Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 12.2

What do you mean, Amanda usually does the Friday quickies? I think you must be mistaken.  It’s always been me. I have always been here. Everything is fine. VIVA YVONNE.

 

Masala Skeptic

Maria Walters (a.k.a. Masala Skeptic) has spent a lot of time in ‘furrin parts,’ including Hong Kong, Trinidad, and Pittsburgh. Although her passport is from India, she’s spent most of her adult life in the United States. She currently lives in Atlanta and has an unhealthy affection for science fiction, Neil Gaiman and all things Muppet.

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13 Comments

    1. Yeah, and I’m tired of seeing this bandied around as “rape prevention”. Um. Hasn’t the rape already occurred at that point? Also: the room for abuse of the product… there’s no guarantee that some guy who got his penis mangled was actually in the process of rape. And of coures there’s that whole argument that we should actually try to address the underlying issues.

  1. I’m not so appalled by Rape-Axe, it’s one option for women in a country where the already appallingly high rape statistics keep rising. Clearly there are deeper socio-political issues that need to be addressed to actually prevent rape in South Africa (and everywhere else) but, until they are, I don’t see an issue with African women arming themselves in this way. I also think the idea that man would then kill a woman unrealistic – he’s more likely to be focused on how much pain he’s in and his penis, which gives the woman a chance to get away (it’s why gouging out a rapists eye is a useful defensive tactic). I also find the fears that they’ll be used on some innocent guy pretty weird – anyone who’d use this on an innocent person would just use something else if they didn’t have access to one (like a knife or a gun, both easily accessible). If someone is going to use their penis as a weapon, then I tend to see this more as protective armour than a weapon of assault (after all, if you’re not raping someone you’re not at risk).

  2. If it does take a doctor to remove it, then if the attempted rape escalates to murder, there will be pretty strong evidence of who the murderer was, something that has the murder victim’s DNA attached to the perpetrator’s penis is going to be pretty strong evidence.

  3. The Rape Axe may be one of those things that deters effectively even if only rarely used. Making up some numbers for the sake of discussion, if a rapist views a 1 in 10 chance of getting nailed (sorta literally…) by a Rape-Axe as being an unacceptable risk, then only one in ten women need to use them. And if one in thirty women use them, that might be sufficient to sustain a street rumor that one in ten women are using them – same practical effect.

    But this leads to some unpleasant questions. Such deterence depends on the device being widely known. That sounds good at first, as you could then perhaps deter a rape by telling your assailant that you’re wearing one even though you’re not. Maybe that’s a credible bluff even if only one in fifty women actually wear them. But again all this deterence depends on the device being widely known to potential assailants, but if it’s widely known then won’t rapists resort to some rather obvious countermeasures? For example, the victim could first be violently probed with I-don’t-want-to-imagine-what to check for the device, or forced to insert her own fingers, or pre-emptively threatened with escalated violence if they’re bluffing or failing to disclose. Sure don’t want all that to become common additions to most rapes – There’s a particularly ugly arms race for you.

    Or maybe they’ll actually have very little up-front deterence value, but since one rapist may be responsible for dozens or even hundreds of rapes, just one successful application resulting in a jail sentence could prevent a long string of future rapes downstream. Sort of a vaginal force multiplier.

    Speculation and opinions are cheap. This could work brilliantly, or it could result mostly in really nasty unintended consequences. No way to _really_ know which until they sell a bunch of them and have them in circulation a good while. Hell of an experiment to be running.

  4. Regarding the ‘Condoms with Teeth’ article, regardless of weather women decided to use to condoms, the fact that it is advertised that such devices (30,000 per the article) are handed out for free at the event sends a clear message to rapist! BEWARE!

  5. Masala Skeptic,

    “Condoms with teeth to fight rape” What does it say about the world we live in, when women even in civilized societies feel the need for something like that? Hopefully they will make a would be rapist or two think twice. Than again, if criminals thought things through, most of them wouldn’t be criminals in the first place. But I think it might still have an effect.

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