Rise of Anti-Rape Clothing in India Receives Criticism

 

India has seen an influx of “anti-rape clothing” over recent years. Although this has created quite some controversy, people across the country are desperately trying to create anything that could hinder unwanted advances.

“The harassment of the girl in Delhi was the turning point for all to realize that we need to take a step against this menace,” 21-year-old Manisha Mohan, who co-created an anti-rape bra, told Vetunotech, referring to the infamous New Delhi gang rape in 2012, where a 23-year-old student was brutally raped, tortured and killed on a public bus. Since then, there have been a number of efforts to create strict measures against rape. New anti-rape laws have been passed by the Indian government, including the death penalty for repeat offenders.

 

 

Despite these efforts, rape continues to be a horrifying reality to many Indian women. Earlier this year, a 20-year-old woman was gang raped by 13 men in her rural village as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. In another incident, 10 men were arrested for gang raping a 21-year-old woman. Even more shocking, a 7-year-old girl was raped and hanged.

But relying on politicians and government officials have often been fruitless. One police official compared rape to gambling and said if you can’t prevent it, you enjoy it. Later, a female politician claimed rape occurs when women act and dress inappropriately. Needless to say, many citizens felt like they needed to take measures into their own hands.

This is why three Indian engineering students created the anti-rape bra called SHE (Society Harnessing Equipment). According to NBC News, the bra “delivers a strong electric shock to potential rapists and attackers, and also has the ability to send an alert text message to the wearer’s friends and family.” There are also college students from the city of Varanasi who have created a line of anti-rape jeans. According to Daily Mail, the jeans “contain an electronic tracker that will send a distress signal to the nearest police station when pressed.” And this doesn’t even cover the anti-rape wrist watches and jackets.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 4.48.39 PM

Anti-rape watch. Photo courtesy of http://ibnlive.in.com/

 

Anti-rape jeans.

Anti-rape jeans.

 

Obviously, anti-rape clothing was created with nothing but good intentions, however, many are questioning whether or not it would actually work.

“In India, most of the rapes happen within the family,” said Indian journalist Sonia Faleiro. “It happens behind the closed door. These people aren’t going to stop what they are doing because of a piece of clothing.” Furthermore, Faleiro pointed out that girls still live in fear and anti-rape clothing is just a bandaid to the big issue.

Faleiro certainly brings up good points. This issue won’t be solved with bandaid solutions alone, and women shouldn’t have to live in fear or wear outrageous clothing. Women and victims are not responsible for rape and they should not be the only ones taking measures to prevent it.

However, I still believe it is a step in creating change and most importantly, it has people talking about an issue that needs to be discussed. On certain occasions, these devices let women feel safe and give men the message that a lack of consent is not OK.

Tell us what you think.

 

Artist David Choe Says He Fabricated Podcast Story About ‘Rapey Behavior’

Story by James S. Kim.

Korean American artist David Choe is known to be provocative in his work, but he may have gone too far when he told a story on his podcast about a questionable sexual encounter with a massage therapist that some are flagging as rape. After the initially obscure DVDASA podcast garnered greater attention and caused some to accuse him of rape, the artist issued a statement recently saying that he’s not a rapist and that he fabricated the encounter.

“We create stories and tell tales. It’s not a news show. It’s not a representation of my reality,” Choe said in his statement, which was posted on the podcast’s blog. “I’m sorry if anyone believed that the stories were fact. They were not!”

The episode of DVDASA, which Choe co-hosts with adult film actress Asa Akira, aired on March 10, but it was until weeks later on April 17 when a XoJane, an online women’s lifestyle magazine, highlighted Choe’s encounter with a female masseuse at a massage parlor in Los Angeles. Since then, others including Gawker and the Daily Mail picked up the story.

In the podcast, Choe said that, halfway through the massage, he got an erection, and after thinking on how to best act on it, decided to start masturbating in front of the masseuse, whom he calls “Rose.”

Choe said in the podcast that he took the woman’s hand and placed it on his penis, then asked her to “kiss it a little.” When Rose refused, he said he took the back of her head and forced her into oral sex. She refused to have intercourse with him, and apparently asked him to lie back down to finish the massage, he said.

The story was Choe’s account of an “Erection Quest,” which co-host Akira describes as “trying things you’ve never tried before to obtain a super hard erection.” When Choe finished his account, though, Akira said, “You raped … allegedly.” In the podcast, Choe also mentioned that the masseuse later asked him if he’d like to go out with her, and that apparently indicated to him that she did like him. After the podcast members talked about “rapey” behavior vs. “rape,” Choe said, “I just want to make it clear that I admit that that’s rapey behavior. But I am not a rapist.”

In the XoJane article, the author, Melissa Stetten, wrote, “I don’t know if ‘Rose’ really had a crush on David or not. All I know is the way David told the story makes it seem like he forced an unwilling woman to give him oral sex.”

After XoJane published its article, Choe responded the next day on DVDASA’s website, saying his story was entirely fictional.

“I never thought I’d wake up one late afternoon and hear myself called a rapist. It sucks. Especially because I am not one. I am not a rapist. I hate rapists, I think rapists should be raped and murdered,” he wrote. “I am an artist and a storyteller and I view my show DVDASA as a complete extension of my art. If I am guilty of anything, it’s bad storytelling in the style of douche. Just like many of my paintings are often misinterpreted, the same goes with my show.”

According to Buzzfeed, Vice is “looking into” the incident involving Choe, who is currently involved in the company’s web series Thumbs Up! and has also served as a correspondent for Vice’s HBO show. When asked by Buzzfeed whether Vice would continue to work with the artist, Vice spokeswoman Cappi Williamson said, “Vice staffers are aware of it [David Choe’s story] and reviewing the situation internally.”

Here’s the podcast in question from DVDASA Episode 106, “Erection Quest.” The story beings around the 1:13:00 mark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKgOtFUyDBs

 

This story was originally published on iamkoream.com

Controversy in India: Politician Believes Women Who Have Premarital Sex Should Be Hanged

The infamous New Delhi Gang Rape of 2012 horrified the world. Since then, India has put forth a number efforts to create strict measures against rape. Unfortunately, incidents of rape continue despite these efforts.

Earlier this year, a 20-year-old woman was gang raped by 13 men in her rural village in eastern India as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. Last year, ten men were arrested for gang raping a 21-year-old woman. Even more shocking, a 7-year-old girl was raped inside a state-run school in the Indian capital.

Many netizens are now pointing a finger to politicians who appear to be making matters worse.

Abu Azmi, of India’s Socialist Party, recently claimed that women who engage in premarital sex should be sentenced to death. If this isn’t jarring enough, he claimed that women should receive this sentence even if they were raped.

“If rape happens with or without consent, it should be punished as prescribed in Islam,” Azmi said. “The solution is this: Any woman, whether married or unmarried, who goes along with a man, with or without her consent, should be hanged. Both should be hanged. It shouldn’t be allowed even if a woman goes by consent.”

As expected, thousand of people reacted in anger. Over 11,000 Twitter comments were made against Azmi’s statement. In fact, even Azmi’s daughter-in-law spoke out. Bollywood actress Ayesha Takia tweeted, “if wot im reading about my father in laws statements r true then me and Farhan are deeply embarrassed n ashamed…(sic).”

An Indian demonstrator-1508932

 

Since making the statement, Azmi has tried to clarify his words. “I never said that the girl who is raped should be punished. I said rapist should be punished and girl is a victim. I said that all of us should show solidarity with the girl,” Mr Azmi said in Mumbai. “I will never make such statement, only a mad person will say such things,” he added.

Unfortunately, the public is not buying it. Azmi joins a list of politicians who have received heat for their inappropriate comments concerning rape.

Late last year, Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha faced public outrage because of his inappropriate comment. Sinha compared gambling and rape by stating,”If you can’t enforce it, it is like you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it.”

Months later, female politician Asha Mirje claimed that rape occurs when women act and dress inappropriately. She stated that women needed to be more mindful of whether or not they were “inviting” sexual assault.

All these politicians have tried to retract their statement after public outrage. As you can expect, their apologies have not been accepted.

(Source 1, 2)

 

Female Politician Claims Rape Occurs When Women Act & Dress Inappropriately, Outrage Ensues

It has been over a year since the infamous New Delhi gang-rape where a 23-year-old student was brutally raped, tortured and killed on a public bus in 2012.

Traumatized by the events of that night, India has spent the year putting forth efforts to create strict measures against rape. Despite this, rape continues to be a horrifying reality to many Indian women. Just last week, a 20-year-old woman was gang raped by 13 men in her rural village in eastern India. The most horrifying part? This was on the orders of the village court as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community. On Christmas eve, ten men were arrested for gang raping a 21-year-old woman. Even more shocking, early last year, a 7-year-old girl was raped inside a state-run school in the Indian capital.

These are only a few of the many rape cases which occur in India and have caused a number of protests.

Under all the tragedy that India has faced with rape-related cases, we certainly didn’t expect to hear a public figure put the blame on rape victims. Unfortunately, we were wrong.

Asha Mirje, a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and a member of the Maharashtra Women’s Commission is under fire for her recent remarks. While discussing the New Delhi gang rape, Mirje commented, “Did [the victim] really have go to watch a movie at 11 in the night with her friend?”

She then addressed another case where a photojournalist was gang raped in Mumbai. “Why did the victim go to such an isolated spot at 6pm?” Mirje asked. “Rapes take place also because of a woman’s clothes, her behaviour and her presence at inappropriate places.”

“Due to these reasons, a woman has to think whether, mistakenly, she is not inviting or inviting (sexual assault),” she added.

As expected, Mirje’s shocking comments received instant outrage.

“Every time such a statement is made by a public figure it justifies rape,”says Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association. “It’s unconscionable that people in public posts make such remarks.”

AAB Banner Square

Many others are insisting that she be removed from her position.

“She has no moral right to continue on the post as she is biased against women,” says Rupa Kulkarni, activist and the leader of domestic workers in the state.

Another activist Seema Sakhare added, “How can a member of women’s commission make such a comment whose duty is to protect women in the state?”

Since her remarks, Mirje has defended herself.

“I just said that although men are responsible for rapes and molestation, women too need to take more precautions in order to protect themselves,” she defended. “If anyone was hurt by my statement, I am really sorry. I am not diplomatic. There was no bad intention and the motive behind my statement was pure concern for women’s safety.”

(Source 1, 2 )

A Bra That Will Only Come Undone For Your “True Love”

We want to begin by saying we’re just as confused as you are.

But to the Japanese lingerie company Ravijour, a “True Love Tester Bra” makes perfect sense. Makers are claiming that the bra is able to analyze how a woman truly feels and will only pop open when the user finds her true love.

The lingerie company is marketing the bra as a safety device. Apparently, the bra will ward off unwanted sexual advances and will make sure that all people, except your true love, will not have access to your breasts.

How does this peculiar, high-tech undergarment work? According to the video promo seen below, the bra contains a sensor which syncs with an app on the user’s phone. The sensor will monitor and track the user’s heartbeat and once the heart rate reaches a specific point (the heart rate of true love, of course) the bra will come undone on its own.

bra 1 bra 2 bra 3

 

Of course, we’ve come across a number of problems with this device:

1. So what if you don’t find your true love? Do you have to keep the bra on forever? We’re certain that there are other ways to make the bra pop open on its own, but the video promo seems to constantly emphasize that the bra will only come undone in the presence of true love.

2. How accurate can that heart rate chart really be? What if I’m going out for a light run? Should I expect my bra to pop open because my heart rate has picked up? A person’s heart rate can rise and fall for a number of reasons. We highly doubt that this device is so intelligent that it can pinpoint the exact moment a woman finds her true love.

3. No, this is not an anti-rape product. As Huffington Post points out, “This high-tech bra will never “save” a woman from sexual harassment. Just because one’s brassiere isn’t being ripped off by an aggressive gentleman, doesn’t mean that the wearer isn’t experiencing a barrage of other forms of unwanted sexual attention before an evening gets to that point.” And getting into technicalities, what if one’s heart rate increases out of fear?

4. We’re pretty sure this thing can’t “know” how women feel. The creators (two men) can’t actually believe that true love can be measured based on a “one-size-fits-all” heart rate chart, right? I’d like to believe we’re much more complicated beings than that.

5. What if a girl just wants to have sex? In this day and age, there are plenty of women who are sexual beings. Believe it or not, women can actually want to have sex even if their partner isn’t their one true love. Shocking!

A woman should have the freedom to make these decisions for herself.

 

 

Men Get A Taste Of Their Own Medicine In This Powerful Indian Ad

Many women have experienced the uncomfortable leer of a male stranger. Many of us have had to endure as a stranger inspects our body from top to bottom and we force ourselves not to think about what he’s imagining. We’ve scowled, we’ve yelled, we’ve rolled our eyes, we’ve ignored, we’ve been sarcastic, and we’ve been scared and yet the leering continues. The worst part about all this is just how common this is.

It is no secret that the mistreatment of women is a large and serious issue faced by India. A little over a year ago, the infamous New Delhi Gang Rape horrified the world. A 23-year-old woman was on a private bus when six men, including the driver, beat and raped her.  The woman suffered serious injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due to the assault.

According to Huffington Post, a doctor at Safdarjung Hospital where the woman was being treated claimed, “It appears to be that a rod was inserted into her and it was pulled out with so much force that the act brought out her intestines… That is probably the only thing that explains such severe damage to her intestines.”

Though she survived the attack, the woman died thirteen days later while undergoing emergency treatment. The horrifying case shook the country and widespread protests ensued.

Now, a year later, this ad is released as a reminder the world to not forget that these acts still happen. The video’s description says,

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT” is the need of the hour. On 16th December 2012, the horrific incident of Nirbhaya’s Rape Case not only shattered Nirbhaya’s family but every single Indian. This incident did trigger a sense of solidarity to stand up, fight against and do our best to eradicate such atrocities & gender inequality. At Cinema100, 2013, a WWI Initiative to commemorate the completion of 100 years of Indian Cinema, we commissioned our Alumni Ketan Rana to make an ad on Woman Empowerment. Watch the video & Spread the awareness to Think, Reflect & Act!

 

According to Jezebel, the lyrics of the song say, “Look how you look when you’re looking at me,” in Hindi. The video shows men getting a taste of their own medicine. Sure enough, they are all equally uncomfortable with being leering at. They are physically forced to look at themselves and reflect on their actions. Watch the powerful ad below.

Girls At High-Risk For Rape: The New Fear of Typhoon Survivors

You would think that after surviving one of the world’s strongest typhoons, you’d have survived the worst. Unfortunately, conditions after such a destructive event prove to be quite dangerous as well.

Much of Philippines is left trying to cope with all the loss brought on by Typhoon Haiyan, otherwise known as Typhoon Yolanda. Days after the typhoon, residents are left in dire need of food, water and medical treatment.

Bodies line the streets in need of body bags. People wait in crowds at nearby airports for days just to receive some food. Tons of people are left without a home and must seek shelter in abandoned vehicles. Citizens cover their face in an effort to avoid the stench of rotting bodies. Looters have begun to take what they can simply because they want their family to survive. In desperation, some have dug into water pipes to keep from dehydration.

This nightmare has become a reality for some of the Filipino citizens who’s homeland was destroyed by the typhoon. While victims must go each day worrying about their survival, the British government points out another terror which haunts the victims.

According to The Telegraph, thousands of Filipino women and girls will face the very real risk of violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, rape, forced marriage and trafficking.

“We are concerned about the safety of women and girls in the Philippines,” says Justine Greening, Britain’s international development secretary, who is helping to coordinate the UK’s response to the crisis. “After previous emergencies in the Philippines, we have seen an increase in violence against women and girls and in particular the trafficking of girls.”

According to The Telegraph, this danger is common during natural disasters in developing countries because people turn to trafficking as a way to survive, the weakened environment creates more vulnerable situations for women, and these issues are simply not prioritized because they are not considered life-threatening.

“Currently, girls and women in crisis situations such as earthquakes, hurricanes, famine and conflict are more vulnerable to violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual assault, forced marriage and trafficking, because of the lack of protection and provision for their needs.” says Justine Greening. “The UK Government believes that the prevention and response to violence against girls and women in emergencies is a life-saving action and should be prioritised from the outset, alongside other life-saving interventions,” Ms Greening said.

Greening has already advocated for certain measures to be taken such as sending a women’s ‘protection specialist’ and solar lanterns because better lighting creates safer environments. Obviously, these are very quick tactics and UK hopes other countries will work in solidarity with them to create long-term strategies.

“It’s about giving girls a voice, participation matters,” Greening explains. “It’s also about choice over what women do post-crisis – what they do with their lives, what to do for a job, when to get married and what happens to their bodies. This matters.”

India’s Top Police Official Says “If you can’t prevent rape, you enjoy it”

Central Bureau of Investigation chief Ranjit Sinha is facing quite a lot of heat for a comment he made on Tuesday during a conference concerning illegal betting and gambling during sporting events.

Sinha tried to convey the idea that if the state could not control the gambling, then they could make some revenue by legalizing it. Innocent enough right? Unfortunately, he tied this along with a very inappropriate comment concerning rape.

If you can’t enforce it, it is like you can’t prevent rape, enjoy it. It is better to legalize it and earn some revenue rather than throwing up your hands.

As expected, this comment was met with outrage throughout India. Just this year, widespread protests occurred throughout India after a fatal gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi. Clearly, this is an issue which should never be taken lightly.

The following day, Sinha tried to explain that his words were taken out of context. He issued an apology saying,

I gave my opinion that betting should be legalized and that if the laws cannot be enforced that does not mean that laws should not be made. This is as erroneous as saying that if rape is inevitable one should lie back and enjoy it.

I regret any hurt caused as the same was inadvertent and unintended. I reiterate my deep sense of regard and respect for women and commitment to gender issues.

 

Of course, many did not accept this apology and continue to protest. Several organizations such as the National Commission for Women (NCW) and  All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) call for his resignation.

Additionally, they have plans to ask the court to draw up guidelines for action against public figures who make such remarks against women to avoid situations like this in the future.

“We will move court seeking the CBI director’s removal for his highly objectionable remarks. There is no point going to the government as they are unlikely to take steps against the CBI chief,” said AIDWA chief Sudha Sundarraman.

Kavita Krishnan, who is also part of AIDWA claims, “His explanation is making it worse. It is inadequate. By saying he was misinterpreted, he is trying to tell us we got it wrong. What he said is not a proverb. His statement endorses the analogy. Enough is enough. He must resign.”

Analyzing Rape Culture: Is Anti-Rape Underwear The Right Answer?

A New York company called AR Wear hopes to bring confidence and protection to women everywhere. How does one do such a thing? With anti-rape underwear, of course.

Now the harder question is how does one create such a product? AR Wear wanted to make a line of anti-rape underwear that would be comfortable, but protective at the same time. They describe their creation below:

The waist, thighs, and central panels are protected with specially designed, cut resistant straps and webbing. Once the waist girth has been adjusted and secured with its unique locking device, the garment cannot be pulled down. Since a female’s waist measurement is generally less than that of her pelvic area, the waist strap can be locked at a comfortable position and still prevent unwanted removal of the garment. The thigh straps, after an initial adjustment by the wearer, prevent the leg openings from being lifted or shifted to the sides by someone else. The center panels are connected to both the waist and thigh straps to create a unified protective skeletal structure.

 

The product will come in various styles and is even available as running shorts, traveling shorts, etc.

Its clear to see that the company means well and has the best of intentions, but their product has already gathered quite a lot of negative criticism.

AR Wear specifies that “The only one responsible for a rape is the rapist and AR Wear will not solve the fundamental problem that rape exists in our world. Only by raising awareness and education, as well as bringing rapists to justice, can we all hope to eventually accomplish the goal of eliminating rape as a threat to both women and men.” They even point out that their product aims for girls to have “more power to control the outcome of a sexual assault.”

Some say that this still misses the point. Those who disagree with AR Wear claim that the product reinforces the idea that women are still ultimately responsible for rape. Instead of creating a product which stops men from raping women, we’ve created a  product which may or may not make rape a little bit more difficult for a man.

Others claim that AR Wear is flawed in its marketing and choice of words. Thinkprogress.org points out the underwear is marketed with the line “for when things go wrong.” They argue that such a tagline suggests rape is an accident.

AR Wear claims, “A woman or girl who is wearing one of our garments will be sending a clear message to her would-be assailant that she is NOT consenting. We believe that this undeniable message can help to prevent a significant number of rapes.” However, Thinkprogress.org argues that most people who commit rape are not innocently confused about their actions. They are aware of what they are doing despite any clear messages.

We can’t help but think of a similar tactic from a product in China.

hair-stockings1

These hairy stockings were created to try and prevent rape as well. The theory behind this is that men would be so disgusted by the appearance of the users legs that they wouldn’t want to continue with the rape.

Admittedly, we were appalled by these. Doesn’t this product simply encourage the idea that rape is dependent on how a woman dresses and looks? Doesn’t this suggest that women should not dress in what makes them feel good or powerful and should instead be mindful or else rape is their fault?

If anti-rape underwear is so similar to these appalling stockings, is it the wrong answer as well? Tell us what you think.

ar 1 ar 2 ar 3

(source)

“Ladies, It’s Your Fault”: Satirical Anti-Rape Video by Bollywood Actress Kalki Koechlin

Known for her films Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin has joined forces with TV presenter Juhi Pandey for the video AIB365: It’s Your Fault.

The video has gained more than a million views since its release last week and for good reason. Created by All India Bak (AIB), a group of stand-up comedians including Rohan Joshi, Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba and Ashish Shakya, this short is a brilliantly done satire on rape and the blame that is often placed on women. The video was made in response to the high levels of violence against women in India and the misconceptions over who is at fault.

The video begins with Koechlin saying, “Ladies, do you think rape is something men do out of a desire for control, empowered by years of patriarchy? You’ve clearly been misled by the notion that women are people too. Because let’s face it, rape is your fault.”

If the satiric tone is not yet obvious, Koechlin goes on to say, “Scientific studies suggest that women who wear skirts are the leading cause of rape. Do you know why? Because men have eyes.”

The video continues by showing various articles of clothing which are unacceptable for women to wear, from skirts to a fully-covered astronaut suit. The video points out that women are to blame for rape regardless of what they wear simply because they are women.

audrey ad elodie

The video then takes a more serious turn. The women appear with visible injuries that we are to assume come from male rapists. Viewers are now haunted as a bruised Pandey points out that if a man is your husband, forcing sex is on you is not considered rape. All this is said while a man’s hand aggressively smears lipstick off her face. Chilling? You bet.

Largely because some of the viewers have misunderstood the satiric element, the video has gained some mixed reviews. Understood correctly or not, it has done its job. The video has facilitated conversation and has pulled attention to an issue that deserves to be continuously addressed.

“Yes, this video will only reach the English-speaking, ‘sarcasm-understanding’ young person,” Pandey tells reporters, “but at least it’s out there. It’s a drop in the ocean, but it is still a drop and I am glad to be have been a part of it.”