If you’re one of the countless would-be male rapists in India who thinks it’s perfectly OK to just walk up to a woman and paw at her mammaries without her consent, you might get burned—literally.
In India, where a woman is raped every 22 minutes (she really needs to get a gun or hire a bodyguard or stay the hell home, because that’s ridiculous), engineers are busily working on “anti-rape lingerie” designed to deliver electric shocks to would-be assailants while sending distress signals to police and loved ones.
Engineering student Manisha Mohan, 24, designed the Anti-Rape Bra with a little help from two of her female friends. The boob-protecting assault device is scheduled to be unveiled (unhooked?) at an upcoming tech conference starting July 1. Simply by wearing one of these new, innovative combination Assault/GPS Bras, a woman who until now may have been brutally raped without justice or recourse may be able to both physically harm her attacker and get him arrested. For the ladies, it’s really a win-win—one for each breast.
Another pair of plucky inventors—both female, Indian, and in their early 20s—has designed Anti-Rape Pants “outfitted with a small electronic button that sends a distress call to the nearest police station when pressed.”
And on Friday, yet another pair of anti-rape/pro-entrepreneurialism female Indian students revealed their prototype for “sandals that would give an electric shock to any molester and send an instant SOS message to those specified from the wearer’s list of mobile contacts.”
Indian women lucky enough to own smartphones also suffer no shortage of anti-sexual-assault mobile apps designed to send distress signals to the proper associates and authorities upon the touch of a key or even a vigorous shaking of the phone. (One app, called “Nirbhaya,” has a button you can push that says “Scream.”)
Judging from some rather lurid headlines over the past year—something about a bus in Delhi?—I got the sense that India was the rape capital of the world, but maybe this nation of genetically gifted spellers simply employs more efficient anti-rape propagandists. I was under the impression that women were gettin’ raped like the dickens over there, but statistics suggest that per capita, rape is only one-quarter as common in India compared to Western Europe and a mere one-fifteenth of the USA’s rate. I mean, the rates aren’t as low as they are in Armenia, where apparently you might have a hard time getting raped even if you want it, but compared to most of the “civilized” world, India’s per-capita rape rate is a walk in the sunshine. One must always approach these sort of stats cautiously, as they have a lot to do with how honest the official reporting agencies are. For all I know, they could be rapin’ up a storm in India. My duty here is not to offer you unassailable statistics, but to judge from afar.
The official stats say that there are 25,000 or so rapes reported in India yearly, and to all of us who can agree that rape is uncool, that’s at least 25,000 too many. So my advice to Indian women who fear sexual assault is this: Grab your Rape Phones, wear your Rape Bra, zip up your Rape Pants, slip into your Rape Sandals…and relax.