Blokes beware – just in case you are caught unawares there is a new condom awaiting your arrival – but – as long as you act like a perfect gentleman, you will never have the displeasure of experiencing this. It makes MY eyes water just thinking about it.
I came across a piece from CNN where a South African Dr Sonnette Ehlers has invented a female latex condom that once inserted has rows of teeth-like hooks lining its inside that attach on a man’s penis during penetration. NOw you might think wow, this is kinky and could be fun. BUT.. the down side is once it lodges, only a doctor can remove it. You might now be thinking why would a DOCTOR invent such a medieval type of device.
Well the answers are very simple – she was so affected by a devastated rape victim when on call one night 40 years ago. As Dr Ehlers describes ”her eyes were lifeless; she was like a breathing corpse. She looked at me and said, ‘If only I had teeth down there,’” recalled Dr 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.”
Forty years later, Rape-aXe was born.
The timing appears to be right with the World Cup Soccer games currently being played in South Africa. Why? Unfortunately South Africa is a place where thousands of rapes are reported and many more allegedly go unreported.
The beauty of Rape-aXe if it can be described as such, is once it ‘bites’, removal can only be by a doctor — a procedure Dr Ehlers hopes will be done with police at the ready to make an arrest.
This device does sound like an excellent deterrent to potential rapists because as Dr Exhlers explained “It hurts, he cannot pee and walk when it’s on and if he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter… however, it doesn’t break the skin, and there’s no danger of fluid exposure. I consulted engineers, gynecologists and psychologists to help in the design and make sure it was safe.” (I think the ‘hurts’ bit is a little bit of an understatement possibly!)
Dr Ehlers was passionate about doing something to deter would be rapists as well as empower women, to the extent she sold her house and car to launch the project, and is scheduled to distribute 30,000 free devices under supervision during the World Cup period.
When or how this device should be used is a good question. Dr Ehlers suggests the ideal situation would be for a woman to wear this when she’s going out on some kind of blind date … or to an area she’s not comfortable with.
The mother of two daughters said she visited prisons and talked to convicted rapists to find out whether such a device would have made them rethink their actions. Some said it would have. (You’ve got to wonder why only SOME of them said it would have!)
Some critics say the female condom is not a long-term solution and makes women vulnerable to more violence from men trapped by the device, with others suggesting it is a form of ‘enslavement’ for women.
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.
In most African countries, rape convictions are not common. Affected women don’t get immediate access to medical care, and DNA tests to provide evidence are unaffordable. “Women and girls who experience these violations are denied justice, factors that contribute to the normalization of rape and violence in South African society,” Human Rights Watch says.
Dr Ehlers explains that women take drastic measures to prevent rape in South Africa,, with some wearing extra tight biker shorts and others inserting razor blades wrapped in sponges in their private parts.
Critics of Dr Ehlers have accused her of developing a medieval device to fight rape.
“Yes, my device may be a medieval, but it’s for a medieval deed that has been around for decades,” she said. “I believe something’s got to be done … and this will make some men rethink before they assault a woman.”
On the one hand this is quite barbaric in approach, but on the other it is just wonderful someone has cared enough for the trauma suffered by millions of women subjected to rape and have now found a way to prevent this tragedy from happening to other women.
It wouldn’t be necessary if only those considering committing such a heinous crime would zip it up for good – or is chopping off a longer term solution?