The Daily Gamecock

Column: Bring angel shots to Columbia


The angel shot has been sweeping the feminist internet. If you haven’t heard of it, the Angel Shot is a drink recipe that began in St. Petersburg, Florida. But you won’t find it posted behind the bar or in a drink menu; you’ll find this recipe posted in the women’s restroom. If a woman is uncomfortable on a date, the first thing she’ll usually do is excuse herself to the bathroom, to panic-text her best friend or check to see if there are Ubers around. If you’re lucky, you’ll be in a bathroom in an establishment that sells angel shots. If you go to the bar and order and angel shot neat, then the bartender or other staff member will escort you to your car. If you order an angel shot over ice, the bartender will call you an Uber, Lyft or taxi. If you order an angel shot with lime, the bartender will call the police.

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 route. For myself and my friends, we usually decide on a code word, like pineapple or seagull, that will let us know that she needs help bailing. However, with the increase of dating apps and online meetings, so has dating violence increased. Teen Vogue and Business Insider both report that rapes occurring on the first face-to-face meeting have increased 450 percent since 2009, when dating apps first became mainstream and popular.

"The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" makes a joke in the pilot about how one 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 also pretty true, as part of the ideal of womanhood held in the conservative South is agreeableness, accommodation and politeness. It makes it really hard to be firm with people, especially if you’re trying to get away from someone. The angel shot helps with this because it is a discreet way to ensure your safety. Yeah, maybe the guy’s feelings will be hurt if he’s not a total creep, but chances are if you’re uncomfortable enough to use the angel shot, I doubt he’ll honestly be that surprised. He probably makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

Now the publicity the angel shot has gotten is a bit of a double-edged sword. It became a talked-about phenomenon because it was a very necessary, very comforting thing for women to see, and we spread the word because it would be great to have that sort of safety in all restaurants and date locations. However, now people know what an angel shot means. If you’re at the bar and your creep date is leaning right up on you, it’s a lot harder to order an angel shot if the guy you’re trying to get away from might know what it means. Yes, we want these signs everywhere. But a secret code doesn’t work if it’s not secret. Some bars and restaurants have countered this by using variations, directing women to go to the bar as ask for an “Angela,” or some other agreed-upon name to alert the staff to your predicament, or naming this shot or mixed drink something else. Personally, I would be happy to see some of these signs hanging in the bathroom in Five Points, with a unique and brand new codename.


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