Rape is obviously not something to be made light of, but that doesn’t mean AR Wear, a newly proposed line of anti-rape under garments for women isn’t a bit puzzling. The Indiegogo campaign, which is well on its way to its $50,000 funding goal, wants women to feel more secure when they’re out in the world, even if it means strapping themselves into a vagina vault. Albeit a comfortable, stylish one. As the designers explain:
We developed this product so that women and girls could have more power to control the outcome of a sexual assault. We wanted to offer some peace of mind in situations that cause feelings of apprehension, such as going out on a blind date, taking an evening run, “clubbing”, traveling in unfamiliar countries, and any other activity that might make one anxious about the possibility of an assault. We believe that the tools of self-defense currently available are not effective in many common settings of sexual assault. Training in martial arts or products such as pepper spray, tear gas, stun guns, etc. can only help if the potential victim is extremely alert and bold when an attack occurs. Worse still, products of self-defense can be taken from the victim and used against her. We read studies reviewing the statistics of resisting assault, whether by forceful or non-forceful means. We learned that resistance increases the chance of avoiding a completed rape without making the victim more likely to be physically injured. We concluded that an item of clothing that creates an effective barrier layer can allow women and girls to passively resist an attacker, in addition to any other form of resistance they may be able to carry out at the time of an assault.
To be clear, anything that helps a woman feel safer when she’s out in the world, where rape is a very real problem, is a welcome advance, but, as Slate’s Amanda Hess points out “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.”