Monday, June 21, 2010

Anti- Rape Condom

I'm not sure if anyone has heard yet, but I came across an interesting article today from It was about an anti-rape female condom developed in South Africa by Dr. Sonnet Ehlers. The condom would help bring rapists to justice by attaching itself with "teeth" on to the attackers penis. The condom would cause considerable pain for the attacker, and is impossible to remove without the help of a doctor.

Women live (in my opinion) in a constant state of fear of being raped. (The prevalence of rape in our society, and that of South Africa, give women justification for being fearful.) And it sucks that we have to go to these lengths to deter men from raping women. Maybe the emergence of this condom will create some fear among rapists so that they think before they rape. I guess in this way, although minimally, the condom will be preventing rape. But at the same time, we are not DIRECTLY addressing the problem. We should talk to young boys about violence against women, and make it clear that it is not to be tolerated.

"South Africa has one of the highest rape rates in the world, Human Rights Watch says on its website. A 2009 report by the nation's Medical Research Council found that 28 percent of men surveyed had raped a woman or girl, with one in 20 saying they had raped in the past year, according to Human Rights Watch."


These are disturbing statistics. So it's great that Dr. Ehlers will be distributing 30,000 free condoms in South Africa during the World Cup this year.

Thoughts and feelings about the Anti-Rape Condom??

Photo Credit: DanieVDM on Flickr

1 comment:

Feminist said...

I'm not a fan of the anti-rape condom. There are several problems with it, including but not limited to the following list.

1) The vagina is not a storage place. One would have to wear this "device" in the vagina at all times.
2) This device does nothing to deal with the underlying issues leading to such high rates of sexual violence such as cultural norms around sex and what constitutes sexual violence, systemic problems with reporting and prosecuting sexual violence, etc.
3) To use this as self-defense, one would have to allow a rapist to get all the way to the point of inserting the penis into the vagina. What about self-defense before then? What about anal rape and oral rape? What about vaginal rape with objects? What about rape of men?
4) What studies have been done to show that *even if* one has this "device" in their vagina and is vaginally penetrated by a penis, it is painful and disabling enough that the perpetrator stops the rape and is unable to commit further acts of violence against the woman he attacked?

There are so many other ways to approach ending sexual violence. And, as much as I wish there was, there is no magical device that can stop rape.