Despite substantial outrage, the “anti-rape wear” lingerie Indiegogo campaign for $50,000 has been funded. Aside from dangerous misinformation about rape in its advertising, removing this absurd chastity-belt-style contraption in emergencies requires a “team” of people as well as wearer who is conscious to unlock it.
How does it “work”? AR Wear has a built-in “skeletal structure” — a grate scooping over and around your vaginal and anal areas, connected to thick bands looping around the thighs and riding below the waist. You pull the bands to tighten them. Then you snapping down the plastic lock. You twist the lock to your “unique” position to be able to loosen the bands and take off your underwear. Don’t worry, they’re still “elegant and sexy!” But wait until “things go wrong” — when a person violently sexually assaults you. See how the dudes in this video are trying in vain to wire-cut the bands and pull around the model’s locked underwear? But she can “feel confident” in all kinds of “dangerous situations” where a modern girl can expect to be raped, as the video visually demonstrates — like jogging past a bush, walking next to a homeless black man while wearing a short skirt and dating.
AR Wear’s “Ruth and Yuval” won’t give their full, real names — not even to The Guardian. They have, however, posted a nifty update with apologies and answers to potential customer inquiries regarding the campaign:
★ Sorry for lack of “variety of body shapes (or ethnicities) represented” but “the budget only allowed” for one skinny white girl model.
★ Sorry, males. “Additional design work” is needed for you. Rape! How does it work?
Here’s one of the most troubling items:
MEDICAL EMERGENCY REMOVAL: AR Wear presents a barrier that is designed to prevent pulling and to delay cutting attempts. Emergency Room personnel or EMT’s could immediately cut away the sections of the garments that are not cut-resistant in order to reach and treat wounds. They would have the combined benefit of team work, the cooperation of the wearer, and various cutting implements to then safely remove the skeletal structure.
So, if you are picked up by an ambulance, several members of emergency medical personnel and “various cutting implements” are needed to remove the contraption without it injuring you, if you happen be wounded or need medical scans or any other standard treatment. You also need to be conscious so you can “cooperate” with the removal.
If you were knocked out during an attempted sexual assault — and since the grate in your magic underwear prevented vaginal and anal penetration, it’s only an attempt, regardless of what else was done to you — too bad.
This is especially troubling when the campaign video presents the following misinformation as a fact:
Studies show that resisting sexual assault lessens the chance of a rape taking place without increasing the violence of the attack.
No actual studies are cited to support this claim, so let’s look at a study [PDF]. This Los Angeles, California-based survey looked at three elements of sexual assault — unwarranted physical sexual contact, forced intercourse and physical harm — and examines the instances’ correlation with the two types of resistance — verbal and physical.
Turning to the data on physical harm, respondents who reported that they were physically harmed were more likely to report the use of physical plus combination resistance strategies than respondents reporting no harm (67.6 per cent, 99 percent CI = 43.5, 91.8 compared to 35.3 per cent, 99 percent CI = 26.9, 43.6), and they were less likely to report verbal resistance than respondents who were not harmed (16.1 per cent, 99 per cent CI = 0.2, 32.2 compared to 39.2 per cent, 99 per cent CI = 31.0, 47.3).
What most of these studies show is a relationship of the victim’s resistance in response to the assailants tactics, not the other way around.
Also relevant to assault outcome is that physical harm relative to no harm was associated with greater use of physical resistance strategies. The majority (79 per cent) of those harmed indicate that harm commenced prior to sexual activity; thus like other investigations,10 I1 these findings imply that physical resistance is more likely to be a consequence of the sexual assault rather than provoking further injury. Taken together, these results suggest that assailant use of force is more effective than verbal pressure in accomplishing the assailant’s aim, and that use of force acts as a stimulus for victim physical resistance.
For example, if someone attempts to pressure the victim into nonconsensual sexual activity, as in the case of molestation or intoxicated coercion, the victim tends to resist verbally. When the force is physical, the victim tends to resist physically (obviously). Physically forceful assault is more likely to result in the “assailant’s aim.”
AR Wear campaign doesn’t just suggest an unsubstantiated, inverted statistical “fact” about what the victim should be doing when “things are going wrong” and trying to rape her, it simplifies sexual assault down to penetration, placing the responsibility of rape not happening — by covering up some of her orifices — on the victim. This insane Puritanical “solution” is irresponsible.
And another update:
★ At projected cost of $50-$60 per pair, AR Wear hopes to provide anti-rape wear to “people who could not afford to buy on their own” by partnering with “organizations that serve groups at risk.” Which is… women? As per the study cited above:
It is important to note, however, that these data do not describe the resistance experiences of persons who were physically harmed to the point of incapacitation or death.
But at least your magic anti-rape underwear would still be on!