An idea for a rape-protection device
The project Femdefence is an attempt to contribute to the debate on men’s sexual violence against women in society, using the aesthetics of design, and the semiotics of marketing.
Femdefence is an on-going project first presented in 2003. The project includes the creation of an imaginary product, which bears the project’s name. The “product“ is a kind of protection against rape, somewhat similar to a tampon in that it’s user carries it inserted into her vagina. The basic idea is that the woman carries the protective device in her vagina. In it there is a sharp pin which has a penetrating effect on the perpetrator’s penis in the event of a rape. The construction is such that the pin still cannot injure the bearer. The design of the design is based on a similar construction invented by a Swedish woman named Anita Ingmarsdotter. She came to work on her invention after a series of rape cases in Sweden that received a lot of public attention. Typically, in many of these cases, the accused do not receive an adequate punishment, and the abused women are left without appropriate support from the judicial system. All too often they, in the perpetrators place, are burdened with guilt. Read more about her in the interview.
Her actions are a logical response to the malfunction of the judicial system in a country many consider to have reached a high level of equality between the sexes. What she did was an indication on the situation of women in Sweden, and outlines the public opinion in these issues. The idea for the rape-protection device and the woman behind it have functioned as symbols for the debate on inequality between the sexes and men’s violence against women. The project has been exposed in several ways and in several locations. It has been the object of exhibitions leading the thoughts to how industrial designers present their prototypes. Furthermore, it has been presented in the form of TV-commercials, newspaper advertisements and in outdoor billboard advertising. For anyone who has been interested there has been the opportunity to find more information and contact me through e-mail on an earlier version of this web site. After I had a full page advertisement published in one of the largest newspapers in Sweden, Expressen, I received a lot of reactions. Looking at the response, it seems that many people took concern in my work not only by writing to me, but also by discussing it among themselves.