Victoria’s Secret, Shabbos Walks, and Interrogating Rape Cultures

I love guerilla feminism. And I love that this group of feminists from Baltimore used online guerilla feminism to critique Victoria’s Secret and promote consent. And I’m not the only one who loves this stuff! I love the celebration of consent. I love the celebration of bodies. I love the way in which the campaign directly connects the concept of consent to our bodies—by putting it on underwear—showing that to touch my body, you need my consent.

In a Q&A with local Baltimore press, the activists said, “We feel that the PINK Loves Consent campaign is just one of the ways that we are working to end rape culture — we want to pursue other projects to upset and disrupt the culture of rape from other angles as well.”

So let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about how to “upset and disrupt” rape culture from other angles. Their creative critique of VS serves to disrupt rape culture from the angle of mainstream, dominant culture, as VS is a prominently visible company and widely used clothing line. But to deeply disrupt rape culture and transform it into a culture of consent, we need to do much more than simply advertise consent, especially within the Jewish community. VS phrases like “Sure Thing” printed on their underwear objectify women and erase the value of consent. That is rape culture. And rape culture shows up differently in different places. It has layers, so to speak.


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