreleased surname) revealed in an interview (yes, more evidence of authenticity) that making the garments comfortable was the really tricky part – and here the rest of right thinking humanity was focusing on the deconstruction of rape culture and trying to change a society that normalises the objectification of women and sexual harassment. Sorry Everyday Sexism and No More Page 3, you’ve missed the real point of the feminist movement altogether. Ruth’s nailed it – making chastity belts as comfortable as they are effective, so you might still be able to ‘feel’ sexy as you deter all unwanted sexual advances from helpless males.

All this time women spent marching and protesting and petitioning parliament and throwing themselves under horses, the answer was staring them right in their pretty little faces in the shopping malls of America – you can simply shop your way out of that one in three statistic, preparing for sexual harassment as easily as if you were preparing for the weather.

Actually it was a lightbulb moment from Yuval (surname unreleased), who on hearing about the rape of a young woman was affected by the fact that her attacker had removed her clothes in less than a minute. Ruth communicated Yuval’s disgust in an interview, saying “what a waste that a rape occurred because if was so easy” (I shit you not), if only there was “an article of clothing that would stop opportunistic rape” because you know, if a rapist goes and puts in the time, effort, forward planning and hard work, he probably deserves to succeed, doesn’t he?

So ladies, “when things go wrong” you’ll know whose anti-rape panties you should have purchased for peace of mind, you’ll have no excuse. Fail to prepare, prepare to be raped. Because it is a sad and sorry fact that things can go wrong, like society producing another sexually, violent man who believes he has a god-given right to sexual satisfaction regardless of consent, who feels he is entirely justified in the objectification, violent and sexual exploitation of women, who makes the CHOICE to rape, the CHOICE to ruin someone’s life, the CHOICE to do something as “wrong as it gets”.

And to think, he would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those pesky anti-rape panties.

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2 thoughts on “Anti-Rape Panties – because rape shouldn’t be easy.

  1. Oh my word. As well as the scenarios you mention about being drunk, stressed and forgetful or simply having a pelvic floor dysfunction and being in a hurry, I just wonder how many frightened and abused partners will be forced to wear these by husbands/boyfriends who refuse to give them the combination or quite how any Emergency Department staff might fare if, for example, the wearer was hit by a car or involved in some other trauma and had to be cut out of their clothes due to extensive injury.
    God grief! All this will do is provide another stick to beat victims up about post rape. “Why weren’t you wearing your chastitiy underwear? Were you asking for it?” Twats!!

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  2. Ciara Mc Menamin says:

    So basically, if I go out and get raped and I didn’t wear my trusty AR wear panties, it’s MY fault. Glad that’s cleared things up(!) Wouldn’t want to be in the situation and then find out(!) Least men will know that once they can’t get my pants off they maybe might suddenly come out of their ‘silly’ little urge. After all rape isn’t their fault, it’s mine for being too flirty.
    Anyone else feel like they stepped back about 6 bloody decades? Disgusting. And just in case my tone wasn’t co eyed properly in the first paragraph, the whole thing was dripping with sarcasm.

    Like

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