The unfortunate truth is that sexual harassment is part of life for most women. We get honked at by moving cars, catcalled by men on the street, and subjected to inappropriate jokes and comments in the workplace. These verbal assaults can be so jarring that we're too shocked to think of any response. Canadian nonprofit METRAC addresses this issue with Not Your Baby, an iOS-only sexual-harassment response generator. Because, you can't just yell expletives at everyone. Not Your Baby allows you to select who is harassing you (family, stranger, boss, coworker, etc.) and where (work, street, public transit, online, etc.) and it generates suggestions for how to proceed, such as, "Call a friend or family member for the remainder of your journey home," (stranger/street) and, "Provide a polite response that defuses the situation, avoid the boss, and figure out who you can report the behavior to," (boss/work).
Instead of mindlessly playing Fruit Ninja on the train, why not use your commute to learn some real martial-arts based self-defense tactics? The free Krav Maga Self Defense app for Android is packed with video lessons on hand-to-hand combat. Specially designed for real-world encounters, the app explains the 10 most common moves muggers use in an attack and teaches you how to defend yourself against them. You’ll learn how to get out of a headlock, key things to notice when scanning your environment, even how to destabilize your attacker and put him in a hold.
As New York City straphangers, we know all about the value of personal space — mostly because it seems like others have no sense of it. That’s why we love Kathleen McDermott’s Personal Space Dress. Sewn into the dress are two ultrasonic sensors that detect when someone’s getting a little too close. Then, four motors go to work expanding the dress, effectively forcing Mister Creepo McHandsy to back off. It’s a hilarious art piece that provokes a bigger conversation about corporeal safety for women, and technology’s role in securing it. What’s more, it’s totally DIY. On her site, McDermott gives detailed instructions to make the dress yourself, though this one’s not for beginners — experience with both sewing and soldering is required.
This post was authored by Katie DeRogatis.
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