What Rape “Prevention” is Not

Frankly, this (also via Renée).

I don’t even know where to start with that goddamn website, though Renée has done a pretty good job of highlighting how not only does the language shift responsibility onto women, it reinforces the way we are told to be constantly on guard against rape. At this rate, within a couple of years, it’s going to be the only thing women think about, ever. Victory will be ours!

But colour me confused here, because everything on that site says that this “device” is designed to prevent rape. Except…in order to work, penetration – vaginal penetration – has to occur. Which is to say, rape. I mean, that’s all over and above the fact that sexual assault can take many forms, including those that don’t involve vaginal penetration, those that involve penetration with a foreign object or those that don’t involve penetration of any kind. I mean, here I am trying to impose logic onto a clearly “does not follow” premise, but among the FAQs it even assures us that the rapist will not initially feel the RapeX (because, of course, at the moment of the rape, he has been possessed by a crazed demon that doesn’t notice things like that), and that when he does, the pain will be sufficient to render him incapable of killing you while you run away. So it’s not like you’re supposed to use it as a deterrent or something like that…it’s all about the after-the-fact identifiability and getting the rape to end relatively quickly after it begins.

Which is not what the word “prevention” means, unless I missed a memo somewhere.

8 thoughts on “What Rape “Prevention” is Not

  1. churmursounds says:

    Wow! I dont even know what to say about this…Yes, I think prevention is definitely the wrong word to use…Isnt it essentially a weapon? I mean, I know they mean for it to be used in situations where a rape occurs, but the very nature of how rape happens, I mean, its not something you plan for right?? I mean I dont want to walk around thinking, “Oh I might get raped today, so I better put on the rapex..” You know maybe it should be marketed as a weapon for women to use in war ravaged countries where rape is the weapon men use commonly, and now women can have a weapon of their own…But I know that’s not going to work …

  2. churmursounds says:

    I guess the fact that it was developed in South Africa, probably has a lot to do with why it was invented in the first place, but still, another advancement made where women have to shoulder an unfair responsibility…Totally totally unfair.

  3. I…

    Rape revenge, maybe. Not prevention.

    But you know, I think the vast majority of people think rape is coitus with the rapist climaxing, and anything else is “attempted rape.” By that logic, this makes complete sense.

    It’s sad people are that ignorant. Even sadder that enough of them can get together to come up with stuff like this without anyone pointing out they don’t actually have a grasp on the definition of rape.

    It boggles my mind how people can be that confused, too, because no one thinks you have to penetrate a child and climax to call that molestation – which a lot of these same people want to seek the death penalty for.

    Vagina dentata, for real.

  4. purtek says:

    churmursounds – yeah, exactly. It misses the point that rape doesn’t exactly happen when you plan for it to.

    Jenn – Thank you for articulating the coitus-to-climax part of this. I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly it was that was in people’s equation of “rape” that would make this *not* qualify, or how to phrase it anyway. And “revenge” does sound like a better word.

    Honestly, the whole thing sounds like an attempt to feel better about the fact that you’ve been raped – it’s certainly not prevention, and it isn’t really recovery either.

  5. Jay says:

    I apologize if this offends anyone or is negatively triggering, but after browsing their FAQ, I think they were missing a big one: “What if he wants to put it in my mouth?” I’m hoping it wouldn’t touch off a campaign for the Rapex Mk. II.

    So, yeah…rape prevention, not so much. Website which seems to want to make women so afraid of rape they’ll walk around with a sharp object in their vagina? Yeah, that’s more what I was seeing there.

    I especially like the bit about wearing it in some suggested situations (i.e. situations where you might get raped), totally ignoring the situations under which rape usually happens. Who needs reality?

  6. purtek says:

    Ah, that last question is so well put.

    And your second paragraph is bang-on. It almost seems like it would serve better as a chastity belt, essentially making you ever-conscious of the powerful power of your body, ensuring that you will think very, very carefully about your potential sexual encounters. Because…I honestly can’t imagine *not* being hyper conscious of my vagina if I knew that it had fangs.

    That site is so bad, I actually searched for the possibility that it was parody, but alas, there is nothing whatsoever in there that is funny. Fear, fear and more fear.

  7. I basically agree with the points about different forms of sexual assault. I suspect the RapeX is supposed to be “preventative” in the way that nuclear weapons (due to MAD) were supposed to prevent war – I think it is supposed to be deterrent in that the rapist is supposed to think, “she might be wearing a RapeX – I better not rape her!” But, of course, unless they make an oral and an anal model, that’s not really going to work very well, because it’s far more likely he’ll think “I better not use her vagina, I’ll use her anus instead”.

    When I first heard about this (before I started blogging) I immediately started to imagine the defence counsel’s take on it should the rape case be brought before a court.

    The logic ran something like this:

    “Only a woman who hated men would wear such a thing” (evidence of the woman’s internet browsing habits and how she came to hear of the RapeX product)

    “I put it to the jury that this woman maliciously and deliberately went out with the intention of enticing a man into attempting to have sexual intercourse with her, with the purpose of causing actual bodily harm to him. My client was that man, and he is the victim of an assault here!” (obviously, what the rape victim was wearing at the time, any past history of bad relationships, etc would be introduced, or attempted to be introduced, by the defence counsel, during this case)

    Since the act of putting in a RapeX is a premeditated act, whether or not it is done so with “malicious intent”, it could make it possible for a court to determine that the rape victim is guilty of assault instead.

    I know that the above line of argument that I imagined, is horrific and hideous, but unfortunately, that is the way that the court system seems to work, and unfortunately also, given what people already believe about rape and women’s sexual desires, it might even have a real chance of working.

  8. I suspect the RapeX is supposed to be “preventative” in the way that nuclear weapons (due to MAD) were supposed to prevent war

    LOL. This is bang on. I’m laughing not because it’s funny but because it’s so absurd.

    Unfortunately I also think your defense argument is bang on. I wish I couldn’t imagine anyone trying it.

    I wish I couldn’t imagine them getting a defendant off with it.

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