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Major news outlets compromise secret way for women to escape unsafe dates at bars

After news outlets aired a "secret" initiative for women to escape dangerous situations in bars and restaurants near a Florida University, students wonder how to move forward.

Major news outlets compromise secret way for women to escape unsafe dates at bars
Image Source: LuliOrtizTV / Twitter

Recently, a story about several bars near a certain Florida university and their policy to help women escape unsafe dates went viral. The bars, located in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Jupiter, hung up posters in women's restrooms about a drink called the "owl shot." Depending on what type of "owl shot" a woman ordered at the bar, the bartender would receive a corresponding instruction to follow. For example, if a woman ordered an "owl shot neat," the bartender would escort her to the car. Or, if she ordered an "owl shot with lime," they would call the police. Well, it could have been a great tool for women to escape unsafe dates, but now, the trick has gone viral and just doesn't make sense anymore.


Originally, the plan was devised by the Florida Atlantic University's Student Government when they were coming up with ways to help students feel safer on campus. Owing to the pertinent problem of sexual harassment on college campuses, this method was an ingenious way to help women feel better equipped if they were confronted with a dangerous or uncomfortable situation. Governmental Relations Director at FAU Alejandra Rodriguez explained in an interview with CNN, "Everyone's on board. Bars owners love it, the administration thinks it's a great idea. There's been really no negative response to it at all."


The idea was devised over the summer. Students made posters and then went door-to-door, asking managers of bars and restaurants to participate in the initiative. Many agreed. Some students even decided to bypass the university's payment request process, choosing to put up the money for the program themselves. "The launch of a safety initiative within the community has been long overdue," Student Body President Kevin Buchanan and Vice President Celine Persaud affirmed in a joint news release. "This initiative outlines the importance for students to continue feeling at home even when they're out engaging with the local community."


Presently, only a handful of bars and restaurants in the area have agreed to participate in the initiative. However, the Florida Atlantic University's Student Government expects more establishments to join in the near future. But the issue still remains. Now that the program is national news, there is no secrecy involved. The women's escape plan has been compromised. As several Twitter users pointed out, the initiative has lost its value as predators are aware of the system. Twitter user Knappephotos, responding to a tweet by CNN, pointed out, "Probably would be a smart idea to stop publicizing this because then when she needs to order the shot, her harasser [will] know..." Ronsha209 asked, "Well, it WAS secret. Next?"


This just goes to show that while escape plans are important and necessary, we should probably be focusing our efforts on teaching harassers and assaulters to, well, not do that. Instead of controlling women's behavior or expecting them to have escape plans ready, we should be teaching men that it's never okay to put women in positions or situations where they feel unsafe. This was a great initiative with good intentions, but the root cause of unsafe conditions prevails: those who feel empowered to place women in those unsafe conditions in the first place. Enough is enough. It's time for preventative measures, not reactive ones.


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