*WIN: 'Miners Get Vaginas' cap pulled!*
We asked Caterpillar - a construction and mining equipment manufacturer - if they were aware their logo was on the cap. They replied:
"These items were not created, manufactured, or authorised for sale by CAT Australia. We strongly disapprove of the offensive themes depicted and are grateful for your notification. We are committed to taking immediate action to halt the distribution of these unauthorised products."
We are pleased to see this sexist cap has been now removed from the website. But it is not a one off. There are a range of other degrading caps available for sale. We call on Country Trucker Caps to remove all their sexist and objectifying products and stop contributing to real harm to women and girls.
"At the same time the Australian Government is investing significant money and resources to address widespread sexual harassment and sexual violence in the mining industry, Country Trucker Caps is encouraging men in the mining industry to see women as vaginas for their use"
Last week we exposed Country Trucker Caps, a Queensland-based company selling the following hat, emblazoned with the words “Miners Get Vaginas” and “No hole to [sic] deep”.
The sexist slogan objectifies women by reducing them to vaginas, mere holes to be penetrated.
It constitutes sexual harassment, communicating hostility and disrespect for women, and creating an unsafe environment for them.
It endorses the objectification of women and reinforces men’s entitlement to women’s bodies in an industry known for its endemic sexual harassment and violence against women.
It is rape culture in action.
Did Country Trucker Caps pause to consider how their product contributes to a culture of sexual harassment in the mining industry that causes real harm to women? How would a woman working at a mine site feel if forced to work alongside a man wearing their cap?
“Your hole is my goal...Diggin’ Holes, Bangin’ Moles”
Since last week, we’ve discovered a lot more sexist and objectifying products by Country Trucker Caps – many reducing women to sexualised body parts (and often using derogatory language to do so) and trivialising sexual harassment.
These products reinforce the notion that women are not human beings worthy of respect, but that they exist for men’s entertainment and sexual use. These attitudes are at the root of men’s violence and abuse of women.
Country Trucker Caps responds, defends sexist product
Over the weekend, we received a message from a woman who claimed to be part-owner of the company, defending it.
We address her points below.
"I am a female, wife, daughter and mother"
First, objectifying and dehumanising women doesn’t magically cease to be harmful because a woman is involved or profiting from it. Businesses trading in sexism and contributing to sexual harassment do harm to women regardless of whether a few individual women participate.
"This cap has sold out multiple times"
Second, that the sexist cap is so popular it has sold out multiple times does not make it any less sexist or the harms of its message any less significant. What it does reveal is that these toxic attitudes towards women are prevalent. The fact that many men might support the characterisation of woman as holes to be penetrated is not a defence, although it is certainly chilling.
"If you don't like it, don't buy it"
Finally, “if you don’t like it, don’t buy it” is a common refrain used by those who profit from sexism and female objectification. The problem with this statement is that it is based on the premise that objection to sexism and misogyny is a matter of personal offence or taste rather than an acknowledgement of harm.
We don’t like it, and we won’t buy it. But we have to inhabit a world full of those who do, or those whose contempt for women is emboldened by Country Trucker Caps message.
We don’t get to opt out. As Campaigner Melinda Liszewski wrote, “’Don’t like it, don’t buy it’ makes as much sense as saying ‘don’t like pollution, don’t breathe’.
Government taking action to address sexual harassment and violence in mining industry
At the same time the Australian Government is investing significant money and resources to address widespread sexual harassment and sexual violence in the mining industry, Country Trucker Caps is encouraging men in the mining industry to see women as vaginas for their use.
The Enough is Enough report, which features accounts of women raped and sexually harassed on mine sites, notes that the male-dominated industry has perpetuated a culture that fails to protect women:
Report into Workplace Culture at Rio Tinto accepted that there was a real problem. It told of women in the company’s experience of ‘everyday sexism, a corrosive and demeaning phenomenon which, when allowed to flourish, can be fertile ground for more serious sexual misconduct to occur.
One individual in the sector reported,
Sexual harassment is the step that follows from allowing women to be treated in disrespectful ways every day, by making it seem we are not important, we are not seen, we are not heard.
The November 2022 progress report by The Hon. Mr Bill Johnson MLA and The Hon. Ms Simone McGurk MLA reads,
All organisations, industry leaders, employers and individuals have a responsibility to speak out against this behaviour, to hold perpetrators to account and to safeguard women’s rights and health and safety in the workplace. We welcome the commitment of the mining industry to work alongside the Government in driving cultural, systemic and legislative change to better equip and educate the existing and future mining industry workforce.
We encourage Country Trucker Caps to read this report, with the accounts of countless women subjected to rape, abuse and sexual harassment on mine sites – and stop selling their sexist and objectifying products.
Contact Country Trucker Caps today and tell them to pull these sexist and objectifying products from their website.
Phone: 0448 439 282
Contact CaterpillarInc and ask them how they feel about their brand being used on the "Miners get Vaginas" cap.