There’s an uproar in the UK about new lingerie that includes GPS tracking.”The lingerie combination set consists of lace bodice, bikini bottom and faux pearl collar, with the GPS device nestled in the see-through part of the bodice next to the waist,” reports the Daily Mail.
The argument on one side is that the underwear is just something fun, and the lingerie designer says, “It’s not a modern chastity belt. Some men think they can keep tabs on their girlfriends with it, but they’re wrong.” She says that women have the power to refuse to be tracked. She also says that the tracking system can be a defense device.
“Some women are now interested in buying it for protection,” she said, programming it for partners themselves so they are safe on a night out alone.
That argument seems rather flimsy. Why would a woman concerned with being harmed when out at night choose GPS-enabled underwear over (or even in combination with) other forms of protection (Taser, pepper spray, loud whistle, etc.)?
On the other side is the complain that this is a modern-day chastity belt that allows men to monitor their partners’ movements.
‘It is outrageous to think that men can buy this, programme it and give it to their partners and then monitor them,’ said Claudia Burghart, leader of a Berlin feminist group.
I think the fact that this is GPS-enabled underwear is inflaming the response — it does conjure up the idea of medieval restrictions on women in all parts of their lives, especially sex.
However, I don’t see this as any better or worse than men (or women) tracking their partners via cell phones, watches, cars, or other GPS-enabled devices. The major issue is not the technology (though the ease of tracking does add to the problem), but rather the societal acceptance of tracking free, innocent individuals. Why is the reaction to monitor someone rather than to have a conversation about why the fear of cheating or danger is there? Also, if you trust your partner so little that you have her wear GPS-enabled underwear, then the tracking system won’t solve the problems that you have.