Last week a new, and rather surprising, Victoria’s Secret campaign was launched “PINK Nation”. PINK Nation is a lingerie line that is all about good sex and what makes for good sex? CONSENT.
“PINK loves CONSENT is more than a style. It’s a revolution. PINK loves CONSENT is our newest collection of flirty, sexy and powerful statements that remind PINK panty-wearers and their partners to practice CONSENT.
CONSENT is a verbal agreement (say it out loud—no “body language”) about how and when people are comfortable having sex. “Ask first”, “No means no” and “Let’s talk about sex” remind us that communication is the key to good sex. Pick your favorite slogan or write your own. Whatever you do, remember to practice CONSENT.
Join the next sexual revolution: PINK loves CONSENT.”
This is more than a cute culture-jamming stunt. This is precisely what the next sexual revolution needs to be all about. And capitalism – companies with their heavy investment in a version and vision of sex that is coercive and one-directional (not to mention one-dimensional) – is exactly where the conversation needs to begin. Sex is everywhere, all around us, but this is a sex that has little interest in consent, in a complex conversation that values and respects difference, choice and freedom. Rather the culture of ‘sex’ that surrounds us constantly and deliberately blurs the distinction between sex and rape, reinforcing a violent and exploitative status quo that is reflected in the appalling statistics on the perpetration of sexual violence the world over.
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture are the group behind the campaign, a “creative activist effort” aimed at forcing a more difficult and honest conversation about the realities of sexual violence, and creating the momentum for a movement towards a world where sex is empowering and pleasurable rather than coercive and violent. FORCE were also responsible for the projections onto the White House of the slogan “RAPE IS RAPE” (below).
Within just 10 hours of being up, the PINK Nation campaign had received over 50,000 hits and enthusiastic outpourings of love from fans across social media platforms. The following for a sexual revolution based on consent is there and raring to go, just waiting for an opportunity to engage in a real, meaningful and honest conversation about sex that is based on respect, understanding and communication.
We’re ready for this change. We’re prepared and willing for a culture that supports non-violence. We’re eager for a consensual and respectful sexual dialogue.
Rape culture isn’t just outdated, it’s dangerous and we know it. We’ve learnt – and everywhere more people are learning every day – the damage it has caused and the damage it will keep causing until we let it go. Consent is the way forward. It’s simple. It’s easy. And, it’s plenty doable. “No Vagina is a sure thing! Ask first!” Isn’t that something we can all commit to?