A group of Baltimore feminists brilliantly pranked Victoria's Secretby creating a "Consent Is Sexy' line of underwear to look like it was being sold by VS. Here are some excerpts from an interview they gave to Baltimore Fishbowl:
Though they are a woman-focused company, VS has never taken a stand on any women’s issue. In fact, their current designs seem to lean more toward rape culture than consent.
Their PINK brand, marketed at high school and college-aged women, sports thongs with the slogan “SURE THING” printed right over the crotch. Young women across the country are wearing underwear with “SURE THING” literally printed over their vaginas.
Victoria’s Secret came out with this underwear that said “Yes, No, Maybe,” but it was all on the same underwear. Instead of saying yes, no or maybe – and “I get to decide about what happens to my body” — it’s like, yes, no, maybe, I don’t know.
...[The slogans] promote the idea of limitless availability, or on the other hand, leaving the choice up to the (presumably male) partner. The brand teaches girls to be coy instead of vocal and makes it seem uncool and unsexy to say no and mean it.
So instead of “No” being a way for young women to set a boundary, it is a way for them to flirt, which I think is part of this understanding we have in our culture that creates and perpetuates rape.
My favorite part of this story is that Victoria's Secret customers went wild over what they thought was a new line, praising VS for speaking out about rape culture (and using a model who was a woman of color with a non-model-sized body – although sadly, maybe that should have been a dead giveaway that the ad was fake):
the Victoria’s Secret Facebook pages were flooded with “I heart consent” posts, excited campus reps were retweeting pinklovesconsent.com, and the “pink hearts” at pinknation.com were declaring their love for “open sex talk.” One employee tweeted, “I am so happy to currently have a job for a company that stands for something so beautiful!! @LoveConsent #victoriassecret #loveconsent.” High school students were tweeting, “I’m loving the new @LoveConsent! Victoria’s Secret goes feminist!”
VS's reaction was to try to shut down and discredit the spoof campaign. Imagine if VS actually embraced the mindset their customers evidently think is great. Even when feminism is good for business, VS isn't interested.