Screencap of the Pink Loves Consent website
Last week, those searching the web for a brightly coloured bra for themselves or a significant other were pleasantly surprised when it appeared that Victoria’s Secret had launched a new line of underwear that promoted consensual sex. In contrast to the company’s earlier efforts, the new line featured underwear with slogans like, “NO MEANS NO” and “ASK FIRST.” In fact, it seemed almost too good to be true: a highly-visible company that marketed and sold underwear directly to women had finally taken interest in an important women’s issue. In response, the public was happy to applaud the company for its forward thinking attitude, as hundreds of people flooded Victoria’s Secret Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr pages, expressing their appreciation.
It turns out, however, that Victoria’s Secret was not responsible for the faux-line. Instead, Pink Loves Consent was created by Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle, two feminist activists from Balitmore. The two women, and the countless people that helped them realize the project, created the culture jamming campaign as an extension of an earlier art-project called Upsetting Rape Culture. Nagle and Brancato envisioned the initiative as a way to empower women and combat the so-called culture of rape that they believe companies like Victoria’s Secret advocate.
For its part, Victoria’s Secret took the expected route, and set loose it’s army of lawyers upon the site. However, as the website is not selling anything, Nagle and Brancato were able to relaunch the site within days of it being taken down – the site can be seen here.
Igor Bonifacic is a writer working for the Toronto Standard. You can follow him on twitter @igorbonifacic.