Last week I wrote about a line of anti-rape lingerie being made in India. There were a lot of questions about how this kind of technology would work and whether this kind of technology is even a good thing. The team of automobile engineers that designed the bra did so as a response to the recent series of brutal rapes that have occurred in their home country. These rapes have received worldwide attention, so much so that tourism is down because of them. Manisha Mohan, 20, answered some important questions in a recent interview with The Daily Beast. Hopefully, this follow-up will answer some of the questions and concerns my fellow PolicyMic'ers had.
Who developed this technology?
These three engineers and developers from the SRM University in Chennai:
How does the anti-rape lingerie Society Harnessing Equipment Work?
The bra area has sensors, when the pressure censor is activated the garment will send out a powerful electric shock. The sensors are located in the bosom area because the enigneers that worked on the garment believe that is the most likely place a woman would be attacked.
Won’t it shock the individual wearing it?
No. The garment that touches the woman’s skin is insulated, so she won’t feel any part of the shock.
How does the garment know the difference between unwanted sexual advances?
It comes with an on/off switch. If someone feels threatened, they can turn the garment on and off if they are at home or with a loved one.
How exactly will it use GPS or SMS to notify police and loved ones?
Mohan didn’t give an exact answer on this. She only said that the garment can be programmed to send messages. The GPS would help to send the parents and police an exact location of where the attack is taking place.
Here is a look at the device up close:
What about price?
That’s something Mohan and her team are still working on. She said she wants the lingerie to be widely available. She doesn’t believe that anti-rape technology should be something only available to the super wealthy. It should be encouraging to Millennialls everywhere that at just 20-years-old, Manisha Mohan is showing the world how we can harness technology to address very real societal concerns.
So, these answers help to shed some light, on the future of anti-rape technology. There were some PolicyMic’ers who expressed worry about the message this kind of garment sends to would-be rapists. I understand this concern. No one is saying that women should be expected to wear this kind of clothing just to prevent themselves from being raped. It is up to the individual to not rape someone. That’s a clear message that is becoming even clearer as discussions of rape culture become more commonplace.
Does that mean that women should not be allowed to invest in technology or tools that protect them? Obviously not. Women should be allowed to take whatever steps they deem necessary to feel safe from harm. If that means they want to wear anti-rape lingerie, then so be it. The creation of this garment is hugely important symbolically. It helps to fight back against rape culture by empowering women and by making rape and unwanted sexual advances more socially unacceptable. The creation of this garment and its subsequent publicity draws attention to—not from—rape culture.
Let me know if you have any other questions regarding this, or other anti-rape technology.