Thank You Thursday: PINK loves CONSENT

For a couple of hours earlier this week, Victoria’s Secret–known for its push-up bras and cultural appropriation–gained some serious feminist cred. Midday on Monday, a website for a “new line,” PINK loves CONSENT, launched. The site displayed images a diverse group of models showing off lingerie, similar in style to VS’s teen/college PINK line, emblazoned with messages like “NO MEANS NO” and “ASK FIRST.” PINK loves CONSENT quickly went viral, and the response from potential consumers was tremendously positive. One email to the site read:

Dear Anyone who made this happen at VS,
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! As a college student, and as someone who is constantly trying to create awareness of consent and body image awareness, I love this. As someone who is a survivor of assault, I love this. I love this times a million. I am floored, and a proud customer. I will flaunt these the minute I am able to buy them.

Unfortunately, it turns out that Victoria’s Secret is not, in fact, releasing a feminist lingerie line–but what a brilliant prank. FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture has taken credit for the campaign, which exposes Victoria’s Secret’s decidedly anti-feminist messaging while leveraging its popularity to advertise an activist mission and make consent “a mainstream idea.” With this joke, FORCE pushes us to imagine  better world–and to fight for its realization. As they write in a follow-up piece:

What if consent and communication showed up in the bedroom as much as push-up bras and seamless thongs?  Things WILL change and talking and education DOES help.  We can create a culture where the sexual empowerment of women is more common than their sexual assault. But it’s going to take some work to keep on fighting against the messaging from giants like Victoria’s Secret.

New Haven, CT

Alexandra Brodsky is a senior editor at Feministing.com and student at Yale Law School. Alexandra also serves as the Board Chair of Know Your IX, a national student-led movement to end gender violence, which she co-founded and previously co-directed. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she is the co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project: 57 Visions of a Wildly Better Future. She has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice at campuses across the country and on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NPR. At Yale Law, Alexandra studies antidiscrimination law and is a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. After graduation, she will represent girls facing discriminatory suspensions and expulsions as a Skadden Fellow at the National Women's Law Center. Most importantly, Alexandra is the mommy to Margot, a tiny pomchi rescue from North Carolina

Alexandra Brodsky is a senior editor at Feministing.com and student at Yale Law School.

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