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Vagina Dentata and the Annihilation of Rape

Rape has been violating women since the dawn of humanity. Even before that, evolutionarily. Our Great Ape relations – chimpanzees and gorillas – are rapists, and approximately 50% of orangutans are the result of rape. Gang rape, war rape, prison rape, date rape, serial rape, spousal rape, incestuous rape… hundreds of millions of females have been terrified, humiliated, injured and scarred.

Rape has to be halted, but how? Is there a transhumanist remedy? A technological solution?

The “Rape Capital of the World” is currently South Africa, with a University of South Africa study estimating 2,777 rapes per day, for a total of 1 million a year. The South African Law Commission asserts the figure is considerably higher: 1.69 million per year. Journalist, rape survivor, and anti-rape activist Charlene Smith claims that a South African woman is raped every 26 seconds; 40% of the victims are children, and 65% are gang-raped, aka “jackrolled.” Human Rights Watch reports that 28% of South African males has admitted to sexual assault, in this nation where 16.9% of the adult population is HIV/AIDS infected.

To combat this atrocity, the citizenry invented two retaliatory devices. A “killer tampon“, developed by 72-year-old Jaap Haumann in 2000, sports a guillotine blade attached to a hollow cylinder that, if sprung, decapitates any intruding penile head. Haumann estimated that 1 million women would arm their crotches with his contraption, but he was ridiculed in the media and sales never materialized.

Rape-aXe” was next. Unveiled in 2005 by medical technician Dr. Sonnet Ehlers, this simple latex sheath transforms the female orifice into a shark-like vagina dentata. 25 razor sharp barbs, facing inward, serve as a “rape trap” that painfully hooks the penetrator. The snared assailant, claims Dr. Ehlers, “cannot pee or walk when it is on, and if he tries to remove it, it will clasp even tighter.” The vengeful fangs can only be removed surgically, a procedure that would alert police and imprison the rapist.

The munching mechanism costs only 1 rand (14 cents) and its potential was carefully researched – Dr. Ehlers consulted engineers, gynecologists, psychologists, and convicted rapists to determine its effectiveness. She sold her car and house to mass-produce the dick-chewing device and she reportedly distributed 30,000, for free, at the 2010 World Cup venues. Despite her efforts, South African women aren’t all chomping at the bit to purchase her product. Instead – like Haumann – Dr. Ehlers was chewed up by pundits, especially women.

Charlene Smith fretted that Rape-aXe, “is vengeful, horrible, and disgusting. The woman who invented this needs help.” Another critic – a rape victim who was stabbed twice – insisted that Rape-aXe, “will increase the danger to women… the government must not allow this to go on sale.” I contacted Dr. Ehlers in late January 2010 to inquire about her sales volume, but I never received a response.

Dr. Ehlers presents, in my opinion, solid justification for her wiener-ripper. “It will help identify attackers and secure conviction,” she tells the Johannesburg Star. “A medieval deed deserves a medieval consequence,” she explains on her website, that lists numerous letters of support and endorsement. Unfortunately, the product’s primary weakness is that it only provides past-the-threshold protection. The assailant is incapacitated only after a woman has been:

1. Terrified
2. Physically Assaulted (rape victims are often beaten)
3. Stripped of her Clothes
4. Penetrated

The security that Rape-aXe provides is similar to shooting intruders in your home. Isn’t it far better to deny them interior access? Anyone with morbid imagination can visualize numerous situations in which Rape-aXe’s “security” backfires, due to the equation of “violence begetting more violence.” The same flaw exists in Haumans’s penectomy tool, and in “FemDefense,” a similar, Swedish design that features a sharp pin sticking out of a tube, waiting to puncture the glans.

It is interesting to note how defense against rape – or any physical assault – mimics strategies in animal behavior. The 15th century chastity belt resembles the hard-bodied protection of the armadillo, pangolin, snail, turtle, and mollusks like oyster and clam. The advice to “never walk alone” has been obeyed for epochs by ungulate herds. Pepper spray and mace owe a debt to skunks and the bombardier beetle (stink bug), as does the “Horberg Device” – an appliance the Rape-aXe website refers to, that expels a “crude odor.” Tasers, now available to resemble cell phones, impersonate the cruel jolt of a scorpion or wasp. FemDefense, Rape-aXe, and the Haumann device are sharply linked to porcupines and sea urchins.

There’s even a modern equivalent to the “invisibility” defense employed by squid and octopi that expel ink, and insects and reptiles that utilize camouflage. Michelle Leslie, a 25-yer-old Australian model, was convicted of drug possession in Indonesia (two ecstasy tablets) and tossed into a prison for three months. After observing that another woman was regularly taken out of her cell for forced sex with the guards, Ms. Leslie donned the shroud-like Muslim burqa, and was summarily ignored.

Transhumanists need to devise self-defense mechanisms that transcend these techniques employed by lower life forms, and scifi offers some options. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, presents a vagina dentata that narcotizes trespassers with a tiny hypodermic needle. If women installed this, the dismantling of it could be regarded as part of the foreplay process, like removing the last item of clothing. Female groins could also be implanted with micro-spray guns that have incapacitating fumes, similar to the gas Russians used to overpower Chechen militants in the 2002 Moscow theater-hostage crises. These solutions, however, are only slightly better than Rape-aXe, because the weaponry would inspire counter-weaponry.

Star Trek and Superman offer stronger resistance possibilities. If the “deflector shield” that protected the Starship Enterprise is scaled down for the human form, a bubble of security would be attained. The “Man of Steel” is equally invulnerable with his dense Kryptonian body and “force field” surrounding his flesh. Neither of these improvements is forecast for the near future, however.

What we can employ for safety, immediately or in the next decade, are the two strategies below:

1. Security “Smart” Cameras – Already universally employed in airports, these devices could be installed, unobtrusively, in numerous public areas. Capable of analyzing what they observe, they set off alarms if they witness behavior that is programmed as “unsafe.” The cameras would be major crime deterrents because they’d be recording culprits engaged in criminal acts. Smart cameras could also be installed indoors in private-owned buildings where sexual assault was a concern: fraternities, for instance. Micro-sensors (additionally equipped with auditory and olfactory abilities) could also be installed on anyone’s body, to record hostile behavior directed at them. The bionic eyeball “eyeborg”, utilized by Terminator and Canadian filmmaker Rob Spence, could serve as a safety enhancing “third eye.”

2. GPS microchips – Valued pets already have RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification Chips) imbedded discreetly in their bodies, with 16-digit identification numbers. These grain-sized devices will soon be GPS-enabled. If every human gets microchipped with their pathways charted, all assaulters would be easily apprehended because their trail would intersect with the victim. The result would be a 100% arrest and conviction rate! A milder strategy would be to only “tag” convicted criminals, and to forbid them to approach anyone in isolated areas.

Obviously, employment of these options would result in drastically diminished privacy. “Big Brother” organizations would be able to track their opponents, and clandestine rendezvous, sexual or otherwise, would no longer be secret. But still… how much privacy are “good guys” willing to sacrifice, to rein in the “bad guys”? I’m not endorsing either of these two options (yet), but I believe they both merit consideration. I welcome reader’s ideas — does anyone have suggestions that can improve physical safety and end rape and assault? Please leave all comments below.

23 Comments

  1. Perhaps one should consider multiplexing. The use of a rape aXe like device in conjuntion with a defence spray and a small concealable electrocution device (perhaps attachable to a brassier but insulating wearer)?

    Unfortunately it falls down to physical strength. Men generally being the stronger, if some arsehole was to feel so inclined to attack a woman, the damage is generally done before any chance to react, therefore your only choice is reactive not protective other than wearing ridiculous contraptions or carrying unconcealed weaponry to deter rapists. People have murdered for eons, in countries that impose the death penalty, yet there are still murderers in death penalty constituencies all over the world who know the consequences yet still kill. The law is no deterrent so the only option is to delay and escape any attacker, sexual or otherwise.

  2. If your assertion is true that human nature makes males natural rapists then it would only be unnatural to admonish rape or vilify it.

    A mores that does not correspond with nature? How is that supposed to be sustained other than by force?

    Your solutions are all examples of force: cut it off, bruise it, mutilate it, or keep it on leash.

    What kind of human would suggest all humans be put through such ordeals for something the same human claims is inborn in all humans? (Oh wait, got my answer: a “transhuman”…)

  3. I feel that the sale of these should be INCREDIBLY STRICTLY monitored. I can only fear the teenage high school girl who finds out her boyfriend has been cheating gets her hands on a *SPRING LOADED RAZOR* hidden discreetly in ger vagina… Younger people will act irrationally, if allowed access to these devices, that leaves a lot of younger generation males with penis chunks missing. And if you don’t believe a hormonally raging teenage girl would do that to a guy out of spite, I’m sorry for your naivety. This is also an awful tool in practice, the spewing of blood will exponentially increase the risk of STDs, and it doesn’t stop the rape, it cuts it short (excuse the pun). This is an awful idea. I feel that the itching powder idea could be more effective, or a spring loaded sedative injection… With a very accurate, pain minimizing needle. There are CRAZY women out there. My concern above all is jealous or angry women using this as a weapon. God Bless if it stops rape or punishes the rapist, but sh*t if theres a risk of an ordinary guy losing his member to a psycopathic woman, that’s a bad idea. My two cents

  4. A device that mutilates the penis of a rapist inside a woman’s vagina will obviously cause the penis to bleed, greatly increasing the risk of her becoming infected with HIV, Hepatitis C, and other harmful microorganisms.

  5. State paid prostitutes, OR RealDoll™ type sex androids which ‘conveniently’ seek out and entice (NOT ENTRAP, that doesn’t count especially when these are just automatons or employees to simulate being raped) by intentionally exposing themselves to situations open to rape, so rape-preferring males will find their hunting trophy ‘targets’.

    Some self defence skills could be learnt by actresses, including ‘convenient’ passers by, so the ‘victim’ could ‘escape’ if the ‘rapist’ is too violent and even the ‘rapist’ could ‘escape’ as well. More ‘actors’ could try to civilise-educate the ‘rapist’ later, GENTLY PLS, to not be too violent, WHILE not impacting his ‘joy of the hunt’ (also reality) before a new ‘victim’ presents herself.

    Various types of ‘victims’ from various classes could be simulated, fake jobs, fake families etc.., stereotypical slutty yet demure behaviour, or innocent unsuspecting or whatever formats to suit any kind of ‘rapist’ could be considered. Fake a few college or even high school uniforms while at it, though overly extreme kinds like particularly vicious paedophiles targetting far too young ‘victims’ should not be ‘normalized’.

    This whole programme could be something state sponsored whores and later androids could simulate to allow men so inclined to be . … men so inclined. Let them keep count even! Then those people with access to the eyes of these people could sit back and enjoy the show rather than torment the ‘Predator’ for being themselves.

    Alternatively, special ‘play zones’ for such ‘unwanted expressions’ could be planned into a city but the element of realism would be quite impacted though still suitable.

    Just make sure all participants are healthy and sufficiently mentally stable (this again could be fostered via society, though in as neutral and NORMAL a manner as possible, manipulative and especially NOT vicious doesn’t count, that the ‘hive’ can manage). We are here to ensure there is free will and freedom as well as VENUE to express any and everything. That is the essence of life, or which should encompass all expressions, good or bad, though safeguards for non-actors must also be applied.

    Problem solved, everyone happy, and remember, don’t twist this like the earlier suggestion that led to the TSA being formed.

    • Good idea with the sexbots — both as libido outlets and as “targets” — thanks

    • I’m awestruck by this suggestion. Other than entertaining rapists, what purpose would it serve? If allowing rapists to target the young normalizes pedophilia, doesn’t the entire program normalize rape?

      • Hi Summerspeaker — I think perhaps you did not read the comment correctly — the poster says, “overly extreme kinds like particularly vicious paedophiles targetting far too young ‘victims’ should not be ‘normalized’.” — is that better for you?

  6. The obvious, less contrived solution to fix rape is restoring white rule, by conditioning the validity of vote on IQ. Since black people have a median IQ that is lower than whites, it will restore power to competent white people and the few blacks who are able to transcend their tribal heritage glorifying animalistic impulses.

    If we are to accept transhumanism, we must accept the idea that some people can be more intelligent than others and thus more fit to rule, either because of their genes or because of their augmentations. Black South Africans have amply demonstrated their incompetence to rule and their inferior way of governing compared to the previous racist regime.

    • Yeah, let’s take away civil rights, women’s right to vote, re-enslave 2/3 of the world’s population and have a holocaust or two while we’re at it.

      • You are putting words into my mouth. I would suggest reading serious books and articles about human psychology, genetics, and evolution by natural selection – instead of politically-correct feel-good, leftist-egalitarian, utopian drivel.

        I pretty much doubt that rulers of ANY country selected by IQ (and not by the average voter of average intelligence) would engage in the acts you mention. Such acts are the hallmark of tribalist, low-IQ African leaders the likes of Idi Amin, Teodoro Mbasogo, Robert Mugabe, or the Rwandan Hutu, while the rape epidemic of South Africa was facilitated by the coming to power of the former communist terrorist Nelson Mandela.

        WRT the Holocaust, Hitler was a total idiot that needlessly massacred the most intelligent population on Earth, Ashkenazi Jews. I am not proposing massacres; I’m proposing the rule of high-IQ people for the benefit of the stupid masses. If it means an Ashkenazi Jew Dictator or Emperor, so be it!

        An intelligent leader is aware that his long-term benefit is strictly linked to the welfare of his people. Japanese struck by the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis have demonstrated to the whole world what high IQ entails: order, discipline, calm, no looting or stealing – even if the situation is desperate. Japan being a democracy, the average Japanese elects leaders more competent than those of low-IQ nations (like South Africa). Contrast that with lower-IQ inhabitants of New Orleans after Katrina, or South Africans.

        Unlike you, I support Plato’s philosopher-kingdom and oppose democracy: people of high IQ are best fit to lead the countries of the world, not the ignorant, superstitious luddites that will only delay the Singularity and cause millions of pointless deaths.

    • I hereby revoke your humanity card.
      The color of a persons skin does neither determine fitness nor intelligence.
      Invoking conditionality of rule based on such inconsequential genetic traits proves your lack of useful knowledge and usable intellect.
      Forcible intercourse is not limited to those of certain skin tone, age, nationality, gender…
      Implying such diminishes us all.

      • Black people (of lower average IQ) are more predisposed to violent crime because they are not smart enough to see past their own benefits and how helping to create an orderly society will also serve their interests. We should recognize this and help them overcome their lower intelligence.

        You really should be checking statistics; black people are statistically more likely to be involved in violent crime than white people, both in the US and S.Africa. In Europe, Arabs and Pakistanis also engage in crime more than natives. The statistics don’t lie. Just the multiculturalist idealists do.

        Why are the black people always winning the running competitions of the Olympics, then?

        Why is there a disproportionate amount of Jewish Nobel Prize winners? There are 100s of them, why are there only one or two winners of other Middle Eastern ethnicities?

        If we evolved white skin to better absorb vitamin D and therefore better survive in less sunny, temperate, climates – why is it such a stretch to believe that we (and Mongoloids even more so) evolved better intelligence? Cold winter climate present all the same challenges as African ones, PLUS the cold. Is it such a stretch to believe that the less intelligent died of cold, while the smart and resourceful ancestors of white people did not?

        • And another point: there is evidence that between 4% and 6% of the DNA of Denisovans (a different species of ancient human) is shared only by Melanesians.

          This doesn’t have anything to do with blacks or whites or mongoloids, but can anyone seriously suggest that only genes that DO NOT determine intelligence are among those 4%-6%? If so, please explain the mechanism by which natural selection knows how to select only those genes not dealing with intelligence. Or why selection works in such a way so as to not hurt the feelings of multiculturalists and left-wing utopians.

          And if Melanesian might have different physical or mental characteristics than the rest of us, surely they aren’t the only group to have such characteristics?

          • Statistics can be skewed to show whatever the statistician wants them to show, and your statistics do not take into account nearly the number of variables necessary to determine anything for certain. I don’t believe in the altruism of scientists and statisticians, as personal biases and agendas will alter the way the testing is performed. Crime, violence, or the absence thereof does neither indicate intelligence levels in its measured populace. Furthermore, why do you include me in we? Do you purport to be able to see genetic variances via font?

            • – We share 40-50% of our DNA with cabbages. Which part of that DNA is the part that determines intelligence?

  7. As you would expect, I find the presentation of rape as biological fact troubling and presumptuous. On the other hand, it’s encouraging to see self-defense devices taken seriously. As always, I recommend feminist revolution.

  8. I think the privacy nightmare is all too realistic, especially combined with censorship, and there is a strong risk that it will be used eventually to build up a totalitarian singleton that successfully thwarts all subversive resistence until the end of history. This could lead to existential risk and a generally sub-par utility function in terms of quality of life, unless the decision-making algorithms are somehow aimed at utilitarian values, e.g. because it is governed by Friendly AI rather than an oligarchy of humans.

    If there were to be an absolute censorship taboo, i.e. all actions are visible and all communication is public but absolutely uncensored, total transparency could hypothetically work to prevent all victimization without the inevitability of totalitarianism. Historically however, there is rather strong evidence that control of information would simply be centralized, resulting in a lock-in of power concentration.

    Better solutions might be carrots + sticks rather than just sticks. Fully immersive VR sex, sexbots, alternative ways to pleasure center stimulation, and of course a libertarian approach to consensual sex, combined with sufficient law enforcement, could not only reduce the prevalence of individual rape, but also untermine the financial input into human trafficing industries world-wide.

    Then of course you could alter human nature. Edit out the sex drive and replace it with controllable pleasure generation instead. Use artificial methods for reproduction. Solves all STDs, sexual violence, and transcends the darwinian relationship market (ie. no more sexual frustration for the market losers). Not going to happen anytime soon though.

  9. The greatest problem with these contraptions is that they don’t work at all in the rape cases that aren’t as clear-cut, i.e. the ones where the victim and the assailant know each other (which represent a vast majority). It won’t help against nag-sex, for example, it won’t help when the victim is being actively coerced and so on.

    I really do agree this problem needs to be fixed, but this seems to tackle it on the wrong end. Rape is hardly encoded in our biology, but is rather a consequence of very deep-going social structures that attach to how we view male and female sexuality etc, and our efforts should target these in stead, or I fear the same problem will return in a different form.

    • Rape (or forced sexual contact) is part of primate behavioural space, as is fighting/competing amongst males for mates and hierarchical social structures. It’s not pretty, but we are primates.

      I agree that our society has been structured to often encourage the very worst in us (but note it is only encouraging something that is already there), so altering our thinking such that we curb the effect of our biology on our society is necessary, but we cannot deny where this comes from. Otherwise, we may miss solutions for those for which social engineering is ineffective, those that do not have the brain mechanisms to curb their animal ancestry.

      That said, I also agree, none of the solutions stated here address this issue adequately.

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