Ethan's Age

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Faux Victoria Secret Consent Line

I'm quite possibly the only person who found this campaign horrible. Yes, it's a prank, but even when I thought it was a genuine VS campaign, I was annoyed by it. I am a survivor of a sexual assault, which I'm willing to admit... clouds my view on this, so take what I'm about to say with that in mind.

First off, there is the obvious... to see these statement underwear "consent is sexy" or "no" (ad nauseum) you already have her undressed. The general issue with this is that if you are being forcibly raped, this stage has already been met with no, or other stopping verbiage. If you are being raped, I'm telling you that a "No" underwear statement will not make your rapist stop, sit back and think "Gee, she has 'no' on her underwear, and therefore I should ponder whether this is the right thing to do... It's probably not, so I'll just leave now." Not going to happen. So, underwear as a preventative statement, no.

Second, I find this idea cheapens the idea of conversation about rape. We as a society don't talk about rape. I am rarely asked about my experience, even though I'm open about it. People are uncomfortable about talking about sex, sexual violence, sexual education, and respecting people's bodies. Making some underwear as an idea that it will somehow open the door to conversation? Not buying it at all. (This will also make me unpopular, but I find the same goes for the "walk a mile in her shoes" events.) Finding ways to trick society into talking about a hard-to-talk about topic is stupid. Let's have an open conversation about it. As time passes from the time of a sexual assault, I've found that many women DO want to talk about their experience, and have honest conversations about it. Much like we never ask Veterans about their experience during war, people don't ask about the experiences of sexual assault. Do you know how we heal? Talking about it. 

Third, I have one redeeming thought for this campaign. The only good thing I found was the use of women of color and normal sizes to model for this campaign. This is not an authentic product line for VS, but rather a prank of sorts, but I did like that they used normal girls. So, for that, a tip of the hat.

So finally, my main reaction to this is a major wag of the finger from this survivor of rape. Obnoxious, misleading and misinformed. Sorry guys. Good try. Next time, let's raise some money for your local rape crisis center... or for RAINN. If you want information about how to best give your money or time to an organization that can actually do good in informing, educating and healing the public with regards to the impact of rape let me know. I have plenty of people who need the support.

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