Firm plans sale of steel chastity belts

Reuters News Service - Monday September 14 11:29 AM EDT

A Singapore firm is marketing U.S.-made rust proof steel chastity belts at a price of Singapore $1,350 (US$788) each, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.

Singapore's Sunday Times quoted Creatif Marketing sole proprietor Eudora Ong as saying she was targeting husbands who suspect their wives of being unfaithful, parents with teenage daughters and women who fear being raped.

"I wanted to be the first to introduce them to Singapore. Perhaps, there are people who have been hunting for them and don't know how or where to get them,'' the daily quoted her as saying.

Singaporeans interviewed by the Sunday Times were incensed while a doctor warned that it could cause skin infections such as ringworm.

``A person needs to be careful when defecating and urinating, as traces of these bodily wastes may still be on the chastity belt,'' a gynecologist told the paper.

Ong said she had secured exclusive distribution deals for the belts in Asia and the Middle East where orders have already come but she declined to reveal the numbers.

Judging from the Singaporean comments, local orders are not expected to balloon.

``It's a ridiculous idea,'' said Fatimah Azimullah, 52, president of the Young Women Muslim Association.

Phyllis Chew, 44, president of the Association of Women for Action and Research said: ``I think this is a negative, defeatist, unconstructive and anti-social way of solving a bad situation.''

Dismissing the notion that women could use it as a protection against rape, Philip Lee said that a frustrated rapist might even kill his victim.

Men interviewed said that it would be mental and physical torture for women to wear the belt and it reflected poorly on marital relations.

``If I were that woman (forced to wear the belt), I would clamp the chastity belt on his privates,'' Lee, 31, said.

Chastity belts have gone on sale in Indonesia where ethnic Chinese women were raped during riots there in May.

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