She’s encouraging us all to “create a shopping bag free of sexploitation this Christmas” and she’s helping us do that by providing a list of products, brands, people and companies who have been ‘naughty’ and not ‘nice’ this year. She claims the businesses she highlights have been exploitative, degrading and disturbing. Are you prepared to put your money into the pockets of those who use sex as a marketing tool?
The debate over whether pornography can ever be acceptable looks set to continue and you and I may have very different views but there’s currently a push that is gaining widespread agreement from various members of the community.
Walk into just about any service station, newsagent or a variety of other shops and you’re likely to come face to face with highly sexualised images on the covers of soft porn publications or what have become known as lads’ magazines. There’s a growing backlash against such magazines being placed in public view and many are calling for tougher restrictions to move certain publications out of the view of children and young teenagers.
Do we really want our sons and daughters to think that the provocative poses displayed on the cover of these magazines should be accepted as normal and appropriate for public places? This is not about banning the sale of such publications, it’s about removing them from public view.
My regular Wednesday morning guest on 98.5 Sonshine FM is Ross Clifford who is the Principal of Morling College in New South Wales and Vice President elect of the Baptist World Alliance. Each week we chat about a range of issues relating to spirituality and belief.
Today we discussed the display of pornographic material in shops and while Ross was speaking from a spiritual perspective he pointed out that it’s not just the ‘religious right’ having a whinge. Many people from a variety of walks of life are saying, “enough’s enough”.
Often in such cases we can be led to believe that there’s no turning back and that it’s just something we have to put up with but that’s not the case at all. Ross spoke about a variety of things we can do that will have a real effect including visiting Say No 4 Kids to become better informed on the issue and to sign their online petition.
Melinda Tankard Reist is a Canberra author, speaker, commentator and advocate with a special interest in issues affecting women and girls. She has recently written an article titled Get porn out of the corner store say child health experts and advocates which highlights the issue and links to other coverage of the debate, including opinions from a group of child experts.
Are you someone who is tired of seeing unsuitable images everytime you go shopping? Are you concerned about the message it’s giving to impressionable young minds? Are you prepared to put in a little effort to see change occur?
Click the play button of the audio player at the bottom of this post to hear what Ross had to say and then decide what you can do to bring change.
Melinda Tankard Reist is a Canberra author, speaker, commentator and advocate with a special interest in issues affecting women and girls. I had the privilege of interviewing her back in 2007 when she was heading to Perth for the Real Choices for Women Forum.
Melinda describes the shirts being sold by this major menswear chain and tries to describe the effects of such marketing.
What we are seeing here is the glamourising of abuse, the suggestion of sexual aggression, a hint that women want to be treated roughly.
The abuse is glamourised not just for the perpetrator, but for the victim too. As though it’s not only hot to be the pimp, but it’s sexy to be dominated, coerced, submissive, abused – possibly even raped.
She goes on to describe other shirts being sold online which excuse rape and abuse.
Please take the time to take action on this very serious issue.
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