March 13, 2015
Today a good friend of mine ripped out the article from her local Inner West newspaper and sent it to me. It echoes an article I shared last night on social media, about the fact that Wicked Campers is seeking council approval to open a depot on Church Street in St Peters, Sydney. This will mean that, being near a primary school, children will regularly see some of the more unsavoury and insensitive slogans that Wicked Campers pride themselves on. Local parents aren’t happy; well the mums taking a stand in the picture definitely aren’t.
Eight moths ago, when I ran the campaign asking Wicked Campers to remove misogynistic and degrading slogans, there was outrage – OUTRAGE, I say – coursing through the Internet like hot lava. It spurred a little bit of hateful debate but for the most part, a sense of solidarity prevailed from both sexes; agreeing that Wicked Campers has some pretty offensive and degrading slogans driving around our public spaces. So much so, The Senate unanimously voted to condemn them and Wicked Campers themselves promised they would remove ‘insensitive slogans’. Their word; insensitive.
So with ALL that – where are we today?
Despite having broken their promise, showing their complete contempt, Wicked Campers are business as usual; having franchises throughout the world and will (possibly) soon be getting cozy with one of the Inner West’s communities of Sydney. Many have asked me how these things are possible and it reminded me of a quote form the film V for Vendetta:
‘How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.’ V
All I can say is; The standard we walk past, is the standard we accept.
This Wicked crusade has been a fascinating, albeit depressing, social experiment in my eyes. July 2014? Fury and lividity. Fast forward six months, when I wrote of their contempt and loss of integrity – all I heard, was the sound of crickets. Few shared the update and when I contacted some of the news people who originally reported on this
important ‘hot’ issue with fervour and expressed their equal indignation, I received a tepid response; with some referring it on to others, who never called me back. No stories were run. As a collective, Australia went on as a bystander again.
I don’t get it. Was all of that bravado over the exact slogan my daughter saw? Because there are terrible ones that are still out there, right now. I’ve recently updated the last post with recent sightings from around Australia – sometimes seeing the same van at different corners of the country. Appalling vans, like the following, and more:
Question#224: Is this the standard we want to teach?
And as for the absence of male voices and faces in the fight against all this; I believe that as a society – and more importantly, as a culture – we are not only teaching our youth that perspectives like these have our permission to advertise themselves, we are also teaching our youth that because males aren’t standing on an equally visible, vocal platform – it makes it doubly OK.
When it comes to battles asking for a little more humanity, women hold the front line. Without resorting to blood-shed, women put them selves ‘out there’ none the less; feeling fear and vulnerability, and risk crossing paths with threatening and violent Internet trolls. Due to this campaign, I received two violent messages from the same person (amongst others) and had a Wanted style poster made of me – falsely identifying where I lived. Imagine if he had been right.
The irony? He published under an alias. Coward. (I know his real name, though.)
Neither Facebook nor the Police did anything. And here I was naively thinking it was against the law to threaten someone. With proof, no less.
Lastly, noone – especially the women who publicly question – actually wants any of this. I put up an update because I thought people would want to be informed; you know, considering that initial reaction. But I’m tired. I’m tired of the walls and the apathy. I’m tired of feeling helpless because problems like this can’t be solved with just the ideas of a few – it needs people power to make change occur. And people power is simply doing something. Anything. Regardless of who one is or what position one holds. This includes John Webb, owner of Wicked Campers. (It’s never too late, John).
And to be clear – this is not about burning this business to the ground nor using threats or violence – it is about finding a solution to the problem, and that problem is that certain slogans need to come down.
Question #225: So what can YOU do?
Write, call, gather, talk – whatever.
Down to earth blogger and all-round amazing human, Eden Riley, was active and did it her way; numerous people have written to me, telling me they have contacted camp sites to enquire about their policy regarding Wicked vans – some sites don’t let the vans in, if they have offensive slogans. Let backpackers know this. Others have written to their political reps.
And today I applaud the women who are going to tackle the fight at St Peters. I’m with you wholeheartedly.
[Insert own action]
December 20, 2014
My friend Lily Munroe – who was my partner in crime in launching our campaign against the positioning of Lads’ Mags in newsagents, petrol stations and other similar establishments a year ago – is writing an Open Letter. Still a work in progress.
Part of her letter, however, looks at the intimidation and threats women who speak up receive online and she asked me if I were willing to share any.
I was never going to publish these, but I did keep the most horrible comments made by the same man, in response to the Wicked Campers campaign back in July.
Why did I keep them? Because I’ll never forget how they originally made me feel – but the re-reading of them, on occasion, lessens the impact of those sentiments and helps me strengthen and arm myself against any future expressions of deep hate.
I publish them today to help a worthy cause – which I will keep you updated on.
During that campaign, I received over 300 (mostly positive) comments on this blog, and I responded to just about all of them. Only a few were missed because I couldn’t keep up with the incoming flow, but a few I barred from publishing because they merely insulted and didn’t contribute to the discussion. But the following thoughts – from the same man – were pure venom.
As I was reading this first one, I reached the end of the second paragraph and thought – ‘Isn’t that what I did?’
And then the penultimate paragraph knocked me for six:
Then he followed with this:
A myriad of responses may come to your minds as you read these, from: ‘Suck it up, he’s just a troll’ to maybe understanding how it must have felt to ‘hear’ those words – but all I have is how I responded.
It was deeply alarming to me – especially how he imagined my brains being blown out in the first comment. It made me catch my breath as I read it, even though a few had had a fair go at it – but this one was different. There was so much hatred in his words. It upset me.
I also had a man in Queensland make a ‘Wanted’ poster of me, lifting an unclear image of me (lucky) incorrectly identifying where I lived (lucky) and saying that if anyone saw me around, that I needed to be ‘taught a lesson’.
Question #219: Imagine if I hadn’t been ‘lucky’ in the first two instances?
I would have been in real danger. Well, I already was, a little.
When women who ASK for something better – not abolished; just better – like getting rid of some particular slogans off a camper van or asking one retailer to remove the horrible game GTA5 from sale in their family store – the bitterness and rage that comes cascading down is something to behold.
And all because we dare to ask.
BUT – more and more articles are being written about misogyny, more conversations are being had and some campaigns are even being won – which is bloody brilliant.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters wrote this piece titled, Australian women can’t and won’t be silenced. She references my petition against Wicked Campers and how it inspired her to take it to The Senate. The motion she put forward, condemning Wicked Campers, was voted on unanimously – just four days after the petition was launched.
Activism works – even though, you might get winded from time to time.
A great way to work those abs, though, right?
Each ‘hit’ will only make one stronger.
November 30, 2014
For those who aren’t Aussie, ‘Cooee’ is a loud call which is used when one is lost – generally in The Bush; nature – or to attract attention. I’m using the latter.
I’m calling for reinforcements. A call to arms.
I’m calling on writers, politicians, people who know of Internet law – anyone – YOU ! – to have an intelligent discussion – to see if anything can be done.
I wholeheartedly believe that one of the biggest problems we face today, lies in two areas:
1. The ‘Freedom of Speech’ argument that seemingly has no limits whatsoever
2. The big companies that give hateful and violent perspectives a platform from where to spread their hatred. Like YouTube.
An abhorrent action happened a few weeks ago and it has been missed in the general conversation. Those who read my last post will know what I’m discussing here – the latest Redfoo song, and accompanying video, Literally, I can’t.
My first reaction was to ride the same wave for obvious reasons – its depiction of females to ‘toe the line’ and do as they’re told, i.e. drink, perform girl-on-girl action, dance (twerk), or be told to ‘Shut the Fuck Up’ repeatedly – and was something that incited a loud outcry; including my own.
I won’t write any more, as I have already expressed my thoughts about it and it has been covered extensively in social media.
But something even more sinister occurs within the video which, in my mind, encompasses everything that is wrong with pop culture today. Product placement has now become rampant in recent big name videos (a complete, greedy cop-out) and Redfoo’s video is no exception.
However, instead of merely advertising a set of speakers, Redfoo advertises a porn site.
So, we have a 39 year old ‘mentor’ on X Factor Australia, loved by many – especially kids and teens – advertising this porn site in his video, a video which ALSO (funnily enough) tells females to ‘shut the fuck up’ for not complying to their misogynistic ideals.
Question #216: Is this OK with you??
Well, it’s not for me and I started a petition to YouTube a few weeks ago:
>>> Here <<<
As I said above, this is not about Freedom of Speech because I am not saying Redfoo can’t make the song and video, I’m not even saying he can’t publish his song and video – what we have to stand up to are the companies like YouTube who give them a platform to spread their dangerous perspectives – like ADVERTISING PORN – regardless of their Community Standards. Facebook falls deeply into this category too.
Today, another example.
I viewed a YouTube video that is linked in a petition (which has since been won) – written by three survivors of male violence – to ‘family’ store, Target Australia, (which is advertising the R Rated 18+ video game, Grand Theft Auto 5, in their brochure for Christmas next to Peppa Pig) to take the product down.
Regardless of this rating, kids in Primary School often engage in talk about the prices for sex and blow jobs within the game because they play it; I hear this from first-hand accounts from various schools. I also know of a family whose 8 year old son had a lap dance performed on him, playing this ‘game’, witnessed by his 12 year old brother.
On offer with this version of the ‘game’, one can have ‘first person’ sex with prostitutes – and then kill them horrifically afterwards, if it pleases one.
(*TRIGGER WARNING* with this video. It is quite disturbing.)
If you don’t want to watch, I will tell you that there is a commentator going through this particular part of the game he’s playing and tells us that we’re going to see ‘Michael’ have sex. Some quotes from the commentary include:
“Michael is a married man but hey, a man has his needs”
“We are getting all three services from the prostitute. I don’t know her name, who cares what her name is, she has a job to do.”
The commentator then goes quiet as we watch – from a first person perspective – the sexual services performed. She – of course – acts like it’s the best sex she’s ever had in a car, in an alley, and even says to him in the end – “I feel like I can really talk to you, come back and see me?”
Finally the commentator says, as the prostitute walks off:
“Now in classic GTA 5 style – you can’t let her get away with your money, so we’re going to go ahead and back this bad-boy up” referring to his car as he runs her over twice – then sets her on fire, listening to her screams and finally shoots her with an automatic weapon. You may also choose a number of weapons to kill her with, including an axe.
My reason for this post is simple – just these two examples are proven to be embedded in too many young children’s social and pop-world lives – and they are on YouTube.
If the images and issues I’ve included here are shocking to you – then don’t you think something has to be done?
This is becoming the foundation of who we are as the human race because they’re the lessons that are truly getting through to our developing minds.
Why do companies like YouTube have Community Standards in the first place, if they’re not upheld? What’s the point of them?
It’s all slipping through the cracks and many kids in Primary and High School are being well and truly desensitised to the depravity they’re watching. These children will one day want to shape relationships and simply won’t know how because it’s been modelled for them in this toxic manner that surrounds them; it’s the common narrative.
Please sign my petition to YouTube. Maybe this isn’t the answer, but simply the start where we ask companies to have our back first and we’ll have theirs.
Question #217: Do you have any other suggestions on how we can have companies stand by their own standards?
[also MASSIVELY; Facebook]
November 14, 2014
Due to the overwhelming amount of media attention that Redfoo has gained for creating such a sexist and degrading video – Literally, I can’t – this very important part of the video has been overlooked in the media’s conversations. This video promotes a porn site.
This would mean that Redfoo (as the video has been published under his own label) has received payment for using product placement to advertise and condone its exploration. In an on-air radio rant today (blaming bloggers and feminists for this ‘negative attention’ (that’s obviously come out of nowhere, right?), Redfoo was quoted as saying:
I have kids from everywhere, not just Australia, and they want to be like Redfoo. They love Redfoo and I love them. I love the families, I love everybody.
If this were true then he would want the kids to emulate – what – his love of porn? It’s. In. The. Video. Nothing can be argued against that.
Question #215: Should this video be taken down from YouTube?
I remember in the late 80s, Madonna’s video ‘Justify my Love’ was banned from being played on MTV. Does that mean that ‘Freedom of Expression’ was different then? I think not. Obviously, it was deemed inappropriate enough to censor it from the TV.
The Internet, however, has no limits or boundaries and as a parent and teacher, I feel an ever-growing despair at the dangerous sites that will surely cross paths with our developing youth. That’s just chance – this video, however, has advertised porn in a video that not only has a limitless audience on the Internet, it will be aired on normal music TV shows. In an article titled Internet Porn: an entirely new child’s game, it states:
Quite likely porn – internet porn – is the problem, not the solution. It likely originates a decade back, in childhood, and is likely a dysfunction not of the penis, but of the brain. Putting such a boy in front of porn is like giving your drug-addled kid heroin. We’re so messed up about children and sex. On the surface, an adult can barely photograph a child without suspicion of paedophilia and if children’s literature even mentions flirting or nudity it will face school-and-parent lockout. Yet in the real world every bus ad and TV soap is awash with meaningless sex and many children, especially boys, are hardcore internet porn regulars by third grade.
If you feel as I feel; that we need to make a statement about this particular betrayal on Redfoo’s part – and it IS a betrayal on so many levels, knowing how many young fans he has – then please sign my petition. If the general community feels that a moral and ethical (if not legal) line has not been crossed – so be it. I, on the other hand, will feel complete disillusionment with the direction we’re collectively taking as human beings. Please help me raise awareness of this white elephant that seems to have been massively overlooked.
>>> Sign Here <<<
November 11, 2014
>>> PLEASE SIGN HERE <<<
I’ll keep this short as I can’t even fathom what I just saw.
Redfoo of LMFAO – a TV personality here in Australia, who is a judge on Channel 7’s The X-Factor – has just released the following song with his buddies.
I can’t embed the song as they have disabled that function – so click on the link below to see it.
So, the overriding message that is loud and clear is for women to ‘Shut the fuck up‘, if they’re not acting mindless, hyper-sexualised and SILENT.
The disturbing thing is that in my previous blog post about Julien Blanc and Sam Pepper, the girl’s rape account mentions how Pepper *repeatedly* told her to Shut the fuck up. Shut the fuck up – as she begged for him to stop’
Redfoo says it’s satirical (?) and meant to be a joke. It’s so very tiring having to say over and over again, that this is not a joke.
We see Redfoo’s FACE – next to a woman’s thrusting / twerking buttocks, talking about whether she’ll be worthy enough for him to Tweet about her or Instagram her, coupling the image with the following lyrics:
‘You got a big ol’ butt, I can tell by the way you walkin’
But you an annoying ‘bitch’ because you’re talking.’
Videos and songs tell a story and we must continually keep asking ourselves:
Question #214: What is the narrative teaching us?
This sort of narrative has such a detrimental effect on our kids, who are struggling with SO MUCH. They haven’t got the necessary filters to sift through the bombardment of images and ideals. So they stumble through trying to emulate what they’re being told is the way to go – like in songs like this; which is telling women they should do as men please or shut the fuck up about it.
The other VERY concerning thing I noticed is that when the girls appear to be wrestling in a mini-pool, a mobile phone is looked at and a very horrible and graphic porn site is clearly advertised.
A PORN SITE on a video clip ! We must act.
I have started a petition, asking YouTube to take this video down as it’s promoting porn. Our younger minds who are fans of Redfoo, will see it and want to know what that site is all about. Has he now become a pimp for this porn site? Did he get paid?
>>> PLEASE SIGN HERE <<<
This song is an attack, sugar-coated misogyny with a laddy-lad-lad / boys will be boys mentality and it’s dangerous for our developing minds.
I recently saw this post:
Well, there are many of us who speak up – and there is a large voice crying out against this song – but there will also be the usual threatening response.
But speak out, you must.
But most importantly, don’t make these bastards rich and proving them right about us.
>>> PLEASE SIGN HERE <<<
Deep Breath and STAND.
Don’t let this man ‘Shush’ us.
July 18, 2014
To begin I would like to express my awe at the overwhelming and resolute support I received during the last six days, due to the petition I initiated. I am truly humbled.
I want to quickly address a few points, as I need to sit down and have a moment of normalcy again. The last six days have been a surreal mix of many emotions.
I started the petition for one reason only – to remove slogans, like the one that upset my 11 year old daughter, from the outside of Wicked Camper vans.
And they have complied.
Have they had a change of heart? Well, that remains to be seen.
But, as I wrote in my penultimate post – we must judge people on their actions.
Only time will tell – so give them time.
Under the law of Freedom of Speech, Wicked Campers are not obliged to take down any of their signage – which is why they had chosen to continue practising as they were, despite numerous attempts from the Advertising Standards Board to have offensive slogans, deemed to have crossed ethical and community standards, removed.
But this wasn’t about the law – it was about the standards we hold as human beings.
Thanks to the staggering amount of people who supported this campaign – 127 752 signatures – in such a concentrated amount of time, we were able to send a clear message that this sort of signage was in fact not a standard we were willing to accept.
* For the clichéd response telling me (us) to ‘not buy it if we don’t like it’; I answer you with the fact that the ONLY person who doesn’t see the signage, is the driver him/herself – it’s the public that has it rammed in their face, regardless.
* For those who have said there are far more important issues to fight for – like the horror in the Gaza strip (for example) and where the petition for that is; I answer you in two ways.
Firstly, calling out misogyny is a paramount issue to fight.
Females around the planet are being sexually assaulted and murdered for the simple fact that they are female. This wouldn’t be happening if they were respected. One woman a week dies from Domestic Violence in Australia and a slogan that says ‘a wife is attachment you screw on the bed to do the housework’ degrades females to nothing more than that and it is hateful.
I also believe many slogans demean males too. Grooming males to believe they’re mindless and sex-obssesed, do no favours to our boys and, in turn, our girls. Slogans such as the following are disturbing – both the visual and what it’s saying:
We would never see, ‘We’re here for your sons’ because we all know what the slogan above means.
Secondly, if one feels that there are issues out there worth fighting for and that a petition will do something, then by all means, create one.
I found it incredible that people provided me with a list of issues I *should* be fighting for – basically saying I shouldn’t be bothering with my daughter’s emotional response to the slogan she saw, but rather appease strangers and their vocal outrage that I had the gall to do it over other issues.
To you I say – Do something about it yourself. I did this for my daughter.
* To all those who said I gave Wicked Campers free advertising, I say to you that it is an irrelevant argument.
My motives never were, nor do they continue to be, about bringing down Wicked Campers – it was to remove certain morally offensive slogans. In fact, if this petition causes the company to reevaluate their business model to better fit the ethical standards of society – well, wouldn’t that be the best victory of all?
Only three days after releasing the petition I received a personal email from Ross, a representative for Wicked Campers, apologising to my daughter and myself. He wrote:
I wish to commend you on your campaign, I believe you’ve carried yourself with poise and intellect and kept your side of the discussion civilised (where others have resorted to physical threats)
I would like to say at this point, that anyone who writes to someone, saying they wish to incite violence against them (or anyone for that matter), is abhorrent and goes against the spirit of this petition.
I have also received graphically violent death threats due to this stance and it’s quite distressing and completely unnecessary. Noone deserves that.
Wicked Campers also included the following press release; sections which have now been used in a number of articles outlining the commitment they are making to do as the petition asked. This is the full statement:
Statement: John Webb on behalf of Wicked Campers Australia
First and foremost, we sincerely apologise for any distress that has been caused.
Anybody who is familiar with our brand would probably know that we are strong proponents of free speech and pushing the limits of humour – we are a ‘cash for chaos’ kind of company.
As is often quoted ‘A sense of humour is a sense of proportion’. And in this instance, we admit that we have taken things out of proportion and out of the realms of what is considered to be ‘socially acceptable’.
We are a small company, with eclectic, creative and multi-cultural staff. It is impossible for us to conceive that a throw-away message written on a van could have such far-reaching implications for the community at large.
Over the past few years Wicked has supported numerous charity endeavours including:
Free hires for Returned Servicemen & Servicewomen (2011 – 2013)
A Mardi Gras float for the Metropolitan Christian Church Sydney to promote social & religious acceptance of homosexuality in the community (2014)
Support for the ‘Free to be Kids’ Charity, whose goal is to facilitate child centered community development in Kolkata with the aim of improving the community’s capacity to protect children. Wicked Campers have donated over $70,000 to this organisation in the hope of improving the welfare of children in India (2012 – 2013).
Wicked Campers Owner, John Webb wishes to acknowledge the prevailing community opinion by REMOVING the slogan in question and making a commitment over the coming six months to changing slogans of an insensitive nature. Bear in mind however, many of the images presented in the media of our vehicles are from up to 8 years ago, and the vehicles simply do not exist anymore.
In the spirit of being ‘actionist’, Wicked Campers also invites anybody who feels strongly offended by a slogan to either paint or tape over it.
Mr Webb implores everyone to also focus their passions and energies on a worthy cause such as funding for women’s refuges and shelters around Australia.
“If everyone who signs this petition were to donate to a worthy charity – even just $10, we’d be closer to achieving something truly positive from this campaign.
It is easy to get caught up in the news cycle and the mob-mentality of the internet, but the fact remains, the world’s problems will still exist next week, long after this has blown over. Don’t forget the cause – it’s still there, hidden amongst the memes and useless drivel that pops up in your feed.
We’ve given and we will continue to give – so if you give to a women’s refuge or charity this week, send us the receipt and we’ll write you a personal apology for any offense that has been caused”.
Wicked Campers would also like to commend all petition signers for their passion and commitment to the cause – and their openness to actively working with us towards a compromise. Again, we apologise for any distress that has been caused.
For receipts for donations made, please email: email@example.com
Owner – Wicked Campers
Lastly, what is very important to note, is that this victory happened because ultimately, my daughter and I were respected throughout this journey – by everyone; the populous that cared more than it didn’t and joined the fight; the reporters – ALL of them (I thank you all for that, I still feel honoured to be asked); to being listened to by the business itself and even had a motion passed in the Senate.
In four and a half days.
We just achieved a really good thing. We stood up for a better standard.
My daughter is so happy…in her 11 year old way.
Thank you everyone. Thank you very much.
July 11, 2014
A few days ago, I went to pick up my 11 and 7 year old daughters from a holiday stint with my parents.
As we greeted each other with hugs, my 11 year old did not hesitate in telling me, with great concern, that she saw something terrible when she was in the car with my dad – a van that said something to the effect of all girls being sluts who want to try it just once.
I was stunned because only the day before I had put up images (again) of the type of messages that the car-hire business Wicked Campers revels in, on my social media pages – including (and especially) the one my daughter saw.
So it’s official – something I personally called out had encroached and touched my family directly.
I was livid and went to file a complaint on the Advertising Standards Bureau.
The first thing you have to do is check if there have already been complaints made and whether the Board has made any previous rulings. Unsurprisingly, the list of complaints is long for Wicked Campers with a variety of unsavoury slogans and advertisements, like the following:
Or there’s this sort of thing:
It appears the young, male, *haw-haw* demographic is well and truly being catered for; girls as sluts / women are nothing more than something to service males / guys with big cocks (to do what with, pray tell?)
The only problem is that it’s the everyday person that finds themselves face-to-face with these types of bulletin in the PUBLIC sphere, not the drivers themselves – that person merely announces their consent to what’s been spray painted on the back and ironically the only person who doesn’t see the moving billboard they’re driving around. Hilarious.
Step two was to file my complaint, as I didn’t see the slogan my daughter witnessed on the ASB list. There I hit a snag because I had to have seen it for myself, to be able to denounce them. I explained this to my daughter and she immediately sat up and said, “I’ll complain.”
And to be honest, I thought, ‘Why not?’
So she submitted it under her name and wrote as her reason for offence:
‘I am a little girl and I am not a slut.’
I’m proud of her.
I would like to now direct your attention to how a young male responded to my posting about this business on my Questions for Us Facebook page. You can see the full conversation there.
The usual waterfall of clichés start to roll off the tongue like honey:
* It’s just a joke;
* If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. (Which is actually my usual rule of thumb except when it’s in my face regardless of whether I bought it or not);
* I bet if it were about men we’d be all ‘feminists rule’;
* Comparisons that don’t compare (girl sluts and McDonald’s toys);
* Get out there and fight for something worth fighting for.
Suffice it to say I had a long conversation with this young man, reasoning that phrases like the one my daughter saw puts her and all girls in danger. He predictably responded that it’s not all men who would feel that way about women and girls and that the car rental business is not to blame for that.
Of course nobody ever says ALL MEN are a menace, but that Yes, All Women are at risk of harmful perspectives like these, crossing just one male’s mind – because it only takes ONE to enact those sentiments on an innocent girl.
Rolf Harris ring any bells?
I think ‘all princesses being sluts’, would have reflected his sentiments succinctly.
There are many ‘ground zeros’ in fighting what commences the chain of abhorrent perspectives and actions in people, and we can’t ignore them because in the eyes of most, it doesn’t equate to the fight against the femicide of girls in China and India, for example, or bringing the girls back from Nigeria (things I also fervidly fight for, of course).
I live here – in Australia – in a capitalist cesspool that will stop at nothing to make money. There are horrors occurring around the world which I passionately call out against, but the rape culture my daughters are about to enter, is the here and now – and it’s real.
We shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the so-called ‘little’ things because as Paul Kelly sang:
‘From little things, big things grow.’
Question #209: How can we fight the big things, if the little things prove too difficult?
It’s time to be Actionists, just like my daughter.
After quite the parley with this young man (which became more respectful as it progressed), I asked him where he (being smack-bang in the demographic he so eagerly defended) thought we should focus our energies to stop the perception of the hyper-sexualised youth and the halt of rape culture (which some slogans of this business purport), to which he answered the following:
He didn’t really answer my question and went straight for the overseas problem but appreciated his honesty in not knowing – which is generally the case with most people who start shouting objection to the calling out of bad actions.
‘Wicked Campers aren’t out to make women inferior.’
I respectfully, but wholeheartedly, disagree.
PS – I have started a Change.org petition to the founder of Wicked Campers;
Please sign if you are tired of being told what to ‘relax’ about.
>>> Sign Here
June 2, 2014
*** Warning – pornographic images from Facebook are used in this post.
I know – we all know – that Facebook is evil, but I feel a line has been crossed with their ‘Community Standards’ practices and I’ve just about had a gut-full.
Before one starts typing the tired, clichéd counter argument of, ‘If you don’t like it, don’t use it’, let me just say that:
1) I think Facebook is a fantastic tool for staying connected with loved ones (esp overseas) and equally awesome for things like blogs, businesses etc.
2) if I were to stop using it, myself and many other amazing warriors out there, would not be there to fight (ultimately) for the rest because ignorance, naivety or turning away never changed anything…. although I’m starting to think we should just about roll over on just about everything because nothing changes; in fact things are actually being made more difficult to fight and I have grown weary.
I am livid with Facebook.
Last week I (along with so many others) continually sent complaints about the Elliot Rodger is an American hero page, petitioning it be taken down every time it popped up….over and over. Every single time I was told it was dandy for general viewing – as the screenshot below shows. Eventually, with so much pressure, Facebook took down all the pages glorifying Elliot Rodgers – and finally informed me that it was taken down.
But this begs the question: So why were all the other protests rejected to start with?
One of Facebook’s suggestions is that one can complain about a particular photo or post, rather than the whole page. OK, I thought, I’ll try that. As you can see above, I reported posts, such as the following, for hate speech:
Facebook thought it wasn’t hate speech against gender. It’s dandy for general viewing.
Last night I stumbled across an ad for…well, let’s see if you can guess. What do you think this is for?
Coffee. It’s for coffee.
I complained about the above image and the following one (for nudity or pornography); one which degrades a woman to the floor of a toilet cubicle, to give a male ‘head’ and couples it with a disgusting tag line:
You guessed it. Dandy.
There are more images like these on the page – sexualising and objectifying females on different levels.
Funnily enough, the only photo using a male with a sexually implied text, is this:
An ordinary man – who is showing his face; an honour the sexualised females aren’t afforded as they’re merely objects – doing something stupid. And is that a coy arm covering himself up a bit?
The thing is: females don’t rape males for being represented as stupid; in the way males rape females for being represented as hyper-sexualised.
Question #207: Can people not see the danger in this sort of ‘advertising’ about women?
Yes, it’s just one ad. But there a millions – billions – of images like the females above; shaping our psyche.
So why does the world then reel in shock when atrocities happen? I mean, REALLY? We are smack bang in the middle of an insidious culture which now confidently drives forward this misogyny and females are ultimately paying the price.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Write on this corrupt Perth coffee brand’s Facebook page here (or any other Facebook page promoting misogyny)
Write to the Advertising Standards Board here as the above images are ads for coffee.
Now, what about Facebook?
Facebook is dictating what pornography is and according to them, the above isn’t. I decided to look at the wording of their ‘standards’ and we’re ultimately screwed:
‘Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content.‘
So a woman with her had on her clitoris, between her spread legs, in heels, on a bed, with bare breasts (except for little boxes with the brand name covering the nipples) with a head seductively thrown back with the word ‘Ecstasy’, is not pornographic?
Well what is?
The worst part is that Facebook has taken away the chance, one used to have, to write a response to their ruling. Now they just say no and that’s that.
I feel that that is so very wrong.
Question #208: Can anything legal be done about this?
I’m shouting out to any ‘legal eagles’ because with every fibre in my being, I feel this needs action and we have to start somewhere.
If you have complained about a page or a post/photo on Facebook and have been knocked back – keep a screenshot of the page or copy the photo. I think we need to start collecting evidence.
May 29, 2014
Whilst discussing the need to look at the actions that are plaguing our existence, an illuminating response came from a wonderful follower and artist blogger, Godtisx.
In the big (mammoth) scheme of things, this is just one microscopic drop of an experience that happened to her.
But it’s not a small deal – because this seemingly ‘innocent’ interaction has happened to a friend; can and does happen to far too many females; it could happen to me.
You know the problem is entitlement, and society is now constructed in such a way that men feel we are partnering in their thoughts towards access. So many women are overtly sexualizing themselves in such a way who can have a reaction.
I.e. The other day I was in the supermarket, and this really handsome man (and well dressed too) came up to me and started chatting me up. Soon I wanted to get to shopping, so I tried to conclude the conversation with saying we’ll see one another around for sure. I was interested. But then he grabs my hand and starts saying stuff like I’m so attracted to you, are you attracted to me. *Awkward/forced.* So I even said you’re nice looking… but was already feeling uncomfortable w/ the sudden handling?
Then he says I wanna take care of you will you let me? So me being a bit of an introvert, didn’t catch it. I laugh and say, we’ll see each other around, see how it goes blah blah. Then he goes, I wanna take care of you just tell me what you want. So now I am confused. And he goes what do you want? Still not getting it.
Finally he goes I wanna f–k you. How much do you want.
I go — WHAT? You think I’m a hooker? Then I get, no no. I just wanna, and fumbling. I pull away and tell him with a different attitude now, I’ll see you around. With him, trying to apologize and me continuing to move away from him physically. But as I was leaving I thought, I better be careful. That’s the kinda guy that will wait around the corner for you or something. Every woman has to go through this kind of stuff sometime in her life. And unfortunately, it doesn’t turn out positive for some. 😦
How horrible. Seriously.
That feeling of wondering whether a person, who is so forward, is capable of more.
Can they get angry? Have I used the right tone with this complete stranger, to not trigger a negative reaction that may cause harm?
One simply never knows.
And it’s not that ‘every male is like that’, either – it’s that the statistics are stacked against us.
I think the tweet below explains perfectly:
The other important issue (and the apparent white elephant in discussions), is the one thing that truly does separate the sexes, and that is that males are stronger (in general) than females. And that strength is used against us.
When I was attempted raped at university and the sobering moment hit – that it was actually commencing – I knew that the only chance I had, was to use my wits. He had already threatened me with his strength, saying he didn’t want to ‘get violent’ – so I knew I wouldn’t succeed that way.
#NotAllMen but #YesAllWomen
Question #206: Is the argument clear?
It’s urgent that people understand it because there really is no other way to put it.