Marketed to fend off male advances, “anti-pervert” flame throwers are becoming increasingly popular among women in China.
The discrete devices, which look like a cigarette lighter, are made to be easily carried in a handbag and come with a small lock switch on the side so it doesn’t go off in the user’s purse. While the Telegraph reports that’s unclear when they started being sold in stores and online, sales have recently spiked—with some stores selling up to 300 throwers in a month—since so does harassment in the summer.
The flame throwers go for anywhere between $13 and $40 dollars, and some can reach temperatures of up to 3,300 degrees, with flames that extend nearly 20 feet. While the tools are intended to be nonlethal, according to the Telegraph, police told Chinese media that they’re illegal and that it’s “technically illegal” to send the devices to customers through the postal service. However, they are still on sale online.
The need to carry a flamethrower might seem extreme, but until women can feel safe walking alone, we’ll take what we can get.
H/T Men’s Health