undercover 2

Some questions about Undercover Colors anti-rape nail polish

undercover 2

The creators of Undercover Colors nail polish.

Thanks to four male college students from North Carolina State University, you may soon be able to buy some nail polish that detects date rape drugs to go with your anti-rape underwear. Throw in your rape whistle and pepper spray camera, and you might be able to delude yourself into believing you’re 100% safe from sexual violence.

The students came up with the idea because they’ve all personally known someone who’s experienced sexual assault, and I applaud their desire to put their engineering skills toward combating rape. But after reading Undercover Colors’ product description, I have a few questions…

In the U.S., 18% of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. That’s almost one out of every five women in our country. We may not know who they are, but these women are not faceless. They are our daughters, they are our girlfriends, and they are our friends.

While date rape drugs are often used to facilitate sexual assault, very little science exists for their detection. Our goal is to invent technologies that empower women to protect themselves from this heinous and quietly pervasive crime.

Actually, date rape drugs, like Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB, are not used to facilitate sexual assault all that often. While exact estimates vary, it’s safe to say that plain old alcohol is the substance most commonly used in drug-facilitated rape. Are you at all worried that by overstating the prevalence of date rape drugs, your product might give its users, who are no less likely to become victims of other kinds of sexual assault, a false sense of security? And given that your product only addresses a relatively tiny subsection of the sexual violence in this country, do you have any plans to donate your profits to help protect the remainder of the 18 percent? 

For our first product, we are developing a nail polish that changes color when it comes in contact with date rape drugs such as Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB. With our nail polish, any woman will be empowered to discreetly ensure her safety by simply stirring her drink with her finger. If her nail polish changes color, she’ll know that something is wrong.

Is your product free? Will if be universally available in bars and on college campuses? What if I’m interested in ensuring not only my safety but also the safety of all the other women who have not heard about — or cannot afford to buy — your nail polish? Do you recommend that I just purchase a bulk order and set up a nail-painting table outside my local bar? Can you provide some advice for how to discreetly ask strangers if they’d like me to stir their drinks as well? If your product becomes popular, won’t drink-spikers just learn to target the drinks of nail polish-free women? Will you have a clear polish to avoid this problem? Are you at all concerned that women who weren’t wearing your polish when they were drugged and raped will be blamed for not doing everything in their power to “ensure [their] safety”?

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.

If your product becomes popular enough to have a real deterrent effect — in other words, to actually “make potential perpetrators afraid to spike a woman’s drink” and not just afraid to spike a nail-polish-wearing woman’s drink — what is stopping rapists from simply using other means, including the current go-to drug, alcohol, to facilitate the crime? Are you working on developing a product that will make them afraid to actually rape?

We are Undercover Colors and we are the first fashion company empowering women to prevent sexual assault.

Do you know the definition of empowering? It involves giving someone the power to do something. Giving” is not synonymous with “selling.” More importantly, do you know the definition of prevent”? It is not synonymous with “avoid.” Personally avoiding sexual assault — or one particular, rather uncommon type of sexual assault — is not the same as preventing sexual assault. I’m not against the former, but I personally prefer to donate to folks working to do the latter. And I’m not so into a company that raises money by conflating the two.

Maya DusenberyMaya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

Read more about Maya

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  • http://feministing.com/members/nedhamson/ Ned Hamson

    I’d be happier if these same guys spent the same amount of time and ingenuity – working with their peers to convince them that rape is a heinous crime and that no means, no, means no, means no.

    • http://feministing.com/members/shinzu/ Brian Gate

      That would be a waste of their time and intellectual capabilities. Good men don’t rape, and bad men don’t care. Have you ever tried teaching a murder that murder just happens to be bad? Did he suddenly have an epiphany from your sage words as an unlit bulb in his heard burst forth with light?

      The time for teaching people not to rape is in childhood, after that it’s pretty much too late. At that point your best bet is to protect yourself against them and make sure they get locked up.

  • http://feministing.com/members/scoalegil/ Scott

    I am a little disappointed with this analysis. Has the author never heard of harm reduction?

    It seems to me that something that helps is a good thing. I would rather know my friends could test their drinks and feel just a little safer while their out.

    What if everything were held to this bizarre standard?

    Women in India have limited access to feminine hygiene products. A husband designed a system to help women manufacture their own tampons. They’re affordable, not broadly known, certainly not free nor universally available. Obviously a bad thing.

    Rape culture exists. It is a problem. I live in a university town in Atlantic Canada. Check out this:

    I like many in my community have been working against the proliferation of rape culture. Many upon seeing that video. The reality is this:

    1. The prevalence of date rape drugs varies from one locale to the next, citing broad statistics to diminish the value of a well intentioned product seems weak at best.
    2. If one woman tests a drink with this technology and manages to avoid sexual assault. I think it is worthwhile.
    3. We’ve learned, as a global society, that we do not achieve perfection overnight. We should do what we can to reduce harm as we work to alleviate the root causes of this and other social issues.

    I guess, based on the militant and unreasonable position expressed herein I’ll just be dismissed as a man, but hey, I had to say it.

    • http://feministing.com/members/valley/ Valerie Porter

      No, I think you’re right.

  • http://feministing.com/members/dspaulding/ Douglas Spaulding

    This article highlights one of my biggest issues with fellow progressives- why are we so quick to bash anyone who is trying to help if they don’t do it exactly the same way we would. No, Undercover Colors won’t solve sexual assault. No one product or program will. It is going to take a huge shift in how our culture perceives men, woman, and sex. But a group of people who see there is a problem and try to use their skills to make it better are being treated like bad guys. Who needs enemies when you have allies like these?

  • http://feministing.com/members/someone123/ Someone

    Would you rather have the company not exist and not even bother trying to combat date rape? I am not naive enough to believe this nail polish will eliminate it, but what it wrong with four college boys trying to help out potential victims? You seem to have a man hating attitude in the article, “feminists” like you give the true feminists out there a bad name.

    Also, you should have done your research. The nail polish is clear.

  • http://feministing.com/members/squiggle/ Tiffany Irving

    While I agree with your premise about the problem being victim blaming (I.e. it’s up to us to keep ourselves safe), I think I would still buy this for myself. Even if it does lead to a date rape arms race.
    Because, you know, fear.
    And it’s less outwardly dangerous than, say, a gun.

  • honeybee

    So because it doesn’t prevent all rape it’s worthless?

    This type of commentary / reaction only discourages people from trying to help. I don’t think that’s what we want.

  • http://feministing.com/members/lovenhaight/ Jen

    I get what you’re saying here; however, as a campus sexual assault researcher/educator – at an NC university, in fact – I think that this polish could be used as a tool much like drink testing coasters. It is in no way a substitute for education and the dismantling of rape culture, but I don’t see it as adding to rape culture as other products have in the past. I think they see it as a kind of bystander intervention…this is not really in the same category as anti-rape underwear or razorblade suppositories. Just my two cents.

  • http://feministing.com/members/jennworks/ Jenn

    These men are trying to help reduce the incidences of rape facilitated by date rape drugs. No, their solution won’t stop all rapes. Nor is it free. But neither are rape whistles, stun guns, or anything else women have in their arsenal. And honestly, if a woman cannot afford to buy a bottle of nail polish, how can she afford to go out drinking? This blog tears down people who are providing a tool to address one piece in a complex and nasty problem because they aren’t solving the whole thing in one fell swoop. And it calls them out for wanting to make a profit off of their expertise. That would be like calling a builder useless and greedy because she starts building a skyscraper with a foundation hole (instead of just magically poofing the whole thing into place all at once), and because she hopes to earn a living by selling her expertise. Sorry, but that is simply ridiculous. These guys are doing a good thing that can help some women protect themselves a little bit better. That should be celebrated, not derided.

  • http://feministing.com/members/hornswaggled/ Kimberly Weninger

    Oh for gawd’s sake!
    Does it matter if “it doesn’t happen all that often” or not? And do you have FIGURES to back up your claims??
    I think you’re just pissed because MEN thought of this brilliant product instead of a woman!
    I could care less if only one woman has this happen to her….it’s too many.
    And I APPLAUD these young men for thinking of something other than themselves. For the record I know someone that had this drug used on them….it was a man. He drank his girlfriends drink and got involved in a DUI incident that could have been terribly dangerous. He was lucky and so was his girlfriend. It was a near thing.
    So YES I think this kind of thing is brilliant….and you should be ashamed of yourself for putting these men down.

    • http://feministing.com/members/dixieshiksa/ Gail


  • http://feministing.com/members/dink123/ Denna Freed

    Okay, are you seriously dissing these four men for performing a public service in creating a product that empowers women by allowing them to be proactive regarding their personal safety????

    • http://feministing.com/members/dixieshiksa/ Gail

      Excellent point.

  • http://feministing.com/members/hodel/ Amy

    I find this whole response incredibly frustrating.

    The idea of challenging some students who are trying to help a situation by arguing that they are not doing EVERY SINGLE THING POSSIBLE for the situation seems counter-productive. Should they not have bothered at all? Or only have bothered if they could make it free, for every single student on the planet, while also trying to prevent all sexual assault? I’m just not sure what this response is destined to achieve.

  • http://feministing.com/members/miskinak/ Kimberly

    Engineers have never been accused of creative marketing.

    These are kids, who developed a product that could really be a useful asset out there for our young women. I don’t recall the inventor of pepper spray being told “No thanks it’s just not good enough”. … when it is helpful and not just for women but anyone from a variety of assaults.

    I know I would have benefited.

    You do have valid points, you’re of course very versed in this. They do need help in focusing their marketing and literature – but not accosted for over selling a product. So what they took a marketing course in entrepreneurship that’s all.

    To boot: they are a group of young men doing something to help when most men simply feel helpless.

  • http://feministing.com/members/erin3/ Erin

    I understand and agree with your underlying point. However, I find the tone of the article is a bit hostile and condescending towards people who are doing a well-meaning, positive thing. It’s a damn cool college project, too. If only most of us did something so cool with our time.

    One thing that really bugs me is that in order to emphasize your point that this nail polish idea is somehow problematic, you note that “date rape drugs, like Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB, are not used to facilitate sexual assault all that often.” I checked out the article, which links to a reputable study finding 2.4% of female undergraduates suspect they were slipped a drug before being assaulted.

    Think about that for a second. It might sound small, but it isn’t.

    In 2012, the National Center for Education Statistics estimates there were 10 million female undergraduate students in the US.

    One in four undergraduate women reports being sexually assaulted.

    I trust you don’t mean that approximately 60,000 undergraduate women who believe they were drugged before being sexually assaulted aren’t significant. And don’t forget that stat does not include all other women who aren’t undergraduates who this has happened to. Please rethink your arguments.

    It almost happened to me once. Someone drugged my drink at a crowded bar when I was 27 and well out of college. Luckily, I managed to get home safely. But let me tell you – it was terrifying. So I’m not one of those approximately 60,000 counted in that one statistic. I was a “near miss” and a bit too old for the survey.

    All this is somewhat beside the point. These guys are well meaning allies. We need more college-aged men being proactive about sexual assault and women’s’ rights and rape culture. Lately I’m getting very tired of seeing popular internet feminism tearing apart positive, well-meaning ideas. It’s turning people away from an important cause. By your logic in this article, it almost sounds like women shouldn’t be careful walking home at night in order to prove a point. We aren’t there yet. Every little bit like this is a step forward.

  • http://feministing.com/members/collegestudent/ Elena

    Why in the world are they attacking these guys with these ridiculous questions…it’s a serious issue and unfortunately there are indeed bad guys in the world in which we are not able to control their actions. Thankfully though, these guys are giving ladies the confidence to go out, casually take a drink and have a good time without the worry of it being roofied. I applaud to these gentleman for helping the woman in today’s ugly society!

  • http://feministing.com/members/enotone/ Em

    Firstly, Check the meaning of “Empowerment” and try not to just use the first google answer you find; as in this case empowering would be “To invest with power.” Not “Give” to invest… (To invest – “to provide or endow”. Putting the product on the market equals provision. No maybe not to everyone yet but as previously stated, if you can’t afford nail polish what are you doing drinking?)

    Secondly, your extremist views do give feminists a bad name. Four college students are trying to give us women more tools in our arsenal to effectively make us feel safe. I don’t care if they’re male, they’re making an effort. What did you do today to make my world a little safer?

    As a victim myself of a rohypnol spike many years ago I applaud these guys in adding one more tool to my arsenal. No, I wasn’t assaulted thank goodness, I have great friends who noticed I was a bit funny and took me home.

    I’m not sure which planet you live on…but but your view (asking for a resolution for the entire problem without assessing the positives of their efforts) belittles many causes. For instance will the ALS ice bucket challenge cure ALS? No…but it’ll provide funds for more research. Will you then belittle all the water initiatives for countries that don’t have access to clean water because they don’t solve the entire water problem?

    Do I expect you to post this? No, not at all. But consider what I’ve said before you post something so blatantly screaming “Man Hater” in the name of Feminism next time.

  • http://feministing.com/members/bubbadeboop/ Don

    Wonderful article please keep it up.

    I showed this to a Feminist friend and could positively see the cracks in her conviction spread across her face.

    -“yea but that’s not feminism” she protested
    -“well it’s on a website called feministing” I argued
    -“thats one persons opinion” she claims
    – I just smile
    -“well I think its a great idea” she says
    -“careful that’s awfully close to victim blaming” I taunt

    I approve of this article and hope for many more like it, soon I will be able to convince many of my feminist friends the virtues of gender egalitarianism over feminism. Thank you MAYA.

  • http://feministing.com/members/meme/ Lauren

    I think this is a very unacceptably negative response to what these 4 men are doing.
    Of course these nail varnishes will be paid for. I would happily spend money on this for myself and others. It will/can be advertised by the company, universities, student committees, work places.
    Honestly, this has been so bad mouthed but ask yourself, is it better to have this, or not to? If it saved even just one person from sexual assault, that would be worth it and worth celebrating.

  • http://feministing.com/members/slob/ Jacque Cousteau

    I don’t want to have a security system in my house. I’d prefer it if there weren’t people who tried to rob people. But if someone offered me a really cheap security system that would be one effective way to deter burglars? I’d probably be happy with that. I would not complain that the company didn’t try to teach people not to burglarize instead.

    I think most people will agree that date rape is bad. If it were up to me I would stop all of the date rape. Alas, I cannot.

    No one’s saying that this has solved the problem altogether. Does it suck that it’s necessary? Yep. Is it a bad thing that it was developed? No. Be smarter.

  • http://feministing.com/members/jackys/ Jacky

    As so many other commenters have pointed out, your analysis is absolutely ridiculous. No group of four individuals could possibly incite the huge shift in cultural attitudes that would be necessary to end sexual assault altogether. But the very fact that these guys have created a product designed to prevent sexual assault will raise awareness about the problem, even if they don’t hand the product out for free as per your absurd suggestion (why isn’t EVERYONE creating free products to end sexual assault? Oh right, because it takes money to develop products, and that money has to come from somewhere).

    Yes, I agree that there are problematic victim-blaming assumptions behind asking women to prevent their own assaults. But think about it: these guys are engineers, and engineers design products. Seeing that there is no product that could be developed to “prevent men from raping,” I think these four engineers applied their talents in the best way possible.

  • http://feministing.com/members/mallorywilkerson/ Mallory

    In this sentence

    Actually, date rape drugs, like Rohypnol, Xanax, and GHB, are not used to facilitate sexual assault all that often.

    You linked to this article


    Which links to this study


    This study is NINE to SEVEN years old. I think it’s a little outdated to be used in this situation. It also only sampled “—a total of 26,764 students across the four subframes at the two universities.”

    Aside from the fact that it doesn’t really relate to our current year, it also only collected data from less than 30,000 students in two large universities. I think women of all ages are at risk of unknowingly ingesting date rape drugs, not just college students from two universities nearly a decade ago.
    And really, being drugged and raped sounds like a horrific nightmare. It’s worth testing every drink you suspect of being tampered with.

    Kudos to these people for helping other people fight against something bigger than all of us.

  • http://feministing.com/members/carucm/ Caela

    The next time anyone wonders why 72 percent don’t want to be associated with the term ‘feminists’, I will point them directly to this article.

    • http://feministing.com/members/glencora/ Glencora Jones

      Agreed, Caela. Things like this make me sad.

  • http://feministing.com/members/rlgberlin/ Lane

    “Don’t invent products – change the rape culture.” Why is it either-or? Everyone here wants to prevent rapes and see the back of rape culture. But four engineering nerds can either convince 10 of their friends, or they can give a tool to tends of thousands of women nationwide. What would be a better use of their talents? And given that this has gotten so much justifiable attention it’s safe to say these obviously very decent young men have done a lot to call attention to rape culture already. To trivialize their commitment, to make a weird forced choice between changing the culture and equipping women, and apparently to give “feminism” a bad name to half the internet (see above) including plenty of women…

    Oh, and bonus points for the sneering left-wing disdain for people inventing a product that might be worth paying for. You seem to think that this is just obviously shallow exploitation, because profits. I hope these guys make a successful company – it sounds like they have good hearts to go with their good minds. With their profits (yes, evil profits!) I hope they go on to invent and invest in other ideas that will help people.

  • http://feministing.com/members/navinksrk/ Navin Kumar

    I’m sorry, Ms Antony, but we simply cannot get behind this idea. Certainly, giving women the vote will improve their representation in the legislature, but I have a few completely non passive-aggressive questions you must answer first.

    Will it stop their husbands from beating them? Will it ensure they can enter any field they want to work in? Will it enable them to seek an education at our universities? And the cost! How will working women be able to take a day off to vote? What of women who must cook and clean and darn? Until every woman has a maid, and we build a voting station in every mailbox, we will decline to promote this ludicrous fantasy.

    Yours truly
    etc etc

  • http://feministing.com/members/glencora/ Glencora Jones

    Taking these ridiculous points one by one:

    1. Alcohol is more commonly used as the drug of choice in drug-facilitated rape. They ask if women will derive a false sense of security from wearing that nail polish.

    Are women children, or morons? No. Anyone with a functioning brain will know this will only allow them to see if their drinks have been spiked. Women do not need to be led around by the nose so that they don’t derive a false sense of security. That’s just insulting.

    2. They ask if the company is willing to donate their profits to help rape victims who weren’t targeted by rape drugs.

    Why should they donate their profits to help those who wouldn’t have been helped by their products? This is the equivalent of saying, “Your home security system is bad, because it does nothing to address parking garage security.”

    3. They want to know if the product is free.

    And apparently the product should be free, to begin with. Why? Are security systems free? Is it legitimate to use profit as an objection to a security product?

    4. They want to know how it will help women who DON’T use it.

    Why should they be responsible for those women who don’t use their product?

    5. They ask if the company is concerned that women who don’t use the product, will be blamed for being raped.

    Blaming the victim is a severe problem, but the suggestion here seems to be that any steps a woman takes to try and protect herself, causes other women to be blamed. How is that their fault? Isn’t that just another form of placing blame where it doesn’t belong?

    6. They ask, if the product works to the point that it deters rape drugs, do they have plans to keep rapists from using other means?

    This last one SLAYS me. Even if the product works so well that it wipes out rape drugs altogether, that’s still a bad thing. “So you developed a cure for cancer; how does that help people with heart disease?”

    ARE THEY SERIOUS?? What is wrong with people??

    Is it me? Am I missing a nuance? I often do, but in this case, I can’t even imagine how such objections to this product can be taken seriously.

    Why is something good never good enough? I agree that the focus of rape prevention should be on the perpetrators, not the victims. But in the real world, women get raped. Some of those rapes are facilitated with rape drugs; isn’t it better to have a way of detecting them? Jesus God.

    To the four young guys who invented this: thank you. I think it’s a great idea, and if it works properly, it’s a great product. And if it brings you profits, then I’m happy that something so beneficial to women turned into a financially successful enterprise. There. How hard was that??

  • http://feministing.com/members/davidk/ David Alan

    While there are valid criticisms of this article in this thread, the author does ask some questions that shouldn’t be summarily dismissed, namely:
    1. Do you have any plans to donate your profits to help protect the remainder of the 18 percent [of raped women]?

    2. If your product becomes popular, won’t drink-spikers just learn to target the drinks of nail polish-free women? Will you have a clear polish to avoid this problem?

    3. Is your product free? Will it be universally available in bars and on college campuses? What if I’m interested in ensuring not only my safety but also the safety of all the other women who have not heard about — or cannot afford to buy — your nail polish?

  • http://feministing.com/members/djahmei/ Amy Wheeler

    So about two years ago, October 2012, I went to a bar with a bunch of friends. It was a bar that allows you to bring dogs, so I brought my pup with me as well.

    I just ordered my first drink – a hard apple cider that was 5% ABV (so basically a weak beer) – when my dog somehow wrangled out of his harness. I left my drink at the bar to chase after my dog (unfortunately you see where this is going). When I returned, I grabbed my drink, thinking my friends watched it for me, and took a swig.

    I noticed something was off with the taste – it was bitter – so I sent it back to the bartender and ordered another one thinking it was the wrong drink or something.

    I remember chatting with my friends and one of them holding onto my dog (small pup who is very affectionate) – then I woke up at 9am on top of my bed – woozy with a pounding headache from hell.

    I had a sip of a drink and one full drink of hard cider and I completely blacked out.

    My friends couldn’t find me at one point in the evening and assumed I skipped out and went back to my apartment around the corner. When they couldn’t find me there, they started worrying and came back to the bar – noticing a line of people outside a locked bathroom. They had to unlock the door and carry me home – I was sitting on the floor like a inanimate and stereotypical rag doll – unresponsive and knocked out.

    I told my friends I only remember drinking one drink – and they are remember the same – I only had one drink before disappearing. I count myself lucky that my subconscious must of realized something was wrong and went into an automatic mode of protection – not many can say the same.

    Looking back – there were several ways I could of prevented this experience from happening. I shouldn’t have left my drink at the bar. I shouldn’t have drank it when I returned. And I should of assumed I was drugged with something bitter-tasting after that questionable swig and quickly told my friends – either to take me home immediately or to the hospital for drug testing and treatment.

    If I had the nail polish on – it could of been a move to supplement my decision for that night. I could of tested my drink when I returned or after I noticed something was off when I took a sip. While it’s still in development and it’s unknown what range of date rape drugs it could test for (the usual suspects, sure – what about Ambien and the sorts?) – I still think it could of provided me with valuable information – either what I was drugged with or what I wasn’t drugged with – information that could make the hospital staff’s job easier when determining what was in my drink and how to best treat it.

    The nail polish isn’t meant to be a one-stop solution. It’s meant to be a supplement. You don’t just wear a seat belt when you’re driving in a car – you also make sure you’re tires have enough pressure and tread, that you’ve been taking care of your brake pads and brake fluid, you’re airbags are turned on/working, use you’re horn when an asshole cuts you off, and that you look both ways before crossing an intersection. While these things won’t prevent a car wreck 100% – because it depends on what other people around you do as well – it does help minimize the risk of a car wreck, and potentially protect you if a car wreck does happen (although…not all the time, unfortunately).

    However – I will agree that more women (and men and people in general) need to be better educated about date rape. While only a few drinks are drugged – we do need to educate people more that it can also occur from drinking too much alcohol. Many people – regardless of gender and sex – have an issue with pacing themselves and listening to their own body – as well as feeling comfortable with turning down another round of drinks when they feel like they’ve had too much.

    We also need to educate more people that date rape is less likely to be from a stranger – but someone they (think they) know. And that it might be a good idea to practice behaviors you would around strangers among friends – to both build the habit and hopefully minimize the risk.

    And yes – date rape prevention should not just fall upon women (and other people – because rape can happen to anyone, regardless of gender and sex). People need to learn how to be better people and not rapists. However, while the process is in motion as we type – it has been in motion for a while and will continue to do so for many years to come. Changing culture is not an immediate thing – it takes many generations to perfect.

    In the meantime, while education is converting would-be rapists to consent-seeking partners – I think we should continue to encourage the development of supplemental tools – like nail polish – to potentially prevent someone from being a victim.

    • Sigrid Norfleet

      Agreed! Wonderful reply.

  • http://feministing.com/members/jazz/ Jasmine

    There’s a question posed in the article: “Do you recommend that I just purchase a bulk order and set up a nail-painting table outside my local bar? ” If they are not willing to do exactly that, why should they expect someone else to give it out for free? Production, distribution, advertising to create awareness, these things all take money.

    The rest of the article is pretty much dedicated to saying “this isn’t good enough”. I would counter with. “Rome was not built in a day.”

    I think this is a remarkable step in the right direction, but like any journey to any goal, you have to take steps. You can’t expect to run a marathon in one step, neither should you expect the same in any other part of your life.

    • Sigrid Norfleet

      My sentiments exactly, Jasmine! Applauding these men’s efforts does not make us any less feminist!

  • http://feministing.com/members/texan99/ Texan99

    You think it’s not empowering someone to develop and sell her a product that makes her stronger and better defended against violence? You don’t think that assuming you’ve got to give it to her infantilizes her at all?

  • daddyoyo

    Should we oppose easy access to machine guns or should we instead hold consciousness raising sessions to convince mass murderers that what they’re doing is wrong? Should we have locks on our doors or should we join the political struggle against burglary culture?