AR Wear, a line of clothing designed to protect women from being raped, has officially reached their goal of $50,000 worth of donations on Indiegogo. And with 10 days still to go.
AR Wear is essentially a line of underwear, jogging pants, and travel shorts that fit so securely that they are very difficult for anyone other than the person wearing them to get off. They feature a reinforced skeleton structure, cut and tear resistant fabric, and locks with a clock hand position combination.
AR Wear (or Anti-Rape Wear) say studies show that resisting sexual assault lessens the chance of a rape taking place without increasing the violence of the attack.
There has been a lot of debate around the internet about anti-rape wear. Some people think promoting armour-like clothing to protect women from rape is the same as putting all the responsibility of preventing rape on the victim’s shoulders. As if it is useless to expect people to know that rape is not OK, and the victim should be the one ensuring they do not, in fact, become a victim.
While victim blaming is definitely a problem in our current rape culture oriented society, I don’t think creating clothing that offers a little extra protection and a little piece of mind is really telling victims that if they are raped, it is their fault. The special clothing is just giving them the option to have control over what could, hypothetically, happen to them.
The other side of the debate is anti-rape wear is a viable solution to the very real threat of rape. AR Wear says “We wanted to make a product that would make women and girls feel safer, whether on a first date, out clubbing, taking an evening run, traveling in another country or in other potentially risky situations.”
The fact that women need to be so wary on a first date is depressing. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true.
The problem is, you are never really expecting to get attacked in these situations. If you were, then you probably wouldn’t be there. So, when do you wear this anti-rape gear? All the time? That doesn’t seem possible, especially considering AR Wear is currently estimating that each garment will cost between $50-$60. How many people can afford that?
AR Wear took the time to clear up some concerns on their Indiegogo campaign page and included the suggestion that they want to make a line for men, and of course the garments will come in sizes for everyone. They are also sure to maintain that they do not think anti-rape wear is a solution, it is just another self defense option, kind of like carrying pepper spray.
In the end, the most important way to prevent rape is to teach people what rape is, and why it isn’t OK. Anti-rape garments only serve to emphasize that no means no. If the person wearing the clothes does want to consent, they can take the underwear off themselves.
There is no guarantee, but that’s life. What is the harm in giving people another option to protect themselves? It’s better than hiding at home, and never going anywhere after dark. If it helps a few people feel safer, than I’m all for it.