Current and former employees of Honey Birdette continue to fight back against the company over poor work conditions and sexual harassment.
Women gathered outside a Melbourne Honey Birdette store for a protest where they drew attention to routine sexual harassment they were encouraged to endure in order to make sales.
Ex-employee Chanelle Rogers shared one such incident at news.com.au:
“He was following me around the store, at some times standing right behind me, as he talked, and I’d move away and he would follow. He started talking about watching his wife being cornered in a room by 15 men, all trying to sexually assault her.
“I ended up on one side of the counter, just desperate to put some space between us.
“He became more explicit, talking about basically a scene of rape, telling me in explicit detail about the pleasure he gained from the voyeurism.
“I didn’t ask him to leave because I had no idea how to handle the situation because it’s drummed into you so much to just potentially serve a customer.”
Chanelle launched a petition against the store that now has over 6000 signatures.
Honey Birdette responds
Honey Birdette has responded to the situation by deleting all complaints from their Facebook page, and with the following statement:
“We are all about empowering women and supporting our wonderful staff. We are disappointed about the mistruths that have been reported recently,” customer relations manager Claire Mast said in an email.
“Thank you for your concern, at this stage Honey Birdette does not wish to comment further.”
Honey Birdette has been under investigation for selling sex toys and pornographic material. The ASB has investigated and upheld various complaints but the store has flat out refused to remove porn-inspired window advertising. Honey Birdette also made the ASB's top ten list of most complained about advertising for 2016.
It should come as no surprise that a company built on sexually objectifying women would exploit their female staff members, encouraging them to use their sexuality to sell products and to tolerate sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior from male customers.
At what point will Westfield say enough?
We’ve called on Westfield Australia to take action. See their most recent response on the 8th of December:
Is there a Honey Birdette at your local Westfield? (Find out here.) Email your local Westfield centre and ask them what action they are taking.
Post on Westfield's Facebook page.
Tweet @WestfieldAU using the hashtag #NotYourHoney
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I would have been jobless and homeless had I not done what I was told to do. I regret this and the fact my full name has been published is quite upsetting.