Feminist Underwear?

“Feminist” undies have been a hot topic in social media lately. Ever since the response to the PINK “rape panties” by the feminist group “Pink Loves Consent” 2 years back, new takes on the idea have been cropping up. From Amulya Sanagavarapu’s Feminist Style to Anthony Hall’s Period Panties, Kickstarter has been full of people trying to make it big in the themed underwear industry.

To start off, Sanagavarapu’s Canada based project hopes to “create social change through consumerism” and show off the buying power that women have. Feminist Style’s mission is to “sell products that target sexism to promote gender equality, and use the proceeds to produce feminist advertising, which in turn helps us reach more people, sell more products, and produce more feminist advertising.” Sounds pretty awesome, right?

Even better, the product is cute, funny, and a great way to start conversations about consent.

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A refreshing change from the “Sure Thing” and “No Peeking” slogans of the past, we think these products are great.

Along with the body positive marketing, we give this project 5 stars!

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Check them out here.

On the flip side, Anthony Hall’s project has generated more controversy. His Period Panties boast “celebrating your womanhood by wearing Period Panties! Sure, it’s not necessarily the high point of your month, but with Period Panties it doesn’t have to be the low point. Half the world menstruates, so why not have some fun with it?!” While this sounds pretty great and empowering at first, there’s something that’s just not right about these panties.

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Jezebel frames it perfectly:

“I get it: it’s a joke. And it’s one that people love, clearly. To me, though, the fact that the humor lies in the idea that ‘something that regularly happens to most women’s bodies once a month is gross and hilarious!!!! LOL!!’ sucks. Making stale visual puns about how periods are weird and scary is neither a cute lil’ jest nor a tongue-in-cheek celebration of womanhood — it’s just a repetition of the same old sexist garbage one encounters every day.”

What do you think? Was Hall onto something and just missed the mark? Or was it a doomed attempt at feminism from the start?

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More information on Hall’s Kickstarter here.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Feminist Underwear?

  1. Annika Roberts says:

    I really like your critiques of both these products and totally agree with both of them. But, as simply a thing that I’d like to hear your opinion on, what do you think about the common slogan, that one of the first pair of underwear is sporting, “consent is sexy”? Because on one hand I like that it encourages consent in a cute, funny way but on the other hand I’m left wondering does consent HAVE to be sexy, shouldn’t it just be required? It feels weird that we have to sexualize consent in order for it to be culturally acceptable and a norm. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

    As a side note: this blog is hella rad!! Keep up the great work :))

  2. Ashley Quenneville says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this critique. I love that you mention the role of consumerism especially. Of course the products we are exposed to and purchase influence our perceptions, and maybe these panties demonstrate how our purchases should be as socially conscious as our actions.

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