Reclaim public space by reforming our advertising regulation system AND Protect children from pornography by compulsory age-verification
The everyday sexualisation and objectification of women in media, advertising and popular culture and the exposure of children to online pornography result in demonstrated harms to women and girls, men and boys, and to our community as a whole.
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 advertising and porn industries. It is time to reclaim public space and to stop children’s too easy exposure to online pornography.
Our two key election asks
1) RECLAIMING PUBLIC SPACE
In 2011, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs in its report ’Reclaiming public space' noted:
Many parents are concerned that their children are exposed to sexualised images and messages that they are not mature enough to digest. Many women in particular are angered by the prevalence of sexual objectification in advertising images, and the messages that these send in the public space. The Committee finds it difficult to see how such images can ever be in the public interest.
If the self-regulatory system is found lacking, the Committee recommends that the Attorney-General’s Department impose a self-funded co-regulatory system on advertising with government input into advertising codes of practice.
That was eight years ago.
- The current advertising standards system has no powers of enforcement and issues no penalties for non-compliance. Repeat offenders such as Honey Birdette and Wicked Campers continue to ignore Ad Standards rulings and face no penalties.
- Only a regulatory regime with real teeth - which can impose adequate financial penalties and prevent repeat offenders from continuing to advertise - can make corporates act ethically.
- Lip service about protecting women and girls from sexualised violence is meaningless if we don’t address advertising that sexually objectifies women and trains men to see women as objects to be used and not equal persons to be respected.
- UK kids will no longer have ready access to pornography – Australian children need the same 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.