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Social Change Through Consumerism: Feminist Style
[Amulya] Sanagavarapu, who is finishing up her final semester at the University of Waterloo in Canada, was inspired by a prank from activist group FORCE, which advertised a fake line of “consent panties” from Victoria’s Secret last year. When it was clear that no existing companies were making moves to create the undies — despite obvious interest from would-be consumers on Twitter — Sanagavarapu decided to step up and do it herself.
So Feminist Style was born, and with it a debut line of consent-themed panties and briefs. The collection features different styles for both men and women, detailed with statements like “Ask first,” “Consent is sexy,” and “Only yes means yes,” mixed with messages of body positivity. Her hope is that it will encourage a more thoughtful discourse on consent and sexual boundaries.
“I think having consent panties as a real product out in the market, as actual alternatives to underwear slogans that teach that ‘no’ is a way to flirt (i.e., “No peeking”), would serve as a small step to shifting the culture around consent,” Sanagavarapu wrote to BuzzFeed.
“They aren’t meant to speak for the wearer, and they won’t stop serial rapists, but they may serve as sort of a fun way to initiate conversations about boundaries and what each person is or is not comfortable with. The main goal is to help shift the culture from one that encourages sexual objectification to one that promotes consent education.”
The underwear isn’t available for purchase just yet, but she’s launched a Kickstarter to raise enough money to make the idea a reality. Proceeds from underwear sales will in turn be used to fund feminist advertising.
“Our feminist advertising will mostly be in the form of PSAs that bring awareness to the issues that our products are targeting — so to start with they will target issues of consent and rape culture,” Sanagavarapu told us, citing videos from New Zealand’s “Who Are You?” campaign and YWCA Auckland as examples. “Anything that promotes our products directly will also be done so with models of all shapes and sizes.”
The underwear line is only the first stage for Feminist Style, and Sanagavarapu intends to expand the brand’s horizons with more varied products. But she hasn’t finalized anything just yet.
“Our mission is to ‘sell products that target sexism to promote gender equality’, so as long as we see ads and products with sexism there will always be something new for Feminist Style to do. One obvious example of a product that fits this description — which may or may not be our next product — is how the only Halloween costumes for women are all ‘sexy.’ There’s nothing wrong with any woman choosing to wear a revealing costume, but when that’s the only option available you know that something is off.”
As of this posting, she only has $13k out of $150k, with 17 days left! Tumblr, I know you want this, and we can easily do it!
Michigan State University’s “There’s No Excuse for Sexual Assault" Campaign.
Created by The New School in New York City for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April), the poster is just one part of an integrated campaign to raise awareness of the importance of sexual consent and the school’s new sexual assault policy. [link]
1. You feel secure with the person and are happy to commit to a relationship with them.
2. You don’t feel you need to hide anything from them.
3. You respect them, and they respect you. Neither feels superior to the other.
4. You are happy for their successes. You don’t feel as if you’re in…
Myth or Fact
Emergency contraception causes abortions.
Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy from occurring in the first place by blocking fertilization of the egg and subsequent implantation in the uterus; it does not, and cannot, induce abortions.
Bre, Masakhane Program Development Intern
Have you ever heard the phrase cockblocking? You know, you’re at a bar, talking to a girl, and what happens? Her less attractive friend comes over and ruins everything. Cockblock. Well I have to tell you something guys: I have been the less attractive friend, and you were NOT cockblocked. I was following orders from my better-looking friend that she did not wanna fuck you. …Girls have two signals for their friends: ‘I’m gonna fuck him’ and ‘HELP.’
The number of “get me out of here” tactics women have developed and shared to help each other escape from overly-insistent-to-borderline-predatory dudes in public places should probably be enough evidence of the existence of rape culture all on its own.
I especially like how, in the majority of cases, you don’t have to verbally communicate what your signals are to other women. I’ve had women I didn’t even know come save me. Literally every woman recognizes the “Dear god, help me” facial expression, and knows exactly what they should do. We don’t get a handbook for this. We don’t have a sit-down nail polish party where we talk about a standardized woman code for preventing creepers. It’s just part of being a woman.
BUT LOL RAPE CULTURE DOESN’T EXIST.
Yup. I’ve definitely taken strangers by the arm and pulled her aside to go, “Oh my GOD it’s you! How ARE YOU?!? It’s been so long!” and then been like “hey I could overhear that guy who wouldn’t leave you alone so I figured I’d give you an out” and then see their VISIBLY RELIEVED expressions. This is part of girl code, because rape culture is that pervasive.
I once had a girl sit on my lap and say “hey baby” after she witnessed a guy (who was easily 20+ years older than me) hitting on me and harassing me for my number even after I told him I was taken. After he got up and left she asked if I was okay. I couldn’t thank her enough times, I even bought her a drink.
Ive had a woman grab my arm in the girls room with fear in her eyes begging for help and asked me to hide her and escort her out of the club just so she could leave without a specific guy that was harassing her all night follow her home. He was waiting outside of the washroom but I put my coat on her with the hood up and we managed to sneak past without him noticing and get her safely into a cab. This happens far too often!(via girl-farts)
Is that what I would be called? I am not sure on the terminology. But hello, my name is Ryan Smith, the current president of Students for Sexual Health. You may have noticed some new posts lately that are less serious. Don’t worry, it won’t always be like that. I just tend to have a tumblr full of humorous sexually themed posts. I will soon start following the more serious blogs so as to continue being informative. But will also dump funnier ones in to keep myself and you entertained. Hope that is ok with you!
Leave me a message if there is a certain type of content you feel should be better represented or if you have any questions. I will do my best to leave you satisfied.