Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation has released its annual “Crossed Off” list. First launched 11 years ago, the blacklist is a collation of corporate offenders which have objectified women and sexualised girls to sell products and services.
The list of companies to avoid during the Christmas shopping period serves as a guide for consumers wanting to spend ethically. It is part of our work challenging sexist ideas which contribute to harmful behaviour towards women and girls.
This year’s line-up includes global online marketplace Etsy for selling child sex abuse dolls, Playboy-owned sex store Honey Birdette, youth retailer City Beach for porn-branded fashion and car servicing chain UltraTune for a history of sexist advertising.
Etsy tops the list for selling child sex abuse dolls and replica child body parts, as well as child abuse and incest-themed merchandise. Despite a petition spearheaded by Melbourne musician, fashion designer and mother of five Anna Cordell attracting more than 50 000 signatures, Etsy has ignored us.
Honey Birdette consistently plasters 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.
Its choking-themed images eroticise violence against women. Up-skirting images of women playing tennis in lingerie sexualise women in sport.
Ad Standards has upheld more than 50 complaints against the company for violating the advertising Code of Ethics, 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.
The Australian Human Rights Commission's definition of sexual harassment includes unwanted exposure to sexualised imagery which these CEO’s facilitate in their centres. They also continue to ignore a change.org petition signed by 77,000 individuals calling on them to act.
“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.”
Caitlin Roper, Campaigns Manager, Collective Shout – email: [email protected]
Melinda Tankard Reist, Movement Director, Collective Shout – email: [email protected]
November 14, 2021