Urban Camouflage: Mugger Deterrent or Hooky Prop?

Funny how I mentioned Japan a couple posts ago …

One woman thinks she’s come up with a creative way of thwarting would-be muggers, stalkers and attackers.

Put down the mace. Put away the whistle. The Japanese woman’s possible new best line of defence is urban camouflage … for example, a skirt which works something like this:

That’s right, girls. A skirt that becomes a fake vending machine. I’ll admit, it’s wacky. And I’ll give Aya Tsukioka marks for effort and off-the-wall creativity. 

But think about it: how far away from whomever is pursuing you, and how fast do your hands have to be, for this to actually work? 

I was in a downtown store changeroom last night trying to put on a really sassy dress, and it took me about five minutes to get into the stupid thing. Getting out of it took even longer. I can’t imagine trying to get that skirt to work when you’re in a panic.

Perhaps I’m just reeeally slow, but if I bought something like this, I’d definitely need to practice at home, with someone timing me, before I felt confident about wearing this out in public.

The designer says she was inspired by a trick used by ancient ninjas, who cloaked themselves out at night under black blankets.


Hmmm. Maybe ninjas in anime cartoons …

Here’s the irony, which completely gets me:

Japan’s crime rate is apparently relatively low.

But women over there are still having anxiety over personal safety.

Fine, I can’t fault Japanese women for that. Women should be aware of their personal surroundings. But if I had something like this, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t work for the purpose of protecting me. I wouldn’t take the risk of hoping my would-be pursuant would actually be THAT stupid.

Instead, if I were a young woman who really hated my job and wanted to take advantage of overworked, burned out bosses I hated, I would probably try to use it to make a creative escape if I was having a phenomenally crappy day at the office. Or to go somewhere and take a nap:

I’d just make sure I was leaning up against a wall if I was planning some shut-eye.

Seriously, I would rather invest the time in a good self-defence course. If you haven’t read anything about the fancy escape wear, you can find it here, along with a slideshow.

(Pictures courtesy of TechEBlog.)


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