Underwear Is the Answer?

WARNING! I am going to be talking about underwear (and other things). Some may find the following subject material inappropriate, so proceed at your own risk.

The other day one of my daughters sent me a video advertisement from a company called AR Wear. What were they trying to sell? Anti-rape underwear.

Anti-rape underwear…

(If you want to see the video, you can go look it up on YouTube.)

OK, so….

For the record, I believe rape is a horrible crime. Furthermore, I think predatory rapists should suffer punishments akin to those dished out in the Old Testament. Therefore, please don’t misunderstand me…if you want to wear anti-rape underwear, go for it!

However, what disturbs me is that there is evidently a market for anti-rape underwear, a market partially characterized by a lack of wisdom and common sense.

Below is the text from the first couple of minutes of the AR Wear video advertisement…

“Have you ever been out walking at night, alone, wishing you could feel safer? And you, parents and friends, how often have you worried about a loved one? We want to provide a product that will make women and girls feel safer when out on a first date, or a night of clubbing, taking an evening run, traveling in another country, or in other potentially risky situations.

The challenge was to find a way for the garment to be worn comfortably during normal activities, yet still be able to frustrate an attack…even if the person wearing it had too much to drink, was drugged, or asleep.

Seriously? I mean, really? Am I overreacting to the obvious?

Again, anything that will prevent a woman from being violated is a good thing, so I totally applaud the product AR Wear is trying to sell. But, just look at the people to whom they are trying to market. Are there not other options that could be utilized before resulting to rape-resistant undergarments?

Humor this old man for just a moment and think about the following words…

  • Have you ever been out walking at night, alone, wishing you could feel safer?” Ladies, here is a suggestion: don’t go out walking alone at night! And if you must, why not invest in some mace or pepper spray, a German Shepherd, or even a .45 cal. semi-automatic! Believe me, if you are packing heat while walking Cujo, it will probably be the rapist who’ll need to be changing his underwear.
  • [Safer] when out on a first date. Let’s think about this one for a moment, OK? Shouldn’t you do your homework on a guy before going out with him? [For additional thoughts on this, see the comments]
  • A “night of clubbing,” or “other potentially risky situations. Again, seriously? Is anti-rape underwear really that necessary? How about let’s just avoid the nights of “clubbing” and passing out on the dance floor or in the back seat of a stranger’s car?! Good grief!
  • Normal activities that include:even if the person wearing [the underwear] had too much to drink, was drugged, or asleep.” I’m sorry, but if your normal activities include having too much to drink, getting drugged, and passing out, then you have problems that a pair of armored panties will never fix.

I don’t want to sound harsh, my friends, but it would seem that much of the need for the above product could be eliminated by smarter, wiser, more godly life choices.

Sure, there are times when bad things happen no matter what we do, but what should one expect from a lifestyle that includes regular excessive drinking, drug use, and “risky situations?”

The fact that anti-rape underwear is needed at all is sad enough. But when we add in the fact that much of the demand stems from unwise behavior, the whole idea seems tragically fatalistic.

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6 Comments

Filed under abuse, America, Christian Living, Culture Wars, current events, General Observations, wisdom

6 responses to “Underwear Is the Answer?

  1. If you don’t like your enemy’s knife in your back, stopping falling asleep in his arms.

    If your version of living in the moment stops you from LIVING the next, then your version of ‘living’ is not life, but brief moments of pleasure by which that warning sensation of a self-induced death, increasingly grows numb.

  2. As a woman, I’d also like to point out that a lot of the trauma involved in an attack like this has little to do with the protection the underwear could provide. What is going to protect a woman from the memories of getting grabbed, held against her will, and then almost raped? Assuming a woman is operating with the common sense you mentioned and still finds herself attacked, what she needs is a stun guns, to send dirtbags to their knees with a jolt.

  3. I appreciate that your heart is leading to wisdom and discernment regarding increased possibility of rape. So, I appreciate you taking on this subject.

    However, I strongly disagree with your assumptions regarding date rape.

    You said: “◾“[Safer] when out on a first date.“ Let’s think about this one for a moment, OK? Shouldn’t you do your homework on a guy before going out with him?”

    Your assumption is that abusers are obvious to anyone… if you just have common sense.

    If abusers are obvious then I doubt we would have a statistic of 1 in 4 women before the age of 18 experiencing physical and/or sexual assault. And by the way, that statistic does not change from within the church or out of it.

    The modus operandi of any abuser is a seduction of power. Typically the abuse starts in the psychology of the relationship and progresses to possession of full power by dominating not just the mind, but the heart and the body of another.

    Rape, in any form, has little to do with sex and everything to do with power.

    What we know about abusers is their mastery of manipulation. They often smell like roses to everyone else but the victim. To the victim, they only feel the thorns. But the abuser, in his mastery of manipulation, will often cause the victim to doubt their own thoughts.

    I understand that you desire personal responsibility. But please understand that date rape is not a result of a lack of common sense.

    I don’t think a history of rape or tendencies toward abuse is something an abuser displays on a resume. In fact, most abusers believe they are clearly justified in their actions and would never say they were to blame.

    There is a place for wisdom,
    but there is never room to blame a victim for the choice a perpetrator makes.

    By the way, even if a woman is at a night club and ends up getting raped…It is still the man who chose violence over love.

    • Thank you so much, Cheryl, for taking the time to leave a comment, especially one that respectfully disagreed with me. In all seriousness, it is refreshing to have someone offer a different viewpoint without being rude, hateful, or snide. Disagree with me all you want, therefore, as long as you keep setting the example for others 😉

      Now, in response to your comment, I must say that it is difficult to address all the different shades of a subject in less than 1,000 words, which is why I didn’t say more. You are correct in your conclusion that I was calling for more wisdom and discernment, but I also understand that rapists (and abusers in general) are not always obvious “on a first date.” It’s just that I didn’t feel the need to go into all that simply because I felt it was an understood.

      You are correct, it’s probably uncommon for an abuser to list his offences on a resume. But I guess what I was thinking when I wrote my post is that surely there are precautions one could take to weed out the bad guys. For instance, I wouldn’t go out with a girl unless she first went with me to church, period. Strange? Maybe. But if a girl thought it strange to first meet in church, then I’d know she wasn’t right for me. That’s just one little test.

      On the other hand, what I see so many women and girls do is meet guys in night clubs, at parties, etc. They go out with guys who were already on the prowl. That whole dating subculture is a train wreck waiting to happen, in my opinion.

      Granted, most abusers don’t show their true strips up front. I understand that. But this product seems to be being marketed to women who are walking into a lion’s den where they already know there are lions on the prowl. It’s almost a fatalistic admission that this stuff is going to happen. My daughters don’t go clubbing, drinking and partying in short skirts, or walking alone down dark streets at night, so I feel the odds of attack are drastically reduced.

      That’s all just my opinion, however.

      • Anthony, It is a great blessing to disagree with respect – and I thank you for respect in return 🙂

        I understand the limitations of blogs. I often feel constrained in writing my own posts… just not enough space to say exactly what we mean from all aspects. I guess that is why I wanted to leave a comment.

        I suppose I am an exception to your assumptions. I met my husband at a country bar, dancing. We were both Christians then and remain happily married. In fact when we want to rekindle romance…we go dancing.

        I’m also the exception in my personal story of growing up. I was the youngest in a Church going Christian family. Yet at home, behind closed doors, there was great abuse. Abuse across all plains: psychological, emotional, verbal, physical and sexual.

        I carried with me shame that somehow I was responsible…If I had just been good enough then bad things wouldn’t happen to me.

        Throughout my healing process, I have found that regardless if you are a child, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or a spouse…We all take the shame of those sins done against us, and carry that shame until Christ heals us enough to give the shame back to our abusers. After all, they are the ones who earned it.

        It is so important in discussions of violent sin that we do not add additional shame to those that have already been shamed by an abuser.

        Thus the reason I wish to add caution to your words under date rape. If any woman (or man) knew their date would rape them…they wouldn’t go out with them.

        By the way – for your readers…
        If you have experienced any type of abuse I recommend you read Mending the Soul by Steven R. Tracy and find a small group journeying through the Mending the Soul workbook.

        Thanks for the good discussion!

      • I do/did not mean to completely and with one big blanket singularly characterize date rape as completely avoidable. If I offended, then I am sorry, for that was not my intention. Again, as we have both stated, a short blog piece is not the place to go into much detail.

        With regards to your testimony, I am glad you can still go dancing (even though I don’t, and only did once in order to win a trip to Disney for my family – yes, I won). But I am sorry to hear about your troubled upbringing. Much of what you wrote still happens to many people still trapped behind the facade of legalistic religion. I pray that you continue to heal and experience God’s wonderful grace.

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