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
I was recently scrolling through social media when a disturbing sponsored ad showed up in my feed. It instantly didn't sit right with me.Read more
Advertisers, challenged with cutting through a cluttered marketing environment, sometimes aim to shock. Unfortunately while their aim may be to get their client noticed, our research shows they continue to glorify the violent exploitation of women.Read more
It has come to our attention that Merriwa Tavern The Sixty 30 has made an application to vary existing trading conditions to allow topless waitresses or ‘skimpies’.
As an organisation that fights against commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls, Collective Shout strongly opposes this application on the grounds that:
- The use of women’s bodies in sexual entertainment and services is a form of prostitution
- Sexual trade in women’s bodies both causes and contributes to gender inequality by reducing women to mere objects for men’s use and enjoyment, with adverse impacts on women who are directly involved as well as women as a whole
- A significant body of research links sexual objectification of women with violence against women
- Sexploitation venues pose a threat to women, with women reporting increased incidents of sexual harassment, abuse and violence in areas in close proximity to strip clubs
As Subtle as the Pose
Written by Jennifer Moss.
About ten years ago when the internet bubble popped, I took up a new career to pay the rent. I had a good camera back before everyone had one on their phones. Fortunately I was in L.A., so I hung out my shingle and started doing headshots and model portfolios and was fairly decent at it. I was eventually published. I worked with many beginning models, some of whom eventually “made it” in the fashion industry. But the more I learned about the industry, the more I loathed to participate in it.
Why 'don't like it, don't listen' isn't enough: Caitlin Roper writes about Tyler the Creator for SMH
Caitlin Roper writes about the campaign against Tyler the Creator for the Sydney Morning HeraldRead more
Over the course of our Tyler the Creator campaign, we've received hundreds of Facebook comments, emails and tweets from fans of Tyler the Creator. Many of them ask the same questions or reiterate the same defences for Tyler's behaviour. We address some of the more common arguments from Tyler's defenders here.Read more
Collective Shout supporter Sheenah calls on radio station to explain their silence on Tyler the Creator's incitement to violence against women.
In 2014 a member from hip hop band Bliss and Eso made an insensitive comment about domestic violence, putting up an instagram post that mocked violence against women. I was surprised, yet impressed, when Triple J made a stand by refusing to play any Bliss and Eso tracks for an extended period of time, stating that they would ”wait on the audience sentiment before playing the band again.”Read more