9/2/14

Hope, Sadness, and Anger. All thanks to nail polish.

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
Saint Augustine

A few months ago, the internet went on a buzz over what some could consider the most mundane of things; a nail polish. But this was no ordinary nail polish, but one that would change color when exposed to some of the most common “Date Rape” drugs out there. Developed by four NCSU male students, this product has been the cause of some ridiculous controversy online, but more on that and why I explicitly stated that it were male students later.

Date Rape Drugs are nothing new, as it has been a concern of many women and men who frequent the club scene for years. The typical scenario is that the drug is slipped into the person’s drink. They won’t realize they have been drugs till it’s too late, if they realize it at all. And products to detect these drugs are nothing new, available in the form of cards and test strips. There are even workshops to teach women how to Drink Safe. So why the controversy? It wasn’t till I had an interesting conversation with a rather opinionated and pro-feminist woman that I realized a few things, as her comments were rather interesting.

First off, she told me how the fact that it was men who developed this, and not women, gave her hope in men today. The reasoning is quite simple. As men, they are probably not going to have to deal with either Date Rape Drugs, nor will they probably use Nail Polish. This product in no way helps them or protects them directly. Sure, they will benefit financially, but the reality is that this came about as a means to protect women from a very real and ever present threat.

She actually went even farther as to say that she would have been saddened if it had been women. That would have meant that probably this was a response to having dealt with this issue in a personal manner. That is why many of the current test strips and workshops came about, organized and developed by a woman who wants to keep other women from suffering the same situation.

And then she got to the controversy, and that’s when she went ballistic.

Several feminist websites are going all out against what is basically a drug testing tool. Their complaint is how this product does not help out women.
"We should be trying to stop rape, not just individually avoid it."
I could not have made this comment up if I tried. Apparently rape is not something that is individually suffered. Some have gone as far as to try and discredit the viability of the product; product that has already been tested and proven. Some have even gone as far as saying that this product promotes the use of Date Rape Drugs!

And that is when I went ballistic. I agree, with the logic behind some of the comments stated in these sites; women shouldn’t need products like these. But the reality is we live in a world where monsters (not willing to even consider them human) are willing to drug a person. And while we fight this problem and change the world, we cannot deny the reality of the world. This product provides an additional tool for women to avoid becoming victims of these monsters.

Several years ago, I taught an Anti-Rape Self Defense Class to women. The intention of this class was simply to provide them with the tools necessary that if the situation arose, they would be a little better prepared, and hopefully be able to escape. Does this mean that I am promoting rape? According to these feminist sites, Yes.

I am horrified how they site are using something that could help out women, and ridicule it, simply to drag hits to their sites. In this particular case, they seem more interested in creating controversy (creating movement in their site) than actually helping or recognizing the benefits of the product, as they haven’t done the same attacks to women developed workshops for safe drinking or existing products.

We need to view things for what they are, we need to view any step forward as a step forward. And we seriously need to stop the “if it doesn’t fix all our problems, let’s not even try it.” As a fellow blogger/writer Alex Yarde once said, “because you can't do everything doesn't absolve you from doing something."