FemDefense: iPod accessory or rude awakening?
Sweden! When a people has already given to civilization of its utmost, viz. depressing cinema, impossible standards of human physical perfection, ABBA, and the Tempur-Pedic bed, one can but express a sort of reverent incredulity when yet another magma-glob of human accomplishment erupts from its permafrost.
I allude to FemDefence.
I am absolutely enchanted by this thing, which I discovered while reading Feministing, which, if you don’t read it, you should, if you want to see some smart gals fucking slice and dice the “chicks can’t blog” myth. There is no outrageous instance of contemporary misogyny on which they don’t have an intelligent opinion.
Anyway, I’m not entirely certain that I have all the FemDefence facts entirely correct, since the English version of the website under discussion is a somewhat ticklish translation from the original Swedish, but here’s my crack at it:
The whimiscal object pictured above is part of what Swedish artist/videographer Leif Lindell calls the FemDefence Project, a conceptual anti-rape “product” in the shape of a vaginal insert with a sharp metal spike sticking out of the business end. The project also includes a marketing campaign, complete with bus stop ads and TV commercials (which you can watch on the website; they are magnificent and creepy as hell).
In other words, it’s an art thing, you know, meant to provoke discussion.
From a purely mechanical standpoint, I can only speculate as to whether a vaginal stiletto would work in real life. But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that it would.
I can only imagine the deafening roar of objection were some such little gem actually to be made available. Men would hate it because it would suddenly terminate free access (“What if she forgets to take it out?”). And the women who suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and date the women-hating men who hate it would also hate it. And there would be this whole “it’s so unnatural” thing, and this whole “it’s so violent!” thing. And probably whole other things that are so crackpot even I can’t envision’em. I submit, however, that all the various species of reprehension would stem from the same tired old seed of misogyny, the one that puts men in charge of women’s bodies world-wide.
Patriarchy needs to keep women rape-able. Because if women were unrape-able, just think of the liberation! What power we could reclaim! We would have soveriegnty over our own vaginas for the first time in history! And once that happened, who knows? Maybe we’d also get to own the rest of our bodies. Maybe car salesmen would stop treating us like retards. Maybe we’d crawl out of poverty. Maybe women’s jackets would come with inside pockets.
Of course, the real efficacy of something like a FemDefense would be in its philosophical similarity to the Doomsday Device in Dr. Strangelove. By which I mean, if it were widely publicized that women are now spike-equipped, the mere idea of the bloody penile puncture wound alone would function as a deterrent. Would-be penetrators would have no way of knowing whether or not their icky tumescence would be met with The Prong of Death.
I’d recommend the FemDefense Deluxe model with the poison tip!