Please, Won't Somebody Think of the Rapists?


At the end of the month, South African shelves were supposed to start stocking a controversial anti-rape device called Rapex. The device, worn like a tampon, is staged so that when a rapist makes his approach, it clamps down on his penis. The only way to remove the Rapex and stop the incredible pain is to head to a doctor, who will then report the rape.

But don't get too excited. Rapex has been delayed amid logistical difficulties and worries about its impact.

The project has been greeted with enthusiasm as well as scepticism. One of those critical of the device is Charlene Smith, a rape survivor, journalist and activist on women's issues. She says she believes the device will increase the risk of victims being killed.

"I would be appalled and every rape survivor I know would be appalled and be incredibly concerned, if the Rapex device does actually make it to stores. We believe that women who use it, will be killed by the rapist. If this device clamps onto a man, that man is right next to the woman, he's not going to jump out and say 'oh gosh this is hurting me'. He's going to kill that woman. So we increase the risk of the women raped, being killed," Smith said.

Does this actually make sense? Maybe experience on this differs, but it's generally the case that scrotal injuries paralyze the injured rather than making them angry. The response to getting George C. Scotted in the groin isn't "I'm going to beat the hell out of whoever did this" as much as "I am going to die."