A bra that springs open for true love? Nope.

Content note: this post discusses rape culture

Good afternoon. Have you felt like your day was devoid of pseudoscientific sexist bollocks? Well worry no more. Let me tell you about some fresh nonsense: a bra that will only spring open if the wearer is experiencing true love.

The promotional video opens by demonstrating the sort of men this product is supposed to protect us from, those awful gropey creeps. Fortunately for us, they will no longer have access to our norks, because this bra will not unhook for them–as demonstrated by footage of awful men trying to yank the thing open. You see, SCIENCE informs us that there is some sort of physiological marker for true love based on brain chemicals and heart rates and there’s a graph and everything, so we don’t need to worry that our baps will fly out every time we go for a run (not that the product looks like the sort of bra one should run in, ever). And so we can rest easy. Our tits will only pop out if we’re in love. Hopefully that won’t happen while in the middle of a date, because it would be profoundly awkward finding oneself suddenly topless in Nandos.

I’m going to pretend this is a real product, because the media are treating this as though it is, and even if it were just a conceptual joke, it’s still mostly fucked up for the exact same reasons.

Conceptually, this device is basically a high-tech chastity belt. The key is replaced by some pseudoscientific waffle, sure, but the principle remains the same: we can only be sexual when we are in love. Even the patronising protective language is the same as the underlying ethos of the chastity belt: rape and sex outside of “true love” are constructed as the same thing, and something that we must be defended from with a fortress.

I don’t think anyone needs to point out that a bra that won’t unhook for unwanted attention is hardly going to deter potential rapists, but it also probably won’t deter general creepers because, bluntly put, a guy harassing you in a bar probably isn’t expecting your bra to spring open and whap out your norks right there and then. The problem is more one of entitlement rather than keeping visibility of tits to a minimum. Like a chastity belt, the wearer is provided no means of getting out of the bra (although I reckon a cheeky wank would probably do the job). It subscribes to these two conflicting notions: that of an imaginary true love, but that we’re all sluts who cannot be trusted.

But let’s imagine for a second that we do live in this dystopic world wherein Fort Knox-style breast protection is required to deal with the hordes sacking all available boobies. This thing, as far as I can discern from the Highly Scientific graphs presented, pops open in response to a sustained elevated heart rate which is lower than that caused by exercise. Yes, that can be caused by pleasant social interactions, or being really turned on, or kind of getting giddy over someone. You know what else can cause it? Fear. Anxiety. The gut instinct telling you to get the fuck away from this creep as soon as you possibly can.

And now imagine, when you’re in this horrible situation, that your bra just pops open, and everyone in the room cheers because you’ve found your true love, the key to emancipating your mammaries.

As I said earlier, I have no idea if it is a real product or a satire which perfectly fits in with capitalist patriarchy. It feels somehow inevitable, nonetheless.

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4 responses to “A bra that springs open for true love? Nope.

  • korhomme

    If a girl is wearing one, but doesn’t love herself, how does she get out of it?

  • Zoltána (@funsponging)

    We will no doubt remember the rape prevention pants that were crowdfunded – http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ar-wear-confidence-protection-that-can-be-worn . A bra was indeed inevitable. Only it is in many ways much worse.

    The makers of the rape prevention pants a) place responsibility less than 100% upon rapists; b) imagine that all rape is PIV, hence protecting the vagina will prevent rape; and c) imagine that clothes can ever completely thwart a determined rapist. But they were contented to let women decide when they wanted to consent. To take the pants off was the wearer’s job.

    Not with this bra. See that science dude? That science dude has decided when you should want to consent. It’s not those dudes’ choice, but it’s not yours either; how women’s sexuality should work is deferred to science dude’s notion of love. That’s what’s makes this uniquely gross.

  • Eunice

    Also physical arousal (which can elevate heart rate) does not equal consent. Sheesh. Completely agree that this is a problematic product, whether it be real or satire. What a crappy thing to joke about.

  • oopster74

    Bloody iPhone lost my comments when I got a phone call!

    Ok, morality or whatever aside, the science of this does seem interesting.

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