See this t.shirt?
Where do you think we found it? Some niche not well known store specializing in glamourised violence against women motifs for a specialist market into that kind of thing? For order in a surf magazine marketing women in sexually submissive poses to boys? Perhaps through a more risqué on-line t.shirt seller who missed the movement for women’s equality?
This t.shirt was found in a Cotton On store in Merrylands NSW and passed on by a supporter.
We at Collective Shout don’t have much respect for Cotton On. OK, Cotton On Kids did remove children’s jump suits with sexualized slogans after a protest led by our mate Julie Gale of Kids Free 2b Kids a couple of years ago. But Cotton On has become quite the seller of pornified images of women. Here’s a few more:
Collective Shout member Caitlin Roper from Perth decided she’d had enough. So she began collecting names of high-profile people who would be willing to put their name to a statement against these t.shirt. This week she launched her broad and diverse list of names. The 60-strong line-up includes Steve Biddulph, Professor Jennifer Bowes, Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs, Associate Professor Karen Brooks, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, UNICEF’s Aivee Chew, World Vision’s Tim Costello, Richard Eckersley, Dr Lance Emerson, Dr Michael Flood, Clive Hamilton, Professor Elizabeth Handsley, Hon Alistair Nicholson, Noni Hazlehurst, Professor Susan Paxton, Dr Emma Rush and Dr Joe Tucci, to name a few.
The statement reads:
We, the undersigned, are opposed to the production, distribution and sale of clothing, such as t-shirts, with highly sexualized adult images on them. Clothing that depicts semi-naked women as willing and available for sex, or as victims of violence, objectifies them and undermines equality and respect for women.
Sexual harassment laws prevent unsolicited exposure to sexual material in the workplace. However, these laws do not extend to the public space. The general public, including children, are involuntarily confronted by graphic sexual and even violent images and slogans on t-shirts. Ironically, examples of the images worn in public spaces cannot be printed by the media and have been removed from facebook due to their inappropriate nature.
This clothing contributes to the sexualisation of children by reinforcing the notion that their value is based on their sex appeal, as well as imposing a limited, stereotypical, pornographic aesthetic in their everyday lives. Research indicates that sexualisation is harmful to children’s cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality and beliefs.
Degrading sexual images are also known to act as triggers of distress for victims of sexual assault and violence.
We call for an inquiry or review of the current legislation for regulating offensive material in public. We call on clothing retailers to cease the sale of clothing that degrades women by posing them in a highly sexualized manner or as victims of violence.
Support ‘Say no to porn t.shirts’ Facebook page
See also: Showing respect for women the AFL way