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And here's a photo of the device in action.

Not a joke, not a hoax! This thing was invented in South Africa, which (allegedly) has the highest numbers and worst occurrences of rape in the world. For someone to even take the time to invent this thing shows how depserate the situation is over there. It's a sad commentary on the state of affairs in a land where the Conspiracy has corrupted the hearts and minds of a great many otherwise innocent people.

The "rapex" device is designed to be worn inside the vagina: the woman inserts it like a tampon. When the man inserts his penis inside, fishhook-like barbs imbed themselves into his beloved weapon, causing horrible pain and (presumably) rendering him helpless. The thing remains latched onto his willie, and the only way it can be removed is for him to run screaming to the local hospital for surgery. There (presumably), he can be arrested by the local police, as it should be very easy to identify the man responsible for the attack.

Sonette Ehlers, the inventer of the rapex, claims that this isn't intended as a form of revenge on rapists; rather, it's supposed to be a deterrent. If you knew someone in your local nightclub was wearing one of these things, you'd certainly think twice before attacking her in this manner, wouldn't you? However, critics of the rapex do point out several drawbacks that can serious impede the usefulness of this thing, including:

Womens' rights groups around the world have condemned the rapex as "barbaric" and "horrific," and they've even said that its inventor may need therapy herself. I wouldn't go that far, but nonetheless this is a case of the drawbacks of an invention possibly outweighing the benefits.

The Web site for the rapex was launched in late fall of 2005. It has some really strange statements, including the answer to the question, "How young can a girl be to wear one?" Answer: "Menstruating age, thus 11-12 years of age."

Update, April 2010 – five years later: After disappearing into obscurity, the anti-rape condom is back. It's now been renamed to "Rape-axe," because (according to Wikipedia) the name was changed in 2006 upon discovering that RAPEX is also an EU warning system against dangerous goods on the market. [1]. Here's a media report onto the anti-rape condom, dated April 12, 2010: [2] Interestingly, the woman who invented this thing still hasn't found a distributor to actually make it available to the public at large.

(By the way, you may want to read Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash for a fictional description of a device that's very similar to this thing.)