There’s a picture making the rounds on various social networking sites of what looks like a pair of very hairy legs, but is actually a woman wearing “Anti-Pervert Hairy Leg Stockings.” Created in China (probably because China is now trying to give Japan a run for their money in the “inventing crazy, useless things” game), these stockings are enjoying a splash of Internet fame. They remind me of those female anti-rape condoms that were invented a few years back, with the barbs that essentially turn your lady bits into the 2007 horror movie Teeth (a moving tale about a young lady who realizes her vagina has teeth).
The stockings remind me of the bitey condoms because I had the same reaction to both. My first inclination was to think “finally,” and then upon further reflection I felt slightly shortchanged that someone was investing money into anti-rape products meant for women, instead of maybe focusing on the greater issue of the rape happening in the first place. I’m all for carrying pepper spray and tasers and whatever else makes you feel safe, but seeing as how most sexual assaults are carried out by people that the victim already knows, how are these stockings supposed to deter attackers? I can appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humor of such stockings, but when these sorts of items are being invented with such frequency, I have to think that the people dreaming up these products are focusing on the wrong end of the dick. This feels dangerously close to placing preemptive blame on the victim, and then you’re just a hop, skip, and a disapproving tone away from slut-shaming. I’m not sure what an anti-rape product designed for use by the attacker would be. Maybe there should be a greater push to educate young people earlier on to be accountable for their actions… or to educate young men not to stick their dick in people who don’t want that.
I was again reminded of this issue the other day when walking to work one morning. I passed the construction zone on Salem and W. 3rd St, when one of the workers yelled some asinine, sexually demeaning comment. First, I felt embarrassed for him that he was playing into such a boring stereotype of the “catcalling construction worker.” Then I felt regret for trying to look nice and going through the bother of wearing a dress instead of my usual sleeping bag with arm and leg holes cut into it. I slumped a little, hurried my gait, and resolved to never be caught outside my house in anything but my sleeping bag onesie ever again. In reality, it’s not me whose behavior should be amended, but the dickless piece of trash who yelled at me. And if the individual who had the gall to squawk at me is reading this, please know that I hope your dick gets caught in a piece of machinery. Something with metal interlocking teeth.