Collective Shout campaigns manager Caitlin Roper spoke with Dave Pellowe this week about our campaign against Honey Birdette and how the sexual exploitation of women by companies like Honey Birdette has real-world consequences for women and girls.
The evidence is clear. Twenty years of empirical research, 135 studies across 109 publications, found that:
"regular, everyday exposure to [sexually objectifying portrayals of women] are directly associated with a range of consequences, including higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater self-objectification, greater support of sexist beliefs and of adversarial sexual beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence toward women. Moreover, experimental exposure to this content leads both women and men to have a diminished view of women's competence, morality, and humanity."
Caitlin Roper, from women’s right’s group Collective Shout, said it’s “heartening to hear that police forces are both acknowledging the magnitude of these sexual crimes and implementing measures to stop them”, but she also pointed out that we must address the root cause of harassment.
“While it’s important women feel safe and supported to report these crimes, we also need to focus our attention on educating men,” she told The Huffington Post UK.
“The most effective way to reduce incidents of men sexually assaulting women is to go to the source and teach men that they are not entitled to the bodies of women and girls.
“While mainstream pornography, media, popular culture and the sex industry all paint a picture of women as existing for men’s use and enjoyment and being ‘up for grabs’ we need to counter these messages and challenge these cultural attitudes that effectively give men permission to objectify and exploit women.”
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
*Trigger Warning - violence against women*
Collective Shout's WA State coordinator was asked for comment about Chris Brown and Rihanna for OK magazine.
Despite R&B singer Chris Brown having brutally beaten pop star Rihanna in 2009, the pair appear to have resumed their relationship. Caitlin tells OK magazine that the emphasis needs to be on Chris Brown. He and other perpetrators of violent crime should be held accountable for their actions.