In the words of my personal hero, "it is finished". The deed is done. My hair is gone.
With your support and that of my family, friends, and the fabulous team at SHE Hair Ink, I've shaved my head, laid bare my soul, and raised vital funds for a cause that becomes closer to my heart each time I meet another soul who shares with me the part sexualisation and objectification have played on their life's journey.
I have said it before, and I will say it again: it has been an absolute privilege and honour to be a part of the Collective Shout team and do this for them.
Dear family, friends, and supporters of Collective Shout,
Allow me to be brief. Yes, I am well. And, while I intend to lose my hair, I’ve not lost my mind. Inspired by a number of men and women, I’ve decided to lop my locks for a worthy cause.
A few years ago, I came to Collective Shout disillusioned by the normalisation of raunch culture, the sexual objectification and commodification of women and their bodies in mainstream media, and the propagation of the myth that insists “successful” and “empowered” women must be sexy.
I was hurt. I was livid. And I was hungry for change.
Since meeting with and working alongside the inspiring team at Collective Shout, I’ve become heartened at the fact that there are others who see this and perceive it for the violence that it is, that there are others who are willing to make a stand for the dignity of women and girls, and that there are others who see the inherent worth of the individual instead of placing such great weight on physical appearance.
We are more than the way we look or appear to look–
We are our kindness and generosity;
We are our humour and wit;
We are our dedication and enthusiasm;
We are our love;
To all the naysayers, I say, “Yes, my profile may be awful according to the stringent parameters by which a woman’s worth is calculated in and by mainstream society, but I don’t care.”
I know I won’t rock the buzz cut like Cara Delevingne, Charlize Theron, or Natalie Portman, but my hope is that you’ll help the dedicated team at Collective Shout continue to rock at the remarkable work they do by sponsoring my “madness”.
For after photos click hereDonate
As you would have noticed, there has been a lot of discussion in recent days about the responsibility of men in challenging harmful behaviour towards women. “Are men welcome to join Collective Shout?” we are asked. “How do you engage men to help challenge harmful cultural messages?”
To answer the first: men are very welcome and in fact we have growing numbers of men joining the cause. It has been encouraging to see more men speaking out, including male students calling out inappropriate behaviour in their peers, challenging harmful messages about masculinity, and men putting their hands up to run campaigns.
One such man is Melbourne dad, Kenneth Thor.
Kenneth contacted Collective Shout last year after his family was confronted by Honey Birdette’s porn-inspired floor to ceiling window displays in his local Westfield shopping centre. We worked with Kenneth on a national campaign to hold Honey Birdette and Westfield accountable, focussing on the company’s Christmas displays depicting semi-naked women in sexually suggestive poses with Santa – in some stores just metres away from where children were having their photos taken with him. Kenneth’s Change.org petition gained over 60,000 signatures and attracted local and international media attention. Kenneth is now one of our passionate volunteers. He explains:
“I’m just a dad with three kids who had never participated in activism before, so I had no idea how to start. Without Collective Shout, I would not have been able to navigate the language to express my concerns and why the explicit use of women’s bodies in advertising is wrong. I had never noticed nor cared about this before, but when I saw how Honey Birdette’s window display impacted my four-year-old daughter, I knew I had to do something to right this injustice against children. We all want a world free of sexploitation - Collective Shout is leading us in reaching that goal. I am truly in awe of how much Collective Shout does with so little. Imagine what they could do with more!”
Since I wrote to you last week, generous supporters have given over $8,500 towards our End of Financial Year appeal. We only need $6,000 to reach our target before June 30. With 10 days to go, will you partner with us in continuing our culture transforming work?
Remember: a generous donor will match ALL donations received before June 30! Your gift of $53 becomes $106 - doubling the impact. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.
We are committed, more than ever, to hold offending corporations like Honey Birdette to account. All of us can be a part of the change.
Melinda Tankard Reist & the Collective Shout team
Will you partner with us? Sign up below.
Through monthly giving, you can directly support Collective Shout’s campaigns against the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls in media, advertising and popular culture. As well as constantly holding corporations and marketers accountable for their depiction of women and girls, Collective Shout equips others to campaign, and educates young people to resist harmful messages about their bodies, relationships and sexuality to bring about grassroots cultural transformation.
By making a regular donation you can help Collective Shout lobby those with power and influence to effect positive change.
Your generous monthly donation will fund the ongoing work of our activists, challenge companies about their advertising, enable lobbying of politicians, and send Collective Shout representatives to schools to engage with young men and women on these important issues.
Thank you for your contribution,
From the team at Collective Shout
Our goal is that every case of suspected online child sex abuse is investigated. With your support, we begin work immediately in urgently backing legislation change and pushing Telcos to do their part in holding abusers to account. We look forward to keeping you updated on all that is achieved with your help.
Without you, this critical work would not be possible. Thank you.
Thank you for supporting Collective Shout to continue their important work with a tax-deductible gift.
By clicking the link below you will be transferred to NFAW - our partner organisation who processes our tax-deductible donations.
Please ensure you select 'Collective Shout' on the NFAW donation form as shown
Thank you again for supporting the fight against sexploitation, your support is most appreciated!
It's time to take action against sexploitation!
For too long, Australian companies have been getting away with sexually objectifying advertising and sexploitative products and services. Despite an outcry from members of the public like you, and mountains of evidence that show just how much damage this is doing.
Research shows that exposure to sexist advertising leads to higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater support of sexist beliefs, and greater tolerance of sexual violence towards women.
With your help today, we can ensure this campaign is a success!
We sincerely thank you for your generous support.Donate
As you already know, sexual objectification is harmful. The media and advertising industries play a significant role in promoting the objectification of women and girls. The harms include higher levels of body dissatisfaction, greater support of sexist beliefs and greater tolerance of sexual violence towards women.
Today you can take a powerful step toward protecting more women and girls from objectification, we can achieve change.
Collective Shout has accomplished countless wins in recent years and we have set a bold three-year agenda including the establishment of an independent body to regulate and uphold higher advertising standards in Australia.
We cannot do it without your support. Your gift will be doubled by a $20,000 Matching Grant as together we call for a higher level of standards and accountability in advertising.
Thank you for giving generously below, and for helping to tackle the problem of sexist advertising at its core.
A bequest is a very real way to make a positive difference to the future of a world free of sexploitation
Why we need your support
Collective Shout relies on the support of the community to continue its vital work. Nationally, majority of Collective Shout's funding comes from community donations, fundraising and bequests. Without your support, campaigning against large corporations would not be possible.
How we use your donation
Bequests allow Collective Shout to better mobilise and equip individuals and groups to name, shame and expose corporations, advertisers, marketers and media engaging in practices which are offensive and harmful to women and girls.
A gift to Collective Shout in your Will can also help us to influence government policies and legislation to protect women and children from objectification and sexualisation.
Your donation is valuable
Through a bequest, it is possible to achieve more and ensure that we can continue our work in targeting corporations, advertisers, marketers and media who objectify women and sexualise girls to sell products and services. Leaving a bequest to Collective Shout is the ultimate expression of shouting out for a world free of sexploitation.
If you decide to leave a bequest to Collective Shout, please let us know so that we can keep you updated about our plans for the future.
Please contact us for more information about how your bequest can become your legacy for a world free of sexploitation.