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(Follow Up) Dress: “Asking For It?”

 When my boyfriend referred to me this article, I certainly recalled my previous post about self-defense in relation to clothing. Thus, this is basically a continuation on how women have the right to stand up and defend themselves. 

Hibar and his inventions — two models of his Anti-Harassment shoes that won him a gold medal at the International Exhibition of Young Inventors

This amazing young Indonesian boy, named Hibar Syahrul Gafur (who’s the same age as my 9th grader brother), has invented an ‘anti-harassment’ shoe. It works like a mosquito racket/zapper: so, any contact with the metal plates will result in a shock of 450 volts. It’s enough to fend off the attacker and paralyze them for a whole two minutes. Hibar has been awarded a gold medal at the International Exhibition of Young Inventors in Malaysia. It really gives me hope when the youth devises incentives for support of human rights. I’m proud for this kid, and I am still quite speechless that a 14 year old boy has manifested his concern into a wearable product for potential mass use. You would expect (at this time) for a young high school student to focus on getting good grades on their finals.

“At first, I was concerned after watching some news coverage on sexual violence against women. Then, I thought of creating a tool that would help these women protect themselves from the threats of those criminals.” Hibar commented. Unfortunately, it‘s no surprise that Indonesia has a high number of cases of sexual violence. In 2012 alone, rape and molestation were the highest: 840 and 780 cases respectively out of 2521 of sexual violence — and that’s just the recorded data. You can only imagine how much weren’t. He further explained the initial plan was to create a similar tool, in the form of a bra. I couldn’t help laugh a little, I mean it’s funny for a boy to be that concerned with our undergarments. “But that was dangerous, I think. It could reverse and harm the woman wearing it instead.”

A prototype, at its modifying stage. Jeffrey-Campbell-wedges potential?

Looks pretty convincing, though right? Hook the boy with the designers at Jeffrey Campbell, and I’ll tell you — sales will go through the roof! I’m half joking, but if Hibar does get the correct technology, producer, and financial support, this will be so helpful for women. As I’ve shown in the previous post, ordinary shoes and other components of clothing can be used as weapons. But I think a shoe, infused with proper mechanism and technology, would be more reassuring of a self-defense tool. I wouldn’t mind paying an extra, say, $100? Although I would need clear demonstrations and proof of its effectiveness in the scenario. A few of the visitors who visited Hibar’s booth at the exhibition made fun of the shoes. Made fun of him, even bringing up racial remarks. “What is this? This is worthless! Indonesians are nothing compared to us!” Hibar said, mimicking their gestures. “People disregarded me because I couldn’t answer some technical questions. They were asking university level stuff to a high school kid! I was disappointed, because I was made fun of — but turns out that I won the gold medal!” In that case, Hibar, you should really pursue this idea!

You don’t have to be the victim to make the precautionary measures. It’s alright for your fathers, or brothers, or even mothers to purchase these in the future for you so you can kick perpetrators right in the nuts. I mean, this isn’t totally new. Pepper spray, mace, whistles, are among the already-invented tools to defend yourself, or summon help. Don’t take it into offense, they care about you. In better light, they provide you with these tools so that you can take a stand for yourself and other women.

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