Some students are developing nail polish that helps to detect date-rape drugs - just stick a finger in your drink, and you'll know. (Unless, of course, your drink contains one of the chemicals the polish doesn't test for. Better get a whole set. If your date asks why you're plunging your entire hand into your drink, nail by nail, just tell him you were raised in a barn.)
But why stop there? When it comes to conforming to societal notions of feminine beauty and being forced to take total responsibility for other people's actions, there's plenty more room. This is all about taking responsibility for the behavior of others while looking as sexy as possible, after all:
-- Password-Protected Chastity Spanx: Cinch that waist! And make certain nothing gets past.
-- Victoria's Other Secret: The Bra Has a Breathalyzer in It: Clasp won't unclasp until the wearer has blown into it and passed. Allay all his concerns - and look great doing it! -- Tank Top: This top is actually a tank, complete with machine gun turret. Check out these guns! Sexy, but formidable.
-- Tankini: This is also a tank.
-- Zipless Fox Jeans (For Him): These pants won't unzip unless the other party provides signed proof of enthusiastic consent. No, never mind: This might inconvenience men, and also they seem to put responsibility on the person actually acting.
-- Vending Machine Camouflage: Forget the camo shorts. This is the only real camo you need, enabling you to blend into any urban landscape.*
-- Safety Dangle: Cute accent necklace with rape whistle or emergency call button attached.*
-- Masks (400 pack): Most victims know their attackers. This mask-and-voice-changer set gets rid of that problem. Give them to everyone you meet, disguising their identities so that you never get to know anyone, ever.
-- Chainmail: Like a more maneuverable coat of armor that really flaunts your curves. Wear it to the beach!
-- Rape-Resistant Boy Shorts: These boy shorts are fun, fancy, feminine and made of a fabric that is impossible to tear. Don't go jogging without them!**
-- Big, draped full-body covering that prevents anyone from gazing on you with the eye of lust and leaves only your eyes partially visible.***
-- Coasters and straws for the same purpose as the nail polish.****
* Never mind, this exists.
** These are not a joke, either.
*** Never mind, these exist, too.
**** Dagnabbit, they're planning on making these.
Seriously? Are we kidding us? I give up. For the last time: Women are not bicycles. Going about your life without strange nail polishes and whistles and dressing in clothes you would like to wear is not the equivalent of "leaving a bike unlocked."
Speaking of which, when is someone going to start making the Bulky SweaterT? ("This cute necklace looks like a bulky sweater." Especially useful for dealing with the question "what were you wearing?" Instead of having to sigh and say, "Seriously? You should not be asking this question. This is a terrible question," just reply, "A Bulky SweaterT" and move on.)
Living your life without layers of accusatory insulation is not a "failure of vigilance." You know who's to blame when someone puts a roofie in your drink and you don't detect it with fancy nail polish? The person who put a roofie in your drink. "But it's more fun if we just force ladies to be cartoonishly vigilant instead of making perpetrators take any responsibility for their own actions!" No, it's not.
Whose idea of fun is this? Someone who can't tell the difference between women and bicycles, probably. And that person should probably not be dating or trying to ride bikes until he clears this up.
Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog at www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost.