Women everywhere recently were given a new tool to combat would-be rapists. This new product, a nail polish that changes color in the presence of date rape drugs allows women to test drinks to avoid being taken advantage of. Made by four students from North Carolina State University, their goal was to “invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.”
What is most surprising, however, is the negative response from feminists across the board. Accused of perpetuating the “rape culture” in the US, critics are complaining that ways to combat rape are putting the responsibility on the women, creating victims, and not addressing fundamental causes of rape in the first place. Of course, this is all coming from those who proclaim the solution to rape to be having “tough conversations” with men, teaching them that rape is wrong. Because that’s what the problem has been these last couple thousand years of human civilization, rapists are under the impression that it’s OK to rape.
Such thinking is so staggeringly irrational, it borders on unbelievable. What happens if that logic is applied to other aspects of life? I shouldn’t have door locks on my car, thieves should be talked to and taught that cars should not be stolen. Paper shredders? They only perpetuate the culture of information theft, and those intending to defraud and commit identity theft should be taught that identity theft is wrong. Children shouldn’t need to be supervised, pedophiles need to be taught to not prey on children. Looking both ways before crossing the street to avoid being hit by a car is too much work for a potential victim, it’s the fault of those behind the wheel. Passwords on my computer, phone and email/social network accounts? Secret ATM PINs? Nothing but a victim-shaming society where hackers and voyeurs haven’t been taught to not hack and not spy.
The military shouldn’t exist, the enemies of our nation need to be taught that they shouldn’t fly planes into American buildings or behead journalists left and right.
Complaining about a rape culture in the US is the epitome of first world problems. There are parts of the world where a literal rape culture exists. Female travelers to certain countries are taught to never drink from a drink they didn’t themselves open and had their eyes on at all times. Nobody complains that it isn’t their responsibility to mind their drink, that it isn’t their place to take measures to protect themselves. The American male is statistically by and large the friendliest demographic to the cause of feminism across the globe, yet is vilified unendingly by feminists across the country, accused on a whole as being singularly responsible for ending sexual assault.
The vitriol leveled against the nail polish and other tools that combat rapists come from those who believe they have zero responsibility to make their lives what they want, and it is up to others to cater to their needs and desires.
It is never just one side that is responsible when it comes to preventing evil, harm and pain. Individuals need to protect themselves, bystanders need to protect the innocent, and danger posed to innocents needs to be neutralized. Everybody, everywhere, men and women alike need to be empowered, to be given any and every method at their disposal to combat assault and violations of their rights.