The JWT Singapore ad agency is one of the latest companies to capitalize on the fear culture women live in. They've just started marketing for a bracelet that, in case of an attack against the wearer, can be pressed to send an emergency text message and location to a designated contact.
We've also previously covered another app, which is also designed to help make sure a woman can go from Point A to Point B without being sexually assaulted (or, at least, without nobody knowing that said assault is occurring).
But in the aftermath of the tragic UCSB shooting, we're only now starting to realize how these gimmicky apps and items are more missing the point than helping.
The #YesAllWomen hashtag has highlighted how all women at some point in their lives face harassment or another form of unwanted attention or contact from men.
Their horrible stories highlight how, too often, we're telling women how to react, instead of telling men how to behave.
The anti-rape objects and iPhone features are just another extreme form of how we enable this attitude from men, making it the woman's responsibility to protect herself in environments that shouldn't be hostile or dangerous in the first place.
We shouldn't have to buy apps via iTunes or purchase SOS-generators disguised as trendy jewelry. Instead, we women should feel comfortable walking home alone at night, or OK with telling the guy at the bar we're not interested without fear that he'll follow us home.
The whole culture surrounding these anti-rape accoutrements might mean well, but at the end of the day, it's a marketing scheme that furthers its business by selling a product to people who are scared — scared that their bodies will be violated, scared that their lives will be ended if they dare to say "no." And nobody should have to go through that, let alone be able to make money off it.