My Issue with the Date Rape Detecting Nail Polish

When I first read about the nail polish that the NC State students are developing to help detect date rape drugs, my initial thought wasn’t “Oh, this is great!” No – while the intention behind the potential product is a good one, it still perpetuates the number one problem with rape culture: It puts the responsibility of not getting attacked on the potential victims.

Look – I have no problem with the guys who are developing this product. They’re trying to raise awareness and that’s great. They want to help keep women safe. That’s fantastic. They want to deter the criminals – that’s a noble idea. On their Facebook page, they state that Through this nail polish and similar technologies, we hope to make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink because there’s now a risk that they can get caught. In effect, we want to shift the fear from the victims to the perpetrators.”

The issue is that products like these are, at times, the equivalent of putting our problems in the closet and hope that no one notices. It’s just the latest addition to the growing list of things that women need to do to prevent rape – along with getting married, wearing more clothing, and essentially to stop asking for it.

The conversation shouldn’t revolve around victim blaming and how the potential victims can protect themselves. The conversation needs to be around consent.

Though the intention behind these kind of products is inherently good, they become just one more way to blame the victim. I can see the commentary now. “If only she had remembered to wear her GHB detecting nail polish and swirled her finger in her drink – then she would’ve been safe. Never mind that she shouldn’t have been drinking in the first place. And did you see what she was wearing?”

Let’s get real, shall we?

“I think that anything that can help reduce sexual violence from happening is, in some ways, a really good thing,” Tracey Vitchers, the board chair for Students Active For Ending Rape(SAFER), told ThinkProgress. “But I think we need to think critically about why we keep placing the responsibility for preventing sexual assault on young women.”

The problem doesn’t end when a woman figures out that there’s a roofie in her drink. The problem ends when people stop putting roofies in our drinks in the first place.

consent-condoms-638x477Credit: Say It With a Condom

 

It’s time to make a change

The following is a post sponsored by Yahoo! Every time someone clicks here to make Yahoo! their homepage, they’re showing their support for Girls For A Change.

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


Bullying.

Eating disorders.

Teen Moms.

It’s not easy for a young girl to be empowered these days. If they don’t have the guidance, they can get lost.

Which is why it’s great that there are organizations like Girls For A Change (GFC) around whose mission is to empower girls to create social change.

And boy, do we need some social change.

Some of us, in our 20s, are having trouble finding our voice, and feel in limbo at times. Some of us experience QLCs. Some of us just barely make the right decisions for our own lives, let alone extend our energy for making an impact on the world around us.

Which is why it’s important that the next generation of girls need to have that guidance from an early start.

“We envision a world where girls with strong voices become active leaders and passionately engaged citizens, impacting not only their own neighborhoods but also their nations as girls become informed and participating citizens in their civic, political and cultural communities. By connecting them with adult women trained to serve as volunteer coaches, girls develop trusted relationships with powerful role models for civic engagement while women become strong advocates for girls and their neighborhoods.”

GFC has a few programs, including Girl Action Teams, Change Your World Trainings, New Girls Network and the GFC Action Network.

You can help make a difference for the girls who are learning how to create social change.

“Girls For A Change is committed to giving all girls the opportunity to fly, the opportunity to invent, and the opportunity to experience the spark that comes with seeing your own idea take form and make a difference. A gift to Girls For A Change supports a high leverage model of social change at the hands of middle and high school girls with broad, lasting impact.”

All you have to do is change your browser’s homepage to Yahoo! by July 1 and Yahoo! will donate $10 to GFC. Easy enough, right? So go for it.

 

Help Put An End to Gay Bullying in Schools

1568 Signatures needed…Have you signed the petition?

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

Sign & spread the word:

Tweet: Have you signed the petition to Help Put An End to Bullying in Schools? 1616 more needed! (RT) http://t.co/gwlwOps via @change

Be sure to sign up on Change.org to continue to make a difference and support your causes. If you’re already on there, let’s connect.

Making A Difference

In a previous post, I mentioned how much I love walking.  When walking for a CAUSE, it’s even sweeter, which is what I will be doing  next weekend during the National Memory Walk.  I, personally, have not had Alzheimer’s hit close to home but that is not a requirement to raise awareness and walk for a good cause.  I am one of the Memory Muses and if you’re local, we would love for you to stop by our fundraising happy hour tonight at Coco Sala. Besides, who doesn’t love red wine & chocolate?

http://twtvite.com/MemoryMuses

If you are not local, you can always contribute to the cause through my page.

You can also make a purchase from my Etsy shop and I will be donating 25% of my profits to my goal of $500. Grab an awesome picture for your home & contribute to a good cause. What could be better?

Speaking of making a difference, you guys know that I’m currently interning with myImpact, which is a brand new online platform to track your volunteer activity through Twitter & the web.  We have an exciting few months ahead of us and I’m excited to be a part of the team.  If you do any volunteering at all, you should sign up and check out our tool to track your impact.  We want feedback from our users to mold the platform to be as effective and useful as possible.  It’s exciting to be a part of a project working toward making an impact and recognizing, as well as encouraging those of you who volunteer and make a difference in your community.

24 Hours of Booty: Please Read

I say again and again that I have amazing friends. They never fail me in being extraordinary and today, I want to reach out for my friend Sarah who will be doing something extraordinary for a very worthy cause…I’ll let her tell you in her own words but at the end of this, please contribute to her cause…even if it’s $5…and pass this on:

24 Hours of Booty!

Join me as I fight cancer by riding 24 hours

On September 23, 2009, I’ll be riding my bike in 24 Hours of Booty, a fundraising event for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which supports national and local cancer initiatives.

24 Hours of Booty, which originated in my home state of North Carolina, is the official 24-hour cycling event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Over the course of 24 hours (plus food and nap time, of course), I’ll be riding my bike at least 100 miles.

Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and kick-ass cyclist, Lance Armstrong, the LAF provides the information and tools people living with cancer need to live strong.

My goal is to raise $500 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and I would love your support. Funds I raise will go to worthy recipients including the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, the Brain Tumor Fund, Keep Pounding, Johns Hopkins, and the Hendrick Marrow Program. For more information, visit www.24hoursofbooty.org.

Why I’m Riding

“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.”
– Lance Armstrong

I’m fortunate to be able to say that no one close to me has passed away from cancer. I have known many strong, amazing individuals who have fought cancer and have beat it, time and again.

I’m riding so that I can continue to say “no one close to me has passed away from cancer.” I’m riding to provide young cancer patients with the support they need to keep up the fight. I’m riding to ensure that leukemia patients have access to bone marrow donors. I’m riding for cutting-edge medical research that might one day put an end to cancer altogether. I’m riding for you, your friends, and your family. Please support me today.

Please click here to support Sarah!