So, some cool cat women Ruth and Yuval, have taken sexual assault into their own hands. I don’t know if you’ve heard of these anti-rape shorts/underwear/yoga pants, but if you haven’t yet, you will in the semi near future. They call themselves “AR WEAR” (anti-rape for those who aren’t quick with the acronyms) and the concept is so “women and girls can have more power to control the outcome of a sexual assault”
The plan is to create a line of undergarments and clothing that won’t rip or be cut, and have a seal button at the waist to prevent them from being pulled down without consent. They’ve already raised 52 000 USD and are ready to start making this product. So there is definitely an interest in manufacturing this product and for good reason. Most women in experience a form of sexual assault, and there is a large percentage of women uncomfortable walking on the street alone. Now, I was not at all being sarcastic when I said these women are great. The idea is very noble and any attempt to give women control of their bodies back, is honourable. Coming up with this kind of concept takes heart and brains and a lot of courage. It is a touchy topic that could piss off many offenders and misogynists.
With that said, I’m always troubled by these kind of products coming on the market. Its like when the anti drug nail polish came on the scene a few years ago. This was a kind of nail polish that changed colours when drugs were in your drinks, so you could quickly check if you thought maybe someone had slipped you something at the bar. These preventative tools can have merit the same way pepper spray and rape whistles can be incredibly useful in an emergency. But to me, putting on a pair of shorts that prevent a man from ripping your clothes off, is putting the responsibility on yourself, the victim, to prevent the predator from hurting you and I can’t fathom us as a society putting that kind of blame on the victim.
Oh wait. Yeah I sort of can. I guess this is what people mean when they say that rape culture is a victim blaming game. I’ve heard lots of arguments/defence tactics discrediting the idea that rape culture exists. And I can understand the yearning to believe it truly doesn’t. Its such an ugly way to look at the world, isn’t it? To have to assume all men are rapists and all women victims, our genders are painting us with a very broad stroke and creating our narrative without our personal choice and identity mattering. I can understand how maddening a concept this would be for men who have done nothing but do their best to be educated and empathetic to our unequal society and I can relate to how soul crushing a feeling this is to women who are trying to be superheroes in a time period that deperately needs them, when all the world expects from them is a damsel in distress.
Unfortunately that is where we live, for now. And this is not to say that men are all predators, or that admitting rape culture exists IS to admit that men are all predators nor is it to suggest that women being painted as constant victims and not allowing them to be their strong confident selves is an appropriate belief either. It is to say , for now until we start pushing for real change, that we live in a society where instead of admitting that we have a problem when it comes to sexual expression and safety, we burry it underground where the stories can’t be told, blame who we can and rationalize why these aggressive sexual acts happen. Let me be clear. It should absolutely NOT fall on the woman to wear protective undergarments to prevent men from raping. That is not placing the blame where it belongs. And if you’re wondering where it belongs, it belongs on our society and culture, for not giving open dialogues in which to have healthy sex talks.
This is also not to say, that women should not buy these products. I’m all for preventative measures, and feeling well and if for some women, this makes them feel safer in our current world, that is wonderful. I would however, ask you to be aware of what message you’re sending to your body when you go on a first date wearing anti assault clothing, and what it says about us as a whole that women feel that level of danger in their everyday life.
To end this on a slightly lighter note, I have a suggestion for those of you who don’t like the idea of AR clothing or don’t have the means to purchase them (panties are expensive these days). Its called “The Period Pant”. Most women already have a pair. It’s a pair of loose of comfy pants that you let yourself free bleed in, most likely a ratty pair of pyjamas or something you decided you didn’t care anymore if they were stained. I’m telling you, you wear those babies in public, and you have much less chance of getting attacked at the bar. 1) the men will be scared shitless at you “care-free ” attitude and full on confidence in yourself. 2) its pathetic, but we are still so grossed out by menstrual bleeding, that it’s unlikely you’ll be bothered as much, and theres a good chance that the dude that does approach you, has mad respect for you body and won’t try anything anyways. It seriously poses the question, “what if we were as grossed out by rape as we were by menstrual cycles and sanitary products?”
So, I’m on day 2 and a half of my period, and thought I’m not free bleeding right now, I consider this a massive free bleed all over the interweb, and thats good enough for me today.
Remember, I want to hear from you and your bodies about what you would like to hear about/ your experiences/how i can improve my blog. Even though my blog was originally for me, I think I can make it an expression platform not just for myself but for many different people and perspectives. Mad respect for you all.