Apparently pepper spray just isn't providing the same level of protection and peace of mind to Chinese women today. According to the Telegraph, a few online listings have popped up selling mini pocket flamethrowers marketed as "anti-pervert" weapons.
According to Chinese media site Beijing Youth Daily, these self-defense devices are reportedly being sold on shopping websites like Taobao and ebuy7.com for anywhere between $6.35 and $40. Some even appear to come with an extra propane canister for a handy refill. While many of the flamethrowers look like your average lighter, others are advertised to shoot out 20-inch flames at 3,300 °F.
Buyer beware, though, because shipping and using the flamethrower is illegal in China, according to local police. Not only can the mini weapons leave a permanent scar, according to the Telegraph, but authorities are worried they could inadvertently ignite a purse fire for those who carry them.
Although it's unclear if women in China are actually using these mini flamethrowers, they're not the most bizarre product aimed at keeping aggressive men away. That honor goes to the "anti-pervert" leggings that apparently give women's legs a hairier look and made the rounds on Chinese blogs in 2013.
These unconventional products are likely a response to China's persistent sexual harassment problem. A 2009 report found that 80 percent of Chinese women will experience workplace sexual harassment in their lifetime, compared to (the still absurdly high) 40 percent of women in the US. In recent years, women have resorted to speaking out on social media about their experiences with rape and domestic violence, as many of those crimes go unreported in the country.
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