Rape and Nail Polish

Introducing Undercover Colors, the "first fashion company that empowers women to prevent sexual assault". This may have come across your Buzzfeed or other internet surfing recently, a nail polish that can detect date-rape drugs.

This idea is pretty cool, and the awareness it raises is awesome. Sexual assault is a huge problem, and products like this help to bring it to light and get people talking.

But it's not going to stop rape. Not even close. 

Firstly, the people who would stop to check if their drink has been spiked would probably be the type who wouldn't leave it unattended in the first place. Secondly, the most common date-rape drug is actually just alcohol. Thirdly, anti-rape underwear didn't stop rape. Neither did the anti-rape condom, or anything else on this absurd list.

Anti-rape products can actually cause more harm than good. The Guardian addresses this, pointing out the danger of the "as long as it isn't me" mindset. Products like "anti-rape" nail polish may help individuals avoid getting raped, but does nothing for preventing rape as a whole, and opens the gate for victim blaming after an incident, like asking whether or not the victim was wearing her anti-rape nail polish. Feministing goes into more detail about the difference between "avoiding" and "preventing".

We need to stop teaching people that rape is only going to happen with unattended drinks and stranger danger. Yes, a rapist may be a roofie slipping creeper in a bar, but it could also be a best friend or even a significant other. We need to teach everyone that the most important thing is consent, and that without a clear, freely given "yes", sex is never ok.

We need to hold rapists accountable, and stop blaming victims. The problem isn't that women don't know if there's a roofie in her drink; it's that people put roofies in drinks. Alexandra Brodsky, one of the founders and current co-directors of Know Your IX, puts it very nicely, "... I really wish that people were funneling all of this ingenuity and funding and interest into new ways to stop people from perpetrating violence, as opposed to trying to personally avoid it so that the predator in the bar rapes someone else.”

1 comment:

  1. Eloquently said. Totally agree with all your excellent points.