Can tools of violence, feminized and sold as high-fashion accessories, be sold as anything but? That’s the question Australian handbag designer Her Royal Flyness sought to address by selling an ‘Ex-Boyfriend Revenge Kit Limited Edition‘ on its website, amid its ordinary merchandise. The set, which apparently arrives inside the company’s woven Teal tote, retails for $1,850, has a cute matching teal color scheme, and includes:
A roomy Teal woven leather tote.
1 matching teal balaclava, for hiding your face but still looking fabulous at the same time
1 teal mini crowbar, for gaining entrance with style
1 pair of insulated pliers for disarming phone and security systems
1 pair of beautiful soft teal leather gloves; to keep hands and surfaces clean
1 injection kit with a single dose of Amytal Sodium (truth serum)
1 roll teal bondage tape and matching teal rope
1 pair of limited edition Her Royal Flyness knuckledusters. Good for 1-2 punches depending on how angry you are.
The item was met with controversy in the blogosphere. “The product is clearly meant as a joke, but a joke on what? The image of the spurned woman as batsh*t crazy?” implored Shaunacy Ferro at Fast Company. “The fact that some 30% of women worldwide report having experienced violence at the hands of a significant other, and a significant number of women in jail were incarcerated for killing their abuser? Not totally sure.” The unfunniness of the product becomes clear if you pretend the target of said ‘revenge’ is female. Then you simply have all the ingredients for the ‘honor killings’ and other acts of passion that occur every day around the world.
Her Royal Flyness has since had to add disclaimers to the website saying that they would not actually sell the items if anyone were to add them to their cart. Also, founder and designer Lani Devine told Fast Company, “we’d probably put a note in there that suggests they seek counseling before contemplating any type of revenge mission on anyone.” Many of the items in the set are illegal to send in the mail anyway. And it’s possible to examine beautiful but dangerous items without spending all that money: MoMA is running a “curatorial experiment” on just that topic called Design and Violence. Take a look through the bag of tools below.