ABWW South African Accessory of the Day: Rape-aXe

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.

South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers was on call one night four decades ago when a devastated rape victim walked in. Her eyes were lifeless; she was like a breathing corpse. “She looked at me and said, ‘If only I had teeth down there,'” recalled Ehlers, who was a 20-year-old medical researcher at the time. “I promised her I’d do something to help people like her one day.” The latex condom like a tampon. Jagged rows of teeth-like hooks line its inside and attach on a man’s penis during penetration, Ehlers said. Once it lodges, only a doctor can remove it — a procedure Ehlers hopes will be done with authorities on standby to make an arrest.

Critics say the female condom is not a long-term solution and makes women vulnerable to more violence from men trapped by the device.

It’s also a form of “enslavement,” said Victoria Kajja, a fellow for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the east African country of Uganda. “The fears surrounding the victim, the act of wearing the condom in anticipation of being assaulted all represent enslavement that no woman should be subjected to.” Kajja said the device constantly reminds women of their vulnerability.
With the disgustingly high rate of rape in the country, it seems to me that a South African woman lives in a permanent state of vulnerability anyway. What do you think?

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One response to “ABWW South African Accessory of the Day: Rape-aXe”

  1. dedgurlcingztheblooze says :

    What do I think… I think it is extremely sad that women have to live in constant fear of rape everywhere around the world, and that it is so bad in South Africa that they pretty much accept that they, as well as their girls, are going to be attacked. There are problems beyond this mental slavery as well.

    First of all, are the majority of rapes in S.A. stranger rapes or acquaintance rapes like in the states? If its the later this condom isn’t going to be very helpful, as women tend to think they are safer in their homes and the people they know and won’t wear it, and men they know are much more likely to realize they have one of these condoms, thus figuring out how to remove it before attacking or waiting to attack until she is not wearing it. Additionally rape via a penis being forced into a vagina isn’t the only scenario women face. There’s sodomy, which in the states includes forced oral, anal, (will women next wear these condoms up the bum and in their mouths) and vaginal penetration with foreign objects (hence the condom itself could be used to rape women). Do the rape statistics in S.A. only include forced coitus?

    Although it would be a tragedy for frustrated men trapped in these condoms to beat up or kill their victims because of it, I hate how this worry is stated as if women should be much more afraid of that. Women who survive rape experience a living death, and those who don’t fight back usually have worst psychological side effects. I don’t consider death or physical attacks (like forced penetration isn’t physically damaging enough) worse than rape.

    Sorry this was so long.

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