Grassroots campaigning movement Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation has released its annual “Crossed Off” list. First launched a decade ago, the blacklist is a collation of corporate offenders which have objectified women and sexualised girls to sell products and services.
The list – which coincides with International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women tomorrow - serves as a guide of companies to avoid during the Christmas shopping period for consumers wanting to spend ethically. It is part of our 10-years of work challenging sexist ideas which contribute to harmful behaviour towards women and girls.
This year’s line-up includes sex store Honey Birdette, the shopping centres which host its pornified advertising and car servicing company Ultra Tune for a history of sexist ads – the most complained about this year.
Honey Birdette tops the list for consistently plastering its display windows with pornified representations of women to an all-ages audience in shopping centres. These full-size images feature women in sexualised poses, with breasts, backsides and genitals emphasised. Ad Standards has upheld 44 complaints against the company however Honey Birdette refuses to comply.
Property companies Westfield, Lendlease, Vicinity Centres, Stockland and others are also included on the boycott list for hosting Honey Birdette porn-themed advertising in family shopping centres. Their CEOs identify as ‘Male Champions of Change’ promising to address sexism. Yet - noting the Australian Human Rights Commission's definition of sexual harassment which includes unwanted exposure to sexualised imagery - they facilitate it in their own centres. They also continue to ignore a change.org petition signed by 77,000 individuals calling on them to take action.
“It’s all about profits at the expense of women,” says Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper.
Decades of empirical research demonstrates that sexualised and objectifying portrayals of women have a negative impact on attitudes towards women and their treatment. A 2015 meta-analysis showed such portrayals led to a “diminished view of women’s competence, morality and humanity”. [Media and Sexualization: State of Empirical Research, 1995-2015, Ward LM, The Journal of Sex Research (2016)]
“It’s time for these companies to stop profiting from sexualising and objectifying women and girls. If they don’t understand Corporate Social Responsibility, if they don’t understand ethics, maybe they will understand when they start losing money.”
See the full list here: https://www.collectiveshout.org/cross_em_off_your_christmas_list_2020