AR Wear, a clothing company, is developing a line of garments that will protect women from sexual assault. Think running shorts with reinforced crotches, underwear that can’t be pulled down and traveling shorts that prevent rape. Yes, just like chastity belts. Yes, this is real (Just check out their Indiegogo campaign).
I have so many reactions to this campaign and to these garments:
2. Whoa again.
3. I almost thought this was a joke or a parody at first.
4. How do you go the bathroom?
5. This is weird.
6. This is crazy.
7. Why are all the models white?
8. Why are all the models women? Men, transpeople, genderqueer and other LGBTQ, non cis-gender individuals experience rape, too.
9. It’s incredibly sad that it’s necessary that garments like this would even be conceived of, much less invented.
10. Rape culture, look at what you’ve produced!
11. Would Emily Yoffe approve of these anti-rape underwear?
12. While I think these garments are innovative, interesting and might prove valuable for some people, it seems they place the burden of protection against rape and sexual assault on the woman rather than on teaching rapists not to rape and bringing those who do to justice. While wearing an anti-sexual assault garment might give a woman (or, for that matter, any person who feels under threat of sexual assault) a helpful sense of security, it ultimately reinforces the pervasive and harmful societal assumption that the responsibility of not getting raped lies with individual women.
13. Also? Sexual assault and sexual violence isn’t limited to a person’s genital area.
Here’s a bit more information from the Indiegogo page of AR Wear:
We developed this product so that women and girls could have more power to control the outcome of a sexual assault…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.
The accompanying video to the Kickstarter campaign (which you should watch ASAP) says, outright:
“It is, in fact, anti-rape wear.”
Suggested times to wear these garments include on first dates, when running alone, when traveling in a foreign country, and more. How do they work? They’re constructed with a special reinforced skeleton structure that can’t be cut or ripped. They lock in place, they can’t be pulled down, and only you (the “user”) can take them off.
The Indiegogo campaign has raised just under $3000 of their $50,000 goal towards creating prototypes for anti-rape and sexual assault garments. Unlike traditional Indiegogo campaigns, AR Wear’s does not include any type of reward if you donate, because of the “seriousness of the message and product line.”
What do you think about anti-rape clothing? Would you wear it? Would you buy it? Would you give your money to this company so that other people might have the opportunity to wear it and buy it?
Photos: AR Wear’s Indieogogo campaign