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Rapex-a device to prevent rape in South Africa

Picture this. A man comes into a South African hospital with his penis stuck in his zipper, and no, this is not the beginning of an indecent joke. Evidently, it is so lodged in his zipper that not even he, with all of his masculine might, can arrest his appendage from its metal grasp.

The manly man needs a surgical team to extricate the beast from its cavity. The sight of this incident prompted a medical technician to come up with an invention to shield against rape. Sonettte Ehlers, hears in an echoic voice, the torment of a rape victim she had spoken with in the hospital as the victim cried, “Oh, if only I had teeth ‘down there’, if only.” A light bulb goes off.

Hmmm, she surmises, “Teeth down there, similar to the teeth of the zipper?” Bingo. A medical device to prevent rape! She would give it a name; Rapex. Because rape in South Africa has become an endemic, Sonettte Ehlers begins to try to develop a product that will pain, but not maim a man’s private parts if he were to do try the unthinkable - rape.
The Rapex device is to be inserted into a woman’s vagina similar to an applicator with a tampon. If a man tries to enter her, he would impale himself on the barbs, needing to go to an emergency room, quickly! Because of a superstition that has been going around the continent that having sex with a young woman will cure a man of HIV, it is urgent more than ever, that this type of medical apparatus be devised so as to stop these sexual crimes, especially among the young.

This device would be similar to an American woman carrying Mace in her purse, or even a small knife. It may not inflict severe harm; harm enough to cause significant and lasting injury, but an attack with time enough to help the woman get away. Many women in South Africa, especially the economically poor, have to walk alone on dark roads, so this device would be more like an insurance theme. They could use it as part of their own personal security system, protection for her.

The “trap” would be very painful indeed, but only enough to disable the rapist long enough for the victim to make a quick escape. Other critics state that it borders on the restrictive use of a chastity belts and that it would only compel rapists to kill their victims, which seems to be a valid argument. But this being the progressive movement that it is, it is certainly a step in the right direction, although it may be deemed primitive by some standards.

It is highly unlikely that the males in South Africa, along with their superstitions, are not going to go discard these myths anytime soon. The problem is that severe. South Africa has the highest per capita rate of rapes in the world, and if the unreported rapes continue to be unreported, it could be nine times higher than that.

There are critics that are quick to point out the severity of the device, which they proclaim border on the medieval, and when they do, Ehlers replies rather sternly, “A medieval device for a medieval deed.” Amen.


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