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]
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 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), friends we’d love to see but can’t and equally fantastic 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 stand against the tsunami before us; because ignorance, naivety or turning one’s back (something this culture excels at), has never changed a single thing for the better.
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 females. 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?
And what, exactly, is being SHARED, when applying the sexual double-meaning in the ad; Women? Girls? That is shite. And all to make some money; like pimps
The thing is: males don’t live in fear of being raped by females for being represented as stupid; but females fear males raping them 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 the fuck is?
It wouldn’t matter if you answered that – it still wouldn’t cross Facebook’s Community Standards.
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.
March 30, 2014
I have grappled with the issue of pitting and comparing the actions and/or adversities of one gender by using the other to illustrate, for a long time – but it simply does not sit right with me.
It is like comparing apples with oranges.
For the most part, I believe the intention is generally a positive one (which is a refreshing step toward good), but when perceptions and customs related to gender are so profoundly entrenched, it falls short of accurately addressing the deep-seeded issues of gender disparity.
This is a familiar visual representation that now seems to be common practice in highlighting gender-label ridiculousness – namely, a female’s.
There are two issues I have with this sort of juxtaposition:
1. Females have always been represented in this way – used as (sexual) ornaments. Males never have. So when we look at the females in the images, we see ‘normal’ and when we scan across to the males in similar poses, we see humour.
Steve Carell, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert recently did a photo shoot, emphasising the ludicrous poses females are encouraged to do:
Its intentions are admirable but – it’s not the same. It’s just funny.
That humour can (ultimately) also work negatively for the females they’re trying to help, by making them look stupid for participating in their own exploitation; for posing that way in the first place.
I recently saw a snippet of reality TV the other day – one that does renovations on houses. There was a moment where all the contestants had an impromptu dance-off, which lead to the inevitable circle where they strut their stuff in the middle. One of the women chose to be semi-provocative by doing some fetching grinding moves against her partner.
Next was a male. He also did a bit of a provocative dance. It was funny. Everyone laughed.
2. The biggest issue, however, is vulnerability.
When a female is posing sexually, she is vulnerable – her breasts may be practically exposed; she may be bending over something with a short skirt; she may be wearing impossible-to-walk-in-heels (not easy to escape anyone in high heels btw) – you follow my drift.
The males in these representations, however, are not vulnerable.
Their only place of vulnerability is their penis and that is (as always in this current paradigm) *fully* covered.
Everywhere; every time.
How ironic that we seem to find comfort in the male gender – dipped head high in privilege – outlining the woes of the ‘lesser’ gender. Double irony? In most cases it’s statistically males pushing females to pose this way in the first place.
OK, let’s turn the tables; in format as well as gender reversal.
Let’s look at how men are represented and doing the switch.
The image above is from the show, Beauty and the Geek. Never before have I witnessed such a blatantly sexist prime-time show; super-gluing more gender stereotypes to an already fragile equation.
Female = sexy, hot and DUMB;
Male = be who you want to be, you can still get a ‘hot’ female.
Can you imagine a show – heck, a REALITY – where we see females who are daggy/geeky/nerds of various body shapes, together with ‘hot’ males?
I can – but know it’s a concept that is (for the most part) a flash in the pan.
I remember through ads that Glee had a moment where an overweight girl was coupled with the hot football player.
I wonder how many people were genuinely comfortable watching that visual?
I say visual because that’s all ANY of this is based on.
It’s irrelevant whether personalities gel or if people have a profound connection, because ultimately that’s not the message that wants to get taught; there’s no money to be made, if females are secure within themselves, after all.
I intensely wish for a more equal and balanced playing field for females and the bottom line is that females are more than just being the packaging for males’ sexual fantasies.
Question #199: Isn’t this world ready – YET – to unlock the wonderful array of possibilities – just by getting past that horrifically limiting idea of females?
I’ll leave you to think.
My next post is my 200th Question.
Bring your thinking caps along.
December 8, 2013
In the play, Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht, a corrupt character named Peachum starts his first stint on stage by looking directly at the audience and declaring the lines:
“Awake, you sinners, awake!”
That’s aimed at us – Society – one that ‘sins’ through its compliant silence.
Brecht was a political playwright who wanted people to watch his theatre with intellect and reason, and not be deceived by the lure and grip of emotion.
Ultimately, he wanted people to leave the theatre with a sense of recognising the ludicrous injustices (still) going on in the world and DO something – to leave the theatre:
Question #193: What does it take to stir the depths of society’s moral and ethical compass?
Last night was the first game – here in Australia – of the US inspired, Lingerie Football League. This is an issue I have fiercely argued about in the past.
It is with continued disbelief that, in 2013, we actually have these poor women – desperate for ANY sort of respectful attention toward their sporting and physical prowess – play with (essentially) virtually exposed breasts.
The image below is from the US league.
I shudder to imagine the soreness and pain their breasts must feel, if that’s what they run in (no support) and smash into each other with.
Nope. Shaking my head. Gobsmacked.
Women’s sport is virtually ignored.
Our screens are a deluge of men’s sport, 90% male commentary and male worship.
In David Penberthy’s article – Lingerie League an Insult to Sport and Channel 7 – he writes:
“It is pretty weird that at a time when our cricketers couldn’t buy a win, and were making headlines instead for being sent home after refusing to do their homework or decking a Pommy batsman in the small hours at an English pub, our women cricketers were quietly going about the business of becoming world champions, again.
Couldn’t name one of them.”
That’s the crux.
We don’t see women’s sport…unless they’re in their underwear?
Sexism. Pure sexism.
Last night the Lingerie Football League claimed two victims.
Victim #1: Tahina Booth (pictured above), was taken away by ambulance due to injury. One person on Twitter said she appeared in agony for a while before the ambulance arrived.
The following was Tahina’s response to a question from Andrew Webster from the Sydney Morning Herald:
There are a lot of critics of this sport. I have my own doubts. What would you say to them?
“I understand. I have a complex with the uniform. I don’t like it, and it’s not practical. But when you look at it, there are masses of people coming to watch … they realise it’s not for fun and these girls aren’t taking it lightly. A lot of feminists have told me I’m a disgrace. I tell them that I’m doing this for an opportunity. I work so hard, it’s cost me so much money. I just want to be the best I can be.” *
How sad that here in Australia, women athletes like Tahina are simply not respected. That her ‘opportunity’ can only come from a form of undress. This is sexism at its purest.
The LFL responded today about her ‘injury’, stating she was merely dehydrated.
I sincerely hope that’s all it was.
Victim #2: Randy Perret – father to one of the players – wrote the following apology to Collective Shout, when his daughter was deemed ‘too fat’ to play, ON GAME DAY:
“I wish to apologise for the comments have posted lately regarding the LFL in Australia. i have known of Mitchell Mortaza and his reputation within the States but thought that maybe with a fresh start in Australia he may change his ways. Wrong. My 18 year old daughter has been told that she has to “lean out” to wear the uniform. That’s right. So yes LFL is all about how the girls look not how well they play the game. So now I have my 18 year old daughter down in NSW, shattered emotionally because at the last minute she has been told that she is too ‘fat’ to play his game. Send me any petitions you like and will gladly sign them. Also please forward any contacts as I wish to fight this all the way. We can not have our young girls thinking that you need to be skinny to play any sport in this country.”
She had already spent money on getting the prerequisite spray tan before the game.
Spray tan. Any Australian male footballers putting on their obligatory spray tan before a game?
No – the female athletes of Australia are not being respected. In this case, they are (mundanely) being exploited for their physical appearance. The fact that the audience is predominantly there for titillation through accidental nudity (something in the girls’ clause to play), is a truly sad indictment of our current paradigm.
August 25, 2013
I have to say that this is one of those conundrums for me.
In my quest to continually question the imbalance of our existence – I wanted to explore why we continue to shroud this illusive appendage in such an opposing way to women’s objectification.
I was listening to Triple J the other morning and comedian Wil Anderson was on the radio.
He was discussing the rule with men – that you never look at another man’s penis whilst at the urinal.
OK I get that. It would be an invasion of privacy.
But it just made me wonder – what’s the big hoo-ha about the penis, anyway?
Why all the mystery?
At the beach last summer, I saw quite a few three-quarter length board shorts being worn – protecting its owners from exposing even the hint of a bulge.
No more speedos anymore. No sir-ee.
Is it to hide its size?
Or protect boys and men from the gaze of other men?
Is that something that’s feared?
Surely if it were for the gaze of women, there wouldn’t be a problem…right?
I know it’s the fashion at the beach – but you can’t disagree with the juxtaposition; that men seem to be more and more covered, whilst women are more and more exposed.
And not just on the beach.
In the movies – for example – we NEVER see the penis.
Why are men afforded such privacy?
Why are women not?
We have fully naked women on the screens (the big screen as well as the smallest) and yet it doesn’t matter how much time passes – how much we ‘evolve’ – the penis remains mystically cloaked from human gaze.
It must be nice to know – if you’re male and in the movie industry – that you’ll never have to make that choice, whether to have your penis filmed or not.
Men are not vulnerable; like women are vulnerable.
And a man’s vulnerability – it seems – is his penis.
A woman’s? Her near or complete nudity.
The second issue I have with the penis, is its massive (no un intended) irony.
As much as it is used and wielded as a weapon throughout the world and is seen as the symbol of manhood – it is also a man’s Achilles Heel, so to speak – is it not?
As Betty White says:
“Why do people say,
‘Grow some balls’?
Balls are weak and sensitive.
If you wanna be tough,
Grow a vagina.
Those things can take a pounding.”
Is this post an attack on manhood?
No – it is not.
Do I want to see penises plastered all over our screens?
No – but there shouldn’t be a Holier-than-thou style, cover-up either.
A penis is just a penis.
Or is it?
So, I ask again – what’s the big deal?