Or you could, like, you know, just be happy that someone’s making an effort towards rape prevention. But yeah, let’s complain that it’s not perfect, that’s good.
This isn’t a complaint at all- it’s simply saying that instead of coming up with every “inventive anti rape” device under the sun, people need to start paying attention to the real problem- stopping rapists from raping.
I think it’s great that four college men came up work this product-it’s a great deal of chemistry and hard work that went into this project. I commend them. I really do think that it’s a step in the right direction.
But there are a few dangerous misconceptions that women face, when it comes to rape, that anti-rape products like these don’t help.
1. That women are most often raped by strangers.
This is simply not correct. It does happen, but not in the frequency that some people seem to think- a staggering. 66% of rapes and 75% of sexual assaults are committed by someone who the victim knows.
No amount of color-changing nail polish, pepper spray, cat eyes key chains, rape whistles, etc will be effective if you’re not on the defensive. If you’re just hanging at a friends house. If you’re at work. If you’re with your partner. These products are all great, but only if you’re expecting to use them. If you’re at ease with people that you know around you, then what?
2. That if a woman is raped, it’s her fault.
Was she dressed modestly? Had she had sex before? Was she drunk? Was she out at night? Was she carrying a rape whistle? Pepper spray? Anti rape nail polish?
After a woman is raped there are many questions, but the blame is often times put on the woman for not avoiding the rape. Nothing justifies raping another person. If a drunk woman walking naked alone at night in the street gets raped, it should be taken just as seriously as a woman “doing everything right” with her pepper spray in hand and keys between her fingers like little knives. Both were violated and both deserve to be treated with respect. But how would the media report these? Very, very differently. Because the responsibility of the rape is rarely put on the rapist- but rather what the woman was doing, or should have been doing, to protect herself.
Here’s the bottom line- these products are great for personal safety, for personal awareness. I carry every protection product you can think of. There are a lot of great products out there, and if it makes you feel more protected, and if it makes you feel like you could escape an attack- by all means, USE these products!
But this does not solve the problem. The problem is that so long as people are not taught what consent really means, and are taught NOT TO RAPE- all the anti-rape products in the world won’t stop rapists.
I’d encourage everyone to read this awesome article, which makes many points on why this is great, but there is so much more to be done. Also linked to some stats on rapists.
From the article:
“Encouraging women to buy products to make themselves safer is sort of like cutting off the weed at its stem, instead of at its root: It might give you something to do, but you aren’t going to actually eradicate weeds from your garden. To stop rape, we need to teach men not to rape, not teach women that it’s their responsibility to prevent it.” (Elizabeth Plank)