Like most people who have watched too many episodes of Law & Order, I'm acutely aware of the danger of being a lady walking alone at night, especially if I'm in a neighborhood frequented by C-list former TV stars. But when I looked into the best ways to protect myself, I was overwhelmed by my options. So you don't have to go through the same confusing process I did, here's your definitive pro-vs-con guide to arming yourself.
Pro: Guns are deadly, portable, and look really cool if you say a clever catch phrase after you shoot your attacker. "Yeah!? Well rape this." Or something much, much better. Some female gun enthusiasts tout them as a great equalizer between a small person and a larger attacker. They also can be used to hunt for food.
Con: Guns are sometimes difficult to obtain, sort of pricey, and take practice and care to master. An inexperienced or irresponsible gun owner can cause more harm than good, or end up Plaxicoing herself in the leg. Gun twirlin' isn't as easy as it looks, and the heightened adrenaline levels brought on by a tense situation might limit your ability to come up with a devastating screen-ready one liner.
Pro: Non-explosive, simple weapon that's easy to master, provided you've got the biceps.
Con: Require a well-developed punch in order to be effective. Can get in trouble for trying to get them through airport security. Take some time to apply. You could get blood or tooth chunks on your hand.
Pro: Portable, effective, inexpensive way to temporarily disable (but not permanently disfigure) attacker.
Con: If your attacker is a cop, he's got better pepper spray than you have. Illegal in some places. Not to be used on food, no matter what Megyn Kelly says.
Pro: Really great if you learn how to throw it like Locke from Lost. Can double as prop for flash mob revival of West Side Story. Portable, and can be used as eating utensil in a pinch.
Con: Technically "illegal" in the US since 1958 (ugh, thanks a lot stupid kids who kept accidentally stabbing themselves). Spring loaded action of blade means that if you put it up against something and press the button, you could end up causing a lot of wound damage. Knives are not a good weapon if you're concerned that you'll be overpowered.
Rape whistle/Rape horn
Pro: A way to fend off an attacker without causing physical damage. Great if you're confident that you're a faster runner than anyone who would attack you, or if you're confident that bystanders who overheard the sound of a rape horn would give enough of a shit to try to help you.
Con: Don't give your rape whistle or horn to your 4-year-old cousin. As tempting as it may be, jokingly blasting your rape horn after your friend tells a bad joke is not okay.
Pro: You can get a razor sharp wit through airport security without being detected.
Con: Shit talking is weaker than both the pen and the sword.
Dead rat in pocket
Pro: A non violent way to convince people that you've lost your marbles and should not be approached.
Con: Smell will deter everyone, including people you like. Also, you might throw up on yourself and cats will try to attack you.
Replace teeth with steel teeth like Jaws the Bond villain
Pro: God, Jaws was the best Bond villain, right? His terrible teeth could bite through anything, and he seemed to be very difficult to defeat yet strangely sympathetic.
Con: Dental work is expensive, and even the most comprehensive plans rarely cover the cost of weaponizing your mouth.
Pro: Scary as fuck! It's a metal ball on a chain covered with spikes!
Con: Unwieldy, heavy, and difficult to land a direct hit. May cause debilitating damage to unintended targets. If your attacker is a ninja, you do not stand a chance.
Pro: Pretty much the most bang for your buck, weapon wise. Loud and devastating.
Con: Very difficult to carry with you in a cab. Heavy.
Pro: You can vanquish your attacker by simply handing them a bomb, saying "meep meep," and running away. SO easy.
Con: Acme products often malfunction, leaving you a charred outline with two beady eyes blinking at the camera.
Pro: Great for swordfights, snow peeing.
Con: Doesn't prevent attacks.