The problem is that women shouldn’t need things like the ‘Angel Shot’ to feel safe on a date

But I’d still be happy to see them at Five Points

Secret codes to get people out of awkward dates are hardly a new thing. I’m sure most people are familiar with the ‘faking an emergency phone call,’ or ‘changing a friend’s contact to Mom.’

However, with the increase of dating apps and online meetings, we’ve also seen an increase in people feeling unsafe on dates. Teen Vogue and Business Insider have reported that rapes occurring on the first face to fact meeting have increased 450 percent since 2009 – right around when dating apps were first becoming popular.

If you’ve been on the internet in the past few weeks, you’ve heard of the Angel Shot – a drink that began in Fort Lauderdale, but that you won’t find posted behind the bar or on drink menus. Instead, you’ll find this recipe posted in the women’s restroom, from Florida, to the UK, and even South Africa.

When a woman is uncomfortable on a date, the first thing she’ll do is excuse herself to the bathroom, to panic-text her best friend – we’ve all been there. But if she feels she’s in real trouble, she might be lucky enough to find a sign posting the ‘recipe’ for the Angel Shot: a shot you can order if you’re feeling uncomfortable or unsafe on a date. The bartender or another staff member will even escort you to your car.

But it shouldn’t have had to come to this.

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (amazing show btw) makes a joke in the pilot about how a woman was kidnapped because she was afraid of being rude, and another character says “I’m always amazed by what women will do because they’re afraid of being rude.” It’s a joke, but it’s true.

Agreeableness seems such an important standard of the ‘ideal woman’ in the conservative South. Accommodation and politeness have become attributes to aspire to. Because of this, things like The Angel shot help when confronting a person doesn’t seem the safest option. Maybe the guy’s feelings will be hurt, but if you’re uncomfortable enough to use the Angel Shot, I doubt he’ll be surprised. He probably makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

The publicity the Angel Shot has gotten is a double-edged sword. It first became talked about because it seemed necessary for date locations to have. But, now that people know what an Angel Shot is, if you’re at the bar, and your creepy date is leaning right up on you, it’s a lot harder to order one.

You might just have to rely on the bartender not being too busy to notice the panic in your eyes. We’re grateful for these options, but a secret code doesn’t work if it’s not secret. And sadly, we shouldn’t need these codes to begin with.

Some bars and restaurants have countered this by using variations, directing women to go to the bar as ask for a “Rachel” or a “Jessica,” or some other agreed upon name to alert the staff to your predicament.

Personally, I’d be happy to see some of these signs hanging in the bathroom in Five Points, hopefully, with a more unique code name.

University of South Carolina