Book: Big Porn Inc.

There’s quite a buzz around at the moment about a new book about porn. Big Porn Inc (edited by Melinda Tankard Reist and Abigail Bray) is written to help combat the mainstreaming and normalisation of porn. It is a compilation of pieces written by women and men who are sick of watching pornography eat away at women, children and society.

Big Porn Inc is not an anti-sex book. As is written in the introduction: “Challenging the sexist and racist pornographic industrialisation of intimacy is not an anti-sex position. Pornography is a distortion of respect-based sexuality“. Continue reading

Supre Called to Account

The following article appeared on earlier this week, proving that people power works:

TWEEN clothing brand Supre is under fire after running sexual adverts featuring a topless model in its latest clothing campaign.
The Advertising Standards Bureau said it had received many complaints about the images that appeared in print and on buses that show young topless girls in jeggings  (a jeans-leggings cross) with only their hair covering their breasts, as well as the television commercial that contains “sexualised content”.
As a result, all Supre posters in store have been taken down and it has pulled its bus campaign.
“The board noted that the image is a large image on buses and is therefore able and likely to be seen by a very broad audience, including children,” the case report read.
“The complaints focus mainly on the sexualised content, the time slot in which the ad is shown, and also the promotion of body size,” said Sari Mattila, an ASB spokeswoman.
“The bureau is now in the process of contacting advertisers on receipt of the complaints.”
The ASB is also investigating the TV ad which features a model dancing provocatively in her bedroom.
“If the board considers that the ad breaches the code, the advertiser is asked to remove the ad,” Ms Mattila said.
The ABS case report refuted claims by Supre that it had targeted the 18-35 age group.
“The board strongly disagreed and noted that the Supre brand is attractive to and very popular with teenage and pre-teen girls,” the report read.
The jeggings campaign has also been blasted by online groups fed up with Supre’s “highly sexualised” campaigns.
“This is a continuation of Supre’s irresponsible marketing,” online group Collective Shout spokeswoman, Melinda Liszewski, said.
“Supre is very popular with 11 to 13-year-old girls.
“Collective Shout supporters have been sending complaints to Supre as these are sexualised ads aimed at a young market,” she said.
The company declined to comment.
“We are currently still working with the ASB on this so would not be able to comment until our response is finalised,” a Supre spokeswoman said.

Collective Shout featured an article on these ads on May 30, Mia Freedman posted about it yesterday and Mumbrella featured an article on Sunday. Many people were unhappy about this ad, they spoke up and now it’s gone. Hip hip hooray for people power!

In further news, high street stores in England have taken a stand and have “banned padded bras and ‘sexually suggestive’ clothes for young girls”. Read more about that here.


Melinda Tankard Reist – Raising a Collective Shout

(As featured in the Autumn issue of Enhance Magazine)

After securing an interview with Melinda Tankard Reist, I was thrilled. You know when there’s someone you really respect, who expresses everything you’re thinking, someone you really want to meet one day? Well for me, that was Melinda Tankard Reist. Continue reading

Sex n Social Justice: What to Tell Your Children

A few weeks ago we were talking on Twitter about The A21 Campaign’s Key2Free project. Some of you may remember I had worn a key on a necklace on January 21 to help raise awareness of Human Trafficking. I looked like a bit of a geek wearing a massive old car key around my neck but I did get to chat with a few people about the subject. Problem was, one of those was my seven year old daughter who wanted to know what Human Trafficking was. I didn’t know what to tell her so I told her the bare minimum and made a mental note to be better prepared next time. Many of you echoed my comments on this. Hence, this wonderfully informative interview with a professional in the area of child psychotherapy!

This week we’re priveledged to have Psychotherapist Collett Smart answering our questions on discussing sex and social justice with our children. Collett provides counselling to children, adolescents and their families. She is also involved with Collective Shout: For A World Free Of Sexploitation.

Here she generously provides insight gleaned over her 20 year career: Continue reading

Start the Conversations

Some subjects are difficult to bring up. Human trafficking, poverty, sexual abuse; these are all subjects nobody really wants to talk about. Ironically, it’s these subjects that we must bring up. If we don’t have conversations about human trafficking, how will the shroud of secrecy be lifted? If we don’t discuss the millions of starving people, from where will the funds come to feed them? If we don’t bring up the fact that our children are being exposed to too much sex, too early, who will even notice it happening?

Part of the edict of Every (1) Matters is to help all of us raise awareness about the issues plaguing our people; because every 1 matters.

 There are some great resources flying around the www so I’ve collated a few. These clips are easy to share, tweet, fb or email. Send them to your friends, family and colleagues. Start the conversations.

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Melinda Tankard Reist on Raising Children

One of the greatest ways we can impact this world is by raising our children to be responsible, healthy, compassionate adults who will be proactive in seeing justice served. In a culture rife with immorality, innappropriate sexuality and boundless greed, raising healthy children is difficult.

Someone once said, “The standard you walk past is the standard you set.” Melinda Tankard Reist is a women who takes this responsibility seriously.

Melinda is an author, speaker and advocate for women and girls. I spent some time with her this week and she shared some great advice for raising healthy children in a sex-saturated culture. I had a video all prepared but to my great disappointment, YouTube couldn’t load it (lesson learned about massive files!) So, here’s the (less fancy) typed version..

Warning: some strong sexual abuse topics discussed

What advice can you give parents trying to raise healthy children in a sex-saturated culture?

There are a number of things I advise parents and I’m not saying I’ve got it all right. It’s a constant challenge to raise happy, healthy, resillient children in a culture which undermines our efforts to do that. Continue reading

Writing Letters – is it worth it?

It seem whenever we see something we’re passionate about changing, we’re encouraged to “write a letter”. Despite my best intentions, I haven’t written many of these letters in the past. To be honest, I feel like it’s a bit of a waste of time, who’s even going to read it, right? After seeing the impact Melinda Tankard Reist‘s open letter to Lovable has made (and writing my own letter to Moscow Circus), I’ve felt encouraged to start getting on the band wagon and joining in the letter writing revolution. I’ve looked around and found some great advice on letter writing. Continue reading

A21 – September Update

The A21 Campaign are doing amazing things, working for the freedom of slaves across the globe. This month, they share the story of a beautiful young girl, ‘Karlie’, who has been given back her freedom.

At the age of 14, most girls are getting ready to enter high school, are hanging out with friends, and are dreaming about their futures. But for Karlie,* this was a far cry from the living nightmare that had become her reality. At the age of 14, she was forced to “get ready” for the incomprehensible, “hang out” with people who were her father’s age, and never knew if she would wake up the next morning to even have a future. Continue reading

Moscow Circus – An Open Letter

Have you been to see the Moscow Circus lately? They’re a very talented crew and it’s a highly entertaining show but by the end of it, I was at boiling point. We wanted to have a wholesome, fun, family night out but instead we exposed our children to sexual images we really didn’t want them to be processing yet.

I felt like a prude so didn’t say anything to anyone (except my husband who absolutely agreed with my feelings) but after I saw the reaction Melinda Tankard Reist got after writing to Lovable about their latest Jennifer Hawkins ad campaign, I felt encouraged to do the same.

I rang the circus today to get an email address. They wanted to know the nature of my email so I told them and was told that the circus is a show “for all age groups”. Continue reading

Lovable Makes Me Feel Unlovable

As you may have figured, I’m pretty passionate about making sure the women of our world are treated fairly and respectfully. That not only encompasses women living in third world conditions but also us over here in the Western World. Yes, we can vote and work and have our say but we’re still being objectified and generally, the message of the media is usually that we’re most useful if we’re highly sexual and attractive. Underwear and Lingerie companies are often the ones sending out the message that we all need to be ‘thin, sexy and available’.  Women’s underwear brand, Loveable say they’re committed to changing this and sending out a positive message to women about their bodies. Melinda Tankard Reist summed up the reality of their ‘commitment’ on her blog yesterday: “Reinforcing cultural messages about the superiority of thin women who conform to conventional notions of beauty (with help from airbrushing and possibly even plastic surgery) doesn’t transform the culture.”

Continue reading