The Owl Shot and fragile, fragile youth

There’s a new trend in bars that cater to college students on dates in South Florida. The protocol is laid out on posters, which are displayed prominently throughout the participating drinking and dining establishments:

If a young woman feels “unsafe” or “uncomfortable” on a date, she can order a special drink called an “Owl Shot”. Then, depending on how she responds when the bartender brings her drink, one of the following measures will be taken:

‘Neat’: Bar staff will escort you to your car

‘On the rocks’: Bar staff will call a ride for you

‘With lime’: Bar staff will call the police

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This lockdown procedure might be useful in that rare instance in which a young woman finds herself on a date with the twenty-first-century equivalent of Ted Bundy. But if that’s truly the case, then the “Owl Shot” will probably be inadequate. (The posters are right there for men to see, too, after all.)

This is something I’ve written about here before, of course: the wussification of American youth. I don’t necessarily blame the youngsters, mind you: They’ve been bred and raised to be Eloi, food for the Morlocks who lurk just beyond the reach of hovering parents and educators, or—in this case—officious bartenders in South Florida.

Granted, extraordinary situations do exist. Once in a while, an evil or deranged person starts a fire, or commits mass murder, or turns threatening on his date. But hyper-vigilant, preemptive measures like the “Owl Shot” send a message to young adults: Be afraid. Be very afraid. Always.

And then we wonder why so many members of Generation Z are suffering from chronic anxiety. They have been raised to be terrified of the world, almost since day one. Excepting some very extreme circumstances, an unpleasant date is a situation that two college-age adults should be able to navigate on their own, without secret intervention codes passed to the wait staff. 

Nor is this a men’s rights thing. Let’s face it, some guys are dicks. But the Owl Shot, like our current obsession with #MeToo, and real or imagined sexual harassment, sends a very mixed message about feminism. On one hand, we’re told that women should lead men into combat, and should lead our nation. On the other hand, we’re told that women are chronic, hapless victims who can’t make it through a garden-variety date-from-hell without calling for help from the nearest bartender.

A college-aged Gen X woman, circa 1990, always knew how to deal with the boorish date: She would tell the guy to get lost, throw a drink in his face, or—if the circumstances were sufficiently extreme—knee him in the balls.

That last one, it stops a guy in his tracks every time, a lot more effectively than an Owl Shot. Sometimes the old school approach really is the best approach.

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