That is three years of emailing, petitioning and tweeting the AFL, bringing to their attention their Respect and Responsibility policy that Franklin continued to violate.
We were even selected by Our Say to ask the AFL a question at their players luncheon, which you can read here.
The AFL never answered our question, and they have never given us the courtesy of an honest response.
Last year, after we blogged about Franklin, The Herald Sun picked up the story and both Franklin and the AFL received significant media coverage for refusal to enforce their women-inclusive Respect and Responsibility policy. Franklin quickly made a statement, distancing himself from the company he owned, claiming he was only a shareholder. The AFL claimed to have no power to act.
The Australian and The Herald Sun have now published an upbeat article about the Hawthorn player’s successful fashion brand Nena and Pasadena, with a smiling Franklin donning a Nena and Pasadena t-shirt.
“Hawthorn star Lance “Buddy” Franklin was all smiles today as he celebrated three years of his fashion label.
“[Franklin] ownsa shop – the Neverland Store – in Chapel St.”
This is contrary to the public statement Franklin’s lawyers made last year so he could avoid taking responsibility. The AFL continue to sit quietly and ignore Franklin’s appalling behavior, including verbally abusing a woman in a bar last week.
The AFL have known about this for years. We have been asking them to take action for years. They have demonstrated not just a lack of commitment to addressing sexism within the league but a failure to act in the interest of women.
Meanwhile, Franklin continues to promote the brand to over 300,000 AFL fans on Twitter, as well as using his position with the AFL to promote porn t-shirts on radio and in the media.
Screenshot of Buddy Franklin’s online Neverland Store. Men get pants, women do not.
If you are on twitter, tweet the AFL and The Herald Sun
Collective Shout supporter Angela Burrows has entered us into the Sunsuper Dream competition. At the end of each month the dream with the most votes will be awarded a $5000 grant. As a non-profit organisation, this grant would make a huge difference for us.
You can help support Collective Shout with just a a few clicks!
The Ashmore State School Model Search for children as young as two will be held at a Family Fun Fair next month. Prizes include modelling courses worth hundreds of dollars.
In the latest school newsletter, deputy principal Amanda Fry assured parents the contest was not a beauty pageant. “There is no category for beauty,” she wrote. “There are trophies for best dressed, best catwalk and most photogenic.”
Greg Dickman, Education Queensland’s South East regional director, said the department had no issue with the model search. “This is a fundraiser model competition, not a beauty competition,” he said.
Whether the school calls it a “model search”, a “beauty competition”, a “pageant” or any other name is irrelevant. Whether or not participants are allowed to wear makeup or evening gowns is irrelevant. What is relevant, is pitting children against each other in order to be judged on their appearance.
“Direct participation and competition for a beauty prize where infants and girls are objectified and judged against sexualised ideals can have significant mental health and developmental consequences that impact detrimentally on identity, self esteem, and body perception.”
It is not only the participants who are being put at risk by such an event. Those who witness it, and the girls who don’t enter, are also absorbing toxic messages about their appearance and self worth. The fact that the school and teachers that they trust are participating in sending these messages makes it all the more harmful.
This model search is an absolute abrogation of the responsibility of the school to the children in their care. You might like to contact Education Qld and the Minister for Education to ask them why Education Queensland is allowing this school to put the well-being of students at risk.
‘Operation 1 less Bully’ is a four-page case against bullying, featuring personal stories of celebrities who have joined the movement to stop it. Some were bullied, others stood up to bullies, and one recognised she was a bully in the past – Dolly’s own editorial coordinator Kelsey. With 63% of teens admitting they’re being bullied now or have been in the past, magazines have a significant role to play in efforts to address it. Dolly has teamed with the Stride Foundation, which runs workshops about bullying in schools, to “stamp out bullying one bully at a time.” The magazine will feature a ‘workshop’ on bulling each month. The first provides advice from Stride about how to respond: Be Assertive, Practice positive self-talk, Don’t be a bystander – stand up for others and Don’t blame yourself.
Another stand-out piece is Dolly’s Anti-Panic Plan’. In my view, there can’t be too many articles on this subject in girl’s mags. Stress rates in girls are through the roof. Psychologist Paula Robinson says: “Stress occurs when the perceived pressure exceeds your perceived ability to cope.” Different ways of expressing stress are explored: the hothead, silent sufferer and emotional wreck, and advice given tailored to each. Readers are also encouraged to find three things a day they can be grateful for. “When good things happen, really be present in that moment and notice what’s happening. Experience the emotion fully,” advises Robinson.
’10 How-to’s that will change your life’ include how to give a real compliment, let someone down gently, make school your happy place, have a better relationship with your mum (“Give her a little RESPECT, listen to her advice, even if you don’t agree with it at first…Listening and respectfully replying is key to making any relationship better”), remember someone’s name and keep calm when rushed. Not quite fitting into this line up is ‘Share a sweet-as kiss’ and ‘Look good in a photo’. Another ‘how-to themed’ piece is ‘How to turn a new friend into a best friend’. Read more here
We recently spoke out about online clothing retailer “Cafepress” advertising vulgar, sexualised clothing for babies and children on its website. Onesies that were made available online included “I Love sluts”…”blow job instructor” and “No gag reflex.” We shared an image of just some of these products on Facebook. Thousands shared the image online and voiced their shock and disgust to friends. Many wrote to Cafepress pledging never to shop with them again.
It was encouraging to see Cafe Press’s stated intention to remove the products. However weeks after the protest, it appears that Cafepress hasn’t taken this issue seriously at all. “Sexual humor baby clothing” is still a category of clothing on the site with thousands of items listed.
An article about Cafepress published in WA Today featured comments from Justine O’Malley from child abuse prevention organisation Protective Behaviours WA:
“They’re really inappropriate sexualised messages,” she said.
“Of course the infant themselves can’t read it, but other children might be able to and adults can read them; so we’re putting children in a sexualised space.
“Sex and children; those two things just don’t go together.”
You can hear more from Justine O’Malley in an interview on 6PR882 radio. Listen here.
You might like to ask Cafepress why sexualised, hardcore and violating children’s clothes are still available on its website. Contact them through the website here and on Facebook here.
Whenever I pick up the latest issue of teen girl mags, I hope to find articles which might inspire a global vision in girls, expand their horizons and help them see they can make a contribution in the world. So I was very pleased to see the piece: ’Who runs the world? Girls!’ While the header is somewhat exaggerated, the article describes the different lives and rights of girls around the world and gives examples of young women working to change their cultures. The campaigning of Malala Yousafzai, 15, for the rights of girls to an education in Pakistan is included. You may recall she was shot by the Taliban in October last year and is now recovering in the UK. Readers can log on to educationenvoy.org to learn more. Arranged marriage and not allowing women to drive are examples of denial of rights of women in Saudi Arabia. Manal al-Sharif (who I had the pleasure of hearing speak via a Skype presentation at the Great Women Inspire event in Brisbane on International Women’s Day in March) was arrested for driving a car in 2011 and initiated the Women2Drive campaign which readers are encouraged to support on Facebook. Sexual violence in India is highlighted, with readers encouraged to join the OneBillionRising.org movement against it. In the US, Julia Bluhm, 15, collected 84,000 signatures for an online petition asking Seventeen magazine to stop retouching pics. Staff have now signed a Body Peace Treaty pledging never to alter a model’s face or body. My only quibble here is the treatment of North Korea. Amnesty International, writes GF, “alleges that North Korea imposes severe restrictions of association, expression and movement.” The horrendous human rights violations against North Koreans by its own rulers are not mere allegations! An estimated 200,000 are locked away in prison camps (gulags). First-hand accounts demonstrate the reality. “North Korea’s prison camps are a closed-off world of death, torture and forced labour where babies are born slaves, according to two survivors who liken the horrors of the camps to a Holocaust in progress.” GF mentions North Korea’s imposition of officially approved hairstyles which yes, indicates a certain lack of freedom. But perhaps forced labour, being tortured in a concentration camp or watching your family starve as a result of your Government misdirecting money to create the world’s biggest militarised state are also worthy to include. North Korea is also described by GF as ‘a self-reliant’ state. That’s one way of putting it. Totalitarian is another. And I’m not sure how self-reliant is a country where 16 million people require food aid according to the UN. (I would love GF readers to read The Orphan Master’s Son, the 2013 Pulitzer prize winning novel by Adam Johnson. While fictional, it draws from real suffering of the people of North Korea. It’s one of the most profound books I’ve ever read). Read more here
If there were ever a human phenomenon in need of serious objective investigation, Internet porn use is surely it. Never has the youthful human brain been battered with so much erotic novelty during such a critical window of sexual development, and cracks are definitely appearing. However, judging from the board of the upcoming Porn Studies Journal, this particular publication will lack the detachment and expertise to fulfill this critical role.
The journal, which is being published by Routledge starting in 2014, will welcome submissions from fields as diverse as criminology, sociology, labor studies and media studies. According to the New York Times, Porn Studies will focus on pornography as it relates to “the intersection of sexuality, gender, race, class, age and ability.” This is definitely XXX-content for the scholarly set.
There is nothing in the list of proposed topics about the adverse effects of Internet porn on users. In fact, all of the 32 board members for the new journal appear to think porn’s benefits far outweigh its costs.
Imagine a “Dietetics Studies Journal” in the Land of the Obese, whose board consists only of the Chairman of the Board of PepsiCo, the CEOs of Nestle and Pillsbury, and a marketing exec from Kraft, and you have a good feel for the bias of the upcoming journal. Read more here
Your taxes at work: harassment and intimidation treated with indifference – why I went public
There’s a feature piece in The Australian today by Chris Kenny. ‘The Unkindness of Strangers’, subtitled: ‘When an ugly post goes viral via social media, victims find there is very little they can do about it.’
Sexism, pornography, social media, bureaucratic accountability and the contest of ideas; this story touches on these volatile topics and reveals the challenges of the digital age, and its propensity for hypocrisy and injustice. The way women are treated in public debate has become hotly contested ground in recent years …
It took me awhile to summon the strength to agree to go public on this story. Months of unrelenting abuse last year caused me to go under the radar for a while. Now, getting it (well, one aspect of it) out there, brings feelings of exposure and vulnerability. But I felt that what happened had to be brought to light. For eight months I was shunted, fobbed off, given the flick and ignored by the Australian Public Service Commission and Australian Tax Office regarding a complaint about a public servant who tweeted requesting naked images of me. It had started to feel like they were running some kind of protection racket.
It was over dinner with public servant friends that I learned about APS codes of conduct. It seemed tax department officer Darryl Adams had pretty much breached them all. My friends encouraged me to make a formal complaint (reprinted below) and told me how to go about it.
As I told Kenny: “It takes a lot of time and energy, especially emotional energy. There was a principle I thought was important: that people shouldn’t be harassed and be intimidated by officers of the crown who we pay to do their job. He is a servant of the people and was publicly requesting lewd material of one of those people.” (Actually I used the words ‘masturbatory material’ not ‘lewd’ but the Oz lawyers didn’t love that so much so it got changed).
It was this mind numbing, soul deadening, reply that sealed it for me. I knew then I had to take it higher if I was going to have any chance of a meaningful response.
From: Lowe, Anne Sent: Friday, 15 February 2013 4:37 PM To: Melinda Tankard Reist Cc: Lowe, Anne Subject: RE: ATO response to my complaint [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Thank you for your email of 2 February 2013 in relation to your complaint made to the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) regarding the conduct of an ATO employee.
I advise that the APSC was advised of the outcome of our investigation of your complaint in September 2012. As the recipient of the original complaint the ATO understood that the APSC would, in accordance with usual procedure, advise you of the outcome of your complaint. I regret that this has obviously not occurred.
I advise that the ATO dealt with your complaint in accordance with ATO policy and procedure and the matter has now been finalised. Due to constraints imposed by the Privacy Act 1999 I am unable to provide you with any further information regarding the outcome.
Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
Director People Team | Health & People Management | ATO People ATO| Working for all Australians
It wasn’t until the intervention of the Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury (whose portfolio includes the ATO) that there was any real interest in my case. I was lucky – unlike most women in this situation, I had a senior contact in Government. He helped put me in touch with a senior staffer in Bradbury’s office.
After briefing the Minister, the staffer wrote a strongly worded email to the Taxation Commissioner on the Minister’s behalf, copied in to the Special Minister of State, requesting he look into the case. The email was sent at 3.20pm. At precisely 3.48pm I received a voice message from the ‘Head of People Management’ of the Australian Tax Officer, citing ‘urgent investigation’, ‘receiving full briefing’, ‘will call you again this afternoon’. He was helpful, acknowledging my complaint had been badly handled, and later wrote advising it had been upheld (though I couldn’t be told what disciplinary action had been taken). This was a year after the tweet I had complained about.
I got more action from Bradbury’s office in an hour than I got from the APS and ATO since last June and am very grateful for the Minister’s involvement. I felt like it was the first time my harassment was taken seriously. I feel sorry for those without contacts though. Do they just disappear and say nothing – like those departments seemed to expect me to do? This was the main reason I decided to talk to Kenny.
Here’s my letter of complaint to Mr Stephen Sedgwick, the Australian Public Service Commissioner.
Sexual harassment is sexual harassment regardless of who it happens to
It appeared on Huffington Post last month but I’ve only just read it. It is the kind of piece which needs to be read slowly, and a few times, it contains so much to absorb. Here’s an extract:
The problem is determining at what stage she started to cede her self and becomes, in her own eyes, mainly some (bright, young) thing other people see and use. This process begins much earlier than when a girl is 15 and maybe buying thongs.
In general, parents, schools, counselors, “concerned” adults aren’t openly confronting the unrelenting pressure girls feel to base their self worth on being beautiful, perfect creatures idealized for the sexual and breeding purposes of others. For many people, girls and women are biologically meant to be available to boys and men in these ways. Our default is “Yes!” and “Of course!” You know the kind of being I’m talking about — females whose purpose, abstracted, divine or biological, is to look out for boys and men and guide them to ultimate pleasure and eternal happiness. Hey, aren’t Victoria’s Secret’s models called ANGELS? What a visually pleasing, totally random and meaningless coincidence.
Once a self is ceded it’s hard to get back. Regardless of a girl’s or woman’s age, this kind of objectification and “sexualization” results in a performance. It’s not about being a sexual person, it’s about acting out someone else’s idea of a sex object. And… what girls and women want, feel, need and experience are irrelevant unless they help fulfill the dreams of boys and men. The impact is real, meaningful and measurable. It’s also serious and not at all entertaining.
Girls who conform well and internalize their “thing-ness” don’t miraculously stop doing it when get their driver’s licenses. It NEVER ends. Read the full article here.
WHEN Melbourne sonographer Jane (not her real name) told the young Afghani Muslim bride that she was expecting a girl, she felt she had just handed out a death sentence.
“It was the worse scan in my 15 years in the profession,” she told me.
“My patient came in recently for a routine 20-week obstetric foetal wellbeing scan. She asked the gender of the baby. In the room were family members.
“I said the baby looked healthy and most likely a girl. The grandmother spoke aggressively in another language and left the room slamming the door, followed by the uncle and a little boy.
“The mother was crying hysterically. You would have thought I had just told her that her baby had died.
“I thought the little boy was theirs and that they would be happy for a girl. But the father, who was older, told me his firstborn was also a girl – the boy was his nephew.
“I have no doubt about the intentions of the father. The mother may have wanted to keep that child but there was little doubt in my mind she would be aborted.”
Jane went home and cried. She spent days agonising, even wondering if she should leave her profession.
As a result of gender requests, which she believes can lead to abortion, she is increasingly reluctant to reveal a child’s sex. Many colleagues feel the same, not wanting to be complicit.
“Things have changed,” she says. “This used to be a joyful job, showing pretty pictures to couples happy with the baby. Now there is more insistence on revealing the sex early and you fear what they will do with the information.”
She knows many cases where the initial predictions have been found wrong with later screening.
“It’s not a diagnosis, more a prediction. There are conditions that can mask the sex, such as un-descended testes. I’m sure babies are being terminated based on wrong information.”
Jane’s account follows a Sunday Herald Sun report that a baby girl was aborted in Melbourne at 19 weeks because her parents wanted a son. Melbourne doctor Mark Hobart refused to refer them for a termination. It has since emerged that Dr Hobart is pro-life. This does not change the nature of the request. Many doctors who have no issue with abortion would baulk.
“The parents were upfront and told me that was the reason for the abortion,” Dr Hobart said. “I just couldn’t believe it. It was the husband who did all the talking – he was so insistent.”
A spokesman for Federal Health Minister, Tania Plibersek, reduced this act of discrimination to a “clinical matter”. Australia is a signatory to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, agreeing to do all it can to achieve its objectives, including those on gender equality, equity and empowerment of women.
For example, governments are urged to take the necessary measures to prevent infanticide, ante-natal sex selection and trafficking in girl children. What’s the point of signing if a baby girl can be eliminated because her parents wanted a son?
Ms Plibersek would, I’m sure, oppose female foeticide and infanticide, which results in about 200 million fewer girls in the world a year according to the UN.
In her recent book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, Mara Hvistendahl writes: “They were selected out of existence.”
It appears easier to condemn sex bias practices when they happen far away, but not at home.
The Medical Board said it would not pursue the case because terminations are allowed up to 24 weeks. Including for being female.
The governing body of our medical profession has simply wiped its hands of a harmful discriminatory practice condemned around the world. And if the mother was under pressure not to give birth to a girl, she also is a victim.
While no one knows the extent of the practice in Australia – surely one case is too many – and while not all cases will be driven culturally or apply only to girls, perhaps Jane’s story will help others in the field come forward with their experiences.
Rather than provide and underwrite sex-selective abortion, we should be signalling strong opposition to ante-natal sex selection as part of our broader goals to eliminate gender inequality and bias.
The Medical Board should investigate. Eliminating babies of the “wrong” sex is not about health, therapy or healing. It is about reinforcing prejudice. And it can never be seen as just a clinical matter.
Antoinette Jones – Principal – Mitcham Girls High School
“Intelligent, passionate, brilliant, fearless… I could not recommend her more highly”
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
“You continue to reset my shock meter…”
“As a teacher and parent I recommend all parents, in fact all people, to attend a talk by Melinda- it will open your eyes and awaken your subconscious.”
Heather Douglas – Parent – Pembroke School
“Melinda’s presentations to our parents, staff and full day workshops to students was inspirational, transforming the attitudes and thinking of all involved”
Paul Teys – Principal – Hunter Valley Grammar
“Melinda Tankard Reist’s presentation to Middle and Upper School students at Pymble Ladies’ College was absolutely brilliant!”
Justine Hodgson – English Faculty, Pymble Ladies’ College
“Melinda Tankard Reist has had a transformational affect on our school.”
Ms Stephanie McConnell, Principal – Turramurra High School
“Melinda Tankard Reist is at the forefront of helping…educate the public on the link between pornography and violence…” – Di Macleod, Director, Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence
“As you read, be prepared to feel both grief and rage.” Robert Jensen
“These accounts are among the most unsettling you will ever read.” Steve Biddulph
“This powerful and humane book is a breakthrough…Big Porn Inc shows us we are poisoning our own spirits.” – Steve Biddulph
“A landmark publication” – Clive Hamilton
Purchase Big Porn Inc, Getting Real, Faking It, Men of Honour, Sexts Texts & Selfies, Raising Girls, Raising Boys, MTR DVD, Ruby Who? DVD & book, Girl Wise guide to friends, Girl Wise guide to being you, Girl Wise guide to life and Girl Wise guide to taking care of your body, and the new Wise Guys for the combined discounted price of $250.
‘The foremost authority in Australia cyber safety lays it on the line and challenges parents to find their digital spine.’ – Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
Whether it is problems with friends, worrying about how you look or just feeling a bit down in the dumps – these books are written especially for you – to help you in your journey. Purchase all four together and save $18.50 on postage! Author: Sharon Witt
In this DVD, Melinda takes us on a visual tour of popular culture. “Melinda’s presentation leaves audiences reeling. She delivers her message with a clarity and commonsense without peer.” – Steve Biddulph, author, Raising Boys, Raising Girls
In this easy-to-read updated book, Steve Biddulph shares powerful stories and give practical advice about every aspect of boyhood.
“Overflowing with incisive understandings…a comprehensive and in-depth guide.” – Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychologist
Men of Honour -written by Glen Gerreyn- encourages and inspires young men to take up the challenge to be honourable. Whether at school, in sport, at work or in relationships, we must develp our character to achieve success and experience the thrills life has on offer.
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“Getting Real contains a treasure trove of information and should be mandatory reading for all workers with young people in health, education and welfare” – Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Adolescent Psychologist
Do you read women’s lifestyle magazines? Have you thought about how magazines might affect you when you read them? Faking It reflects the body of academic research on magazines, mass media, and the sexual objectification of women.
Ruby Who? is the sweet and innocent story of a little girl’s adventure in re-discovering her identity. Ruby wishes for so many things and dreams of being like others. Will she end up forgetting how to just be herself?
Ruby Who? is the sweet and innocent story of a little girl’s adventure in re-discovering her identity. Ruby wishes for so many things and dreams of being like others. Will she end up forgetting how to just be herself?
Defiant Birth challenges widespread medical, and often social aversion to less than perfect pregnancies or genetically different babies. It also features women with disabilities who were discouraged from becoming pregnant at all.