By Matthew Schafer
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
Anti-Rape Underwear is a product that has gotten a lot of attention these last few years. For anyone that doesn’t know it is a combination of shorts and a chastity belt that a woman can wear that is resistant to being cut or pulled off the wearer thereby “preventing rape.”
This product has not gone into production yet in the United States but it was funded on a crowd funding site called Indiegogo and raised over $50,000. This concept and prototypes for this product was introduced in 2013 and according to their most recent update they are a long way off from going to market citing issues with manufacturing making both quality control and affordability very difficult.
As someone who teaches self-defense I get asked all the time what my thoughts are on various self-defense products and just recently a woman asked me about these and if I recommend them. The answer I gave her is I wish I could recommend them but I cannot.
First is the question of will a woman actually wear these in the first place? A lot of people go out and purchase a firearm for self-protection and then get a concealed carry permit and they’ll start carrying their weapon and enjoy the increased feeling of safety they get. However, what happens a lot of the time is that after a little while a lot of people “start forgetting” to carry their weapon every day or just stop carrying it altogether because carrying a concealed weapon can be uncomfortable and it can be a pain in the ass. While those truly committed make sure they’re carrying the right firearm for them in the right holster and are wearing the right clothes it cannot be denied that carrying a firearm is a responsibility and a commitment.
I see the same thing with pepper spray also; I don’t know how many men and women I’ve trained to use pepper spray admit to me that while they carried it all the time at first now they rarely carry it. What reason do they give me as to why they stopped carrying it? It was a pain in the ass.
I was raised with 5 older sisters and I was married for 14 years (to a separate woman, not one of my sisters) and I was always shocked with the amount of clothes they had. My ex-wife not only had clothes in the bedroom but she turned a separate bedroom into a walk-in closet and then still wanted more room. The point of all of this is that with the degree of care that women take in their personal appearance and the variety of clothes that they want, even if they buy this are they actually going to wear it? My ex-wife had a whole drawer full of “cute” underwear and if she was going out with her friends (a situation that one would be seen as an occasion for wearing anti-rape underwear) I highly doubt that she would ditch her pretty lacy underwear for something that looks like men’s boxer-briefs. This is something that I think people would buy but just wouldn’t actually use.
Even if women did wear it I see too many things going wrong. What happens if you get injured and have to go to the emergency room? If you’re conscious and can remove it yourself you’re fine but what if you don’t have the range of motion to take it off due to your injuries or what if you’re unconscious? If you got in a car accident and you’re bleeding from your femoral artery but the doctors can’t get to your femoral artery to fix it then you’re dead.
Assuming these underwear preform the way they’re supposed to and don’t malfunction and refuse to come off trapping a woman inside them and she ends up having to call the fire department to bring the jaws of life out to cut her out of them, what about metal detectors? What about going through security at the airport? We all know that women have small bladders so are women going to tolerate the hassle of unlocking and relocking them every time they have to use the toilet? Walking around with this metal cage on just seems inconvenient.
While I do applaud the makers of this product and the garment itself for the effort, I just don’t think this will work. The only way that I see this stopping rape is if a girl (they don’t make them for men) is drugged or gets drunk and passes out at a party. If a girl is passed out lying on a bed and someone wants to rape her while she is unconscious it could possibly stop them, but I still don’t think it will.
The locking mechanism on these garments doesn’t seem very complicated and I think if I had 20 minutes alone with a passed out girl I could move the lock around enough to stumble upon the combination and remove her protective underwear. In this one instance I think this could potentially stop rape but I feel that it is more likely it would just slow it down a little.
In all other types of rape I think this is a good intentioned product with a very flawed premise. To think that a rapist is going to tug at this for a few minutes and then get frustrated and twirl his handlebar mustache while saying, “Bah…foiled again!” and then leave with his cape flowing behind him is very unlikely. What I believe to be more likely is that he’s just going to beat the shit out of her.
I’m not a rapist and I’m not the type of person who would rape, however, in being a self-defense instructor I often have to put myself in the mindset of a criminal so I can help my clients prepare for the realities of criminal violence. If I was the kind of person that was going to rape a woman and I couldn’t remove her underwear I would think I would do one, or more, of the following three things:
One: Since I couldn’t rape her vaginally or anally I’d just rape her orally. She’d still get rapped but she wouldn’t have to worry about getting pregnant.
Two: I would simply make her take them off. If I’m the kind of person that would forcibly rape someone I think I would have very little problem hurting them until they agreed to just take them off. I would have to think that if you told a woman, “Look, either you can take them off so I can rape you or I can punch you in the face until you take them off and then I’ll rape you” I think they’ll pick the former.
Three: I would get upset and just beat her perhaps causing serious injury, brain damage, coma, or even death. A man in a fit of rage unloading physically on a woman is something that can easily end up being fatal.
I do applaud these people for their innovation on making a modern version of a chastity belt. I was taught when I was young that chastity belts were a common feature in medieval times where some gallant knight would lock up his woman’s privates before charging off to war saying something to the tune of, “Goodbye my love, while I’m off bravely fighting for our kingdom try not to die of the yeast infection you’ll most surely get from not being able to properly clean your undercarriage for the next year and a half. Ha-haaah….moisture!”
The truth is most historians believe that chastity belts didn’t exist until the 1400’s and they are really a product of the 18th and 19th century and used primary to keep people from masturbating. While these belts were also used to protect a woman’s virtue in the workplace making teenage sons and daughters wear them to prevent masturbation was far more common.
One thing that I do like is there is a version of this product already sold in Germany, where reportedly German women are being sexually assaulted in alarming numbers by Muslim immigrants, that features cut and pull resistant pants with a 130 decibel alarm so if someone did try to pull them down the alarm would sound. The alarm potentially could scare off an attacker but more than likely it would still have be combined with a proactive defense and a bit of luck.