Anti-Rape Nail Polish - Good Or Bad Idea? What Do You Think?

I received this article on "Anti-Rape Nail Polish" which I will post in the hopes of getting conversation going on this topic which is controversial with many. What do you think?

Four male undergraduate students at North Carolina State University made headlines after they created a nail polish called "Undercover Colors" to detect date-rape drugs. The nail polish is formulated to change color if you dip your finger in a drink spiked with one of the incapacitating drugs, such as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB (Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid).

The idea of anti-rape products isn't entirely new. Undercover Colors is yet another addition to a growing list of rape-prevention products. There has been talk of products such as date rape detectors built into drinking straws, coasters, drinking glasses, lip gloss and a small device that that you dip into your drink.

The anti-rape nail polish is facing criticism from several women and anti-rape advocates who argue that instead of coming up with new inventions to counter rape, we should be educating people on why predatory behavior is wrong. Their main criticism is that the focus on anti-rape products is putting the onus on women to continuously monitor their surroundings and holding them responsible for not modifying their behavior when needed.

One question about the nail polish is precisely how big a problem it seeks to solve. Data on the subject of drink spiking is scarce, mostly because most cases go unreported, but also because the number one substance most likely to be used by rapists to incapacitate their victims is alcohol and not drugs.

I don’t know how I feel about this product. Although I believe in the well intentions behind it, I still think that the answer to preventing sexual assault is education, support and justice and not another gadget we have to carry around in our purse or wear on our bodies.

Salma T.

My name is Chris Roberts, Managing Director of SAFE International

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Monday, 19 August 2019
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