DYSTOPIAN WORLD 2080
The Pain Aggravator (right) is a speculative artifact designed to initiate conversations of a world where women are forced to induce pain on their bodies for their symptoms to be considered legitimate by the patriarchal medical system.
"Imagine coming home every day after work - taking off your shoes, your down jacket, washing your hands, sitting in front of the EyeGraze to watch a tv show, use the pain inducer and log in your pain level, have dinner and go to bed. This had become every woman’s routine. In fact, you could probably see those pain inducers being used in the workplace, gyms, travel vehicles, and in courts. All secretly though. Of course, we don't want others to know that we’re aggravating pain in our bodies. To give you a better context of what’s going on right now in the 2080s, you need to understand the past and its consequences that lead to what the system looks like right now.
Around 2027-2030, after everything our two-term president Kamala Harris has done for us women and worked to fight for human rights in general, it was almost obvious how powerful and massive the women’s revolution was going to get. August 2031 was actually the first time we saw a women robot get elected for Congress as well. At this point, it became so big that women started taking up almost all positions at work. They earned for themselves and their families. More importantly, they cared for themselves. Women were, finally, valued for their calibre. It was a unique experience and one of their first times experiencing it. They were enjoying it.
Soon enough, men understood that this might not be an ideal world for them - where they are equal to women, if not inferior. This, they realized, was a huge barrier in order to keep the patriarchal system going. A group of 17 men, including famous scientists, businessmen, hairdressers, jewelry makers, designers, doctors, and chefs came together to devise a plan to change this unacceptable current state. With the help of corporate and religious funding, the team was successful in spreading a gut bacteria enzyme capable of removing the A antigen from red blood cells, effectively making it type O for men and the opposite for women - making them blood acceptors and men universal blood donors worldwide.
Within the next two decades, blood became a commodity exponentially more important than paper notes and 2063 was when blood was declared as the universal currency. An unintended consequence of men being the only blood donors in a world where blood became the currency was that they could take over the healthcare industries and run them. They could control and regulate the trade of blood as and when they felt like.
They made their own rules for trade. One of them was that women are psychosomatic until proven otherwise. This isn't a baseless rule. This has been the trend for centuries now and even though it has been contested as being flat-out inaccurate, women’s pain has never been taken seriously still. Women, then had no choice, but to comply with the new system and participate in this trade to get access to household goods, food, entertainment, healthcare services, etc.
Of course - working and getting blood for a paycheck were the most common sources of income, we saw numerous cases where women earned petty blood by serving men as their side work. Most women were pretty vocal about the fact that they despised this system. But there weren’t a lot of resources (blood) widely available, which for a brief period of time, lead to fights amongst women too. Although women instantly understood that fighting amongst each other is not the solution and that they needed to game the system designed for and by the patriarchs. They decided to fake their pain to receive additional blood.
In the year 2082, Anisha Jain was one of the few pioneer women to have come up with subversive designs such as the pain inducer to game the system. Anisha is a 39 year old, was born in the times of paper notes but now has had to adapt to this ‘unbelievably ridiculous and humiliating regime’ as she puts it. Her frustration with the current system led to a very messy divorce. Her argument was that marriage exists to provide companionship, sex and stability. Although, if servitude is a part of that marriage, it’s not worth being part of. Companionship and sexual activity can be attained by other means. She was pretty open about how sex toys solved all the problems she had around the lack of sexual action post the divorce. Which inspired her to design the secret pain inducer device for women.
As I mentioned, all women were considered psychosomatic until proven otherwise, it became quite hard for women to prove their case, get blood and other healthcare resources. The protocol to get blood for health reasons was by taking your or your client’s case to court to fight for the fact that you have an actual illness, and that you need blood and medical attention.
The pain inducer is a combination of a Sternum and Supra-Orbital Margin compressors, which are areas in our bodies where we get an instant visual response to pain. It is often used in cases of a coma as well to get the patient’s response. The pain-inducer is a makeshift tool designed frugally to increase your pain hours before you go to testify and prove your pain in court. This secretive device helps to show an increased amount of pain for a brief period of time so that you can get more blood sneakily. The design language is very similar to the vibrators and other sex toys Anisha has encountered in the past few years.
There are talks of her designing another device soon that distills women’s period blood in order to make it functional and be used as currency too.