FemDefence is a tampon-sized tube outfitted with a sharp pin, which is safely inserted into the vagina to protect against rape. It is also not real.
FemDefence is an imaginary product, designed as an "attempt to contribute to the debate on men's sexual violence against women in society, using the esthetics of design, and the semiotics of marketing." FemDefence is a Swedish project, which was created as a response to a series of rape cases in Sweden that revealed the faults of the judicial system and the often unnoticed inequality between the sexes. FemDefence has been presented in the form of newspaper ads, TV commercials, and billboards. The website also features a video (warning: potentially triggering) that asks "Do you like getting drunk? Do you like sexy clothes? Do you hate being scared?" and shows several women in different threatening scenarios. The project is fascinating, however, it is especially interesting because there is a real FemDefence: the Rapex condom.
The Rapex condom first appeared in 2005. It was created by Sonette Ehlers, a retired blood technician in South Africa. In many ways, Rapex seems like a great idea: it turns the penis of a rapist into a pin-cushion, and causes lasting damage that will make him easily identifiable to authorities. But a quick read of the website reveals the depressing nature of the device. In response to the frequently asked question, "when should I wear Rapex?" they answer: "Should you have to travel long distances alone, on a train, working late, going out on a date with someone you don't know too well, going to clubs, or in any situation that you might not feel comfortable or even just not sure." So, if you like getting drunk, wearing sexy clothes, or going out in public, you might be at risk. Thanks for the reminder.