Double standards of Property Male Champs
For years we've pointed out the double standards of Property Male Champions - corporate leaders of the shopping centre companies which lease to sex shop Honey Birdette. Male Champions of Change (MCC) are lauded as "decent, powerful men" who are stamping out everyday sexism in the workplace and community.
But how can that be said about men whose companies host Honey Birdette's floor-to-ceiling pornified window displays in their malls? These malls are workplaces, and display of Honey Birdette's porn-style ads is - as defined by the Australian Human Rights Commission - sexual harassment.
L-R (Top): Property Male Champions Peter Allen (CEO Scentre Group - Westfield AU), Steve McCann (CEO Lendlease Group), Grant Kelley (CEO Vicinity Centres), Bob Johnston (CEO The GPT Group), Darren Steinberg (CEO Dexus); (Bottom) Steve Conry (CEO JLL Australia), Michael O'Brien (Managing Director Global Real Estate, QIC), John Mulcahy (Chair Mirvac), Daryl Browning (CEO ISPT), Mark Steinert (Managing Director Stockland)
We thanked Male Champions for its significant report, Disrupting the Sytem: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, which acknowledged shortcomings in male corporate leaders' efforts to stop sexual harassment to date and identified areas in need of urgent attention. MCC Founder Elizabeth Broderick reminded the men in MCC's ranks that those who fail to take action to stop sexual harassment are part of the culture which aids it.
The report even lists the 'objectification of women in mainstream media advertising' as an example of sexual harassment behaviour dealt with from within the organisation. We were pleased to see MCC's acknowledgement that objectification in advertising is indeed linked to a wider culture of disrespect for women.
The commendable report was released just as Male Champion-led shopping centres started hosting Honey Birdette's BDSM and orgy-themed ads in shop windows right next to kids' school holiday fun. Read more about that here.
Honey Birdette ads displayed in Male Champion-led shopping centres, September-October 2020
We couldn't help wondering, had the Property Male Champs read the report? (Apparently, they all signed it.) And how is accommodating floor-to-ceiling pornified representations of women - some headless, in dog-collars and leads, others in transparent underwear with bare genitals exposed - 'disrupting the system'?
Why is @LendleaseGroup fuelling sexism + aiding workplace #sexualharassment by allowing sex shop #HoneyBirdette’s porn-themed window displays in its shopping centres?— Collective Shout (@CollectiveShout) October 16, 2020
Images like this one-a headless women in transparent underwear which reveal bare genitals.@malechampions pic.twitter.com/y2eGoYd6iU
Despite a change.org petition with over 77,000 signatures calling on them to stop allowing Honey Birdette's porn-style ads in their shopping centres, the Property Male Champions have never given a meaningful response. Honey Birdette has been free to sexually harass members of the public with impunity.
Disrupting the system means challenging the status quo. As long as Male Champions host Honey Birdette's porn-themed window displays, they're part of the problem.
Video: Porn Culture: Marketing, Advertising and Corporate Social Responsibility. At the 2019 Australian Summit to End Sexual Exploitation Melinda Tankard Reist spoke on the double standards of Male Champions who host Honey Birdette's porn-themed ads in their shopping centres.
Read the MCC report here.