Let the battle begin.

My Partner in Crime and her cultural experience buying stationary with her Daughters the other day at their local porn store, I mean, newsagent.

Questions for Us

In the UK, Kat Banyard – founder of UK Feminista – started a campaign to Lose the Lads’ Mags.

She has signatures from lawyers supporting her push to have leading businesses, like Tesco, cease to continue stocking magazines – such as ZOO – in their stores.

As it states in the linked article (whilst looking through a ZOO magazine):

Banyard points to one advertising sex line workers who are “just 18” and a bigger ad, on the facing page, promising “Asian Dolls: find your perfect Oriental escort NOW!”. She winces slightly. “I find it staggering that high street retailers sell these magazines mean, they’ve been on their shelves for years, but I still find it staggering that they expect customers and employees to be exposed to this and also that they think it’s OK to profit from them.”

I think this drive is fantastic.

I want to do it here…

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Doves ‘Real Beauty’ campaign discredited. When your company is affiliated with Lynx (who blatantly highly sexualise and exploit women in their marketing campaigns) under parent company Unilever, you lose all credibility in endorsing ‘Real Beauty’ and instead, contribute to a society filled with mixed messages on how we should view our bodies and feel about our sexualities. Don’t buy into it and don’t buy it. As consumers we hold the power. “We’ve demonstrated that it doesn’t matter what the exposure is, whether it’s general TV watching in the evening, or magazines, or ads showing on a computer. If the image is appearance-focused and sends a clear message about a woman’s body as an object, then it’s going to affect women.” Postdoctoral researcher Shelly Grabe http://www.news.wisc.edu/15215
“Amazingly, some argue that media is not to blame for body image problems, instead blaming parents if their kids aren’t resilient. This meta-analysis, which looked at 77 studies and over 15,000 participants, proves otherwise. The researchers say despite all the body image initiatives, media images have more impact on girls and women than the did in the 90’s. Industry must be held accountable.” (BodyMatters Australasia facebook)
Your buying habits can and do change the world http://opt4.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/your-buying-habits-change-the-world/ Think twice before you buy. Buy with your conscience not with marketers and corporations vested interests.

Women’s rights are Human rights

Two important campaigns for women’s human rights need support and awareness. Profiting from, benefiting from exploitation, and the depraved sexualisation of women’s bodies is never okay. Never! As human beings we must take a stance to stop these travesties.  Women and girls are people too, women and girls are human beings too, stand up and speak up for our human rights. Continue reading

How contemporary culture creates sexist men

Explicit imagery of women that we are faced with daily, negatively impacting on women’s body image and sense of self, while, as ‘The Bro Code’ says conditioning men to dehumanize and disrespect women, creating a sexist culture.

Enough is enough, things have to change. Those profiting off exploiting and sexualising women’s bodies won’t stop on integrity and decency’s behalf. Men – it is up to you to stop benefiting from it and buying into it. Women – stay brave, stay strong and keep speaking up for the return of our dignity. And what of the women that take part in this pornified culture, in the images in ‘The Bro Code’ preview, in our society? Read the article below

 

In a culture with widespread sexual objectification, women (especially) tend to view themselves as objects of desire for others… Pop culture sells women and girls a hurtful fiction that their value lies in how sexy they appear to others; they learn at a very young age that their sexuality is for others…

This unfortunately leads to a society where some women think they have to be as sexy, sexual and readily available as they can be to compete with the imagery they are inundated with daily, to feel good about themselves, to find their value in this pornified culture. A vicious cycle breeding disposable women, as youth as well as sexualisation is dominent in this culture.

Read more here: http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2012/07/06/sexual-objectification-part-2-the-harm/

Media’s impact on our lives is real and dangerous, if you don’t believe it read this

opt4

It’s amazing how much we are influenced on a daily basis.

However, what if you are part of the group that is being targeted to be and think in a different way – the influence is even greater.

This is the onslaught that our daily teenage girl is exposed to….the affects are staggering.

Before the movie….a side note:

In Fiji they took a field study of the women of the island as part of a National Geographic special. The women saw themselves as leaders, a great women in the tribe, and aspired to be great women of the island. They saw their bodies as beautiful, a body to be adorned and revered, and all were very very happy.  Coincidentally, 1 year later, TV and magazines began to be imported. They decided to do the same study 4 years later, they found that women saw themselves as fat, malproportioned, and deserving…

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Try outs for Lingerie Football league Australia – verbal abuse and repeatedly called p*****s

So you are a female athlete and you think the Lingerie Football League could be an opportunity to get yourself on the international stage. There are a few things to seriously consider first.

Do you have model or porn star looks, figures and sex appeal first and foremost over your athletic ability? Are you happy to be verbally abused, continually? Are you happy to sign waivers so the LFL holds no responsibily if you are injured in tryouts? Are you happy to be mocked for being a women trying to compete with other women by the US LFL players? Are you okay with being subjected to what is typically male sexist language and gestures towards women from US LFL players? If you don’t hold up to the LFL’s  idea of how violent the game is and should be played, are you okay with being told you are “waisting their f’ng time” and continual put downs?

And one final question you should ask yourself is – do you really want to be a part of a franchise that not only exploits women for profit, endorses girl on girl violence with very little physically protection and no compensation if injured, but also treats women individually in this way?

One brave young athlete and university student went  on the inside to find out not only what the tryouts would be like, but how the LFL treats it’s potential players first hand and what their policy on health and safety for their players entailed – if any.

I took my place at the end of the line. Like all the women here on this cold night, I had come to try out for the Lingerie Football League (LFL). Though my motives were a little different. I wanted to see how we would be treated, what would be required of us, and to test the notion that this was real sport.

I was handed an application form, talent release and ‘Waiver of Compensation’ form. The last informed us that the League would not be liable if we were injured. Was that even legal? I saw one of the American players on crutches and wondered how she was paying for her treatment.

We each had a number written on our arms that would become “Your Name” on field – failure to respond to this number meant running a lap of the field, and a repeat of this offense would see us cut from the group, with no chance of selection. A girl ahead of me received number ‘69’, an honour which saw the US LFL team members cheering and joking that this girl had just received a free ticket through to the final selection. Every time number 69 was up, any athleticism or skill she displayed was overlooked in favour of continuing the joke that a numerical reference to oral sex was all the proof she needed of her potential.

about 80 (of us) milled around waiting. Amongst this group were a handful of obviously serious athletes. I later discovered that one LFL hopeful was already a part of a semi-professional women’s football league, and another had represented Australia in baseball.

We commenced three hours of drills as Mortaza patrolled with a clipboard, looking us up and down, watching our moves. A cameramen appeared, lying on the ground taking upward angle shots of us running past. I was very thankful to be wearing long tights. I felt less exposed than some of the other women. I wondered how the photos would be used and where.

It wasn’t long before the music pumped up and the LFL players surrounded us, firing us up, urging us to be aggressive to each other. They then went on to insult us, screaming “You’re a p****!” (derogatory for female private area) followed by a hand gesture in the shape of a vagina. As well as acting as an insult, the vagina hand shape was also later held above the heads of the top 20 as a victory sign.

We were shown the drill once and then expected to be able to mimic it. If we failed to do so we were screamed at, called a p– and then Mortaza would yell “Stop wasting my f’ng time, if you are here to f’ng sight see, get the f- out!” The way he spoke to us, made us feel like what we had to offer was never good enough. Along with being ruthless he also showed a lack of knowledge of the sport.  Mortaza made a fool of himself as he attempted to demonstrate a simple drill.

One drill was girl against girl. If we didn’t fight with all we had, we would be pushed to the ground, but that wasn’t good enough for Mortaza. He didn’t just want us to wrestle the girl he wanted us to “pancake the shit out of her”. The girl that ended up getting smashed to the ground was laughed at and along with the hand gesture, was called a p– by all the LFL players.

We were expected to physically hurt our opponent. I think this is what disturbed me most. It wasn’t about playing football, it was about how aggressively we could act towards the other girls, how much pain we could inflict, all to entertain the crowd.

For most of the girls this was the first time they had encountered American-style football, playing a sport that isn’t actually Australian. Yet we received incredibly harsh criticism when we failed to match the skills shown by the LFL players who were professional players.

One of the girls I became friends with was behind me and I expressed my concern at the uniform we would be required to wear if we were chosen. She seemed oblivious as to as why this would be a concern. The tall blonde went on to be selected for the top 20, despite lacking the skill, speed and strength of other hopefuls.

LFL All Star Liz Gorman joked about it being the “fat story” as she had to lose weight when she was picked for the team. (I had already read that players who gained weight were humiliated). ”It is it about image,” she said. She also made a comment about the uniform,“The uniform it is was it is.” We were also warned about the amount of criticism we would receive from being a LFL player and that people would be harsh about our appearance so we had to look after our bodies.

Mortaza then read out the numbers of the girls who were chosen for the final round. Despite my ability to perform the drills, it was clear Mortaza wanted a certain ‘look’. So I was not particularly surprised that a number of us who had displayed greater football skills remained on the sidelines.

While a couple of the girls who made the cut were obviously talented athletes, in the end it was clear to everyone that our ability to play gridiron was a far lower priority than how our body would fill out the uniform.

The night ended with a pep talk about how to look sexy on Saturday night when those selected for a Sydney team to play competitively in December 2013 would be presented during half time at tonight’s LFL game in Sydney. They had to make sure hair and make-up was done and they were showing themselves as sexy, hot girls who had had a lot to offer – on or off the field.

A number of us worked hard and I’m still recovering. We faced constant belittlement and abuse. But our form wasn’t important if we weren’t stereotypically hot.

I’d love to be able to play gridiron someday. I love to test my body and mind to the limits of endurance. But I want to play a game where we are respected and valued for our abilities on the field. I want to know that our clubs would take care of us in terms of salary and insurance. I don’t want to play some pseudo sport where we are expected to wear sexy underwear and engage in girl-on-girl violence, and be called p*****s, because that’s what we have been reduced to in a strip show style spectacle for the gratification of men, under the guise of sport.

And what else of LFL founder Mortaza’s presence at the try-outs…

He strutted around like a pimp, barked orders and was so aggressive.

All this from an athletes point of view as well as a young girl who could of been really excited to try out for this new rising sport to then be told “I’m wasting their f’ng time,” and then being put down and been called a p– over and over again.

Tal Stone is a 23 year-old Sydney university student and athlete.

For the full article go to: http://melindatankardreist.com/2012/06/abused-yelled-out-called-pussy-and-told-to-pancake-the-shit-out-of-her-my-experience-of-lingerie-football-league-try-outs-in-sydney-last-week/

Sign petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-lingerie-football-league-in-australia

See also: ‘Divers in speedos, Warwick Capper’s footy shorts, wrestling: the stunning arguments in defence of lingerie football’, MTR

‘When women are sport: lingerie football comes to Australia’, MTR

‘Meet lingerie author’, Kerri Sackville

‘Lingerie Football League: what it’s really about and do we want it in Australia?’  xyonline

Thank you so much Changing Women for posting this xx

Changing Women

SIGN THE PETITION HERE:

What began as a form of half time entertainment during Gridiron matches at the super bowl in the US, has now evolved into the successful and controversial Lingerie Football League (LFL), ‘true fantasy football’ according to the website. Now Founder Mitch Mortaza is intent on bringing his franchise to Australia next year.

Yet our Australian Sports Commission (ASC) does not support the LFL nor does Sports Minister Kate Lundy who is strongly opposed, making a public statement that “As Minister for Sport, I can’t abide a spectacle that degrades women and threatens to undermine the progress of women in sport in Australia.” White Ribbon – Australia’s campaign to stop violence against women, fully support Kate Lundy’s position on the LFL, stating, “White Ribbon denounces initiatives that objectify or exploit women & supports @KateLundy ‘s comments.”

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These statistics are real and terribly sad. And Blake’s video is truly beautiful, inspiring and based in real love; for women as a whole, and for us individually, so much so, happy tears fell from my eyes. This needs to be shared x