FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture


Consent has been a huge issue recently and was the base of my search for an activist group. Almost every college now will talk about consent and make sure that every student is aware of what consent really means. With that as a base i stumbled across FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture. Force started with Hannah Bracanto and Rebecca Nagle starting with an art exhibit in Baltimore in 2010. Force is primarily about raising awareness about rape culture, and to create a counter culture of consent through art. FORCE is primarily known for their Victoria’s Secret prank. The prank was an advertisement with themed underwear with text such as “NO MEANS NO” and “CONSENT IS SEXY”, mimicking the style of Victoria Secret Underwear. Many people would think that their actions would be considered slut shaming, seeing as how if the person was to wear the Victoria Secret underwear they would probably be more okay with sex.  It can be perceived also as blaming the man for being too aggressive and forcing the girl into something she does not want. But that is not the case. IN FORCE’s case, their objective was not necessarily to attack the consumers but to have them reconsider what type of our current culture perception on consent and to point out that Victoria’s Secret, more specifically their PINK brand creates a poor message for younger girls. Their PINK brand as a whole targets younger girls already (high school and college) and promotes sexual activity, which would not be a problem if it was not used as a way to ridicule those who choose not to. Because of the popularity of the brand it becomes the new “cool thing” and the underwear with text such as “Sure Thing” further cements it. So not only are people slut shaming, but they’re also shaming those who don’t do it, making it possible to find something wrong with everything. This prank is one of their many ideas to promote their counter-culture.


VSVS pt 2


They don’t stop there, they also try to help those who have been survivors of sexual assault such as their current project called The Monument Quilt. After doing research on the Victoria Secret prank I looked more into FORCE and discovered their works such as The Monument Quilt. This is an important topic to me because I think what someone does with their life is their choice and many people believe that unless someone lives their life like them they’re wrong and deserved to be shamed, that not only pits people against one another but also is counter productive to our culture progressing.


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