Questions Arise About Whether A Nail Polish That Detects Date Rape Drugs Actually Works
A few days ago, we reported on a startup, Undercover Colors, that created a nail polish to detect a date rape drug slipped into a cocktail. Unfortunately, news has broken that the nail polish probably won’t work as promised. Animal New York’s “Backdoor Pharmacist” claims Undercover Colors and other date rape alert products (coasters, napkins, and straws) only “exist in a fantasy world of stranger danger pill-packing predators and irresponsible victims.”
“A study of commercially available “date-rape” drug testing coasters found that they were unreliable — changing color for things like different brands of mineral water, taking an extremely long time for ketamine, and giving a false positive once milk was used,” the site says. “Another study of commercially available card testing kits found that in laboratory conditions, testers only correctly detected two out of three drugged samples. An interactive lesson at University at Buffalo found that the GHB test was only an acid test. Anything acidic: wines, fruit juices, would have caused it to turn positive. Compounding the issue, GHB also occurs naturally in wines.”
Backdoor Pharmacist also stated despite the date rape drug market, the number one reason women are assaulted is because of the common denominator- alcohol. “Rapists looking to prey on incapacitated women (especially in underage or collegiate drinking situations) will often feed their mark extra booze and wait until it takes effect. It’s why college freshman girls are told by wise upperclassmen to avoid the jungle juice at frat parties.”
This segues into one of the main reasons why activists are against these types of measures despite their good intentions. Preventing an assault is great. But how about we teach men not to rape? How about telling people not to put dangerous chemicals in other people’s drinks?
“Women are already expected to work hard to prevent themselves from becoming the victims of sexual assault. They’re told to avoid wearing revealing clothing, travel in groups, make sure they don’t get too drunk, and always keep a close eye on their drink. Now, remembering to put on anti-rape nail polish and discreetly slip a finger into each drink might be added to that ever-growing checklist — something that actually reinforces a pervasive rape culture in our society,” writes Think Progress.
On top of that, the article adds, women who opt out of using some of these products could then be vilified for “failing to do everything in their power to prevent rape.”