Free from ‘toxic chemicals.’ Not free from toxic messages
Last week, 15 girls aged 14-16, and involved with Fusion Mornington Peninsula’s Real Girls program, took on Australian make-up and skincare brand Frank Body over its lip and cheek ‘Send Nudes’ product.Read more
Gone in 24 hours. But why does this keep happening?
Well that was quick.
On Tuesday afternoon I posted on my social media pages this hoodie for primary school aged boys.
It was found in the Canberra outlet store of surf style chain shop Quiksilver, which describes itself as ‘The World’s Leader in Snow and Surf Clothing’ by Rachel Grant. She’s a mum who was looking for clothes for her 6 and 9-year-old sons who were with her. She then told me about her unfortunate discovery on the rack of clothing in her son’s sizing.
Quiksilver was about to become a world leader in objectified and sexualised clothing for little boys.
At a time when we are (at last) having a global discussion about the mistreatment of women and girls, calling out the bad behaviour of so many predators, gropers, sexual abuse apologists and general thugs and with governments adding in new budget items for respectful relationships programs in schools, corporates like this go about their merry misogynistic ways, creating fashion items which enmesh objectification of women and male entitlement in the culture.
Supporters went into action immediately – women like mother, grandmother and teacher Lisa Ashdowne who wrote in part: “I’m writing to make a complaint about the messages your products and advertising send our children, girls and boys, about who they are in the world, how they should think and behave, where they belong in society, the value they hold for themselves and for others – living in Torquay, I am faced daily with the overriding message that boys and men are valued for their skills and effort in surfing and girls and YOUNG women are valued when they are skinny, semi-naked…being on display, not valued for anything other than another’s pleasure. I will be actively campaigning against your company until your values and guiding principles change and they are EXPLICITLY demonstrated in your products and your communications at all levels”.
Then, the next day, supporters began receiving this message.
I’ve thanked Quiksilver for their prompt response. And they deserves thanks.
But activist Melinda Liszewski, whose has been working with me in cultural jamming actions for more than a decade, asks this pointed question on twitter:
That’s the thing, isn’t it. There are people who decided that plastering semi naked women on a jumper for little boys, suggesting those women are a ‘paradise’ for them to enjoy, is acceptable. There were entire design/buying/marketing departments determining that turning little boys into walking billboards for spreading harmful ideas about women and girls was fine. Where is the quality control? The ethics? The corporate social responsibility?
It’s great to go into the New Year with a win straight up. And we are thankful when companies respond to community concern. But we must remain vigilant and keep fighting until there is genuine change at every level.
We love to see our supporters engaging in our campaigns and challenging those who profit from the sexual exploitation of women and girls. Over the past few weeks of our campaign against Honey Birdette, we’ve seen some great actions taken by supporters. Here are some of our favourites:
As seen in Westfield shopping centres around the country:
For a long time, I have been troubled by the mere presence of TV screens in public areas. It seems that these days every restaurant, cafe and shopping centre virtually adorn their walls with them.
As a mother who has always been restrictive of what my daughter is allowed to view, this can be very disturbing when, for example, you can walk into a café and there’s news footage of the latest bomb attack for my ten-year-old to see. I often question the need for these screens to be there in the first place. Most of the time the volume is turned down, so whatever show is on cannot be properly followed. It is, however, natural for eyes to be drawn to moving imagery – especially the eyes of young children.Read more
Here are my top 10 tips for getting the most of Twitter, as an individual or as a business/organisation!Read more
It’s been a massive year of campaigning at Collective Shout this year- perhaps our best yet!Read more
Last week, our WA State Coordinator Caitlin Roper wrote about some of her experiences receiving violent rape threats for running Collective Shout campaigns. Her piece was published by The Guardian news website and sparked discussions about the ongoing issue of online threats by men to female activists and the weaknesses in law enforcement and social media systems to effectively deal with these crimes.
Last night, Caitlin and Talitha Stone were interviewed on ABC's Lateline, sharing their stories of activism and the threats that typically followed.
Watch the video here: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s4121651.htm
Talitha recalled being targeted by Tyler the Creator's 1.7 million twitter followers with a barrage of threats and vitriol and the police's failure to adequately address the situation. Caitlin shared how her twitter profile had been copied and used to solicit sex to men on the internet in her name, and how the police response was to suggest she use a 'more plain' photo on her twitter profile.Read more
Join the global campaign
One of the great rewards of this work for women and girls is the global collaborations that have been forged by like-minded people who recognise there is strength in numbers: that a combined voice will achieve more.Read more