Sexist caps removed, sexualised toys and kids clothing gone, sex industry shares dumped, paedophilic Twitter accounts shut down, child sex abuse doll accounts pulled, outdoor ad rules tightened, UltraTune ads dropped, ‘Penis Pacifier’ disappeared - all because our supporters took action!Read more
Today we launched a campaign to force The Base Warehouse to remove a penis dummy from its stores.
Many supporters have taken action and called out this product which links babies and oral sex and contributes to a paedophilic aesthetic.
In part of its dismissive response, The Base Warehouse says “Sorry it is offends you” with a hand and heart emoticon.
This is not an issue of personal offence or taste. Our opposition is based on harm to children.
Researcher Rebecca Whisnant distinguishes between offence and harm. Offence is “something that happens in one’s head”, whereas harm is “an objective condition, not a way of feeling; to be harmed is to have one’s interests set back, to be made worse off, to have one’s circumstances made worse than they were....”
We have documented this creeping increase in associating children with sex for 15 years (for example https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/the-dark-world-of-paedophilia-exposed-20140413-zqu8v.html).
Attempts to paint those who object to products like this as easily offended, prudish or hung up is a deliberate tactic to silence those who might threaten company profits. It is also a way of avoiding engaging in meaningful discussions about how companies like this contribute to the sexualisation of babies and children.
We will not let The Base Warehouse reduce our advocacy for children as personal offence. We will continue to remind them of their social responsibility and not turn child sex offending into a gag.
The Hon Michelle Rowland MP
Minister for Communications
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
Canberra ACT 2600
Re Pilot program for age verification in Australia
We the undersigned are writing to request a re-think of the Federal Government’s decision not to proceed with an age verification system to help protect children from exposure to pornography, as recently announced by yourself on behalf of the Government.
Early porn exposure harms developing sexual templates, contributes to damaging stereotypes, the development of sexist ideas, the normalisation of violence against women and a rise in child-on-child sexual abuse. These harms were placed on the record by academics, educators, child safeguarding NGOs, and experts in child development and welfare in submissions to the Inquiry into Age Verification for Online Wagering and Online Pornography conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs.Read more
It is well established that many children in Australia are accessing pornography online and that exposure harms them.
Despite growing awareness of and concern about these harms there has been little meaningful action at government level. It is time to put the wellbeing of the community over the vested interests of the porn industry. It is time to stop children’s exposure to online pornography.
Exposing children to porn harms their healthy sexual development and contributes to children acting out in inappropriate ways, including by sexually abusing other children. Australian children need protection. You can’t buy alcohol or tobacco or play the pokies without proving you are over 18. Yet there is no proof of age requirement for our kids to access hard-core porn sites. Porn harms children – it trains boys to see girls and women as objects to be used not as equals to be respected. Age verification (18+) for online pornography is a must.
- In 2019 Collective Shout wrote a submission for the Inquiry into Age Verification for Online Wagering and Online Pornography.
- The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs released their report 'Protecting the Age of Innocence' on age verification for online wagering and online pornography in Feb 2020.
- The parliamentary committee published a media release in March 2020 recommending age verification.
In its report the Committee has recommended that the eSafety Commissioner and the Digital Transformation Agency take the lead on further work towards implementing a system of mandatory age verification for online wagering and pornography in Australia.
- In April 2021 the government had still not responded. We launched our campaign for the government to act.
- In March 2023, eSafety submitted a roadmap on age verification to the Australian Government for consideration. It allegedly included complementary measures to prevent and mitigate harm to children from online pornography.
1) Ask the Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland MP and the Australian Prime Minister Hon Anthony Albanese MP to release the eSafety report
2) Contact your Federal Member to also ask the Communications Minister to release the eSafety report.
Tips for Engaging your local Member of Parliament (MP)
Your local member is your representative in Parliament. You are entitled to contact them to ask them where they stand on important issues and to ask them to represent your interests.
Below are some tools and guidelines for contacting your MP.
Who is your MP?
If you are uncertain who your MP is, you can find out through the Parliament of Australia website. Visit this link and enter your postal code or electorate >> https://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members
Contacting your MP
Clicking on the name of Senators and Members who appear in the search results from the above link will produce their contact details. You can email your MP, send them a letter by post, phone the office to have someone relay a message for you or to arrange a time to meet with your MP.
Many of our supporters ask for pre-written emails or letters to send to MPs but these are not effective. MPs are more likely to take notice of your correspondence if it is personalised, respectful and short.
You may use any content on our website if it lends weight to your letter - please see in particular, our key issues outlined below - but including your personal experience conveys how the issues we write and campaign about personally impacts you.
It is also important to keep correspondence as succinct as possible. You want to make it as easy for your MP to understand who you are, where you are from, the issue you are concerned about and most importantly, what you want them to do about it as your representative in parliament.
How to address your MP
There are protocols on how to address your MP which will assist you in making contact with them. Click here to find out details on how to address Senators and Members