Have you ever wondered how much energy you put in to avoid being assaulted? It may shock you
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
Serial predators in Australia's media industry
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
Sexualisation linked to rise in sexual assaults and indecent assaults between children
As reported in the Daily Telegraph:Read more
Eatons Hill Hotel refuses to cancel Tyler the Creator show despite assault at Sydney gig
As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald:
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.
Perth woman speaks out about surf shop's pornographic shirts
"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.
Don't be that guy Brian McFadden
'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
Calvin Klein using violence against women to sell jeans
*Trigger warning for survivors of sexual assault* Recently, Patrice blogged on our community page about a Calvin Klein advertisement in Sydney's Kings Cross. Patrice said she has noticed advertisements before that were offensive, but this one motivated her to action. We can see why. A giant billboard overlooking Kings Cross features this image.Read more
Sexual aggression in children, experts say media to blame
An important article appeared in the Sunday Mail about the sexualisation of children. The article details the concerns of child experts and advocates who are seeing an increase in incidents of sexual aggression and assault in children as young as 6 and 7 years old. The 2008 Senate Enquiry is mentioned and the point is made "little if, anything has been done and now things have taken a far more sinister twist."Read more