Oops! Playboy consent graphic not actually by Playboy
It’s late. You’re up.
Earlier today, we excitedly spread the news that Playboy Magazine had included Columbia in their new top ten party commandments list, which was promoting consent in the wake of the rape culture present in many of the magazine’s top party school lists. Just a few hours ago, though, the Atlantic Wire revealed that it’s not by Playboy at all, but rather a very convincing fake. We’ve been bamboozled!
Either way, the graphic does spread a great message about consent and safe sex, and just because it’s not from Playboy doesn’t mean it should simply be ignored. But all this makes me wonder: Why hasn’t Playboy actually taken a stand against rape? I can’t think of any way it would cause controversy or bad press—just look at the Atlantic Wire article to see the massive support that the top ten party commandments received!
Strangely enough, a similar hoax happened about a year ago with Victoria’s Secret. The Mary Sue reports that a group called FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture was able to momentarily set up an entire campaign that people actually believed was from VS. The campaign’s title? PINK loves CONSENT. After only about 24 hours, though, the campaign was stopped by the DMCA.
Victoria’s Secret and Playboy share a tremendous influence over millions upon millions of consumers, so why not use that influence for good? As Susana Polo says in her Mary Sue article, the best thing Victoria’s Secret could have done was team up with FORCE and create a real line of “Consent is sexy” underwear, and maybe even donate that money to charity. Yet, VS chose to simply ignore the fake but well-intended campaign, not even responding to comments. I fear that Playboy will do the same.
So much good can come from this. It’s time for Playboy and Victoria’s Secret to step up and start promoting consent rather than continuing to encourage rape culture. By now, I think everyone’s just expecting it.