Date Rape Detector on Your Fingertips

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First, let me say that “date rape” is a misnomer. I agree with stand-up comic and actor Hal Sparks who says that when the rape begins the date ends. If the raper pre-meditated the rape, he was never on a date to begin with. He was on the prowl, looking for prey.

by T.M. Burroughs

hal sparks2…There is no such thing as a date-rape drug, it’s the rape drug. M’kay? She’s unconscious – once the raping starts – date’ is over! It’s like saying, ‘It was a party-murder man! Great party until the machetes came out! Hey! This party sucks!’ … If I take this mic stand and I bash a woman over the head with it, then I have sex with her unconscious body, is this a date-rape mic stand? NO IT’S A F**KING CLUB!–Hal Sparks, Charmaggedon

Having said that, it is efficient to use a term that most people understand: date rape–sexual assault that occurs during a social encounter.

Do I believe that women who dress scantily are “asking for it”? No. Do I believe that men who perpetrate rape are responsible for their actions? Yes. Do I believe that preventative measures should be taken by both men and women? Heck, yeah!

Just as I believe that parents should teach children to be wary of strangers, parents should teach boys to control their impulses, and girls how best to combine brains and beauty for optimum success in the dating scene.

One of the ways to avoid getting drugged at a bar by a stranger or new acquaintance is to avoid meeting up with a stranger or new acquaintance in a bar! Duh.

If, however, you really think your chances of meeting Mr. Right are higher at a bar or club, then take precautions. One newfangled product to assist with precautions against sexual assault is about to be unveiled by Undercover Colors, which considers itself “the first fashion company to prevent sexual assault.”

h/t: The Daily Dot

The startup Undercover Colors is currently developing a brand of nail polish that can detect the presence of date-rape drugs, which are generally colorless and odorless, in someone’s beverage. All you have to do is surreptitiously dip a nail into your drink, and wait to see if it changes color.

 

Undercover Colors was founded by four undergraduate engineering students at North Carolina State University. The idea for the startup, cofounder Ankesh Madan says, arose from personal experience.

 

“We were thinking about big problems in our society, [and]the topic of drug-facilitated sexual assault came up,” he recently told Higher Education Works. “All of us have been close to someone who has been through the terrible experience, and we began to focus on preventive solutions, especially those that could be integrated into products that women already use.”

 

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in five women experience sexual assault during their lifetimes. Nearly a third of sexual assault cases take place while women are in college. A 2009 study estimates that 20 percent of college women will become victims of date rape by the time they are seniors, with alcohol playing a role in their assault nearly 80 percent of the time.

 

Given how pervasive date rape is on most college campuses, Undercover Colors’ nail polish patent, while currently still in development, could be immensely valuable toward curbing sexual assault rates and giving women the tools they need to protect themselves against date rape. But of course, it would be even better if there was no need for such a product, and women didn’t need to take steps to protect themselves against date rape, because no men date raped at all.

 

There are a lot of skeptics out there. One commenter pooh-poohed the drug detecting nail polish by saying, “It’s not going to “prevent” rape. It’s going to displace it. The problem is that there is a rapist in the room, with drugs which he plans to use to rape someone. If I have this nail polish thingy, all that means is that the rapist will move on to putting drugs in someone else’s drink. Rape culture fail.”

 

To that I say Wouldn’t you like to be the one off of whom the rape is displaced? If this preventative measure is used widely enough, the displacement you refer to may cramp the rapist’s style to the point of exposing him once and for all. Rape culture defeat. BTW, moron, rape culture failure would be a GOOD thing.

“Rape culture” means collectively ignoring, trivializing, normalizing or joking about sexual assault, rape and general violence to the point that we, of the American culture, are desensitized so much so that this behavior is often ignored or minimized. That is a BAD thing.

THBby T.M. Burroughs

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