Date rape detector debated

New nail polish invention raises questions over victim shaming

Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

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Over the past month, a new invention has been brought to light and publicized in the media. Four North Carolina State University students, Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tasso Von Windheim, and Tyler Confrey-Maloney, have formed “Undercover Colors,” a company based on helping women prevent themselves from sexual assault. Undercover Colors has created a nail polish that changes colors when it comes in contact with commonly known date rape drugs like Rohypnol.

Although there are many detector variations, such as straws or drink stirrers, nail polish may be the least obvious option.

Some believe that rape cases have been under acknowledged in the current day, and much of the blame is placed on victim as well as attacker.

Although many have promoted the idea, critics believe creating a tool to help individuals prevent rape it may encourage victim shaming. It is also argued that the nail polish sends the wrong that it is a personal responsibility to stay out of dangerous situations.

Even at COD, a debate over the social implications of the nail polish exists, as evidenced by a small sampling of students.

Student Maggie Sullivan believes that if the product is proved to be successful, it is a valuable defense and that women should use it. However, she also agrees with the opposing argument that the nail polish may put more pressure on a woman to defend herself against rape or to have a better sense of a possible attack.

“It’s sad knowing that we have to think that way but I think the idea is good and bad,” Sullivan said.

Student Alyssa Kuciunas says the blame should not be placed on anyone but the rapist.

“I think its wrong that people think it would promote victim shaming because first of all, you shouldn’t have to pay for something to ‘prevent’ yourself from getting raped. Guys shouldn’t be raping in the first place,” Kuciunas said.

Kuciunas does not think that the product should be necessary in everyday life.

“If someone asked me to try it, sure, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it because I feel like I shouldn’t have to.”

As of now, it has been questioned if Undercover Colors’ products are not only logical, but if they will even work.

The polish has yet to be tested, but media outlets have argued that not all drugs are detectable. Another argument is that if technology continues to advance, so wills the severity of blackout drugs.

There may always be a step between drug technology and protection, but Undercover Colors strives to give women a hand up, and be protected in a fashionable way.

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