Sunday marks the annual UN International Day of the Girl (#IDG2020). This year’s theme is ‘My voice, our equal future’.
Our Movement Director, Melinda Tankard Reist, was a delegate at the Beijing Women’s Conference 25 years ago when the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the global agenda for advancing the rights and empowerment of women and girls - was formulated.Read more
"A form of pornography"Read more
‘Porn is presenting rough sex and anal sex as something normal, and teenage boys are learning from their screens that it often involves violence and humiliation’ – Nikki Gemmell
How encouraging to read the concerns a number of us have been attempting to raise for close on a decade now, in our national broadsheet The Australian.Read more
Trigger warning: sexual abuse.
A new video shows men presented with a range of sexual scenarios and having to determine whether they are from pornography or a #MeToo story.
“Be Frank” is a seven-minute video project featuring men discussing the recent #MeToo campaign and ways men can join the fight against sexual violence.
The men are visibly uncomfortable as they read aloud certain scenarios, including the following (*trigger warning*):
“I came home late from a party. My step-dad was waiting in the kitchen. He was mad at me for being late and wanted to punish me. He told me to be quiet and nobody in the house would hear me. He had sex with me in the kitchen.”
“I was sleeping in my dorm room alone. Two guys walked in and started touching me. I was confused. I didn’t say anything. They both had sex with me.”
The men struggle to distinguish porn scripts from real sexual assault situations. One observes, ”That feels like a sexual assault.” Another speculates that the situation before him is a #MeToo story. At the conclusion of the video, it is revealed that all of the scenarios were taken from pornography.
This does not come as a surprise. Mainstream pornography is dominated by acts of violence against women. Common sex acts in pornography, like fellatio induced gagging, heterosexual anal sex and multiple penetrations, are not enjoyable for many women, but are degrading, painful and humiliating. An analysis of the most rented pornographic films found that 88% of scenes included physical aggression, with perpetrators being primarily men and targets overwhelmingly women.
What does it mean when pornography, the primary form of sexual education for young people, is indistinguishable from real life sexual abuse of women? What does it mean for women and girls? What does it mean for men and boys watching this content regularly, and from childhood? What is the impact on sexuality, intimate relationships and attitudes towards women when men and boys are socialised to find enjoyment in the abuse of women?
Defenders of pornography assert that pornography is about freedom. But whose freedom?
Read more about the abuse and exploitation of women in the porn industry.
Porn performers recount physical violence, STIs and trauma in the industry.
Growing Up in Pornland: Girls Have Had It with Porn Conditioned Boys, by Melinda Tankard Reist
A recent article offering men advice about how to proposition a woman wearing headphones – encouraging them to block her path to prevent her from ignoring them – rightfully provoked a major backlash. But the backlash also brought a certain phenomenon to wider public attention – the fact that women sometimes wear headphones as a way to avoid unwanted approaches in public.
The public conversation on violence against women tends to focus on sexual assault and domestic abuse. We talk less about the routine intrusions women experience from men in their everyday lives, even though this is the most common form of sexual violence.
My recent research looked at how women navigate interruptions, intrusions, and harassment from unknown men in public. What was most surprising was how all 50 of the women I interviewed significantly underestimated the amount of work they were putting in to avoid intrusions by men in the street, and the impact this had on them.
They recognised that they were making certain decisions about routes home, or where to sit on public transport. They spoke about using sunglasses or headphones in order to create a shield – a way to give the impression that they didn’t hear that man making a sexual comment, or didn’t see that other man touching himself as he walked behind them.
Many categorised their clothes in relation to safety. Scarves were seen as safe – handy for covering your chest. The colour red was, for some, seen as unsafe – too bright, too obvious, too visible. Some even adopted particular facial expressions, trying to balance “looking tough” against the desire to not be told to “cheer up” by a man they’d never met before.
The women I spoke to knew they were doing some of these things but other behaviours were less conscious. They hadn’t really reflected on how much energy went into avoiding unwanted contact below the surface and how their freedom was affected.
Image: The FederalistRead more
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Tracey Spicer says she will reveal the names of "long-term offenders" of sexual harassment in Australia's media industry, and has called on her social media followers to share their stories of harassment and abuse.
The veteran journalist, a regular contributor to Fairfax Media, said she was currently investigating two offenders but there are "plenty more".
Image: FairfaxRead more
As reported in the Daily Telegraph:Read more
NSW Police have confirmed they are investigating a sexual assault at a gig where US rapper Tyler, the Creator was performing.
A NSW Police spokesman confirmed it was investigating a sexual assault report made by a woman during a concert at the Enmore Theatre on Thursday night. He said no formal statement had been taken yet.
"All of these images are straight from the porn industry"
From the Fremantle Herald (26/02/2011, page 2):
Sexually explicit t-shirts on display at a Fremantle shop are pornographic and should be removed says a local mum.Read more
The mother says she was horrified when she saw the garments at a surf shop in the High Street Mall. Uppermost in her mind was her young daughter's recent rape, as she says the lewd shirts give young men the impression that women are there for the taking.
'Drunk at the bar' single endorses date rape
*trigger warning for survivors of sexual assault*
A number of Collective Shout supporters have contacted us about Brian McFadden’s new song ‘Drunk at the bar.’ News.com.au reported that many fans of McFaddens music have slammed the song as promoting date rape.
Lyrics from 'Drunk at the bar' include:
I like you just the way you are, drunk as s**t dancing at the bar
I can’t wait to get you home so I can do some damage
Jump in the backseat of my car...I can’t wait to get you home so I can take advantage
McFadden is apparently shocked 'at these ridiculous accusations’ that he would be promoting date rape.Read more