A rape whistle is a whistle worn around the necks of women who anticipate being raped, so that while they are being raped, they can whistle. There are numerous reasons to whistle in such a situation, ranging from "having something to do while being raped" to "deceiving passersby into thinking there must be a soccer game going on somewhere nearby."
Despite its ambiguous name, the rape whistle is not used to summon rapists, nor is it a tool employed by rapists in the commission of rape. It is worn exclusively by victims and prospective victims of rape. When worn by other groups, such as large, burly men, the rape whistle is known simply as a "whistle."
The rape whistle was first developed in the early 1960s, after market research showed that while there were many products targeted at suburban housewives, but virtually none targeted at rape victims. Since approximately one in twenty women are being raped at any given moment, this was considered a vast, untapped market. Thus, market research firms meticulously tracked down rape victims and asked them what product they'd like to have handy next time they were being raped.
Some of the suggestions, including "vagina dentures" and "laser eye beams," were considered prohibitive due to their high development costs. However, the testimony of one rape victim, Molly Dober, caught the eye of several research and development laboratories:
|Frankly, the thing I disliked most about being raped was how boring it was. I kept checking my watch and thinking, "I hope this asshole doesn't make me miss Nightline." I really wished I had something to do. It probably wouldn't have helped if I had a book, since he kept banging my head on the concrete, but maybe if I had a musical instrument or something, like a flute or a bassoon.
Although Ms. Dober's account of the rape experience was radically different from most other victims, corporate America seized on it immediately, because of the ease of developing a rape instrument: simply take a pre-existing instrument, add the prefix "rape" to the beginning, and charge a 10% markup.
Although the rape guitar fared poorly in the marketplace, and the rape piano was an unmitigated disaster, the rape whistle proved much more successful: while not all women can play a complex instrument, virtually all of them know how to pucker up their lips and blow.