Comment permalink

Straw developed to prevent date rape

While every tool like this is helpful, it doesn’t even begin to address the problem at its heart.

Two scientists—both male scientists, which might be interesting to know—are working on a date rape prevention straw. I kid you not.

The straw will apparently glow if you dip it in your drink and a date rape drug is present in the liquid. So now, in addition to whistles, pepper spray, a monkey wrench, and a taser, we women are expected to bring our own straws to the party.

Head-desk.

Look, it’s not that I don’t appreciate this device; thank you to the two scientists who are looking out for our drinks and our well-being. You have good intentions in mind and when you can’t prevent something from occurring, well, at least you have this as a backup.

But prevention is really what we have to focus on, and aside from making women carry around this entire backpack of gear to help protect themselves from being raped, we have not yet focused on that yet. Prevention is super easy, by the way; it goes like this:

Don’t rape.

It’s really that easy! Anyone can do it! Yet we aren’t having this conversation. It’s 2012 and we’re still telling women to travel in groups, to wear conservative clothes, to wear a whistle, to be prepared. And if you tell people to shove it when they give you this advice—even women who are conditioned to follow it since birth, as our parents are obsessed with us not getting raped based on our gender alone, which then leads us to be obsessed as well—they get defensive!

“There’s nothing wrong with being prepared!” they’ll whine. No, no there’s nothing wrong with that at all. If I’m out for the day and I think I might go swimming, there’s nothing wrong with bringing a towel. But if I go swimming and forget my towel, people aren’t going to point fingers at me and scream, “You’re all wet! It’s your fault because you didn’t bring a towel!” like they do at rape survivors who didn’t travel in a group, or didn’t have a whistle, or just had headphones on while they were attacked.

There IS something wrong with blaming a victim for being raped and not even bothering to address the wrongfulness of rapists themselves—let alone run their rape kits and prosecute rapists. And until we stop trying to design straws and whistles and pepper spray for these people and start actually focusing on the rapists themselves, rape will continue to occur as the epidemic it already is.