So I didn’t want my new fashion blog to start off on such a serious note but I feel like there’s a lot to address with this fairly recent product.
If you haven’t seen it already, AR wear is a line of underwear/shorts (looks like shorts to me) that prevents women from being raped. The garment can’t be ripped or cut off, and the button can’t be forced open. It can be worn quite seamlessly under regular clothes. The purpose is to help prevent rape when women are on a night out, on a run, need to travel at night ect.
Despite the mixed comments and criticism AR Wear received, it reached it’s funding goal of 50k. Meaning, it was pretty darn successful. To be honest, there are things about AR Wear I don’t particularly like, but at the end of the day, I’d still buy their products.
Starting off with what I think is wrong with this idea, it shifts the responsibility on women. After years and years of fighting back against “she shouldn’t have worn that!” this clothing that’s designed to protect women becomes mainstream. Has it become up to women to prepare themselves for the threat of being raped? Doesn’t this mean that advocating for not raping in first place isn’t enough? And then, there’s also the fact that young women aren’t the only demographic being sexually assaulted. Men, children, and transgender peoples get raped too. To be fair, AR Wear is still a developing brand and it’s entirely possible for them to design for other groups later on.
Statistically speaking, two thirds of rapes aren’t caused by complete strangers looking for a victim at the club or on the streets. They happen with friends, or acquaintances -someone who was thought to be trusted- in an environment where guards aren’t up. Still, does this make people any less wary of the night life or dark streets?
I also question what is wrong with today’s society that we’ve come to a point where people feel a legitimate need to arm themselves so much. Shouldn’t we keep pushing anti-rape campaigns and keep rejecting victim blaming? Then, I put myself in the shoes of a parent about to send their daughter off to college. Or the shoes of somebody who has went through a sexual assault and is essentially scarred for life. AR Wear is designed so that it can’t be ripped, can’t be cut, and can’t be forced open. It would certainly make me feel safer, and would certainly give me peace of mind if I were a mother knowing my daughter is wearing it when she’s out partying. Heavens know my mother worried about me when I started university.
In reality, AR Wear isn’t the first of its genre. There’s been a nail polish designed to detect date rape drugs in drinks. There’s been cat-ear keychains designed to hurt an attacker. I even carry a small blade disguised as a key! Since forever, women have been arming themselves against potential danger. (Also note rape whistles and pepper spray) Still, it feels like undergarments that prevent rape is an extreme that’s a step back in helping the cause. Although there’s been so many campaigns, initiatives, services, ect. that help rape prevention (for example, bars that take initiative to help people if they feel unsafe), it still happens. There’s still along way to go. So on the debate of AR Wear, I support them, but I’m not happy that I feel this way. I would rather society be in a place where these precautions aren’t needed in first place.
Initially, I wanted to write about something less serious this week- like bizarre runway makeup trends. But rape prevention is something that I genuinely care about, so I wouldn’t have been happy keeping quiet.
Let me know in the comments what you think of AR Wear and if you think it’s a step forward or a step back.
Learn more about AR Wear here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ar-wear-confidence-protection-that-can-be-worn#/
*insert snappy good-bye line*