Culture, Israel, Sex & Gender, Uncategorized

You're Welcome, People Who Might Get Sexually Assaulted.

In  the world of Israel advocacy, there’s a popular campaign aimed at halting people’s criticism of Israel’s policies by listing all the excellent and innovative technologies Israel has invented (and/or talking about it’s worse to be a woman/queer person in a place that’s not Israel and usually rhymes with Schmalestine).
To add to the list of things Israel has invented (in addition to cell phones, instant messenger, radiation free breast cancer diagnostics) is the Anti Date Rape straw. The straw can detect  two most widely-used date rape drugs: ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in a drink and the change of color alerts the person drinking of the presence of those drugs.
Let’s hope that distributing this straw doesn’t become a substitute for not having conversations about consent, power, rape and communication. And if it’s going to become a  staple of the kind of Israel advocacy that I mentioned above, let’s also take the opportunity to talk about the current position of women in Israeli society (shitty), and MAYBE EVEN that rape and sexual assault happen in the Jewish community. It would be a great opportunity to elevate the sad state of Israel advocacy (on campus and otherwise) and talk about something hard that we don’t like to talk about, as a community or otherwise.
Of course, the existence of said straw is  good regardless of whether or not nuanced conversations about it happen. But you know, not better than just  not raping people.

16 thoughts on “You're Welcome, People Who Might Get Sexually Assaulted.

  1. “In the world of Israel advocacy, there’s a popular campaign aimed at halting people’s criticism of Israel’s policies by listing all the excellent and innovative technologies Israel has invented (and/or talking about it’s worse to be a woman/queer person in a place that’s not Israel and usually rhymes with Schmalestine).”
    Why is this part of the story? Can’t there be any pure recognition that Israel invented a useful, dare I say important, widget and be done with it? Why in the same breath does one have to say, “isn’t that great but it would be better if…”?
    If the point of the story is to raise awareness of rape in Israel/Jewish community then make it about that. If it’s to say ra-ra, Israel invented something else cool, then make it about that. Don’t confuse one issue for another. Not every piece of news is an invitation to spring board into even related and relevant other issues.

  2. And the title of the post is so self congratulatory. You did not invent anything. Some Israeli did. But not only are you taking credit for it, you’re not even giving the invention even one sentence of congratulations without qualification or evasion to another (important) issue.

  3. “Of course, the existence of said straw is good regardless of whether or not nuanced conversations about it happen.”
    Sorry, there is one sentence.

  4. I don’t think that having or not having ‘conversations about consent, power, rape and communication’ will stop one single person from putting GHB in a drink.
    On the other hand that straw might.

  5. Uri, your innocent enthusiasm for inventions per se is sweet. But everything is politics and I don’t feel Chanel or anyone here should be apologetic about harping on this hasbara trope.
    Also, if oppressing the Palestinians leads to such awesome inventions, clearly we should continue.

  6. My point was that I couldn’t tell whether this was another Jewschool bash Israel post, or some kind of further exposure of the evils of hasbara, or (gasp) something that could actually be an interesting and important product regardless of who made it. The fact that it was made in Israel could cause someone to be proud of being a member of the Jewish people God forbid.
    Give me a break. Israel does a lot of other things than oppress Palestinians and other minorities. And I”m not excusing that behavior. But calling into question every potentially positive Israeli initiative or project, and dismissing it out of hand because the Occupation still continues is intellectually dishonest and reveals the true motives of why a person would write a post like this. To be smug and play gotcha with Israel so that she can say, I am more moral, more sensitive, more concerned about people’s suffering and welfare than you are. Makes me sick.
    KFJ – please don’t call me innocent or sweet (although I think I am kind of a sweet person). That is condescending. Ok Socrates, everything is politics. But living a life consumed by that axiom seems bleak to me and I feel sorry for those who feel like they need to do so.

  7. That’s the second time in recent comments that I’ve made here where I’ve been called out for being privileged. Why is that such an ugly word? Everyone take a deep breath and be reasonable. Privilege or not.

  8. Awesome! Finally, straws that give beverages the ability to block legitimate rape! Woo-hoo! So in a strange way, this Israeli invention is anti-American, because it prevents unwanted pregnancy, which is an invention of the liberal-feminist conspiracy media anyways!

  9. Wow. Totally missed in the discussion about whether Israelis can invent good and useful things (really?) is the rather interesting sentiment behind the product. From the linked article:
    As a former victim himself, Abramson advises that “any type of preventative measure is not an excuse to be careless. For example, just because one has a home alarm system, this is not an excuse to leave one’s doors and windows unlocked. In the end, while anti-date rape products are meant to significantly reduce as much as possible the risk of being drug raped, it is still up to the user to take the normal precautions.”
    End Quote
    That made my jaw drop. Wow.
    In other words, if we’re going to celebrate the best and brightest of Israelis (which we should), we certainly wouldn’t celebrate a person who thinks it is each person’s responsibility to ensure that she is not raped. Of course, that’s completely irrelevant because the dude who is marketing these straws, and who provided this quote, is American.
    It takes extreme misogyny to think that not having the right drink straw technology (+more) amounts to negligently inviting sexual assault. What that has to do with Israelis specifically (as opposed to Americans) is beyond me.
    To make things worse, the whole argument behind the product, from the point of view of prudence or self-preservation, would rather more strenuously advise against drinking at all. And dress modestly. Wear chastity belts. Show CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
    If Abramson successfully markets this straw, I’ll buy one and stick it up my nose. Seriously, what a schmuck.

  10. OK I am going to ignore the nonsense and delve right into the substance. How is GHB a date rape drug?? First of all, it tastes like total shit and it doesn’t knock you out. Ketamine is a sedative at higher doses but I don’t see how one would be able to slip a pill or powder into someone’s drink without it being physically detected – and it also tastes like shit. It should be noted that both GHB and Ketamine, aka Special K, are used recreationaly, often at raves. That means people buy these two drugs and use them on themselves willingly. GHB is like 1 hour ecstasy when you have to be at work the next day and Special K is just dumb. I never understood sedatives, but some people like that stuff, go figure.
    The real date rape drugs are 1) Alcohol (by far the most popular) and 2)Rohypnol which apparently the straw doesn’t detect.
    The best way to prevent this shit is to not go out to skeevy bars alone, don’t take drugs offered or sold to you by people you don’t know, and avoid guys who say “bro.” This straw might in fact give you a false sense of security, so, you know, practice common sense, ok?

  11. i’m really taken with the fact that this comment feed is a) all men, and b) full of advice to women about how not to get raped, as opposed to about not raping people.

  12. @CK – So because these drugs are less effective in your view, its okay to use them to drug and rape people? I guess I’m not entirely surprised given your views on things like pimping out women. I KEED! I KEED!
    But to the heart of the issue, if you’re saying this invention is ridiculous because it targets the wrong drugs, thats legit. Maybe they should invent one that detects alcohol, you’re saying? Sounds ingenious. No need for any technology, just market the existing product and call it “The Straw.” It will detect GHB as a bonus.
    There’s no question that GHB, Ketamine and other ‘club’ drugs have been used to facilitate sexual assault on unwitting victims for decades, especially at clubs. For that reason GHB was banned in the US in 1990. Its odorless, tasteless- like iocaine powder- and thus can be slipped into a drink without the victim’s knowledge.
    @chanel – One could argue such drugs could be used against men as well by either gender, but that doesn’t seem to be what’s being discussed.

  13. Oh! This was a post about rape? Hard to sort that out with all the noise about Israel advocacy.
    Although I am a man, I was not giving advice to anyone about how to not get raped.

  14. What the fuck?
    Yes. Rape is bad. Don’t rape. Like that needs to be said? OK I said it. Moving on…
    @Adam: GHB is not tasteless. It has a strong taste and it tastes like ass. It’s basically dry cleaning fluid. The classic date rape drug scenario – with the victim waking up and not remembering what happened – is the result of ingesting Rohypnol aka roofies which this straw does not detect. The most common date rape scenario involving substance abuse is with alcohol. They don’t seem to talk about that so much and there is a lot of hysteria and bad information out there. Thus my initial advice stands. A straw may give you a false sense of security as any mind altering substance can be used nefariously. The best defense against date rape is knowledge and caution. IMHO.

  15. Chanel – I didn’t give advice to women. I merely called the Abramson person a schmuck. (It turns out, an American schmuck). Insofar as it may have seemed as if I was advising women not to drink, I intended that paragraph to be understood sarcastically.
    That said, I share your frustration. It seems that most of the comments on this thread seem to take the position that strangers pose the greatest danger for date rape. And if that’s what a dude thinks, it’s pretty likely he hasn’t had a lot of close friends who are women.

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