Win! Porny image removed from Rydges Hotel male bathrooms

Yesterday we took to social media to ask CEO Jane Hastings to exercise corporate social responsibility and remove the p*rny image in the Rydges Gold Coast location mens toilets.



Jane responded shortly after "Hi - thanks for bringing this to my attention. I have the team investigating this immediately. Whilst this is not a managed hotel property, it does carry the Rydges brand. We do respect that art is subjective, however, this is not aligned to the Rydges brand. This art will be taken down when it is identified."
This morning we received a confirmation email from a staff member from the parent company EVT that the image had been removed. 
We are glad that Rydges has acted promptly since we launched our campaign but why was the image put up in the first place? And why wasn't this matter taken seriously when Holly (Collective Shout supporter and hotel customer) lodged her formal complaint in writing to the hotel?
"I’m relieved to hear that Rydges Gold Coast have removed this offensive large scale image from the male bathroom thanks to the collective voice of women (and men) who will push back against this type of content. This is powerful.

These types of situations and wins give me hope and encouragement that together we can take a stand and say no to the sexualisation, objectification and discrimination of wahine. We can work together towards a better future for our kids. Thanks Collective Shout
" - Holly
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See original blog below

Hotel creates hostile environment for women and girls

A supporter, Holly, contacted us recently after spotting a large, pornographic print hanging inside the entrance of the men's toilets at Rydges (hotel), Gold Coast. The print features a faceless, naked woman posed spread-legged and head arched backwards. Her genital region is obscured by an ornament placed in front of it.

The supporter described the image as 'easily seen' even when walking past the restroom. The entry door appears to be fixed open with a door stop.

She immediately raised her concerns with the hotel Front Office Manager but was 'brushed off'.

She then emailed the hotel general manager Matt Walters and owner John 'Foxy' Robinson to express her objections to the pornographic display, conveying her feelings of relief that she did not have her own children with her to see the 'portrayal of woman purely as a sex object in a mainstream hotel'.

How is this 2023 and the objectification and sexualisation of women in a men's bathroom in a new [Rydges Hotel Gold Coast] can be seen as acceptable in a public space?

She also described her concern for customers who had experienced sexual abuse and trauma who would be exposed to the image.

'Not OK'

The supporter concluded:

To have this sexualised image in a public place where children (especially young boys) can easily see it when using the bathroom, this isn't ok.

Rydges' (pathetic) response

The front office manager replied to defend the pornographic image, reducing the supporter's concerns about the objectification of women and sexualisation of children to an "opinion" about "art".

The porn image was apparently sourced by hotel owner - Darwin developer and Order of Australia recipient - John 'Foxy' Robinson.

Foxy is "well known" for collecting "art work" from local artists according to Rydges

Objectification not 'empowering'

While - according to the front office manager - female employees saw the image as "empowering", we know that objectifying, porn style images like Rydges' dunny display achieve the opposite for women. Reducing women to sex objects for men literally disempowers women, and makes life harder for women and girls.

Read: Why sexual objectification does not "empower" women

Decades of research shows that objectification of women in media and marketing leads the viewer to see women as 'diminished in competence, humanity and morality'. It contributes negatively to women's and girls' mental health and body image. Research also shows that women do not feel safe where this type of imagery is displayed. And it contributes to a culture in which violence against women flourishes.

Girls we speak to in schools describe sexual harassment and assault from their male peers at school - being groped, sexually moaned and barked at; having their bodies compared to porn performers; receiving demands for nudes and threats of rape if they refuse. As we've long pointed out, a pornified, sexist culture grooms sexist boys. Rydges' giant porn pic contributes to this culture and makes life harder for girls.

We object to Rydges exposing any child to this pornographic image. It amounts to grooming and sexualisation and is a form of corporate paedophilia.

Women employed in venues where sexualised images and products are displayed are at a heightened risk of workplace sexual harassment. We are deeply concerned for Rydges employees - particularly women - who do not wish to see porn images in their workplace and may not feel empowered to speak out against hotel owner Foxy or his publicly displayed porn collection.


Porn image violates corporate values

Rydges is owned by entertainment giant EVT (Entertainment-Ventures-Travel). EVT owns a suite of brands including Event Cinemas, QT Hotels and Thredbo (ski) Resort. Publicly listed (ASX: EVT) and with an annual turnover of $1 billion, the company claims to put its customers 'at the centre of everything': 

..that means making a positive impact on our customers, our people, our communities and our environment.

From its corporate governance statement:

The Group’s values of empowerment, possibilities and community enable it to fulfil our purpose, which is to make the day better for ourselves, our customers, our team and our community. The Board is responsible for approving the values and has charged the Senior Leadership Team with the responsibility of embedding these values across the business, ensuring the Group’s employees understand and demonstrate the values.


EVT Chairman and major shareholder Alan Rydge + CEO Jane Hastings

How is hanging a gigantic porn pic in the men's toilet making a 'positive impact' on customers and communities? How is fobbing off a female customer who objects to it putting customers at the 'centre of everything' and 'making the day better' for her? 

If this pornographic image is so empowering would Rydges be willing to hang it in the lobby? Why is it strategically placed in the male toilets?

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  • Collective Shout
    published this page in News 2023-08-29 14:45:50 +1000

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