Over the past few days I've noticed an explosion in people sharing this article about a group of students who are exploring the possibility of making a nail polish that reacts to date-rape drugs, thus letting the potential victim know that they are in danger. I've learnt that women see this from very different angles and there's been a lot of positive debate. I wanted to acknowledge the article because this is an issue which is important to me. I personally believe that the nail polish is a well-intentioned but flawed idea, and rather than just argue my opinion I'll include some links which help shine light on the facts of rape and debunk some damaging myths xx
The nail polish is unlikely to work effectively.
This article by Jezebel details scientific concerns about the functionality of an anti-rape nail polish. Another key point is that drug-rapists use more different substances than could possibly be tested for by one product, and that the alcohol itself is the most common date rape drug.
Most rapists are people the victim knows.
The above link to Rape Crisis has a hugely helpful list tackling rape misconceptions; one of their points is that, according to official UK statistics, around 90% of rapists are already known to their victim. The invention of the nail polish centres around the idea that rapists are invisible predators dropping drugs into women's drinks, and so the polish can help women keep their guard against strangers in a crowded nightclub. However, the overwhelming likelihood is that a victim will be raped by a friend, acquaintance or partner that she would trust to accept a drink from.
Targeting potential rapists instead of victims WORKS!
This point is related to the last one. The huge, huge majority of rapists are not incurable psychopaths lurking in the shadows of a nightclub in search of their next victim. They're people with friends, girlfriends, jobs, a social life who have been given the impression by society that they can force other people into having sex with them. This final link is about an anti-rape campaign in Edmonton, Canada which targeted potential rapists, not victims. Following the launch of the campaign reports of sexual offences dropped by 10%. Stopping rape is doable, and it's doable without asking women to give up any more of our freedom, time, convenience and money than we're already expected to.
Phew! This is probably the most serious blog post I've written and it's not a pleasant subject to write about. On a lighter note, I'm writing this in between coats of a new mani and I'll be back soon with a nail polish post ;-)