If you haven’t seen the movie Teeth, I highly recommend it. It’s about a girl who embodies the vagina dentata myth, a folk tale in which a vagina is said to have fangs. You can imagine how bloody and wonderful it is when a perpetrator becomes castrated by a teeth-lined vulva.
The folklore is told as a cautionary tale to discourage rape in ancient times. Today, this tale takes the form of anti-rape devices that not only warn of the gruesome consequences of unwelcome advances, but inflict injury and pain on the intruder.
Let’s talk about these cringe-inducing yet satisfying anti-rape gadgets:
South African Doctor Sonnet Ehlers came up with the idea for Rape-aXe when one of her patients, a rape victim, said ‘if only I had teeth down there’. The Rape-aXe works like a female condom, but with jagged teeth that cause a great deal of pain. The penis can enter the vagina fairly easily, but when it pulls out, the teeth fasten and tear into the shaft. The result is a screaming, writhing and often an immobile perpetrator.
The device has been criticized as being ‘medieval’ due to its violent nature. But according to Ehlers, ‘a medieval deed deserves a medieval consequence.’
The Injector is the body armor of the 21st century. The device features “pneumatically powered hypodermic syringes” that inject tattoo dye and sedatives into the attacker. The sedative instantly incapacitates the perpetrator, and the tattoo dye leaves permanent markings for easy identification.
The inventor Ira Sherman says the inspiration comes from the five sexual assault victims he interviewed, who all said they wanted to identify and capture their attacker.
The Killer Tampon
72-year-old Dr. Japp Haumann invented a prototype called the Killer Tampon, which features a guillotine blade designed to cut off the tip of an intruding penis. The blade is attached to a hollow cylinder, which when triggered, decapitates the penile head.
Dr. Haumann said that the goal is to instill fear and make rapists think twice about sexually assaulting women. However, many men and women dismissed the product as “appalling”, and the device never got past the design stage.
Now, while the idea of using violent anti-rape devices to deter a sexual assaulter is tempting, it doesn’t stop people from raising a range of potential issues. Should women wear these devices at all times? What happens when these products do go on the market? Are they comfortable and how often do they need to be removed? And then there’s the issue of safety on the user and the possibility of retaliation from the attacker.
Are these devices practical solutions to a real-world problem or mere fancies of a misandrist?
What do you think?
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