How to Ward Off Rapists
Recently I was reminded of a bit of old lore about rapists: just as vampires cannot speak the name of Christ, rapists cannot speak the name of Andrea Dworkin. Which in turn reminded me of the sorry state of the common wisdom imparted to women as regards our personal safety: we are given nonsensical instructions about avoiding attractive clothing and seedy bars, but no one mentions the real-life practical tips that could save our maidenhoods from creepy crawly creatures of the night, vampires and rapists alike.
Below the fold: Three foolproof tricks for identifying rapists! And the things you should keep in your purse at all times – if you’re not a slut who’s asking for it.
Identifying Rapists in a Crowd
Villagers in Eastern Europe can reliably detect the presence of a vampire in the neighborhood by watching for the death of cows, sheep, dogs, or neighbors; this detection is confirmed by the exhumation of an insufficiently rotted corpse, displaying growth of hair and/or nails or a bloodstain on its mouth. Similarly, a young woman with her wits intact can detect the presence of a rapist at a college party by exhuming a couple of maxipads from the bathroom trash can. Unnaturally preserved clots, abnormally pale stains, and whimpers heard echoing from beneath the bathroom sink as you exhume the pads are all signs that a rapist is on the prowl.
Take care not to confuse these echoes with the rumblings of your own gastrointestinal tract. If you eat too much or not enough at the party, your detection measures will become unreliable. This author would never blame a woman who suffers something unfortunate at a party, but if you don’t take the sensible precaution of putting your ear to the catch-pipe when your stomach is quiet, what do you expect?
Unlike vampires, rapists can be seen in mirrors. As a matter of fact, they can be seen so readily in mirrors that they are often the only thing reflected! Experts disagree about the degree to which a rapist’s reflection precludes the presence of other people and objects in the scene, but they do agree on one thing: your reflection will never appear in the same mirror as that of a man who intends to rape you.
The application of this simple test may result in some Lucille Ball style antics. A true lady never powders her face in public, but the use of compact mirrors to jokingly signal distress to passing planes is permissible at most informal gatherings. Buying beer in shiny, reflective cans is also highly recommended.
The use of Christian iconography in vampire awareness programs has been widely criticized. However, the consensus view among experts is that such things as Bibles and crosses are most effective when wielded by believers; if they fail, it is because their bearers lack true faith in the power of God.
Women who wish to use feminist tests such as the name of Andrea Dworkin do not need to have faith in the power of feminism per se, but they must have faith in themselves. Many an otherwise cautious and sensible woman has been undermined by the sudden appearance of low self-esteem!
Just remember, good girls sometimes doubt themselves but those doubts can always be dispelled by a quick pep talk. If you have lingering misgivings about your own worth, there’s unfortunately no hope for you outside of a convent.
Finally, The Indispensable Defense Kit
Like your spare tampon, your cell phone, and your cosmetic touch-up kit, the following items should be permanent residents of your purse:
- A mirror – your compact will do.
- A pocket edition of Intercourse – as it is not currently available in poche you may need a large handbag. A slip of paper with the word “wymyn” on it will do in a pinch.
- A written affirmation of your own self-worth. Affirmation cards can be purchased at many gift shops, or you can make your own with messages like “I have a beautiful soul”, “I am not a whore” or “I always wear my skirts below the knee because I value my gorgeous womanly thighs”. For that special personal touch, try writing with a calligraphy pen and decorating the card with feminine flowers and pictures of your kitten!