What would you like to know?
Share this Story

Chastity bra claims to prevent rape

Anna Brones is a freelance writer and founder of Foodie Underground. You can read her other work on The Guardian, Organic Spa Magazine and more. Follow her on Twitter at @annabrones. . .

A bra can do many things — this isn't one

When it comes to technology, we have many things to be thankful for. Sports bras for one. For another, awesome spandex running tights that give a little compression. Velcro. Zippers. But a bra that only unclasps when you are experiencing feelings of "true love" is not one of them.

It's the True Love Tester Bra from Japanese lingerie company Ravijour, a bra that was developed to unclasp if, and only when, the woman wearing it feels "love." As such, it's being marketed as a bra that will ward off unwanted sexual advancements.

"This innovative bra cannot be unhooked," claims the promotional video as it shows a persistent man in a club trying to pull the bra off a svelte-looking model. How exactly does it unhook? A hidden sensor in the bra's cups is synced via Bluetooth to an app that measures heart rate. When the heart rate reaches a certain point, the apparent love mark, the bra comes undone.

Note that the love mark is measured as somewhere between shopping and jogging in terms of heart rate, which seems a questionable scientific way of determining love, considering that heart rate is an indicator of many other things. Stress, body position and even air temperature can get our hearts going. Will the bra pop off then as well?

The bra is clearly used shown as a tool for avoiding sexual assult. This is dangerous marketing for many reasons. First, no item of clothing can ward off sexual assult as there are many offenses that happen much before anyone gets near a woman's bra.

Second, to assume that clothing will help in altering a culture of rape and sexual harassment is not only unrealistic, but it fails to deal with the issue at hand: that every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted. Promoting clothing lines to combat the problem puts the responsibility on the victim and not the assaulter.

Last fall, a brand called AR Wear came out with rape underwear in a move that outraged many. While the True Love Tester Bra might just be an attempt at a ridiculous viral video, the subject isn't funny. Sexual harassment and assault is a reality for many, one that should never be taken lightly.

True Love Tester Bra

Wearing certain clothing to ward off rape and sexual harassment implies that it's up to us, the women, to keep from getting raped, putting the responsibility solely on the victim. It blurs the lines as to what is or is not a crime by failing to acknowledge that men will still choose to attempt rape and sexual harassment. As feminist writer Louise Pennington wrote last year in response to AR Wear, "Rather than naming rape for what it is, we obfuscate. Rape is not 'something that goes wrong.' It is a crime with a clear perpetrator who chooses to rape."

If this video is to be believed, and a chastity garment is the one and only way to prevent men from wanting to sexually harass women, might this send a message that women who wear chastity bras don't want to be sexually harassed, but women who don't wear them do? It's a very slippery slope.

The product also clearly plays into another cultural stereotype: that all women wear bras and they only want to take them off when it's time to have sex. Not only is this absurd, it's insulting. We don't wait around for the Mr. Right to come along before we take our bra off. Think about going to sleep at night. Will we have to get our heart rates up just to make sure we can spend a braless night?

No surprise that this system was developed by men.

bottom line

Instead of developing clothing that's masked by a goal of providing defense to potential sexual harassment, let's engage in a conversation that talks about sexual assault in an adult manner. One that puts the blame on the assaulter and not the victim. One that respects the rights of a woman and her desires. Sexual assault is a crime, let's treat it like one.

More on sexual health

The connection between breast implants and your sex life
New survey reveals women choose food over sex
When sex hurts

Photo credit: Ravijour
Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Love
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!