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Rape-aXe Antirape Condoms to Be Handed Out at World Cup

Rape-aXe: A Terrifying Weapon Against a Terrible Crime

Welcome to the World Cup; here's your spiked condom. At the soccer tourney in South Africa, the inventor of the Rape-aXe antirape system (formerly known as Rapex) plans to give away 30,000 of the condoms for free.

Dr. Sonnet Ehlers came up with the concept for Rape-aXe — a latex sheath with "razor-sharp barbs" — after hearing a sexual assault victim say "if only it had teeth down there." A noble notion, but in reality, Rape-aXe sounds sort of scary, not to mention misguided:

The device is worn in her vagina like a tampon. When the attacker attempts vaginal penetration the barbs attach themselves to the penis, causing great discomfort. The device must be surgically removed, which will result in the positive identification of the attacker and subsequent arrest.

Better identification and prosecution of sexual attackers is certainly an issue that needs addressing, but is Rape-aXe the answer? Given that it's being launched in South Africa, which historically has one of the highest incidences of rape in the world, Rape-aXe could be read as a desperate measure or a deleterious gimmick. Here's why.

As Lara Williams writes in the Guardian, "Advocating placing a foreign object inside your body as a matter of course places the prevention of rape, once again, squarely with women." Given that women are often held accountable for rape, even by fellow women, a victim wearing this device could be branded with the dreaded "she was asking for it."

Rape-aXe can thwart an attack and physically punish the criminal, but how would a woman know she needs to be wearing one? I'd rather see more preventative and educational measures, for both men and women, aimed at stopping sexual assault in the first place. It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction the Rape-aXe handouts prompt at the World Cup, but until then, tell me what you think.

Join The Conversation
DiamondSkies DiamondSkies 7 years
So, you have to wear this everyday, just in case you get raped? It's a good concept, but I don't see the everyday reality of it.
Gawjuslayd Gawjuslayd 7 years
The crazy thing is that people have no other answer with how to prevent rape. Can YOU come up with a better answer. Hell, I would use this on a guy I didn't really want to have sex with. Besides it is better to have this in place than a rapists STD or baby?!!!?
pink-pirate pink-pirate 7 years
tigr3blanca: Please do not make sweeping statements about "Africa." In the country of South Africa some people believe sleeping with a virgin can cure AIDS. My family is from a completely different African country on the other side of the continent and no one has this belief. It's offensive.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
i see women with malicious intent using these to hurt a guy who wronged them.
GregS GregS 7 years
Betty, please remind me to wear a cup when I'm around you or tigr...
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
tigr, HAVE you kicked a man in the balls? I kneed my ex in the balls accidentally when we were wresting, holy shit he didn't even talk to me for a day and a half. In theory it's a good idea... though I could imagine a vengeful wife/girlfriend using one against her husband. I really don't think there's an easy answer to this problem, but as always education is key.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
Anon #26, perhaps it was misleading for me to say barbed wire "all over the place" and I admit that mistake on my part. However-- yes, men do rape women all over the world, but South Africa holds the record for the highest incidence of rape in the world, including baby and child rape. I am not trying to bash South Africa in any way, but merely show that it is more understandable why a device like this would be marketed there.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
If a woman's been raped she's already at risk.
leilani-s leilani-s 7 years
Traveling in groups, taking self defense classes, etc is great advice for women who have the means and opportunity to do so. But picture this scenario: You are a single mom, working as a nurse in a hospital in a bad part of town. You can't afford a car so you take a bus. You work the night shift. There are no self defense classes available to you, or if there are, there is no way you can afford them, and besides you can't take time away from your job or kids to go. Weapons are either illegal or too expensive to own. If you wait for the (possibly corrupt and/or ineffective) government to educate and take action, you may very well become the next rape statistic. This is why the device was developed. I think it's hard for people in the US and other relatively peaceful countries to imagine the reality of poor women in places where predatory men travel in roving gangs, looking for victims.
tigr3bianca tigr3bianca 7 years
Have any of you ever kicked a guy in the balls? They can't even speak, they just roll around on the ground . If this thing is dug into a guy, I don't think he'd have the strength to do anything. Although I don't agree that this product will stop rape from happening. The reasons rape is so bad in Africa is because of the warring factions and the belief if you have sex with a virgin, you will be cured from AIDS. Education and government action are needed, not spiky condoms. If you want to prevent rape, travel in groups, carry a weapon, take a self defense class, and always let someone know where you're going and when so if you don't show up, they'll know something's up. I know it sounds like I'm making women solely responsible for prevention but I can't imagine blaming the woman for rape, even when she's drunk and wanted to go home with the guy.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
I wonder if it hurts to take it out? I think it's smart device though, a lot of my friends carry mace, pocket knives, some want tasers, and we defiantly live far away from any slum areas.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
Yes, that really seems like a worthwhile way to risk one's life.
KateAthens KateAthens 7 years
I don't see the point. You only wear this if you know you will get raped and i can't imagine put- on this disgusting thing everyday. So yes its more for vigilante missions, going where you know some sex offender lives etc. And what happens if there are two bad guys? Yes the first one is gonna be in major pain but the second may kill you.
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