Sunday, November 16, 2003

Rape Defense?

Found via Warren Ellis-- a South African doctor invented a tampon-like device that is designed to cut a rapist's penis. The article appears to be well over a year old, but I had never heard of such an item before. Apparently the obscenely high number of incidents of rape in South Africa led the doctor to develop the device.

I certainly applaud the attempt to address the problem of rape, but part of me recoils at such a particularly vicious method, and questions, too the efficacy of a device. Obviously, its existence is meant to serve as a deterrant, but it doesn't actually prevent anyone from being raped-- it just brings about a brutally short end to any sexual assault-- and there are plenty of ways for a woman to be assaulted without an actual penis in the picture. And what is to prevent a woman from using one of the devices unethically (that is, on someone who wasn't actually intending rape)?

According to the article, other women had objections as well:

"I would be extremely uncomfortable. Again the onus is put on the woman. Men who rape women should be jailed for life. Men should not rape, end of story."

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