There is a lot to be said for the idea of anti-rape devices, such as rape-thwarting underwear and the aptly-named Rape-aXe, which impales the rapist’s penis on barbs, causing him excruciating pain upon withdrawal. I applaud the idea behind these things, but I think in practical application, they could be very dangerous. The most common type of rapist (the power reassurance or “gentleman” rapist) may run away when he finds his efforts countered, but there are many others who will not. Anti-rape devices will only incite these rapists, making it more likely that the woman will be seriously injured or even killed as a consequence. Rape is about power and the desire to have control over another person. When any type of rapist (because there are different types) sees that he is being prevented from having what he wants, he very often reacts with rage and escalated violence – up to and including murder.
The anti-rape devices that scare me the most are the ones that inflict pain on the rapist. How many women are going to be killed for using these devices? They’re supposed to “temporarily incapacitate” him but how long does it really take to stab somebody and kill them, or choke them to death, or punch them in the face and cause serious damage? If you use a weapon against him, make sure it is one you are skilled with using that he cannot take from you and use against you. If you cannot get away from the rapist before the actual sexual attack starts, it may be safer to simply comply. It could save your life – and that is what is most important here. A rape can turn into a murder in less than 2 seconds. You have to stay alive by whatever means necessary and if that means going along with it, then do so. Protecting your life is more important than protecting an ideal. It’s fine to argue politics in the safety of your own home; we can talk all day about how to prevent rape in the broader sense, but when you are actually in a life or death situation, things become very, very simple: you survive. Yes, rape is wrong. Yes, the rapist is wrong. Yes, the rapist is totally and solely to blame. Yes, what he is doing is terrible and scarring. Yes, he is a bastard and a criminal and he should be castrated. But you must survive and however you can do that is what matters. I will not judge you and neither will anyone with a brain.
Women often say “I’ll punch him in the face! I’ll kick him in the nuts! I’ll scratch his eyes out!” but many who have attempted this have been severely beaten and even killed. Many a rapist has said point-blank that if the woman hadn’t fought back, he wouldn’t have hurt her. Now this smacks of victim-blaming (surprise), but if we look at the psychology behind rape, we see that there is probably truth to it. He rapes to feel powerful and if you fight back, this means he is not coming across as powerful enough. This angers him and it has just become a very dangerous situation for you. It is no longer about consent and the horrible, despicable intrusion of your body. Now it is about your life and that is far more important. It isn’t worth dying for. Even Richard Ramirez (a notably sadistic serial killer) spared the life of the one woman who did not fight him at all. Not only did he kill the ones who did fight back, but he cut out the eyes of the one who fought back the hardest. (Maxine Zazzara pulled a shotgun out on him, but it was unloaded and she didn’t know that. Her eyes were never found.) It’s not worth your life. What you need to do in that situation is use your head, not your fists. Beat him with your brain. If you live, you win. It’s that simple. If you can’t talk to him rationally, then look at him (if you can see him). Remember him. Memorize his face, his body, his tattoos, his teeth, his smell, his voice, everything. And tell the police. Sear his face into your brain so that you don’t forget him. That is how you stop him.
If you do choose to fight back, prepare to fight back hard. As hard as you can, because this is your life and once you’ve started fighting, you may die if you can’t get away. And if you have a gun, shoot him if you can. No warning. No hesitation. Shoot him.