Collective Shout is a grassroots campaigns movement against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls.
Collective Shout is for anyone concerned about the increasing pornification of culture and the way its messages have become entrenched in mainstream society, presenting distorted and dishonest ideas about women and girls, sexuality and relationships.
Since we launched in 2010, we have achieved a huge number of significant wins: billboards objectifying women have been pulled down, inappropriate clothing for children withdrawn from sale, violent games banned, and other forms of sexualised advertising halted. Major corporations have joined our movement, pledging to reshape their practices for a world free of sexploitation!
This was all possible because thousands of people just like you decided to speak out and take action.
We are a grassroots campaigns movement - a Collective Shout against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls in media, advertising and popular culture.
To bring about cultural change and societal transformation through holding corporations, advertisers, marketers and media accountable for the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls and encouraging strategic social partnerships that uphold the value of women and girls.
We want to see a world free of sexploitation, where the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls is “unthinkable”
Our core values
- A voice that values women and girls
- A voice that is known and respected as a thought leader on the objectification of
women and sexualisation of girls
- A voice that creates counter-cultural change, where the objectification of women
and sexualisation of girls is ‘unthinkable’.
The way we work
- We are a countercultural voice working to making the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls ‘unthinkable’.
- We are a grassroots campaigns movement - empowering individuals to speak out thus amplifying our campaigns nationally.
- Our professional presentations, products and thought leadership educate people about the way objectification of women and sexualisation of girls is normalised through media, marketing and corporate behaviour. Our presentations, products and thought leadership lead to cultural and systemic change that places value on women and girls.
- We develop strategic social partnerships with corporates who value women and girls, to encourage other companies to do the same and advance corporate social responsibility (refer below to our pledge).
- We have a sustainable fundraising model because of loyal partnerships with donors and sponsors who are committed to authentic change.
Defining our terms
What is objectification?
Objectification is the process by which a person comes to be treated as a commodity or an object for use, rather than a human being with a personality, feelings, needs, dignity and rights. Sexual objectification is where a person is objectified for the purpose of sexual gratification or use of another.
What is sexualisation?
According to the American Psychological Association, sexualisation occurs when:
- a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
- a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
- a person is sexually objectified — that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
- sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.
All four conditions need not be present; any one is an indication of sexualisation. The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children. Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualised. But when children are imbued with adult sexuality, it is often imposed upon them rather than chosen by them. Self-motivated sexual exploration, on the other hand, is not sexualization by our definition, nor is age-appropriate exposure to information about sexuality.
Sexuality vs Sexualisation
Opposing sexualisation is not the same as opposing sex or sexuality. We believe girls have the right to healthy sexual development and to knowledge which equips and empowers them to make healthy decisions about sexuality, their bodies and relationships. Porn culture teaches girls that their value and worth is in their sexual allure and their ability to attract sexual attention. Young women are being socialised and conditioned to see themselves as sexual service stations for men and boys. Our campaigns are directed not against female sexuality but against a culture that teaches them that is their only value. Our approach is made clear in this article.
Our purpose, mission, values and efforts are undergirded by a growing body of global research that verifies the harms of objectifying women and sexualising girls. For example, Professor L. Monique Ward’s meta-analysis of 135 studies provides “consistent evidence that everyday exposure to sexually objectifying content is directly associated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women”. The research concluded that “experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women’s competence, morality, and humanity”.
A 2019 publication by the American Psychological Association, co-authored by Our Watch’s Elise Holland, found that women’s routine exposure to objectifying behaviours in daily life results in habitual self-objectification, which in turn impacts negatively on emotional well-being.
Sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault and other forms of violence against women do not take place in a vacuum. These problems are perpetuated by a culture that sees women as sexual objects rather than full human beings deserving of respect, equal treatment and participation. Sexual objectification dehumanises women and is one of the driving forces behind the sexist attitudes that underscore discrimination, harassment and violence against women.
Collective Shout bridges the gap between acts of violence against women and the wider culture of sexual objectification of girls and women. We are one of the few organisations making the link between acts of violence against women and the endemic culture of sexual objectification of girls and women.