Thursday, November 7, 2013

Anti Rape Wear: Yesss or NoNo

A small New York startup, AR Wear gained instant online notoriety over the weekend for marketing a line of anti-rape underwear



Form-fitting shorts that employs a protective skeletal structure to make it stretch, rip and even cut proof. 

A small New York state-based startup gained instant online notoriety over the weekend for marketing a line of locking, rip-proof underwear that the company calls anti-rape wear. The product is a pair of form-fitting shorts that employs a “protective skeletal structure” to make it stretch, rip and even cut proof.

A small combination lock at the waist keeps the garment from being removed by anyone but the owner. Still in its nascent stages, AR Wear launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 toward developing a marketable prototype. As of Monday night, the company had collected $27,475 on IndieGogo.com.

News of the product surged across blogs and social media over the weekend, eliciting both passionate appeals to support AR Wear or staunch condemnation of a product that “shifts blame from the rapist to the rape victim,” in the words of one blogger. 

In a bitingly sarcastic Monday post entitled The Comfortable, Elegant Chastity Belt for the Modern Rape Victim, Slate writer Amanda Hess wrote “nothing makes a woman feel comfortable in her own body like a constant physical reminder that she’s expected to guard her genitals against potential sexual assaults at all times.”

AR Wear apparently anticipated the “victim-blaming” criticism and made sure to declare in its IndieGogo pitch that “the only one responsible for a rape is the rapist.” “Nevertheless, a woman or girl who is wearing one of our garments will be sending a clear message to her would-be assailant that she is NOT consenting,” they wrote. “We believe that this undeniable message can help to prevent a significant number of rapes.”

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