“I CAN’T FORGET WHAT HAPPENED, BUT NO ONE ELSE REMEMBERS,” read the giant red letters floating in the reflecting pool beneath DC’s Washington Monument. “I’ve never seen anything like that floating in the reflecting pool and I’ve lived in or around DC my whole life,” an observer noted. “So I was very drawn to it. It was a beautiful message and it was a haunting message.” The words, written by a survivor of sexual assault, were displayed in DC by FORCE, the Baltimore-based feminist activist group (who you may remember for their awesome Victoria’s Secret prank back in December). Although their installation was temporary, it was part of a push to create a national memorial for survivors of rape and abuse on the National Mall.
Last week, the internet was shocked and pleased to learn that Victoria’s Secret had launched a new line of consent-themed underwear. Instead of a thong reading “SURE THING,” these panties said things like “NO MEANS NO” and “ASK FIRST.” Even more exciting, they were modeled by a beaming curvy woman of color. “I’m the first person to go on a tirade about how much I hate VS, but this is awesome,” wrote one blogger — a sentiment that echoed throughout the Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter-sphere. Pretty shortly, though, the campaign was revealed as a sophisticated hoax perpetrated by a group of radical Baltimore feminists. BFB asked Baltimore residents Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle about their intentions, future plans — and the angry reaction from Victoria’s Secret:
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