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South Africa Debuts Anti-Rape Female Condom

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by joseephuss, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    South Africa Debuts Anti-Rape Female Condom

    CAPE TOWN, South Africa (June 21) -- Counseling a rape victim more than 40 years ago, Dr. Sonnet Ehlers got an idea for an anti-rape female condom that South Africa is now testing during the mostly male and sometimes raucous, alcohol-fueled celebrations for the World Cup.

    "It was in 1968 or 1969, and I was a young intern counseling a girl from one of South Africa's townships, who'd been raped. She said, 'If only I had teeth down there,'" Ehlers told AOL News. "And I thought, God, it would be great to make something that could really be useful."

    Ehlers, a 62-year-old physician, lab researcher and hematologist -- and a mother of two daughters -- spent the next four decades developing a female condom with jagged latex hooks that latch onto the skin of an attacker. Dubbed "Rape-aXe," the condom is inserted with an applicator like a tampon, and it clenches a man's ***** and causes "immense discomfort" without drawing blood. It can only be removed by medical professionals, who are being familiarized with the device in order to contact South African police when they see one.

    "I'm not out for vengeance. It doesn't leave permanent damage to the *****, but there will be tiny little scars to remind him of what he's done -- something his wife or future wife might ask him about," Ehlers said.

    The new condom was patented in 2007, and Ehlers hopes to begin selling it in South African pharmacies and grocery stores soon. It's being evaluated by the country's Bureau of Standards and would sell for about $2.50. Meanwhile, Ehlers has distributed samples to 100 unnamed women across South Africa this week, for initial testing during the World Cup.

    South Africa has one of the world's highest crime rates outside war zones, with 50 murders and 140 rapes reported each day, though experts believe the real number of rapes could be many times higher. A 2009 survey by South Africa's Medical Research Council found that 28 percent of men admitted to having raped a woman, and 20 percent said they had done so in the past year.

    After that emotional meeting with a rape victim in the late 1960s, Ehlers describes how she began inventing the new condom by experimenting with a household item: the safety seal found on a soda bottle. "I was playing around with the plastic strip that tightens around the bottle's neck, running my fingers over it, and then I phoned Coca-Cola," Ehlers said. One of the company's engineers joined her team, which also includes gynecologists and psychologists who've interviewed rapists in South African prisons, she said.

    Critics of Ehlers' invention say it could be too punitive for the alleged rapist, and also worry that the device could lead to more violence against women, once a rapist realizes that he's been branded by the device. Some also say it's unfair to put the onus of halting rape on women rather than on the offenders themselves.

    "Women should not need to artificially alter our bodies to prevent rape," Erin Matson, a vice president of the National Organization for Women, told AOL News in an e-mail interview. "Preventing rape requires educating women and men. ... By putting the focus on women's own anatomy, this product seems to use rape -- a serious crime -- to sexualize women even further."

    A South African expert on gender-based violence, Lisa Vetten, said the device harks "back to the days where women were forced to wear chastity belts."

    "It is a terrifying thought that women are being made to adapt to rape by wearing these devices," Vetten, with South Africa's Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, said in a 2007 statement when Ehlers obtained her patent. "Women would have to wear this every minute of their lives on the off-chance that they would be raped."

    Ehlers advises women to wear the anti-rape condom when they're walking through dimly lit neighborhoods alone at night, or even on a blind date. It can be worn for 24 hours straight, she said.

    For years, Ehlers counseled rape victims and heard stories about how women tried to use makeshift devices similar to hers to protect themselves. She said one woman confessed to having embedded a razor blade into her contraceptive sponge, to hurt any man who might rape her. Ehlers said she wanted to develop a safe, medically approved device for women that wouldn't maim their rapists, either.

    "My critics say I've developed a medieval device, but I say it's a medieval device for a medieval deed," Ehlers told AOL News today in a phone interview from her office north of Cape Town.

    "I've had so many e-mails from women who've been raped, who say 'Now we feel armed,'" Ehlers said, referring to women who've heard about her invention. "We want to get T-shirts that say, 'Try me now.'"
  2. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    We can call it the Bob Sock.
  3. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    If it's that big of a problem I have a better idea.
  4. daschoo

    daschoo Slanje Va

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    you'd have to think very carefully before any make-up/break-up sex if that got introduced. on a serious note though how would they police possible misuse of this?
  5. rkell87

    rkell87 Well-Known Member

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    yeah i can just see some woman that hates some dude tempt him into bed so she can get him arrested. on the other hand there are quite a few guys in prison that are going to be trade alot of cigarettes for this thing
  6. kmp77

    kmp77 Active Member

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    You could ruin men's lives with this. I just wonder how noticeable it is when its uh....being "worn".
  7. TheCount

    TheCount Pixel Pusher

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    lol, how did I know the first comment would be targeting Bob?
  8. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    God help me if forgetful drunk chicks start wearing this thing.
  9. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    Just don't go to South Africa.
  10. CanadianCowboysFan

    CanadianCowboysFan Lightning Rod

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    razor blade in contraceptive sponge? holy crap

    thing is though, if a guy is raping you and then he feels junior being injured, he probably is not going to take it well and you might end up dead
  11. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    That's the first thing that came to mind for me as well. You're either gonna get killed, or he's gonna make you take it out beforehand.

    Let's not get too clever here. This is stupid. The best solution is a gun or some very harsh punishment for rapists.
  12. hairic

    hairic Well-Known Member

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    For the rapists about, this will only prolong the rapes as they'll be forced to run diagnostic tests.

    And for the predatory females, it's a foreplay enforcement device.
  13. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    Rape is a big problem in South Africa, especially for teenagers. There is a myth that sex with a virgin will cure you of AIDS. Of course, this has disastrous consequences for the victims.
  14. Jon88

    Jon88 Benched

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    The death penalty or a bullet at the time of the occurence would probably work.
  15. MetalHead

    MetalHead Benched

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    I see where you're going...
  16. rkell87

    rkell87 Well-Known Member

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    actually i saw a story where they said there are so few teens that haven't been raped that to get a virgin they have moved on to babies, terrible stuff going on over there
  17. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    Hardly anyone ever gets caught or prosecuted.
  18. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    I've too have heard they go after shockingly young ones. The condom would be useless there.
  19. pupulehaole

    pupulehaole Well-Known Member

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  20. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    Those would help, but unfortunately there is no ultimate solution. I am all for this condom or anything else that may help. There may not be one ultimate solution to fix the problem, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try anything imaginable.

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