United States of Rape

BY Jim Byset

IT’S THE NEW personal security accessory that’s left many commentators scratching their heads – and others – foaming at the mouth. New York-based startup AR wear have a created a line of ‘anti-rape’ apparel. The clothing, which features underwear, shorts, and track pants, is specifically designed to scupper rape attacks.

The clothes are made from a hi-tech material that cannot be cut or ripped and are ‘locked’ in place by the wearer. Once the wearer has secured the garment, it is only released by using a combination latch. It is, in essence, a modern-day chastity belt but allows the wearer complete freedom of movement and has the appearance of regular clothing.

AR Wear is seeking $50,000, using the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to get the products on the shelves and according to the company, is already half-way to achieving that goal.

Their campaign, however, is not without controversy. Feminists have decried the product as a form of rape apology – and have responded with the by-now tired, contemptible line, ‘teach men not to rape.’ Others argue that the product is an endorsement of the view that we live in a rape culture – and that all men are potential rapists – while others see it as a cynical exploitation of women’s fears, whether real, or imagined.

What all of these criticisms have in common, though, is that they all stem from the same source – rape hysteria as perpetuated by the feminist theory of rape culture.

A model wears anti-rape underwear
A model wears anti-rape underwear

Rape culture, as an idea, came to prominence during the second wave of feminism, at some point in the 1970s. The term’s exact origin is disputed by feminists but was almost universally used to describe then contemporary American society. The idea directly connects sexual assault, rape, and sexual violence to the actual culture of any given society that displays common attitudes that excuses, tolerates, ignores, normalizes or condones rape. Sexual objectification, trivialization of rape, victim blaming, and in recent years ‘slut shaming’ are all examples of behaviours that are indicative of an overarching rape culture.

Countless studies by feminists have presented evidence either directly or indirectly supporting this theory. Notable feminists such as Mary P. Koss have produced studies and reports that describe a horrific picture of widespread sexual assault. The problem with this picture, however, is that the numbers just don’t add up – a fact that Koss herself sheepishly acknowledged when confronted with her at best questionable methodologies by reporters for Toledo Ohio’s Blade newspaper, in 1992.

Yet, for the most part, feminists have gone unchallenged for decades in their increasingly aggressive rape narrative with some groups going as far as to claim that one-in-two women will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes. Yes – you read that correctly – one-in-two.
Indeed, the Kawartha sexual assault centre makes the bizarre claim that ‘Conservative statistics document that 1 in 2 girls will be sexually assaulted at some time in their lives.’ That, to them, is conservative.

The exaggeration of rape ‘statistics’; the unethical methodologies; the rigged questionnaires and surveys; the half-truths; the mendacity – all of the underhand, deceptive behaviour by feminists in relation to rape and sexual assault is the reason why AR Wear exist today.

If these statistics were true, if rape culture was real – then it makes sense that women would want to wear these garments; indeed, if these statistics were even remotely likely to be true – I wouldn’t allow my daughter to leave the house unless she wore AR Wear and carried an AK-47.

But the fact of the matter is that they’re not true. They never were true and never will be true. Feminists, in pushing their narrative of rape culture, in describing a landscape akin to what one would expect to find in some end of days dystopia more resembling a Mad Max movie, are directly responsible for the existence of AR Wear. They are guilty of creating a climate in which charlatans can produce garments such as these under the false guise of helping people.

And let’s be clear be about this – AR Wear are out to make a buck – nothing more. They’re using the artificially generated fears of unknowing women to capitalize.

If feminists are truly outraged by this development they can make a positive contribution by putting an end to their lies. They can stop inflating statistics, stop painting half of the species as rapists, and renounce their hateful theory of ‘rape culture.’ If they don’t we can expect to see more of this in future.

It is a future that nobody wants.

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