feminista.v5 copy.png

Radio station asks whether young women and girls are "doing enough" to prevent date rape

A local news station in Newfoundland asked as its Question of the Day: "Do you believe that women and young girls do enough to ensure that they don't become victims of the "date rape drugs"?

A radio station in Newfoundland wanted to know whether women and young girls were "doing enough" to ensure that they don't get raped.

Responding to rising sexual assaults linked to date-rape drugs in downtown St.John's, Newfoundland, a local radio news station asked listeners this 'Question of the Day': "Do you believe that women and young girls do enough to ensure that they don't become victims of the "date rape drugs"?

Respondents could answer with "Yes," "No," and "Not Sure."

"Man. That's a hard one! I'm going to try really hard not to get drugged by a sexual predator when I go out tonight, but how will I know if I've tried hard enough? Maybe I shouldn't leave my house at all! That'll show those sneaky rapists!" wrote Jezebel's Katie J.M. Baker.

Even more pissed off than Baker were the station's listeners. Shortly after the question was posted, VOCM pulled down its question and published an apology:

The VOCM News Question of the Day on the topic of the Date Rape Drug was, in hindsight, worded in an insensitive manner and has since been removed from our website. It was not the intention of the author of the question to attach blame to females or imply in any way that those who are most often victimized by the use of date rape drugs should change their movements and patterns.  

The Question of the Day is one component of our website meant to appeal to the masses, and occasionally we may appear to be insensitive. VOCM assures we make every effort to address each topic raised in our Question of the Day in a sensitive and appropriate manner.

VOCM apologizes to anyone who was offended by today's question.

However, VOCM didn't get off so easily. A Twitter conversation continued in response to VOCM's retraction, highlighting the station's complicity in "slut shaming" -- blaming women for attracting sexual assault or violence because of the way they dress, behave, or, as the question suggests, failure to "do enough" to protect themselves.

"The fact that you thought this was a good question to pose in the 1st place is the most disturbing factor in all of this!!!" tweeted ).

"I agree with Natasha. Women shouldn't have to prevent rape, women should be able to walk without fear. Rapists need to stop raping," responded ).

"A start, Not fully good enough, you're not off the hook yet. What's next ?" tweeted ) with the hashtags .

The Vancouver Observer received no response to its calls or emailed questions regarding VOCM's decision to publish, and then retract the question.

More in Feminista

What Once Upon a Time does for feminism *Spoiler alert*

Is Once Upon a Time's re-imagining of classic fairy-tale characters a feminist feat of modern TV?

Feminism and the weapon-wielding women of The Walking Dead: spoiler alert

Let's take a look at two of The Walking Dead's kick-ass female characters, Andrea and Michonne.

Sexy Halloween costumes are okay, now let's stop mocking them!

Halloween should be a time of year that you can dress however the hell you want, without any judgement
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.

i disagree

"doing in enough" can mean a lot of things, like phoning your date ahead of time and telling him to fuck a pillow, or not feeling shame in taking your drink with you to the bathroom if your date is a fucking weirdo. it doesn't necessarily mean dressing less sexy, you stupid cunts

Not the point

This was not worded in a way that talks about dress being worn or "slut shaming" at all.


It was a response to an increase in the use of drugs in drinks to take advantage of women. It asked if most women, in the opinion of the people answering, did enough to prevent this i.e. never leave a drink unattended or watch it all the time, even when being made etc.

If VOCM asked "Do you think people do enough to prevent robberies in their homes" we would not be up in arms about this, even though it is a similar situation. It's asking if people take precautions to prevent something that IS WRONG AND NO ONE APPROVES but happens anyway, and more often if you make it easier.


I know we are and should be teaching people not to rape, steal, commit acts of violence etc. but there are people who do it regardless. The question asked if women were protecting themselves against those who would rape them using these drugs, just like a homeowner would protect their property with a lock or anyone with a self-defense mechanism if attacked.

Date Rape Prevention

It is troubling how easy it is to obtain date rape drugs and even more troubling how eager some are to use them. We at DrinkSavvy are helping to prevent drug-facilitated date rape, by developing products that look and function just like regular cups, glasses, and straws/stirrers, except that they will immediately change color if a date rape drug is unknowingly slipped into your drink. To learn more, visit us on our facebook page www.facebook.com/savvytechnology, and if you agree with what we are doing, please like us. Or visit our website www.DrinkSavvyInc.com. Thanks!