Cultural Object of the Week: The Tampon Stun Gun

November 19, 2009

Yep, you read that correctly, there is a stun gun that exists that is shaped like a couple of tampons.

The Pink Stinger

The stun gun, named “The Pink Stinger,” was created for women who wish to carry a stun gun, but do so discreetly. It as 50,000 volts of power.

My initial response to this object was “awesome.” However, having thought about it a little bit more, I’m not quite sure how I feel about it, other than that it certainly is interesting.

What do you think of the tampon stun gun?

Is it taking a women’s product and making is powerful, thus empowering women? Or, is it reinforcing negative stereotypes of women being “crazy” while menstruating? It openly acknowledges the fact that women are more likely than men to be the consumers who purchase stun guns, which opens up discussion about rape, sexual assault, and gender.

Discuss.

Source:Inventor Spot


No One Called: A Highschool Girl got Raped at her Homecoming Dance

October 27, 2009

This isn’t a story with a happy ending. This past Saturday night, a fifteen-year-old girl was brutally gang raped by as many as seven young men. She was raped, beaten, and sexually assaulted for two and a half hours. She was so badly beaten that she was flown from the scene in critical condition.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the ordeal is that no one reported it. Instead, about 15 males actually stood around watching it. Jezebel explains why this makes it so much worse,

At first I thought this was a Kitty Genovese situation, in which indifferent bystanders failed to help a crime victim. In fact, it’s worse. CNN’s Nick Valencia writes that, “as many as 15 people, all males, stood around watching the assault, but did not call police or help the victim.” Gagan adds, “As people announced over time that this was going on, more people came to see, and some actually participated.” This isn’t a case of people turning their heads away and saying “none of my business.” It’s a situation in which 15 boys and men (one suspect in custody is 19, the other 15) treating public, brutal assault as a form of entertainment.

Anyone who went to a big, rough high school has seen this happen with a fight — everybody in the school rushes to the scene, cheering, booing, and even joining in as kids beat each other up. This practice is bad enough, exposing teen bloodlust and lack of compassion, but adding sexual assault to the mix makes the onlookers’ situation all the more heinous. That all said onlookers were male seems important here — were they so afraid of having their masculinity questioned that they couldn’t say anything? Or, more disturbingly, were they enthusiastic about the event, participating, however vicariously, in some kind of conquest? Whatever the case, not one, not two, but fifteen young men watched a gang-rape take place and essentially chose to side with the rapists — as Yes Means Yes would say, “that’s rape culture.”

Obviously, a terrible thing happened. How can we change out culture so that people DO report rape when they see it happening?

Sources: Jezebel, LA Times, and MSNBC