For centuries, women have been forced to come up with a myriad of survival hacks to protect themselves from sexual predators.
Name one place on Earth, just one, where a woman could simply be without having to constantly be on high alert. Where she can exist with zero fear of being sexually assaulted. One place on this whole wide world where she won't have to look over her shoulder every few moments, shrink away from lustful gazes stripping her naked or worry about inappropriate comments from the men around her. Does such a place come to mind? No. Because sadly, such a place does not exist in our present-day world. It hasn't for centuries and women have thus been forced to come up with a myriad of survival hacks to protect themselves from sexual predators.
i also really regret not asking one of my friends to come back with me because i just chalked it up to hypochondria, by the time i got home i walked past my own apartment building 3 times....never doubt how you feel!! always trust your body when something isnt right— rat mic 𖤐 (@sliccmic) August 24, 2020
A new trend on TikTok centers around this stressful reality women live in where we have to keep our guard up every second of our life. Created by @enoughliv, the trend involves netizens revealing how they prevent a drink from getting spiked at a bar. One particular video on the topic that went very viral, is one created by Mel Hall — a stage manager and production manager for the theater and live events — in which she showed just how easily someone could spike a drink. She demonstrated the same by discreetly dropping popcorn kernels into a glass in five scenarios and honestly, it's scary how successfully she (someone who's never done this before) pulled it off.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Hall explained that she made the now-viral video in response to a comment on one of her other videos, where she spoke about protecting ones' drinks. "How can I not notice it... if [you are] holding the drink??? I know to never leave the drink unattended, but this makes no sense," read the comment. Hall realized that the best response to the comment would be to demonstrate how easy it is for someone to spike your drink without you ever noticing it.
"A visual would be clearer and have a greater impact," she said. "So, I searched my kitchen for something pill-sized and got to work." Hall recommends using the disposable cardboard coasters found at the bar to cover a drink, saying: "They're like condoms for your cup. Safety first!" Another video that's being widely shared is one posted by 26-year-old Stephanie Tavares, an entrepreneur from Montreal, Canada, who opened up about her experience of getting her drink spiked at a bar. Tavares revealed that she and a friend were both given a drink by a stranger while out one night and that only she drank the one offered to her.
She ended up passing out. "I wanted to remind people that it’s not just a funny trend," Tavares said, "that it’s an actual serious issue with dangerous consequences." Although most of the responses to her video have been supportive, there have been many who chose to pull out the victim-blaming card as always. Tavares pointed out how if women refuse a drink or are scared of men, they would receive backlash for generalizing men. "But because I accepted a drink — that happened to be spiked — a bunch of people are telling me it’s my fault, that I should have known better, and to never accept a drink from a man," she said.
There's A TikTok Trend Where People Show How To Protect Someone's Drink From Getting Spiked https://t.co/lduv6OjhDH— Goodful (@goodful) September 9, 2020
Tavares stated that it feels as though many are only interested in tearing victims down rather than holding abusers accountable for their actions. Having said that, she does think this new online trend is super positive as it brings awareness to the fact that people should guard each others' drinks no matter what. "This conversation is crucial because allies are so important," said Hall. "The reality is, if someone does manage to spike your drink, your awareness has been taken away from you."