Monday, November 26, 2012

There Are Times...

When I just shake my head.

On Facebook today, I saw a picture of a "toothed female condom" being circulated.  The device is called Rape-aXe and was designed by a doctor in South Africa, who, unfortunately, has had to treat far too many victims of rape.  One of her patients apparently said, "if only I had teeth down there".

Now, in South Africa, where rape is apparently the national sport, a condom embedded with "teeth" might be a woman's only defense.  However, here in the US, we have lots and lots of options for self-defense, the first being SITUATIONAL AWARENESS.  I know we talk about it a lot, but I think it bears repeating, especially after reading some of the comments on the FB link.

Photo cred: Google images

Overwhelmingly, the women who were commenting (and there were thousands) thought that this was a good idea and a great way to prevent rape.  In fact, several women commented that if a woman felt uncomfortable in a situation, she could just slip away and insert the Rape-aXe and she would be protected.

God, there are so many things wrong with this type of thinking, I'm not even sure where to start.

First, rape is not a sexual crime! It is a commonly accepted belief by those in the criminal justice system that rape is not a sexual crime.  Rape is all about power and dominance and has absolutely nothing to do with sexual drive, which is why chemical castration of rapists doesn't work.  Those bastards just use a "substitute" phallus.  However, the touchy-feely psychologist types will tell you it's all about sexual gratification. That might be true with date rape, but it is absolutely not true with regard to stranger rape.

Second, let's take a look at the "prevention" of rape by this product.  Rape has been defined as forceful penetration of an orifice (that's a newer definition, the old one was forceful penetration of a vagina, but didn't take into account rectal penetration).  So, if you think of rape as a forceful penetration, the condom doesn't stop the actual rape, it just keeps the perpetrator from "finishing".

But my first two points really don't matter when we look at SITUATIONAL AWARENESS.  When I first read the Facebook post, I kind of snickered and went on with my day.  The attitudes of the commenters who said that if a woman was uncomfortable, she could just insert it and be protected continued to eat away at me.

If a woman felt uncomfortable enough that she felt the need to "slip away" to insert the device, she should slip away and go home! Or some other place.  Why, oh why, would she go back to a situation like that?

I'll tell you why - because as a society, we've raised our girls to be idiots.  We teach them to be nice and not to listen to their instincts.  We teach them that "someone" or "something" will protect them and that it's not their responsibility to take care of themselves.

I'm a firm believer - as you know - in listening to instinct, and I've taught my daughter to do the same.  I have always allowed her to avoid people she felt were "creepers", even if I didn't feel the same way.  In order for her to learn to trust her instincts, I had to show her that I trusted her instincts.  Her reality is different from mine; I can't tell her what to do in any given situation.  I can guide her, I can give suggestions, but we're two different people, with two different lives' worth of experience (mine just happens to be 21 years longer than hers).  A situation that makes her uncomfortable might not have the same impact on me.

There are two things* that I hope I've instilled in my daughter: 1) listen to her gut, if it feels wrong, get out, and 2) pay attention to what is going on around you.  Both of those play into situational awareness.  If you don't know what's going on around you, how does your gut know what's right or wrong?

It's my hope that she knows, deep in her soul, that it is her responsibility to attend to her safety, that waiting for "someone" or "something" to protect her can cost her her life.  Situational awareness, in addition to the wherewithal to remove herself from the situation if it develops around her, can and will save her life.  Not some stupid "toothed condom" that requires her to be raped to work.

*There are actually more than two things I hope she's learned.

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agirlandhergun said...

The attitude of women and dare I say men is depressing. We are actively taught from every angle to not fight or really to even believe anything bad can happen to us. In schools, on TV, from parents, magazines, politics. Heck, even most police officers teach it.

To think that grown women are sitting around thinking this method of "defense" is viable is frightening.

One of the biggest changes I made after I was mugged was to overtly teach my children about situational awareness and trusting their instinct.

Double Tap said...

Thanks Diva, I guess all we can do is take care of our own and challenge those around us to "think" for themselves and - as we instructors do - educate people to that end.

tara said...

"There are times..." when you want to shake people and say "Snap out of it!" for being so hopelessly, tragically misguided in their thinking, for following one crappy idea into another -- like you said, to politely excuse yourself when you're feeling threatened, slip in your toothed condom, so EVERYBODY gets hurt, and being oh so careful not to offend anyone, put yourself right back in the threatening situation - The Snowwhite Syndrome - good girls eat the apple no matter what their instincts are screaming at them. Thanks,Diva, for weighing in with a cool voice of reason and logic, for thinking tactically, strategically, and always promoting "think on your feet" self defense.

The Lowry Kitchen said...

My kiddo is just 3yrs (going on 4) and I just started talking to her about strangers (Stranger Danger). She is so friendly we were at a restaurant one day and I turned around after getting our drinks and realized our kiddo had walked across the restaurant and hopped up at someone's table and joined there lunch. Thank you Jesus she wasn't eating from there plate also. However it's great to be friendly it's also dangerous she is so young and she doesn't understand there are mean people that want to hurt her. I was always shy enough that I never wanted to talk to strangers. So I feel like I had a similar conversation with my girl just this week. I said if it doesn't feel safe then GET OUT run away! I said do not take anything from anyone you do not know. We talk to her about never touching a gun without mom or dad present. I don't really know how much she retains or understands but I'm going to keep saying it over and over. I love her so much I would be mortified if anything ever happened to her.

GunDiva said...

@Lowry Kitchen - if you haven't read PROTECTING THE GIFT by Gavin de Becker yet, I think you should put it on your to be read list. It's a book that I give to all of my expectant friends. Excellent book.

luvharm said...

I completely agree with you on awareness. The good thing about the rape aXe is that the person who rapes them has to get it surgically removed and it alerts the doctors to the fact that this guy is a rapist and to call the police

Old NFO said...

Not trying to belabor the obvious, but women's situations there and here are SIGNIFICANTLY different. Misogny is prevalent over there, and especially in tribal relations. AND the women really have no way to fight back. Personally, I'd say give em all guns, train em, and let them loose on the males that pull this crap.