Abused, threatened, but Talitha Stone won’t be stopped
One of the great rewards of this work is seeing a growing wave of young women go into battle against violence against women in all its brutal manifestations, calling out and naming this violence as unacceptable. One such woman is 24-year-old Talitha Stone. Talitha decided she had to speak out and has been involved with the work of Collective Shout for a couple of years. Talitha’s passion and gutsy activism gives me hope that things can change. I first introduced you to her when she infiltrated try-outs for the Lingerie Football League last year. You can read about what she experienced here.
Talitha copped a raft of violent threats, including death and rape, when she participated in Collective Shout’s social media campaign against US rapper Tyler the Creator, who we believed was in breach of his visa conditions for vilifying women and celebrating violence as entertainment. She didn’t think his behaviour should be supported and naturalised and threw herself into the fray. The level of venom and abuse she received provided further evidence for our arguments. You can read about the online harassment here. (There have been even more threatening tweets since then, forwarded to police).
On Thursday Talitha attended the rapper’s gig in Sydney, to gather more evidence in our quest to have Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor withdraw his visa. She captured video of Tyler engaging in sexually degrading insults of her, which has since gone around the world and had more than 13,000 views at time of writing. View here. Note the crowd’s response to the tirade, pumping their fists, jeering and cheering, in a ritual celebration of abuse.
I have found out what happens you decide to take on one of the biggest rap artists in the world.
The Australian grassroots movement of which I am a part of, Collective Shout, is currently in a dispute with music artist Tyler the Creator. We believe his lyrics – which often mention raping women – are inciting hatred, and we have been calling on immigration minister Brendan O’Connor to revoke his visa.
This Wednesday, I tweeted both Tyler the Creator and the clothing store Culture Kings. I wanted to inform Culture Kings that the artist they were hosting for a signing event regularly promotes violence against women through his lyrics – some of which promote the rape of dead or pregnant women, and also refer to locking women in car boots and basements. Read more.
A woman who claims she was verbally abused on stage by an American rapper in Sydney on Thursday evening has reported the incident to police.
Talitha Stone, a 24-year-old blogger and campaigner, says she felt “petrified” following “terrifying and disturbing” abuse which she says was levelled at her by US rapper Tyler, the Creator.
Stone, who is a member of the online feminist activist group Collective Shout, had previously been part of a social media campaign to have the rapper banned from Australia. She had received a slew of abuse including rape threats on Twitter after the rapper, who has 1.7 million followers on the microblogging site, retweeted one of her posts, which said: “have to visit @Culturekings tomoz to protest against @fucktyler he will be there at midday. I think they need educating on #misogyny.” Read more
Stone and anti-misogyny organization Collective Shout had been trying to get the Odd Future leader’s Australian visa revoked, citing rules against visitors who “vilify or incite discord” and “songs advocating rape and extreme violence against women.” (Sample lyrics: “Rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome,” “Keep that bitch locked up in my storage, rape her and record it.”) When Stone tweeted about protesting a concert in Sydney, Tyler retweeted her, prompting cyber harassment from his fans and Stone filing a police report. Read more
The rapper certainly isn’t a stranger to controversy or being totes offensive, and now he’s set off some serious dramz in Australia.
It started when the group Collective Shout and female protestor Talitha Stone petitioned to have his Australian visa revoked because his performance would go against Australia’s rules against visitors who “vilify or incite discord” and “songs advocating rape and extreme violence against women.” A number of rappers, including 2 Chainz, haven’t been able to obtain visas to perform in the country in the past.
NSW Police have confirmed they are investigating a sexual assault at a gig where US rapper Tyler, the Creator was performing.
A NSW Police spokesman confirmed it was investigating a sexual assault report made by a woman during a concert at the Enmore Theatre on Thursday night. He said no formal statement had been taken yet.
Police are also investigating a tirade against blogger and campaigner Talitha Stone at the Sydney concert and a Twitter campaign against Ms Stone through Tyler’s 1.7 million followers.
Ms Stone, 24, of Sydney, told Fairfax Media that when she made her complaint to Newtown police on Friday, she was told police were already investigating a ‘‘sexual assault’’ of a woman at the same concert. Read more
See this ABC News video shown Saturday just prior to Tyler’s final Australian gig at Brisbane Eatons Hill Hotel (nice try hotel management saying you didn’t know who the artist who was coming was). Management had earlier received a visit from two of our Brisbane supporters, bearing a 14,000 plus signature petition calling on them to pull the event (the signature list rose another nine thousand a mere 48 hours after that).
Despite the tsunami of hostility against her, unlike many attacking her Talitha chose not to hide behind the anonymity of the internet. She could have used a false name, or requested that her image not be used. But her intimidation is what Tyler and his fans wanted, it’s what misogyny always wants of women. Talitha refused to fear them or to be silenced. If they were going to attempt to abuse a woman, it was going to occur in the light of public scrutiny.
I really like the way ‘Hecuba’ expressed it in a blog comment.
Tyler obviously didn’t like that brave woman who held him to account for his women-hating insults, because Tyler reacted by directing sexually degrading insults at her. Typical male behaviour whenever a male is challenged on his women-hating views, he reacts by uttering male threats and sexualised insults.
Unfortunately all but one of our elected officials gave a damn. The Immigration Minister didn’t reply, and not one female MP had even a word to say about it.
But we press on. Women like Talitha Stone give us the inspiration to do so.
We have received such a huge response to our call to action yesterday. Many of our supporters have been contacting the Minister for Immigration and the venues hosting rapper “Tyler the creator.”
One of our Melbourne supporters emailed the Palace Theatre in Melbourne with her concerns yesterday.
Here is the response she received:
On 03/06/2013, at 9:11 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Ha this one looks cut and pasted, I reckon this s the same person
using different addresses. Happened last time we had a Woo Tang
Sent via BlackBerry® from Vodafone
Clearly this email was intended for someone else, but it serves to show the attitude the Palace Theatre has towards the community. Protests about violence against women are just a bit of a joke! The Palace are more concerned about the fact that our supporter “copied and pasted” Tyler’s lyrics, than the safety of women in Melbourne.
In another email, the Palace defended its decision to host the event by saying it wasn’t the Palace Theatre who brought Tyler to the country, it was a “well regarded touring promoter”:
Date: 4 June 2013 3:29:25 PM AEST
Subject: Re: Tyler the creator
we did not bring this act to the country a well regarded touring promoter did. We’ve received 4 or 5 of these and all are virtually identical and look copied. You are within your rights to disapprove by not attending the show.
We can say for certain that the Palace Theatre has received many more than “4 or 5″ complaints about Tyler the Creator.
Let the Palace know that there is no excuse for offering a platform to someone glorifying violence against women.
Contact the Palace Theatre here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some have reported that they are now receiving annual leave notices from this email address. If this happens, email:
Greg Young – venue bookings email@example.com
Thanks so much for your action on this. You are making a difference!
Melinda Tankard Reist wrote about Tyler the Creator for the Herald Sun. You can view the article on her website here.
Hip Hop Singer who raps about rape and murdering women granted visa by Federal Government
Dubbed Tyler, the Creator, he was due to hold his first show last night in Perth before performing at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney tomorrow, the Palace Theatre in Melbourne on Friday and in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Earlwolf event, which also includes Earl Sweatshirt is for adults only in Perth and Melbourne, but the Eatons Hill venue north Brisbane allows children.
He was granted a visa for performers, drawing calls from an Opposition MP for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to cancel his right to work in Australia. Read more
Sign Change petition calling on Eatons Hill Hotel to cancel ‘all age’ gig
US RAP artist Tyler the Creator sings songs advocating rape and extreme violence against women. His lyrics include themes of murder, genital mutilation, stuffing women into car boots, trapping them in his basement, raping their corpses and burying their bodies. In Tyler’s world, women are sluts, bitches and ‘‘hos’’ who invite criminal acts. They have it coming. It’s what they deserve. And we just welcomed him to Australia. Many are calling on Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor to explain why he has given a platform to an artist who raps about rape as fun. The rapper’s concerts begin in Perth today. He’ll be in Melbourne on Friday. His Brisbane gig at Eatons Hill Hotel is listed as for ‘‘all ages’’. Tyler the Creator gets a free pass to promote male entitlement to do anything to women. Some of his lyrics include:
‘‘ You call this sh– rape but I think that rape’s fun, I just got one request, stop breathin’’
‘‘ F– Mary . . . keep that bitch locked up in my storage, rape her and record it’’ ‘‘ Chop her up in the back of a Wrangler’’ ‘‘ I wanna tie her body up and throw her in my basement, keep her there, so nobody can wonder where her face went’’
There’s lots more, but it’s unpublishable.
In Australia, violence against women costs the taxpayer an estimated $13.6 billion. The Australian Government says it is strongly committed to reducing domestic violence and sexual assault, and has provided funding of $75.7 million over four years via the Women’s Safety Agenda.
The Victorian Government’s action plan to address violence against women allocates $90m to the cause this year.
To violence against women Australia says . . . it’s just entertainment?
If we are serious about addressing violence against women, should a visa be granted to a man who makes a living treating it as entertainment? What’s the point of programs if we tolerate those who fuel it?
In a plea to Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor and Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, Perth woman Caitlin Roper wrote: ‘‘As a survivor of sexual violence, I can honestly say the impact is devastating, not only for the woman, but our families and those who love us. I believe we need to have zero tolerance for those that encourage violent and dehumanising acts on women.
‘‘I realise of course that asking you to revoke Tyler the Creator’s visa is a huge ask. However, I would ask you to consider the message you could send to Australians about the serious nature of violence against women and the Government’s lack of tolerance for hate speech against our female citizens.’’
The rapper’s hate speech include gays. Tyler the Creator’s rap group, Odd Future, was banned from the NZ Big Day Out line-up after complaints about his lyrics; in that case, homophobic slurs. Tyler responds to women (including this writer) who criticise his misogynistic lyrics, with sexually intimidating comments on social media.
Australian Immigration Fact Sheet 78 on Controversial Visa Applicants refers to ‘‘people whose presence in Australia may, because of their activities, reputation, known record or the cause they represent and propagate, vilify or incite discord in the Australian community or a segment of that community, or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of that community’’.
Shouldn’t vilifying women and contributing to an environment that puts them in danger qualify for a reconsideration of his visa? Many of those attending his concerts will be boys forming their opinions about women. They will get a message that abusing women is cool. Inciting criminal acts does not deserve the protection of free speech.
When musicians Tegan & Sara criticised his lyrics he offered them his erect penis. They had written:
‘‘When will misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry? When will they be treated with the same seriousness as racist and anti-Semitic offences?’’
Is there one political leader in this country who will declare Tyler the Creator’s brand of hatred unwelcome?
When a society doesn’t take violence against women seriously, and even considers it a form of entertainment, it has devastating results for women and girls.
The human rights violations Tyler raps about happen to real women. He is contributing to a culture that enables and excuses it. In a country that claims to care about the treatment of women, why would we give him a platform?
*TRIGGER WARNING* Graphic descriptions of rape and violence against women
Collective Shout is urgently calling on the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Hon. Brendan O’Connor, to revoke the visa granted to Tyler the Creator.
Rapper ‘Tyler the Creator’ is due to arrive in Australia for a series of concerts beginning on Tuesday June 4. Tyler is reknown for songs advocating rape and extreme violence against women, including murder, genital mutilation, stuffing them into car boots, trapping them in his basement, raping their corpses and burying their bodies.
Here are some of his lyrics:
“Raquel treat me like my father like a f*ckin’ stranger, She still don’t know I made Sarah to strangle her, Not put her in danger and chop her up in the back of a Wrangler, All because she said no to homecomin’”
“F*ck Mary in her ass.. ha-ha.. yo, I tell her it’s my house, give her a tour, In my basement, and keep that bitch locked up in my storage, Rape her and record it, then edit it with more sh*t”
“You already know you’re dead, Ironic cause your lipstick is red, of course, I stuff you in the trunk”
“You call this sh*t rape but I think that rape’s fun, I just got one request, stop breathin”
“I wanna tie her body up and throw her in my basement, Keep her there, so nobody can wonder where her face went, (Tyler, what you doin’?) Shut the f*ck up, You gon’ f*ckin’ love me bitch, Sh*t, I don’t give a f*ck, your family lookin’ for you, wish ‘em good luck, Bitch, you tried to play me like a dummy, Now you stuck up in my motherf*ckin’ basement all bloody, And I’m f*ckin’ your dead body, your coochie all cummy, Lookin’ in your dead eyes, what the f*ck you want from me?”
“You’ll be down in earth quicker if you diss me tonight, I just wanna drag your lifeless body to the forest, And fornicate with it but that’s because I’m in love with you…c*nt”
Tyler responds to women who criticise his misogynistic yrics.
And I got one too:
Controversial Visa Applicants
Australian Immigration Fact Sheet 78 on Controversial Visa Applicants refers to “people whose presence in Australia may, because of their activities, reputation, known record or the cause they represent and propagate, vilify or incite discord in the Australian community or a segment of that community, or represent a danger to the Australian community or a segment of that community.”
Tyler the Creator promotes hate speech against women, perpetuating male entitlement to use women’s bodies, to regard women as “bitches”, “sluts” and “hoes” for their sexual use. Tyler the Creator’s glorification of rape and violence against women could be considered inciting his fans to commit violent crimes against them.
We are callling on the Minister to consider the best interests of Australia, including the safety of our female citizens.We ask him to act urgently to revoke Tyler the Creator’s Visa so that he cannot promote his misogynistic attitudes here.
CALL TO ACTION:
Please URGENTLY email or tweet Minister Brendan O’Connor.
So encouraged to see what can happen when women rise up and declare they’ve had enough. I hope these accounts inspire further action to stop online violence against women and girls.
“This is the story of a feminist takeover,” wrote the author of Feminist at Sea, a WordPress blog.
A group of six feminists got hold of a notoriously misogynistic Facebook page called Bra Busters and replaced all the titillating, sexist content with feminist memes and quotes by authors like Andrea Dworkin and Virginia Woolf. There was mass outrage from Bra Busters’ original members—and mass victory celebration by feminists. Facebook moderators got involved, but the page contentiously remains in the hands of the feminists.
[UPDATE] WIN! Facebook responds, commits to change
From Women, Action and the Media:
“…”In a statement released today, Facebook addressed our concerns and committed to evaluating and updating its policies, guidelines and practices relating to hate speech, improving training for its content moderators and increasing accountability for creators of misogynist content.” Read more about Facebook’s commitment here.
Read the open letter to Facebook and join the campaign
A global campaign is calling on Facebook to clamp down on content glorifying rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.
Collective Shout has signed an open letter to Facebook along with women’s advocates and organisations around the world. We invite you to join the campaign calling on companies to withdraw advertising until Facebook takes action to remove content glorifying violence against women.
Here’s an excerpt of the letter:
We, the undersigned, are writing to demand swift, comprehensive and effective action addressing the representation of rape and domestic violence on Facebook. Specifically, we call on you, Facebook, to take three actions:
Recognize speech that trivializes or glorifies violence against girls and women as hate speech and make a commitment that you will not tolerate this content.
Effectively train moderators to recognize and remove gender-based hate speech.
Effectively train moderators to understand how online harassment differently affects women and men, in part due to the real-world pandemic of violence against women.
To this end, we are calling on Facebook users to contact advertisers whose ads on Facebook appear next to content that targets women for violence, to ask these companies to withdraw from advertising on Facebook until you take the above actions to ban gender-based hate speech on your site. (We will be raising awareness and contacting advertisers on Twitter using the hashtag #FBrape.)
The campaign has already had significant success, with a number of companies agreeing to pull their ads. Join the campaign today. Your voice makes a difference.
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
We are writing to express our support for current efforts in Iceland to develop and implement legal limits on violent Internet pornography. As scholars, medical and public health professionals, social service providers, and community activists, we commend your government’s determination to confront the harms of pornography. As part of a comprehensive approach to violence prevention, sex education, and public health, legally limiting Internet pornography will reduce the power of this multi-billion dollar global industry to distort and diminish the lives, opportunities, and relationships of Icelandic citizens.
Especially commendable is your government’s commitment to protect children from the harms of pornography. We recognize in other contexts (e.g., advertising) that children’s unique developmental needs mandate protecting them from predatory corporate interests. As pornography invades children’s lives and psyches at ever earlier ages and with ever more distressing effects, this recognition must be applied to pornography. It is naïve and unrealistic to expect parents and schools to counter effectively the influence of this powerful and pervasive industry. Rather, society must act on its compelling interest in providing a safe and nourishing environment for children. We applaud your government’s effort to exercise collective responsibility for children’s well-being by placing limits on a toxic media environment from which they cannot otherwise be sufficiently shielded.
We are inspired by your boldness and innovation in protecting children, honoring women’s rights to safety and equality, and maintaining the integrity of Icelandic culture against the onslaught of an unrestrained industry of sexual exploitation.
We understand that your deliberations remain at an early stage and that many important aspects of the proposed legislation remain to be worked out. That said, we commend your government’s stated intention to define pornography narrowly (as sexual material involving violence and degradation), thus ensuring Icelandic citizens’ access to the fullest possible range of online information onsistent with the protection of children and of women’s civil right to equality. As your efforts continue to develop, we would urge you not to be dissuaded by dark invocations of totalitarianism or of an unregulated black market in pornography. The pornography industry could hardly be any less regulated than it is currently, nor could the motivations and methods of the Icelandic initiative differ more starkly from those of authoritarian governments.
From adopting the so-called “Nordic” approach to prostitution in 2009 to banning strip clubs in 2010, and having stood virtually alone among nations in holding banks to account in the wake of the global financial crisis, Iceland is a global leader both in gender equality and in confronting corporate power. We are inspired by your boldness and innovation in protecting children, honoring women’s rights to safety and equality, and maintaining the integrity of Icelandic culture against the onslaught of an unrestrained industry of sexual exploitation. As a group of similarly committed scholars, activists, and professionals across the globe, we stand with you and look forward to seeing the final result of your efforts.
Following our protest against 30 Rock stand-up comedian Tracy Morgan – who spread his anti-women pollution at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this week – and our calls for Regal Theatre in Perth not to give him a platform to spread his hate speech further, Morgan responded on Monday night. According to The Real Steve Gray, this is what he said:
In front of a sold out Regal Theatre in Perth last night, 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan addressed the bad press he received in Melbourne on the weekend.
“All I’m trying to do is make people laugh,” he said onstage.
Fans allegedly stormed out of Hamer Hall during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in disgust – some demanding refunds – claiming he was misogynist and lacked humour.
It was all sexually related. He said he was a pervert and this is the sort of stuff he liked and then it went on from there,” she said.
“He went everywhere, he discussed disabled people having sex, what his experiences were, everything he discussed was just disgusting.”
Women’s rights campaigner Melinda Tankard urged for the cancellation of his remaining Australian dates.
Morgan has been called out for offensive material in the past..
“Collective Shout is calling on Regal Theatre to not give Morgan a platform for Morgan’s misogynist hate speech,” Tankard posted on her website.
“It’s fear, [Tankard] doesn’t understand me,” Morgan told Perth fans. “I love her anyway,” he added.
Social media exploded with conversation after the initial MICF reviews surfaced.
“Unfunny, sexist, racist, misogynistic, disgusting rubbish,” one Melbourne attendee posted.
“I left thinking he is chauvinist pig and I can’t believe I paid almost $80 for it!” commented another.
On occasion last night Morgan made jokes at the expense of his enemies and refused the censor his material. “Go home and blog some shit ’cause you ain’t gettin’ any,” he said. “I don’t give a fuck what you think.”
The deluge of apologists for Morgan’s behaviour has been remarkable, even by usual standards. I’m still processing it and will write about it further. Seems anything is justifiable in the name of ‘art’ or ‘entertainment’. Here’s the Regal Theatre’s response to a Collective Shout supporter:
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:27:12 +0800
Subject: Re: Tracy Morgan hate speech
I appreciate your email, but the Regal does not engage in discrimination when selecting acts for our venue.
Regal Theatre 474 Hay St Subiaco Western Australia 6008 0448 111 308 9388 2066
That’s right folks, we allow acts at our venue to discriminate against ANYONE!
If you don’t like it don’t go?
There’s this idea that the problem with us, for being ‘offended’, not with Morgan’s speech.
My colleague Nicole Jameson addresses this really well:
‘If you don’t like it leave, or don’t go in the first place’ IS a defence of misogyny – it’s based on the false, apologetic premise that hate speech against women is only subjectively offensive. Sexism doesn’t go away if we ignore it, nor if we dress it up as ‘edgy humour’ or ‘boundary pushing’ in order to swallow it.
Call on Regal Theatre to pull Morgan off the program
How much more women-hating are we expected to endure? And this latest manifestation in the name of ‘entertainment’?
Steve Bennett has written this review of 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan’s stand-up Performance at the Melbourne International Comedy Festivalfor UK comedy guide Chortle. Here’s an extract:
So here’s the problem. There’s only one reason Tracy Morgan can fill Melbourne’s 2,600-seat Hamer Hall twice in one night, and that’s 30 Rock: a sophisticated, endearing and witty sitcom. But Morgan’s stand-up is none of those things.
This is an unpleasant, graphic, charmless 45-minute tirade – brevity being a rare redeeming feature – sharing his baser instincts in putrid detail, and very little humour.
‘Fucking women are crazy’ he tells us, with his advice to the fairer sex being both, ‘get yo’ ass in the fucking kitchen’ and ‘give that pussy up and stop this bullshit.’ For ‘bullshit’, he means ‘conversation’, I think, for as he taps his head, he warns the men: ‘Once a woman get in there, she live rent-free.’
Let us not assume he is discriminatory about ‘bitches’, though, as he shows no prejudice as to where he sticks his penis: Fat, thin, black, white, disabled – all women can be a receptacle for him. He is something of a vaginal connoisseur, sharing his informed reviews: ‘That pussy be burnt out’; ‘That crippled pussy stays wet’; ‘that pussy stink just a little bit’… there was something about the lubricating ‘discharge’ from a disabled woman too, but I was too busy gagging to write that line down verbatim. Read full story here
It was good to know at least some people walked out. Even better would be if those planning to attend his gig at the Regal Theatre tomorrow night boycotted it. Collective Shout is calling on Regal Theatre to not give Morgan a platform for Morgan’s misogynist hate speech.
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