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Eight Proud Moments in Underactivism
Sticking it to the man, one lacy undergarment at a time.
by Kate Hakala
Recently, activists appropriated Victoria's Secret's PINK campaign to create Pink <3's Consent, a mock line of panties featuring phrases like "No Means No" and ask first. To commemorate the noble action of using one's unmentionables to... mention things, we're taking a look back at recent highlights in underactivism.
FEMEN Marches on Kiev in Progressive Degrees of Nudity, 2008
Outraged by the Ukraine's rampant sex tourism, international marriage agencies, and institutionalized sexism, Anna Hutsol formed the activist group FEMEN in 2008. The group started with marches in their underwear through the streets of Kiev, with members writing slogans against misogyny and prostitution on their bodies. But after one member made the decision to bare all, FEMEN took to marching topless instead of in their skivvies. After all, boobs speak louder than poster boards.
Pink Chaddi Campaign Forces Justice's Hand With Underwear, 2009
In 2009, women entering a pub in Mangalore, India, were brutally attacked by members of the conservative group Sri Ram Sena. Pramod Muthalik, leader of the SRS, made the revival of traditional Indian values one of his chief talking points, calling for a seven p.m. curfew for women and threatening to use roving gangs of priests to forcibly marry any unwed couples seen in public on Valentine’s Day. As a response, a group calling itself The Consortium of Pub-Going, Loose and Forward Women initiated the "Pink Chaddi Campaign" ("Chaddi" is "underwear" in Hindi), which called for hundreds of pairs of pink underwear to be sent to Muthalik’s building on Valentine’s Day. As a result of the increased public awareness caused by the campaign, Muthalik, along with 140 others, were taken into preventive custody by police on Valentine's Eve.
Laid-Off Lingerie Workers Hurl Bras and Panties at The Man in Manila, 2009
On June 30, 2009, workers dismissed from underwear manufacturer Triumph International Philippines gathered outside of the Department of Labour and Employment in Manila to protest what they called the "illegal and unjust closure of Triumph International Philippines." They accomplished this by donning the fruits of their labors, marching and carrying signs, and hurling bras and panties willy-nilly through the air. Actually, some of these pictures are quite intimidating — I don't know about you, but if I saw the above gentleman standing outside my office, hurling lingerie at my building with that stoic expression on his face, I'd probably be re-thinking some of my decisions.
SlutWalk Begins In Toronto, Takes Off Worldwide, 2011
After a Toronto police officer suggested that women could avoid sexual assault by not dressing like "sluts," Sonya Barnett and Heather Jarvis decided to get a whole bunch of "sluts" together and march on police headquarters, sparking a tradition that has spread worldwide since. In Barnett and Jarvis' words, "Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work."
NEXT: Chilean high-schoolers making out in their underwear. For justice!