Nailed It?

You’ve probably already heard about this anti-rape nail varnish that the internet is in uproar over. If you haven’t, then I should clarify that it’s not as badass as the name suggests – it can’t literally fight potential rapists away (show me a nail varnish that can, and I’ll be impressed.)

What it can do, however, is make it easier to spot the presence of date rape drugs (Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB etc.) that have been slipped in to your drink by seedy guys at the bar. The idea is that if you’re feeling suspicious about a drink somebody buys for you, you can simply give it a subtle little stir with your finger. The nail varnish is designed to change colour when it comes in to contact with these drugs – if it does, then you know which drink (and which men) to avoid like the plague. If it doesn’t change colour, then you can feel safer and more relaxed, with the added bonus of looking seductive as hell while stirring that drink.

Sounds great, right? That was my first thought at least. Upon further reflection however, many feminist circles are unimpressed. Some of the complaints are probably a little over the top, and some of them downright stupid. Some women, for example, hate the fact that this supposedly inherently feminist product has been designed by men. As though it’s all part of a male conspiracy and the men who designed it are sitting back laughing as the nail varnish actually taints our drinks with drugs that send us back to the 1950’s while we sleep. Clearly, I disagree with this complaint – if anything I find it impressive that we have reached the point where women’s issues are no longer simply concerning women. Men, too, have begun to acknowledge the problems that women undergo enough to devote time and research to them.

There are, however, issues with the product that seem to make a little more sense, the one major voice that cries out above the rest is that it promotes rape culture. For those of you who don’t fully understand what I mean by the term “rape culture” or even those of you who have the term earmarked as some dirty word used only by the scarier brands of radical feminists, let me set a few things straight to you. The term ‘rape culture’ is used to describe a society in which we view many forms of rape as acceptable. Rape culture, more often than not, refers to things in our society outside of the act of rape itself, broader ideas about gender that our society feeds to us, and which we usually take without question. It usually results in parents teaching their daughters to change their behaviour to try and avoid rape, rather than teaching their sons not to rape. Obviously it runs deeper than this, and some of the central ideas are somewhat more complicated, but when it comes down to it, many people view the marketing of this nail varnish as “hey, women! Here’s another thing that YOU can do to avoid rape!”

Personally, I’m not so sure. To me, there are two ways of viewing this product – either it is promoting rape culture, or it is simply a product of rape culture. Many people see it as the former, but it is possible that it is not the product itself that has an issue, but our society. In theory, yes, the product is very closely linked to some of the ideas which promote rape culture, but in practice, because of these ideas, whether we like it or not, products like this are necessary. It is this necessity that we should be fighting, not the product.

So those are some of the bigger concerns that people have been voicing in regards to this nail varnish, and while I can see where they are coming from, and even agree with them to an extent, right now my biggest worry is this: how readily available will it be? Will it be too expensive? Where can I buy it?!

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5 Comments

  1. > The term ‘rape culture’ is used to describe a society in which we view many forms of rape as acceptable.

    By that criteria we do NOT live in a rape culture – at least as far as the rape of women is concerned. Rape is NOT acceptable. If rape was acceptable it would be socially acceptable to describe yourself as a rapist in job interviews, or in a loud voice on public transport. It is not. In fact being identified as a rapist puts you in danger of being beaten up or even killed (as many rapists have been, some of them tragically turned out to be innocent men who were being falsely accused of rape).

    And let’s not forget that rape is against the law.

    Rape could hardly be more taboo in our society (at least the rape of women – less so for men)

    > Rape culture…. usually results in parents teaching their daughters to change their behaviour to try and avoid rape, rather than teaching their sons not to rape.

    Teaching daughters to be responsible and not put themselves in dangerous situations is perfectly natural and responsible parenting. We teach our daughters to look before crossing the road, to not drink bleach, to not leave their cars unlocked, to wear gloves and hats when it’s cold, to not swim in shark infested water. Teaching them to not dress provocatively, get drunk and pass out in public or walk home at 4am on their own is just part of that body of helpful advice.

    Teaching boys to not rape is basically telling the boy his healthy and natural attraction to women is THE DESIRE TO RAPE. A desire which must be suppressed. That is absolutely disgusting and cruel to depict a boy’s sexuality in that way. Implying boy’s sexuality is the desire to rape is a form of mental cruelty / sexual abuse in itself! The poor boy will now feel dirty, shameful, guilty and confused every time he is attracted to a girl and feels like he wants to have physical intimacy with her.

    Feminism’s ‘rape culture’ narrative puts girls/ women in danger because it depicts sensible advice about personal safety as a form of oppression. It makes boys guilty and shameful about their own healthy and normal sexual desires. And it generally destroys trust between men and women and creates fear, stress, anger and confusion where none existed before.

    How about we teach violent mothers to not hit their babies instead. 90% of mothers admit to still hitting their infants and children, even though the evidence clearly shows it damages their brains and their physiology for life. Not every boy or girl who is hit will turn out to be a rapist, but every rapist will have been hit as a child. If someone is born with a genetic tendency towards psychopathy, hitting them is going to push them over the edge into becoming full blown psychopaths. The science is quite clear about this (epigenetics). The same applies to sexual abuse of children, which is another leading cause of rapists. bullies and tyrants (who grow up to re-enact their own abuse). Statistically, young children are far more at risk of sexual abuse from women than from men.

    When we look at the CAUSE of rape we find women (ie mothers) have the most power to actually DO something to eliminate rape from society because peaceful, non violent, non abusive parenting is the most effective way of ridding the world of rapists (both male and female). But feminism refuses to advocate peaceful parenting because to do so would automatically shift the BLAME and the POWER away from men and redirect it towards women. The idea of women actually having power, agency and personal responsibility is abhorrent to feminists who are addicted pointing fingers at everyone else (ie men) and playing the role of ‘poor me’ innocent, helpless victims.

    • Okay, so before I respond, even though I know that the entire point of your comment was to disagree with me, I’d still like to thank you for taking this much time to consider and involve yourself in my little blog post. I’m going to respond in the same layout as you have, by addressing individual quotes from your post.

      “By that criteria we do NOT live in a rape culture – at least as far as the rape of women is concerned. Rape is NOT acceptable. If rape was acceptable it would be socially acceptable to describe yourself as a rapist in job interviews, or in a loud voice on public transport.”

      Okay, I do see where you’re coming from, and perhaps this is my own fault for not finding a better way to phrase this. By “acceptable,” I don’t really mean a total social norm, but rather that it is made *more* acceptable than it should be. For example, while people cannot announce themselves as rapists in a loud voice on public transport, they can make rape jokes in a loud voice on public transport. People not only get away with this every day, but are actually praised for it. Lots of people think rape jokes are hilarious. Too many people, for that matter. Which normalises the idea of rape more than we should be doing.

      “Teaching daughters to be responsible and not put themselves in dangerous situations is perfectly natural and responsible parenting.”

      You’re right. When my friends say to me “call me to let me know when you get home safe” I do not respond with “why? because I’m a woman? you are the reason rape happens you misogynistic piece of shit!” No. Instead, I appreciate that they are looking out for me and I call then when I get home. What I’m complaining about here is not that women are being told to look after themselves, but the fact that it is necessary for women to have to look after themselves.

      “Teaching boys to not rape is basically telling the boy his healthy and natural attraction to women is THE DESIRE TO RAPE. A desire which must be suppressed. That is absolutely disgusting and cruel to depict a boy’s sexuality in that way.”

      At this point I think you’re just downright wrong. Sorry to be so brazen about it but honestly there is no polite way to tell you how wrong this is. We are not telling boys to suppress their sexuality, we’re telling them that they shouldn’t rape. They seem like very different things to me. Consensual sex, for boys in particular, is totally encouraged by our society. The ideal, in my opinion, is simply to discourage non-consensual sex. separate the two, and boys are given as much freedom as they need to explore there budding sexuality without destroying the lives of girls in the process. I seriously don’t understand the issue here (also, if you want to talk about suppressing people’s sexuality, let’s take a minute to examine how much hassle women get for sleeping around compared to how much hassle men get for sleeping around. This is a thing called slut-shaming, I could write a dozen other blog posts about it, but I won’t. I do however suggest that you look in to the topic further.

      “[the idea of rape culture]…generally destroys trust between men and women and creates fear, stress, anger and confusion where none existed before.”

      Do you want to know what destroys the trust between men and women, do you want to know what creates fear, stress, anger and confusion? Rape. Rape does. The use of the term “rape culture” to help bring a little more clarity to the topic, in my opinion, does not. It definitely does not destroy the trust between men and women, quite the contrary, because it is blaming the culture rather than the individual men. That is the whole point.

      “How about we teach violent mothers to not hit their babies instead. 90% of mothers admit to still hitting their infants and children, even though the evidence clearly shows it damages their brains and their physiology for life. Not every boy or girl who is hit will turn out to be a rapist, but every rapist will have been hit as a child. If someone is born with a genetic tendency towards psychopathy, hitting them is going to push them over the edge into becoming full blown psychopaths. The science is quite clear about this (epigenetics). The same applies to sexual abuse of children, which is another leading cause of rapists. bullies and tyrants (who grow up to re-enact their own abuse). Statistically, young children are far more at risk of sexual abuse from women than from men.”

      Okay, I don’t know how factually correct any of those points are, but I at no point endorsed or even mentioned abusive women. Nor did I say that all violence or abuse comes from men. Abusive women/mothers is a subject that, BELIEVE ME, I am well acquainted with, and the idea of violence or sexual abuse towards babies and children repulses and disgusts me entirely regardless of the gender of the abuser. I’m not quite sure what your point was there.

      “The idea of women actually having power, agency and personal responsibility is abhorrent to feminists who are addicted pointing fingers at everyone else (ie men) and playing the role of ‘poor me’ innocent, helpless victims.”

      Wow. I – really? Wow. I’m not sure where you got that idea from, but feminism has, at its core, two main ideals. 1) equality, and 2) the empowerment of women. Feminists want to empower women. So clearly power is not abhorrent.

      I did intend for this comment to be a little more polite than it turned out to be, but on the other hand, you were not exactly polite to me either. I think I covered most of your major points, but if you don’t think I successfully justified my own points then I encourage you to respond because I certainly welcome a chance to explain myself further

      • > even though I know that the entire point of your comment was to disagree with me

        Sorry, I wasn’t just being contrary…. I was just being honest. If trying to convince you that the world is not as awful as you say it is (at least when it comes to attitudes towards rape) then yes I am guilty as charged 🙂

        > they can make rape jokes in a loud voice on public transport…..Lots of people think rape jokes are hilarious. Too many people, for that matter. Which normalises the idea of rape more than we should be doing.

        I’m sorry I just don’t see it. The humour of rape jokes only works BECAUSE rape is so universally taboo. Rape jokes use the standard comedy formula where social conventions and moral standards are flipped on their head to produce an imaginary situation which is shocking and absurd BECAUSE it is the opposite of real life. What we find funny IS that level of absurdity. And it is only absurd because it is NOT a reflection of real life society, attitudes and morals.

        If we actually did live in a ‘rape culture’ (ie a culture which either condoned rape or was apathetic about rape) then rape jokes would not be as absurd / funny/ shocking / offensive as they obviously are. If we lived in a rape culture you could tell a rape joke during a job interview, or on primetime TV or in a political speech and most people would not bat an eyelid.

        If I am wrong then help me to understand your logic….. I’m sure we both agree that rape is a horrific and traumatic experience, just as being pushed off a cliff is. Falling down a cliff can cause immense pain, suffering, trauma and even death. We would not wish it on our worst enemies.

        So by your logic jokes which make light of people being pushed off cliffs must also be offensive too, yes? When you see Homer Simpson or Wile E Coyote tumbling down a cliff you must also be outraged because the joke is making light of such a traumatic and painful experience, right?

        Or do you realise it is just a joke – a joke which takes a traumatic experience (being smashed against rocks) and subverts reality by imagining it it as an everyday, mundane or even silly occurrence?

        How are ‘being raped’ jokes any different to ‘being pushed off a cliff’ jokes in that respect?

        Let’s assume (for the sake of argument) all jokes about being pushed off a cliff involve men and all jokes about rape involve women. Both are equally horrific experiences in real life. So if we view rape jokes as offensive but cliff jokes as acceptable then we are basically saying society must not make jokes where imaginary women get hurt, but it’s OK to make jokes where imaginary men get hurt.

        How is that not sexism?

        Treating women (even imaginary women) as more precious, delicate, valuable and sensitive than men and demanding women enjoy special treatment and special privilege just for being female is the very essence of chivalry/ patriarchy/ traditionalism. This is why a lot of people accuse feminism of basically being chivalry/ patriarchy/ traditionalism repackaged … with a few extras like socialism added for good measure.

        Recent feminist campaigns like ‘like a girl’ and ‘ban bossy’ are actually promoting an ANTI-equality message, as both promote the special treatment of women justified by the idea of women being precious, vulnerable, weak, inept and natural victims due to their femaleness.

        (Soundbite alert) Feminism IS patriarchy! (gasp!)

        Telling a woman she ‘throws like a girl’ means you are judging her physical abilities as a ‘person’ (a thrower) and not as a ‘socialised female’ (a girl thrower). By saying she ‘throws like a girl’ you are actually urging her to fulfil her true potential by breaking free of socialised (patriarchal) expectations of what being female means. Patriarchy/ traditionalism grants women an exemption from manual labour and physical danger and hardships (“women and children first”) and it encourages women to enhance their physical weakness and vulnerability (feminine clothes, dainty behaviour etc) to provoke men into protecting and providing for them – often at great risk to themselves. The phrase “stop throwing like a girl” urges women to break free of all of that because it is the 21st century and women do not need quite so much protection from men as they once did just to survive.

        Even the ‘like a girl’ advert urged the women featured to try running less….. like a girl! So obviously the phrase cannot be that oppressive if they are using the idea of it to empower women! (facepalm!)

        Telling a woman she is bossy also means you judge her as a person, and make no allowances for her being ‘mother hen’ or some other socialised female role.

        Feminists demand gender equality on the one hand… while at the same time complaining about gender equality and portraying it as male oppression and misogyny. This is why so many people call feminism a mental illness/ personality disorder (ie narcissism/ addiction to victimhood etc).

        It’s all sooooo completely messed up it takes half a novel to explain it, and so most people don’t bother and that is why the feminist narrative remains ostly unchallenged even though it is completely mad.

        > What I’m complaining about here is not that women are being told to look after themselves, but the fact that it is necessary for women to have to look after themselves.

        Again this reeks of chivalry (I’m not saying that is good or bad, just that it is what it is).

        As adults everyone is expected to look after themselves. That’s what being an adult means. Why should feminists be looked after more than everyone else?

        I mean, sure, it’s OK to ask for special protection (and plenty of men enjoy looking after women’s safety) … but when feminists demand special protection (chivalry) they must stop claiming to be fighting for gender equality.

        > We are not telling boys to suppress their sexuality, we’re telling them that they shouldn’t rape.

        Men’s inherent ‘rapy-ness’ is constantly implied and has often been openly stated by feminists. The relentless message given to boys is that they need to learn to control their natural rapey tendencies, and they must control this urge for life in order to be part of civilised society.

        It muddles up the idea of boys strongly desiring to have sex with girls (perfectly natural) with the idea that they want to rape those girls (not true).

        Equating male desire for sex with desire to rape is a dangerous game because you cannot stop men from feeling strong sexual desire when around attractive women. So if feminists manage to convince boys their natural desires to have sex is the desire to rape then they have in effect convinced the boy he IS a rapist even when he is not.

        Saying rape jokes are also enough to tip males over the edge from being non-rapists to rapists has the same effect. You are implying that men are poised to become rapists, just because they find rape jokes funny. You are effectively telling boys that if they find rape jokes funny they are OK with rape, which in turn implies they are OK with committing rape.

        The feminist ‘rape culture’ narrative basically works like a sales pitch to convince non-rapey boys and men that they are in fact rapists… or at least that they are inclined that way.

        At the same time it tells girls to fear all men, because they are al potential rapists. While encouraging them to go out partying and getting drunk wearing sexually provocative clothing and assume zero responsibility for their own safety because to do so is ‘oppress oneself’.

        If if the girl should end up having sex she later regrets (after she’s sobered up) her feminist friends will ask if she gave full verbal consent, and if she says “no” they will tell her that she was taken advantage of and raped.

        This is what ‘rape culture’ really means…. a culture which does all it can to promote dysfunctional, irresponsible, confused, distrustful, ‘train wreck’ sexual interactions between (young) people.

        > ….let’s take a minute to examine how much hassle women get for sleeping around compared to how much hassle men get for sleeping around. This is a thing called slut-shaming,…

        Again this makes no sense ….. most men enjoy having sex with women and they like women who are willing to have sex with them on a casual basis. It saves them a lot of time, energy, money and stress when all they are after (in this instance) is casual sex (as opposed to a meaningful relationship). Men might not find sluts attractive as long term girlfriends, but they do not object to them or their slutty behaviour in general.

        Men are often accused of liking casual sex too much, and of pressuring women into having casual sexual relations with them…… and yet men are also accused of shaming women who are willing to have casual sex with them. That makes no sense, like so many feminist claims.

        I think the reality is that sluts are shamed NOT for having lots of sex but for USING SEX (or the promise of sex) in a dishonest or aggressive way to manipulate men and to gain unfair advantage over less slutty women. (Which is presumably why so many women slut shame).

        The truth is that men and women BOTH shame sluts who cheapen sex and leave a wake of destruction in their slimy path having just used their vagina to exploit everyone around them for personal gain. Slut shaming has nothing to do with sex per se, but with sociopathic behaviour that happens to revolve around sex (or the promise of it).

        As long as people have sex HONESTLY and LOVINGLY nobody really cares if they do it as part of a long term relationship or as a casual hedonistic fuck….what most people object to is when sex is cynically, coldly and dishonestly used as a ‘weapon’ or ‘vehicle’ for personal gain.

        > I’m not quite sure what your point was there.

        My point was that if the goal is to eradicate rape (rather than demonise men) the best strategy is to focus on parenting, not rapists. By the time someone has been abused, beaten and neglected to the point that they are so broken inside they will commit rape it is already too late. It’s much better to focus on parenting so that children are not abused and never become rapists in the first place.

        Not only does feminism and its ‘rape culture’ narrative fail to properly address abusive parenting, it does not even officially condemn mothers hitting children! Like I said before, not all children who are abused/ beaten/ neglected become rapists (most just suffer their way through life in silence) … but just about every rapist got that way by being abused/ beaten / neglected during early childhood.

        Women have far more power than men to PREVENT rape through peaceful parenting. Women (in general) do the majority of child care during early development (0-5) which is where abuse is the most damaging.

        I’d say that feminism does more harm than good because it pulls everyone’s attention away from the causes of rape (parenting) and dis-empowers women by filling them with fear and anger and a sense of victimhood, rather than encouraging them to sort out the problem by not hitting their babies! (and urging other women to not hit their babies too).

        The epidemic of mothers hitting their babies/ toddlers is the last ‘hidden-behind-closed-doors’ type of violence that society still refuses to properly acknowledge, or condemn. It needs bringing out into the open IMHO.

        > I’m not sure where you got that idea from, but feminism has, at its core, two main ideals. 1) equality, and 2) the empowerment of women.

        Yes everyone knows those are the official stated goals. But I am talking about how the movement behaves in the real world. Every movement, cult, religion or political party has a socially acceptable OFFICIAL reason for doing what they do. Even the official stated goals of the Nazi party were socially acceptable (protecting Germany from outside threats, celebrating German culture and the empowerment Germany).

        And I don’t doubt many ordinary feminists have good intentions. But the ideology as a whole is seriously flawed, it is based on a twisted view of history and the movement itself is totally corrupt and completely infiltrated….. as all the most ‘worthy’ and ‘no brainer’ social movements always are.

        > but on the other hand, you were not exactly polite to me either.

        Hey, that’s not fair! 🙂 I’m not attacking you *personally*, just because I disagree with some of the things you’ve said.

        I just don’t think there’s any evidence that we live in a ‘rape culture’……. I don’t think there’s any reason why rape jokes are any different to any other jokes…… and I don’t think the feminist narrative is based in reality or achieves anything positive. In fact I think it does more harm than good.

        Basically I think society is a lot less awful than feminism claims it is. So if my arguments make sense and what I say has some degree of validity then that’s a good thing isn’t it?

        I mean the idea that we live in a culture that condones or doesn’t care about rape is kind of depressing!

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