Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you agree with the comment in this link that the date-rape detecting fingernail polish is a form of "tacit victim blaming"?

Asked by Dutchess_III (44378points) September 4th, 2014
12 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Here is the link to the Snopes article. Here is the comment in question:

“Rape prevention advocates have posited that the nail polish drug detection system is a form of tacit victim blaming, suggesting the onus should not be on potential victims to prevent rape.”

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SecondHandStoke's avatar

It is a technology.

Nothing more.

jca's avatar

I’d suggest an analogy: If locking my door at night prevents rape, is locking my door a bad thing?

jca (36054points)“Great Answer” (3points)
Buttonstc's avatar

Aren’t women instructed to not drink from an unattended glass of theirs to prevent being drugged?

I don’t see the problem with exercising common sense and caution when you’re in an environment where unsavory characters could take advantage (such as a bar full of primarily strangers, for example.)

Here2_4's avatar

This seems very strange to me. It seems a novelty, and not something I would care to trust for my safety.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Even if it worked @Here2_4?

Here2_4's avatar

Many things which are tested and work, fail. How many product recalls occur every year? How many lawsuits for product failure? I myself would not trust it. Either way, I don’t see it as victim blaming. Snake oil is what comes to mind.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, if it fails it won’t come out on the market. If it works it won’t be “snake oil.”

JLeslie's avatar

No problem with trying to protect oneself from criminals. It would be great to get the root of what causes people to do bad things and hurt others, but for now we need to be prudent and a little wary.

I wouldn’t trust the nailpolish on it’s own, because all sorts of drugs can be used to take advantage of a woman. I’ve always been told once you leave your glass you can’t drink from it again. Dance floor, bathroom, too bad, that drink is now trash. You need to chug-a-lug it before you leave the table.

I also don’t wear a bunch of diamonds (not that I have a bunch) walking through a bad neighborhood, and I try not to walk alone through parking lots at night or down dark alleys. I purposely get a very moderate car, even though my husband wants a fancy schmancy one, so I fade among the many, especially if the area is a little shady, so I don’t feel I am attracting attention.

I could go on and on. Don’t we tell kids never to go with a stranger, we don’t wait for society to improve and hope for the best.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

No I don’t see it as victim blaming. I can see where they’re coming from in that telling women to change their behaviour to avoid being sexually assaulted is victim blaming. Victim blaming tells people what they should do and shouldn’t do in order to avoid other people’s bad behaviour. It makes the victim responsible for an attack that might occur. Don’t wear short skirts, don’t drink, don’t walk there.

I’m not sure how effective it would be and my bigger fear would be people might relax their guard because they have their nail polish on. However, putting on nail polish to alert you there’s a drug in your drink doesn’t make a judgement about you drinking, or being in a club etc. It doesn’t say “you shouldn’t do this”. All it does is potentially warns you about the bad behaviour of someone around you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^^ Good answer.

Haleth's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit is correct! It is troubling that a whole industry of rape prevention products for women exists, while there is basically no mainstream support for preventing rape by changing men’s behavior. Instead of a society-wide problem, it’s seen as a women’s problem. However, I don’t believe that this one product is a case of victim blaming.

This nail polish is maybe, a step removed from victim blaming. In this instance, nobody is actually blaming women or insisting that they change their behavior. When that happens, it’s loud and full of vitriol, and there’s no mistaking it. This isn’t the same thing as “well, what were you wearing?” or “what did you expect?” But it does reinforce a pervasive belief that only women are responsible for preventing rape.

I don’t know. Having a product that does this is probably better than not having it. And the fact that it exists (and is making headlines) highlights how common it is for someone to drug your drink. Among women, it’s common knowledge. When we go out, we watch out for each other for signs of danger. Since I was an early teen, my female relatives have told me to never leave a drink unattended. My impression was that it’s common knowledge among women, just part of the fabric of everyday life, but guys don’t really realize stuff like this? Maybe the existence of this product will open a few eyes.

Cupcake's avatar

Here is the actual article that was quoted in the OP’s question.

The nail polish itself is not victim blaming. Nor are short skirts or high heels. The victim blaming happens after one is a victim and she is asked why she did not go to great lengths to prevent becoming a victim.

The point is… if I did not wear the nailpolish, was I disinterested in detecting date rape drugs? Did I want to be drugged? Did I want to be raped?

I have no issue with the nail polish. Good for them for inventing it. I hope it brings some solace to women who are interested in publicly consuming alcohol and are concerned that it could have been laced with drugs. My concerns with this product are threefold: (1) Will women be blamed for NOT wearing the polish? (2) Is it a false sense of security? (3) Are similar efforts going into actually preventing rape (i.e. interventions targeted towards potential rapists)?

I am also interested to know how often drinks are laced with date rape drugs and how often such lacing leads to date rape.

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