Rape Trap Like Snow Crash 'Dentata'

South Aftrican inventor Sonette Ehlers has invented an anti-rape device similar to one mentioned in Neal Stephenson's novel Snow Crash. She describes the tampon-shaped device this way:

"Hollow inside and the inner wall of it is lined, and there we have got all our technology and little hooks which, upon forced penetration, will attach to the skin of the perpetrator and only a medical doctor can remove it.

He'll have to turn himself in, so he's marked for immediate identification."

Over 1.5 million rapes occur every year in South Aftrica - one of the highest rates in the world.

In his 1992 novel Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson gives YT, a female character, a similar device called a "dentata" to use:

...a very small hypodermic needle slipped imperceptibly into the engorged frontal vein of his penis, automatically shooting a cocktail of powerful narcotics and depressants into his bloodstream.

Legends and stories surrounding the vaginus dentata or "toothed vagina" have been around for centuries in cultures all over the world. In the Middle Ages, some Christians believed that witches could grow fangs in their vaginas. (Although very rare, teeth can actually be found in vaginas; dermoid cysts are formed from the outer layer of embryonic skin cells, and these cells are able to mature into teeth.) The term vagina dentata was created by Sigmund Freud as a part of his theories concerning castration anxiety.

The anti-rape device faces considerable opposition in South Africa, where it is due to go onsale in drugstores and supermarkets next month. Charlene Smith, prominent anti-rape campaigner, states "This is a medieval instrument, based on male-hating notions and fundamentally misunderstands the nature of rape and violence against women in this society."

Read more at South Africa 'rape trap' condemned; see also Vagina Dentata. Thanks to Ray Girvan for contributing the tip for this story (and to Adam for the extra quote).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/12/2005)

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