In my Drama class recently – boys and girls aged approx. 16 – we were discussing Absurd Theatre.

This type of theatre looks at the existentialist view that we are born from nothing; live a fairly meaningless life, in the big scheme of things; attach importance to pockets of our lives (as we are ‘educated’ to do, by our surroundings) and then die – back to nothingness.

The world keeps turning. You made no real difference. It’s all quite absurd.

This is not to say that it is a life devoid of faith because with the existentialist perspective, there is also a sense of hope.

My students and I began to contemplate the issues and topics that encompass our current paradigm. I asked them to metaphorically take a giant step out of our existence and then look through the eyes of, let’s say, aliens studying human behaviour.

What would they see?
I wanted them to think rationally and not emotionally.

The issue of female representation came up – especially in terms of the fashion – and as the discussion unfolded, one girl asked what was so wrong with girls wanting to feel good through the attention they receive.

I replied, “Nothing…but…”

This is the point where it always gets tricky for me because my current opinion on what I’m seeing tears me in two opposing directions – and if it pulls me, a 43 year old woman, in this way – how in hell are these young, developing minds supposed to make heads or tails of it?

1. I believe women should wear what they want.

I was raised to believe that it’s good to show off your best assets. I have pretty good legs, for example, and I used to wear shortish skirts. I still wear skinny-type pants because they work best for my body shape. Of course, I wear pants of varying widths too – as well as skirts of different lengths.

The point is that we always dedicated a certain amount of time to creating a look that suited us and made us feel good about ourselves. Maybe it made a statement or it was simply following the fashion; no different to today, I suppose…

2. BUT when what is fashionable, emulates porn culture – we have a completely different kettle of fish.

Don’t we?

Growing up in the 80s meant there were various fads throughout the decade. I remember there was a pastel stage; a flouro one; we wore studded belts (as well as ones that wrapped around the waist twice over – flashy!); hair of different lengths and cuts; tube skirts; shoulder pads; goths; mods; punks…and the list goes on. Even in the 90s, there was grunge to add to the mix.

This is me at the dance – with boys! – aged 14. When your stunned expression lapses as to how much of a dag I was (yes, that’s a white ribbon in my hair), check out the background – pinafore dresses and a boy straight off the set of Miami Vice.

Truth is, we may have been dagga, but we thought we were SO cool. How could we not be, with such a variety of looks in one decade? 

Year 9 dance

Today, however, is quite a different story – there is only one fad: Hot ‘n Sexy and no age seems out of reach. The monumental difference today is the hypersexualised pre-teen that’s starting to flood the ‘market’.
(Sadly, one of the most used search engine terms that gets certain unsavoury and predatory people to my blog, is ‘12 year old sluts.’
Young and fresh out of Primary School – these girls are in high demand.)

I discussed the conundrum of this current fashion with the students to see if they could discern the fine line – that it’s virtually a ‘Catch-22′ situation. If, on one hand, girls wear hypersexualised outfits and allude to also behave in said manner as well, they are participating in the spread of porn culture – a culture created, predominantly, for male satisfaction. BUT at the same time, if we go around preaching to women about what they should and shouldn’t wear, it reeks of control and takes away a female’s agency to do as she pleases – the same way a man is permitted.

In other words, inequality.

This is crippling. Women – and now, very young girls – are being driven crazy with this and I can see that this paradigm, one that is so obsessed with sex and selling the female body (only) to make billions of dollars, is winning.

To wear, or not to wear – that is the question.

Question #153: Isn’t that absurd?

Deep Breath

 

I’ll be brief.

This petition has come up and it’s important you sign it. It’s to the Advertising Standards Board:

Stop Sex Industry Billboards Outside Schools

This is the billboard:

gEKeRGLIfoybclD-556x313-noPad

So – not only did someone approve this decision – placing an adult club BILLBOARD in front of a boys’ school in Brisbane – it was also complained about and the complaint was rejected.

In front of a boys’ school. Please.
As Verina Rallings wrote – it’s a type of grooming. And it is.

So I ask you:

Why do we even bother with the magic of Christmas?

Going to all that effort to create this fictitious world of wonderment…

What for?

We’re living in a world where the drive to make money has deadened our senses – opening the door to a seedy, underbelly lifestyle and normalising it.

Where did Santa go?

What happens when the belief in Santa ends – at 9 – 10 – 5 years of age?

Shall we dress our girls in denim undies (oh, sorry – ‘shorts’) and teach them how to act in a hyper-sexualised manner, for guys’ approval, with a low-cut top to boot?
How about our boys? Shall we encourage them to learn how to successfully land a bitch whose gagging for it?

If the answer for you is ‘No’, then speak up and show your indignation!
Billboards like this are powerfully promoting a representation of reality that is unbalanced.

I can’t believe we are actually allowing this subliminal coercion of our kids’ minds; rendering their ability to formulate a balanced reality, impotent.

WE have to be the stronger voice in our youth’s ears, not theirs.
Theirs is solely about making a buck…and it’s plastered all around us.

Doesn’t that infuriate you?

Well it makes me livid and disappointed at what we’re becoming.

Please sign the petition. x

Stop Sex Industry Billboards Outside Schools

Deep Breath.

Mila Kunis on Ellen

February 17, 2013

While I was sitting in an empty hospital room, waiting for my husband’s return from his surgery – I turned on the TV and I stumbled upon Ellen.

I have to say, that although I don’t really watch the show (don’t watch much TV at all), I do really like Ellen and what she does – yes, very similar to Oprah.
What I like about these women is that they spread a message of happy and that’s not a bad thing. We need more of it.

What makes Ellen different, of course, is that she is who she is and dresses comfortably – leaning towards a more masculine look – which I love.

Her female guests, however, are different. In the past, I’ve seen many (not all) come out wearing the ‘uniform’ – cascading locks of hair, over made-up faces, skimpy, barely-there outfits, very high platform shoes etc etc.

On this particular day, Mila Kunis was the announced guest and I watched with interest.

1. Mila came out looking stylish – pants and a white top. Nice.

2. Ellen’s first words to her are: “You look fantastic” and launches straight into the fact she must feel pressure now that Esquire has named her the ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’ – pulling out the magazine which dons the following cover image of Mila:

Esquire-Cover-edited

After a bit of banter, Ellen says that there must have been a lot of pressure to pose for the cover of the sexiest woman alive.

Mila’s response was gobsmacking: She said,

“The only reason I did it, was so that when I’m 80, sitting in my little chair, I can say – SEE, Grandma was really hot one day!”

Ellen responded with, “That’s why you did it?”

A pocket of women in the audience started to yahoo and cheer – of course – and with that validation Mila continued, saying that she was sure her grandmother was a “sexy little thing, but there was no photographic proof.” (???)

She holds up her cover and says, “Look grandkids – PROOF!”

Dear me.

Ellen then guides the talk towards her outfits in everyday life saying she appears to be down to earth and doesn’t seem to ‘worry about what she looks like when she goes out’ (?????) and a whole minute dedicated to her use of cargo pants.

After tediously trying to get Mila to admit she’s dating Ashton Kutcher – the topic FINALLY turned towards her craft – the movie she’s in.
However, in the 8 minute interview – the discussion of her movie lasted 30 seconds.

I have to say, it was disappointing – again – to see how this interview fixated on and perpetuated society’s (women’s) obsession with the physicality of women such as Mila, and how we applaud and revere them.

More disturbing, however, is how Mila herself – a young and beautiful girl – needs to find validation through men voting her the sexiest woman alive, hyper-sexualising herself and slapping it on a cover for all to see…

…including her future grandchildren, no less – topless and with a provocative finger over her lips.

What hope do our daughters have with self-esteem and empowerment, when women’s looks are the only topic of interest?

Question #144: How can what girls do with their minds be in the forefront of discovering who they are, when noone cares enough to represent it?

 Remember: “You can’t be what you can’t see”

We’re certainly seeing a lot of young, hyper-sexualised women like Mila, which does nothing for the sisterhood and the true empowerment of our girls.

Deep Breath.

x

PS Hubby’s operation lasted four hours and had five surgeons. It seems to have gone well.

Dr Caroline Heldman (who appeared in Missrepresentation) spoke at the TEDx Youth Conference, for twelve or so minutes – without pause. Amazing.

It’s a bloody brilliant presentation that encapsulates everything that is wrong with our current paradigm – delivered with clear-cut explanations, facts, research and solutions.

She looks at what sexual objectification is and whether it’s empowering.

An absolutely fantastic and succinct discourse.

Question #140: So, ladies – are we going to put an end to this self-destructive behaviour, once and for all?

Deep Breath.

x

27

Two women left great comments, in response to the previous post about Rape Culture.

I would like to address two of the points made by these women.

1. lamehousewife was suggesting that the ad on the bus is a reflection of the type of women the priest was talking about.

I agree.

Throughout my posts, I have always made a strong point (I hope) on the massive contribution women are making to the problems they face in this patriarchal society. Ads, like the one on the back of the bus, can only exist with a woman’s consent.

Without women agreeing to normalise this hyper-sexualised, fickle, fake image of womanhood – we have little chance of attaining any sort of equality amongst this man’s world.

However, I AM about balance and the point of my last post was simply that the solution/solving conversations that make the papers, are about what women have to do to stop the Rape Culture.

But what about the guys/men? The ones COMMITTING the crime?

The CRIME.

Most of the time, it has nothing to do with what a woman wears. A lot of the time it can be a family member, raping a daughter/niece…or she didn’t do as she was told…or she looks like his mother and he hates his mother…etc. etc. etc.

I’m sure I (we) could find a gazillion reasons why so many men rape women…but the only common denominator, is that it’s men inflicting violence against women on an unprecedented and global scale.

As I said in my response, there is currently heated discussion at the prevalence of males being behind mass shootings, like the recent ones in the United States. Well, this is MORE prevalent…and also inflicted by men.

Where’s the article on that in mainstream media?

Where are the mental health programs for them? Or is it simply too many men?

More importantly:

Question #128: How are our boys being taught NOT to think of women as useless (except for one thing) and ‘gagging-for-it’?

If we’re not implementing the above, then we are simply stepping aside and allowing the Rape Culture to perpetuate.

You can get it on a t-shirt (this one’s a tame one):

images

Or in a meme:

gt+highschool+girls+they+say+that+they+aren+t+sluts+but+_b4f283e7d2096a3d01adf6118919d190

You get the idea…

2. Kate left a fantastic comment which hits the nail on the head; looking at this from another angle. A part of what she wrote was the following:

“I long for the time women regain their worth, their subtle and centred power, and this can’t happen by drinking as much as men or lowering our sexual standards by removing our sense of love and care and giving, or by trying to ‘be’ like men. We are depth that are women! Yet we seem to be under the stupidity of unawakened ideals that put us ‘beneath’ another gender.”

Exactly, right?

We simply can’t allow ourselves to believe what’s said about us or how we’re portrayed. We are actually short-changing the fantastic, awesome wonderfulness that it is to be a woman and short-changing what we can offer – together with men.

Finally, another reader left the following YouTube clip. It was posted online only a few months ago and it’s your regular, fit, young man giving out some advice to ‘the brotherhood’ about women.
Some of the language used may offend some women.

And this is the type of guy that’s out there…

It’s not all of them – no – but they’re what’s in fashion now.

Any alarm bells ringing yet?

Thank you so much for all the engaging and insightful comments and calm discussion. Keep them coming!

Man or woman.

Deep Breath.

x

Sorry for the heavy title, but a few articles popped up today, that have me incensed…again.

Why? Because the current reign of our ever-present Rape Culture, seeping into every crevice, is simply infuriating me.

The definition of Rape Culture from upsettingrapeculture.com, writes the following:

WHAT IS RAPE CULTURE?
In a rape culture, people are surrounded with images, language, laws, and other everyday phenomena that validate and perpetuate, rape. Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

This is what it means when people say that sexism and violence against women are “naturalised.” It means that people in our current society believe these attitudes and actions always have been, and always will be.

Just the way things areJust are.

Question #126: Isn’t that the general reason/excuse for indifference?

Infuriating.

I started this post today after I saw the following article regarding the comments made by a Catholic Priest – Father Piero Corsi – in Italy:

Italians outraged by priest’s claim that women bring violence on themselves.

“The title of message was ‘Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?’

“Father Piero Corsi said scantily dressed women bring out the worst instincts in men and cause violence or sexual abuse. He claimed women end up exacerbating tensions by ‘leaving children to themselves, having filthy houses, serving cold meals, buying fast food and providing dirty clothes.’ “

331582

Great.

When will ‘the worst instincts in men’ be what attains the pressure from society to change?

No, no, no. It’s us – women. WE have to change…how we dress, how we act, what we say…

But…really…is that what the men in the church (and men in general maybe?) feel is the actual solution?

Will rape and violence against women cease to exist if we stopped wearing plunging necklines?…and stopped providing dirty clothes…and serving cold meals (is that a cold heart too?)…and…and…and…

We all know the answer to that is no.

Hence, we have a Rape Culture.

And yet, if all the rational people think that what’s happening is going down a dark, violent and septic alley, why are we not seeing anything being implemented to stop the continuing, harrowing statistics?

Now I have an even heavier heart due to reading that the poor girl who was gang raped in India, has just died from her injuries.

The following article was a response to the Indian girl’s rape itself, telling women they should carry chilli powder to throw in the eyes of their attacker and not go out at night.

How to prevent sexual assault (no chilli powder required)

Again, GREAT! Anything else for women to do?

This article does have a wonderful list of tips, however, that should actually be used to encourage a change. Tongue-in-cheek – yes – but you get what it’s saying:

Anne Bartow’s Sexual Assault Prevention Tips

1. Don’t put drugs in people’s drinks in order to control their behaviour.

2. When you see someone walking by themselves, leave them alone!

3. If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!

4. NEVER open an unlocked door or window uninvited.

5. If you are in an elevator and someone else gets in, DON’T ASSAULT THEM!

6. Remember, people go to laundry to do their laundry, do not attempt to molest someone who is alone in a laundry room.

7. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.

8. Always be honest with people! Don’t pretend to be a caring friend in order to gain the trust of someone you want to assault. Consider telling them you plan to assault them. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the other person may take that as a sign that you do not plan to rape them.

9. Don’t forget: you can’t have sex with someone unless they are awake!

10. Carry a whistle! If you are worried you might assault someone “by accident” you can hand it to the person you are with, so they can blow it if you do.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

Here’s an idea: How about it’s NOT women who attempt to stop things, from a defence position; not being allowed to be themselves.

How about governments intervene from a ‘childhood educational angle’?

Tone down the amount of imagery that’s EVERYWHERE, like this:

IMG_4060

I pulled up behind this bus when it was stopped. This is the moving billboard, distracting everyone who’s driving. And where’s the filter for all the developing brains who are taking it all in?

Woman=gagging for it (look at the image)=looove sex=rape.

Question #127: How about implementing a new program in schools? Australian National Curriculum?

We need something. Anything.

Deep Breath.

x

Physiology.

December 14, 2012

A week or so ago, my family and I had a bit of a Christmas gathering as it was the only time a lot of us were going to be all together. It was so lovely because it was a rare collection of loved ones who were all able to make it on that day only.

One of our dear family friends said a very elderly neighbour had recently passed away and that his children had finally gotten around to sorting out his belongings – some of which they kept and some, thrown out.

This friend rescued a full set of Children’s Encyclopaedia Britannicas and asked if I wanted them. To say I was chuffed was an understatement. They were published in 1970 – the year of my birth. I also got a four volumed set of The Cycle of Life – looking at the birds and the bees and titles such as, ‘How do you know it’s love?’ and all from the 60s.

Encyclopedia Britannica

They are truly wonderful and a treasure. and the smell of them – old and musty – is just divine.

A few friends had asked why I would want them as all the information would be outdated. Well some would be, but not all of it. Picasso is Picasso; the basic information would be the same.

I – or more importantly – my daughters can pick up a volume and read through some bits and pieces. I did that today, when I picked the volume with ‘Paintings’. There are beautiful, colour, glossy pictures of famous paintings – I found a beautiful, hand drawn illustration of the Pied Piper of Hamelin…it just goes on.

See, the stuff you get off the net is what you look for specifically and there are generally millions of pages presented to you – that flash up when you’ve typed in your search engine term. Millions. So most go with the top couple and that’s it.

But these books have intriguing, snippets of information – some information hasn’t changed and the areas that have, have you looking on with wonder at how much our society has progressed over the last 40 years or so – especially (obviously) in the area of technology and engineering. In other areas, however…

Basically I keep stumbling upon things that, more than likely, you can’t find on the net.

As I was flicking through, I found Physiology (the study of how our body works, like a machine) – which inspired this post. One part reads:

Everyone is born with the power to do these [automatic] reflexes without thinking, but people can learn other reflexes, such as riding a bicycle and feeling hungry as a mealtime draws near. These are called conditioned reflexes. Much of what a person does – that is, their physiology – is made up of automatic and conditioned reflexes.

Fascinating…and sobering.

Why? Because I think society is allowing businesses to feed on our automatic reflexes to make money – but are in turn creating conditioned ones. Bad conditioned ones…and there appears to be no end in sight because most people think ‘everything’s fine’.

Example? The recent discussion on the net over the Playboy Bunny bedspreads in the arts and craft shop Spotlight, had many people, of both genders, saying to relax – you just tell your young child that it’s a regular, ol’ bunny. Yes, you can, until it’s everywhere and the association of what it really stands for becomes quickly embedded and comes at a much, much earlier age.

At this moment I realised how little we go to the past anymore.

Noone looks back. Just forward.

Just more.

Pushing that line with an ever growing army.

While we stand idly by.

Let’s look back to our youth and its artists.

I looooved Duran Duran. I may have mentioned this before, but I was convinced that Simon Le Bon need only look at me (with my braces aged 14) and know he had found the one. But even though I was surrounded by posters of Duran Duran, I still knew of older artists and their contribution to music:

The Doors (another love), The Beatles, Elvis, The Stones, The Eagles, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Easybeats, The Monkees, The Style Council, Bob Marley, Simon & Garfunkle, Christopher Cross (don’t laugh), Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra…etc.etc. etc. I could go on.

Question #121: Who are our youth listening to today? And what are the messages in their songs?

Because there seem to be a lot of similar looking videos – hyper-sexualising girls and young women all wearing the ‘gagging-for-it’ uniform, as they writhe around the screen…and who can forget the famous lyrics:

Man: It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.

Woman: I am getting so hot, I’m gonna take my clothes off.

As well as the plethora of references to being nasty, freaky, hot, sexy and many more delightful terms. I heard a new song from Kanye West and the chorus goes like this:

Ain’t nobody f*ckin’ with my
Clique, clique, clique, clique, clique
Ain’t nobody fresher than my muthaf*ckin’
Clique, clique, clique, clique, clique
As I look around, they don’t do it like my
Clique, clique, clique, clique, clique
And all these bad bitches, man, they want the…
They want the…They want the….

(Insert the word dick)

Your kids may be listening to this song. It’s Kanye West.

Question #122: Is our youth’s conditioned reflexes changing their physiology for the worse?

Deep Scientific Breath.

x

I’m feeling despondent.

October 28, 2012

Again, it seems I’ve hit another moment where it all feels a smidge overwhelming.

I’m a bit low about it all.

I keep seeing – hearing – absorbing – feeling – more and more examples of horrible behaviour, greedy behaviour, hateful behaviour…

…and I just don’t understand.

I don’t understand why intelligent men and women sit back with a desensitised indifference or, worse still, defend certain elements of our society – making us tip out of balance. I feel like we’re sitting on the side of the balance that’s just started its descent…and it’s going to reach the bottom at an accelerated and unstoppable pace…

Or have we reached that ‘point of no return’ already?

I’d like to think not. I’d LOVE to think not. But am I being naive to think we can put on the brakes?

Because I’m starting to doubt that it’s possible because there seems to be a lot who defend the need for cesspools in different pockets of our existence.

It’s depressing to entertain this thought. It is.

For me, this is the crux of it:

The world is going down a slippery chute – because of money and power.

And it doesn’t matter how you look at it – proven statistically – whatever the culture around the globe, whatever the economic status…

the true victims of any society, are women.

And the ones who wield the power and dominate, are men.

Not ALL men – but most of those who are in positions of power, are – however they came to be there. They’re the ones ruling this planet. Fact.

But I’m wondering, if there are so many of you out there – and I know in my heart you are out there  (regardless of gender) – who feel like a lot of the things being brought to light are wrong:

Question #105: Where are you?

I see women like Melinda Tankard Reist and the phenomenal team at Collective Shout, who are doing wonderful, extraordinary work. They have won so many battles against things that seem inconceivable, to have been allowed to be put in our society in the first place. Inconceivable. They have little money and are flying by the skin of their teeth. But they keep going because it simply has to be done.

Where’s the equivalent loud male voice – a face – who also thinks things are very, very wrong?

Where are the voices of ALL of us, regardless of gender?

In a previous post Feeling a bit ineffectual I listed how women are the victims of this world.

Women are raped by the thousands in places like Africa – used as a weapon of war – DAILY. Women infected with diseases from it.

Women / baby girls around the planet – who are raped, molested, sexually assaulted, trafficked – DAILY

Countless countries forbidding girls from being educated. Shooting a targeted girl, point blank, in the head for wanting one. These are the countries that like war. They have their women – who could stop them if they were in decision-making positions along side them – submissively kept at home.

The poverty, the pain…

And here? In the capitalist world? Here we only reward one thing;

Making money – at whatever cost.

Most of us do it the right and honourable way – with our ethics and morals intact – but the thing I don’t understand is why we actually stand back and let the soulless monster loose in big business  – to OUR detriment. OURS.

We are creating a MINDLESS culture by allowing men – yes men – the ones in power who hold 97% of clout positions in Advertising, Publishing, Tele-communications and Entertainment – to feed on all our weakest and most vulnerable points..to make money. To make a LIVING.

With their fellow men it’s done through sex and with women it’s done through vanity.

Except for the men it’s a dominant weakness and for women it’s a submissive one.

Men are happy with their vice – by indulging in the world of hyper-sexuality and porn…but women never are! Which woman actually believes they’re beautiful enough? Good enough?

What the hell’s THAT about ladies? Seriously!

We’re allowing companies to target and condition our youth to become MINDLESS.

Our silence and indifference gives them permission.

WHY are we doing this? Because it’s good business? The more we say that, the more we pave the way for another to push the ethical frontiers. I’m beginning to wonder if there are any left.

Seems like a free-for-all.

The infuriating part is that we could ALL sell-out and make a quid the fast way.

We ALL have the capacity to steal. We ALL have the capacity to cheat. We can be unkind, selfish, greedy, hateful – but for the majority of people – we’re decent.

Question #106: So, why are we letting the men in power dictate how they will feed off ALL of us – men, women and children – in this detrimental way?

All’s fair in love, war…and capitalism, it seems.

I wonder, with a heavy heart, if the line above does encompass the general attitude amongst the masses…

Again, I hope not.

This is a worthy cause, isn’t it?

Deep Breath.

x

Pass it on. Speak up. Anything to help create change.

Ad I’ve noticed – #1

October 21, 2012

Before I start waging my war on the ads we’re seeing, I’d like to do a bit of research – with you. I’m going to quickly discuss ads I’m seeing now – airing across the country, into family homes – and then (hopefully) gain some insight from you – see if there’s a reoccurring pattern in what our media outlets are unveiling to us and what messages they’re circulating.

I’d like to use you as a gauge. I – like everyone else – am not immune to seeing things a little less-of-centre at times and willingly admit this. It is all about perspective, after all, and I am deeply curious to learn whether we’re on the same page about this issue,  that is deeply concerning to me.

Before I start, I want to explain that I don’t have cable TV, just free-to-air. I don’t turn on the telly until the evening, but really (especially in this ‘down season’) – I don’t watch much. This isn’t to say that the TV is switched off. It’s generally left on, in case we stumble upon something engaging to watch.

This means that as I’m cooking or writing, I do, on occasion, notice the ads. Obviously, when we think about ads, we automatically think of product selling, but there are also the ads for the TV shows themselves…and it’s the content in these ads that are also of great concern.

I’ve written previously about how TV is dumbing us down and how – as a capitalist, obsessed society – we’re possibly heading down a path towards The Seven Deadly Sins.

Well…isn’t it possible? If the answer is, “Yes” then what do we need to do?

I think the ads we’re being exposed to (children and teens especially) – together with a WHOLE smorgasbord of other factors and contributors – are changing the neural pathways of our brains. Conditioning us. More urgently, conditioning the way our youth perceive reality.

Ad #1. TV show – Glee.

Now, I’m not a fan of this show – ever since it started to drip in the hyper-sexualised behaviour of the girls; on top of knowing that their main fan base are young girls. I wrote a post about another ad for Glee a while back (with the clip attached). They are not promoting healthy messages, which is a shame considering the reach they have.

The new season is apparently about to start and we are, of course, getting bombarded by the promotional tsunami that seems to come with the start of new television show seasons.

I wasn’t able to find the clip of the ad that’s being aired in Australia, so I’ll just describe the simple, yet dangerous, messages I think the ad is delivering to young girls and women.

Two things.

One: Kate Hudson plays a new character in the series as a dance instructor at what appears to be a high end place in New York (NY Ballet?), that the main girl Rachel now attends. Kate’s character appears fearless, bellowing how the majority of them are going to fail etc. etc.

She walks up to one of the new students and says:

“Hi. What’s your name? Muffin Top?” (when some fat sits over the top of your pants)

“No, my name is-”

“No. You’re name is Muffin Top. From now on it’s rice crackers and ipecac (a drink that makes you vomit). Cut off a butt-cheek. You have to lose a few pounds.”

And the girl is slim. Plus it really bothers me that it’s a fellow woman being so callous.

Message: If you look at that girl and they’re saying she’s fat (which she’s not) – what am I?

Subliminal message received. Neural pathways are now shifting, due to negative self thoughts about weight and self esteem. Check.

Many will argue that that’s the way it is in these sorts of high pressure dancing institutions and the show is representing realism. Oh, now they’re calling the realism card? That’s a tiny morsel of ‘realism’ compared the heightened misrepresentation that oozes from other issues within shows such as this.

Two: In the grand old tradition of building a female star (whether it be an actress or a singer) as an innocent, wide-eyed virginal type of girl – there comes the time when she must toss all that aside, along with its innocent followers and admirers, and become ‘nasty’.

Rachel now has to be taken ‘seriously’ and must shed her chaste appearance and prove she’s someone to be reckoned with. So we hear Rachel singing, not once but twice during the ad, the following line of the song she will perform on the show (once with a visual showing a tough and sexy Rachel):

“I’m not that innocent”

A line from a Britney Spears song. How apt – a fellow innocent-turned-nasty girl…along with Christina Aquilera, Miley Cyrus…and the list goes on.

Message: Noone will take me seriously unless I sexualise myself to gain attention.

Subliminal message received. Neural pathways are now shifting, due to negative thoughts about not looking sexy and hot enough to gain attention and recognition – the only way to get it. Check.

Why do they do this to one famous, female young star after another? To add to the fan base.

In the documentary, Missrepresentation, we were informed that the main people who watch TV are women…so it doesn’t matter what you show them, as it seems they lap up everything that’s presented to them – especially the younger ones.

However, the ones who watch the least TV, are males between the ages of 18-mid/late twenties? Something like that. So shows are predominantly motivated to getting their full attention – and how else can you get a young, hormone ridden boy/teen/male to watch your show?

Sexualise the girls.

So the bottom line is that they don’t care who watches, just as long as they are.

Anything for a buck, right?

Question #104: Do these examples set off alarm bells, no matter how small, as to what’s being subliminally taught?

Here is a lovely image of the actress who plays Rachel (Michele Lea), contributing her efforts to collecting that new fan base for the network and share holders, by posing for GQ magazine.

We have a long way to go, ladies. Can’t have a picture like this without the woman’s consent.

And consent they do.

Deep Breath.

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The following is one of many issues that has me livid – more at the apathetic attitudes of society, than anything else.

There is true misogyny in our culture – and it is malevolent. It has always existed towards women of all ages, but as it steadily moves down the ranks, it just makes me wonder at what point we’re all going to kick-start our protesting voices and do something about it. Misogyny is now targeting our Tweens or, as my high school students inform me, ‘Twelvies’.

Last week the disgusting Facebook Page, 12 yr old Slut Memes – a site that used photos of ‘Twelvies’ already on the net (or sent in by others), to then make degrading and sexist comments – was finally closed by the two 19 year old Queenslander men/boys/creators, studying at QUT.

But not by Facebook – they defended it to stay live and still do. The end truly came for these guys, when reports the Federal Police would investigate were heard. So they pulled the plug (although they vow to be back) – but Facebook still thinks sites like these are just fine and dandy.

This is evidenced by the fact that many copycat pages have sprung up in its place and are not only staying, but spreading – like venom – by supporters and perpetuators of this way of thinking.

It pains me and fills me with despair to see this type of behaviour unfold – with permission. Doesn’t it stir the same indignation in you?

Melinda Tankard Reist wrote this great post covering this atrocious state of affairs. Its title is a quote from the men As long as there are sluts we will put them in their place.

Sluts. That’s misogyny.

Now, last week I heard outrage and FURIOUS anger over the Speaker of the House, Peter Slipper having sent lewd text messages to another bloke. The pitchforks have well and truly been pulled out by our purer-than-driven-snow, holier-than-thou, fellow Australians and they are being kept handy by the front door – but only when it’s connected with politics, it seems.

Question #103: Are you willing to put those pitchforks to good use and stop pages like 12 Yr old Slut Memes, that do SO much more damage than text messages that were sent by one man to one other?

There is a virtual library of photos out there (taken by an obsessed younger generation) – pictures of young girls looking hyper-sexualised – that these men are exploiting because it’s just. so. funny.

But all those girls are someone’s daughter…and more often than not, come from good parents; parents who are fighting a battle against a media campaign that is breeding boys who become men like these 19 year olds…

…and girls, of course, who participate in their own exploitation. This look is the fashion, after all.

How do we do what’s right?

1. We channel our outrage where it’s needed, by stopping misogynistic sites – whatever and wherever they are – that have Internet reach and;

2. Teach our girls that their worth has NOTHING to do with their fervour to look a certain way to gratify boys’ sexual preferences (based more and more on porn), possibly gain their approval and therefore attain some sort of validation.

In terms of the text messages sent by Slipper (which were filth, by the way), I’m pretty sure that if you checked the mobile phones – hell, even just the Facebook Pages and statuses – of maaaany men, you would find much, much worse.

How about fighting them? This Facebook page had over 200,000 ‘likes’ (followers). Surely that’s more damaging and alarming than the texts between two men.

Ironically, last week’s incensed reaction from the public, turned a searing spotlight on those text messages – that were also leaked and given a massive amount of importance, fuelled by the media – messages with content that, should it be heard coming from a band of guys at the pub, would not have made anyone bat an eyelid.

The definition of misogyny is: a hatred of women.

But yesterday, the Macquarie Dictionary added a definition to the word:

a deep prejudice against women.

This article from the Financial Review, Macquarie misogyny definition change reignites gender debate discusses the change.

I believe most men fall somewhere on the sexism spectrum and only men know where they themselves sit on that particular fence.
Wherever it is you sit – guys – will determine whether you think sites like the 12 Yr old Slut Memes deserves your action or whether you think it’s funny.

Do you think it’s funny?

How about channelling some indignation towards helping liberate our world of the endless and ATTAINABLE hatred of females infecting our world – especially on women and young girls like these. It is the sphere in which our kids and teens are developing and it’s an emergency.

Do you think you could rise up against that?

Start writing emails – start taking your business elsewhere – anything.

It worked against Alan Jones…keep going.

Deep Breath.

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