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Color Changing Nail Polish and the Culture of Rape

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There have been a lot of articles on the date rape nail polish. Yes, it was very innovative of these students at North Carolina State University to develop Undercover Colors. They are bright, inventive and are trying to address a serious problem. There is no question that date rape on college campuses is a major concern. However, more can be done than to laud a barely viable solution disguised as a beauty product. It is also a bit unnerving to me that four men invented this product.

Date-rape-nail-polish

Black = Bad Booze

Nearly 1 in 5 college women is sexually assaulted by the time she graduates, with just 12 percent of them reporting the assaults…” – White House Council of Women and Girls – Sexual Assault Report 2014

I have about 200 female Facebook friends. So, given the 1 in 5 statistic, 40 of them have been sexually assaulted. FORTY of my friends. That is amazing to me. Is that true? These statistics are taken from countrywide studies, of course. Anonymous surveys that don’t identify the woman or bring attention to their particular assault. Women rarely report rapes or sexual assaults, so they go without help and go in hiding with their shame while their attackers are never held accountable and some continue to victimize students. This doesn’t even speak to the men who have been sexually assaulted. Those numbers are even smaller and actual cited cases are obscure.

CA Penal code: Sec 261-269 – Rape  (Read it)

Why don’t women report their attacks to the police? The obvious fact being that most police officers are men. Recounting your attack to male officer is scary and women tell of instances where they aren’t believed and even judged by the officers taking the report.  Most precincts don’t have Special Victims Units and in those cities that do, there is no sympathetic Detective Olivia Benson on staff to hear female victim cases. Only 13% of police officers in this country are women. That needs to change.

So many men...

So many men…NYPD Class of 2011.

Reporting to school officials is just as bad if not worse. Administrators tend to lean on hiding or lessening the punishments on rape accusations. No one wants the negative attention that sexual assaults place on a school. The last few years have seen more pressure placed on these institutions due to recent high profile cases, much like these students from Columbia and Stanford. As a result, the White House has launched a task force to implement changes that put more emphasis on reporting incidents at campuses, accountability of the staff and training and education of students on sexual harassment. It will hold the schools more accountable and provides victims online resources at NotAlone.gov to file complaints at their schools.

The Education Department just released a list of 55 schools which are under investigation under Title IX on their handling of such cases. CA has 4 schools among them.

Your disapproving scowl puts me at ease...

 Your disapproving scowl is so comforting.

This problem is undoubtedly a bigger problem than we can fathom. I would love to praise the nail polish that indicates there are roofies in your booze, but it is a band aid on a gushing wound. It only places the onus more so on the woman and less on the attackers and the school officials who practice lax punishment for such crimes.

Watch your drinks people. Party with a buddy. Students, wives, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends. Everyone be safe. Have the courage to report incidents.

National Sexual Assault Hotline – 1-800 – 656- HOPE (4673)

 

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Images courtesy of amplifyglass.comamerica.aljazeera.com, onion

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Jay H - Bawdy Broadcaster

Jay H - Bawdy Broadcaster

Bay Area native. Oldest girl in a very large extended Mexican family. Studied Art History at UC Berkeley and of course I became a Nonprofit Marketing Consultant! Never married. No kids. Serial dater and and expert at the 'hang out' version of dating. Moved out of crazy expensive SF to Oakland and LOVING it! Loves sports. All of them. Except golf. Oh, and rhythmic gymnastics.