How Collective Shout shames women and girls

11 Sep

 

It’s with some amusement I note that Melinda Tankard Reist’s Collective Shout claim they are not “slut shaming” women and girls who want, buy and wear clothes that organisation considers “sexualises” them.

They are not, they claim, targeting women and girls who wear the clothes, rather they are attacking the retailers who sell them. I suppose they are “slutty retailer shaming.”

If they attack retailers who sell the clothes of which they so strongly disapprove, they cannot help but “slut shame” the women who freely choose to buy and wear them. They are telling women and girls that the clothes “sexualise” them, that is, make them look like tramps and sluts available for male use and abuse. You can’t have these clothes, Collective Shout says, because they make you look available.  If you won’t stop buying them, we’ll stop them being sold.

Their argument that they are not focussed on women but on retailers is entirely disingenuous. Of course the focus is women and girls.

Their argument fails entirely to grant women who buy these clothes agency, instead promoting the notion that certain women are incapable of choosing clothing for themselves and their daughters wisely, and are being led by the nose by retailers who should be prevented from selling these garments, thereby saving women from themselves.

Whichever way you look at it, Collective Shout is indeed “slut shaming” women and girls, as well as striving to deny them the right to choose how they will dress themselves. They are attempting to impose a dress code on women and girls, one that accords with their notions of what is and is not “sexualising.” They are attempting to gain control of the appearance of women and girls by intimidating retailers to the degree that they will only stock what Collective Shout determines to be suitable apparel.

No retailer on earth stocks products nobody wants to buy, and hopes to prosper. Clearly somebody wants the clothing Collective Shout loves to hate. Not everybody shares their aesthetic. Maybe it’s a class thing. I notice they aren’t going after David Jones and Pumpkin Patch who service the middle class and peddle a different aesthetic from Target.

What’s certain is that if someone is trying to prevent stores from stocking the clothing you want because they think it’s immoral, you are being judged and shamed for your choices by people who believe they know better than you do how you should look.

 I’ve never looked at a young girl and thought, “she looks like a tramp” or more formally, “she’s been sexualised,” no matter what that girl is wearing. It’s a mystery to me why anyone would choose to first perceive a child in this way, and then speak about her in such pejorative terms.

Girls aged between seven and fourteen usually have their clothes bought for them by their mothers or primary carers. If they are allowed to shop alone, they must be given the money to do this by parents or primary caregivers and as they are living at home, presumably these adults see what the girls buy and wear. If the responsible adults don’t like what they see, I assume they can make sure they accompany the girl when next she goes clothes shopping, and exercise control over what is purchased.

I’m not sure what “trampy clothing” is or looks like. I assume it’s clothing that reveals a lot of flesh, or is cut to emphasise certain aspects of the body that are considered erogenous and therefore sexy, and therefore “trampy.” Clothing that signifies a woman who likes sex without feeling she has to get married to enjoy it, or is a sex worker.

It seems to me one can only view the body from this perspective if one first holds a moral position in which certain kinds of sex and the female body are both regarded as immoral, except under specific circumstances such as marriage or monogamous relationships.

It also seems to me that the people creating an uproar about the “sexualization” of girls have an extremely narrow understanding of what “sexy” is, and an alarming tendency to impose this limited understanding on children.

Further, they pretty much adopt the consciousness of paedophiles, of the kind that says “the girl made me do it because she was flirting and being sexy,” because what they see when they look at a girl dressed like a “sexualised” “tramp” is not a child with a child’s consciousness, but an adult looking to attract sexual encounters. A normal adult will see a child dressed up like an adult, but still a child and not converted into a sexual object by her apparel.

You can dress a child as “sexily” as you like. You can pose her as “sexily” as you like. To a normal adult human she is still a child, and not a sexual opportunity. Anyone who is imagining otherwise is potentially a paedophile. There’s no two ways about this because we are talking about interpretation, perception and desire here. These are what “sexualise” the child, not the clothing she wears.

In order for a child to be perceived as “sexy” the adult gaze must confer on her the power to arouse the desire and sexual imaginings that voluntarily occur in the adult. Otherwise she is simply a little girl in adult-like clothing that one likes, dislikes or doesn’t give a damn about.

That there are serious difficulties for girls when it comes to how they want to conduct a sexual life and how they want to present themselves to the world, is incontestable. Girls today struggle with influences and images to a degree previously unheard of, and unfortunately those influences and images portray an extremely narrow view of beauty  and sexuality. We all labour under the tyranny of the majority, and the majority in large part sucks. Collective Shout will do nothing to address these problems by “slut shaming” girls and women who choose clothing that group dislikes, or by teaching girls to shame one another. They may temporarily win a minor skirmish with Target, but they will not bring about significant change in the life of girls. Shaming never achieves a thing, nor does imposing one’s own narrow perception of “appropriate” sexuality.

We live in a culture that attaches extraordinary value to appearances. Collective Shout only add to the obsession with their focus on the rightness and wrongness of what women and girls choose to wear, and the fundamentalist morality that underpins their beliefs about the female body.

 

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121 Responses to “How Collective Shout shames women and girls”

  1. Hypocritophobe September 11, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Perhaps anyone who speaks out against the likes of CS risks their ire, simply because 3 things appear incredibly obvious?
    This field is their bread and butter and they probably perceive interlopers as a threat to that situation.Ergo they need to firmly control the agenda and feed supply of information,and stay on theme.
    And then we have income.There are a network of associated businesses/individuals who obviously profit from women and girl issues, (And it is growing) which are affiliated with CS .(That’s where the agenda/message control is obviously important)
    Then we have egg face.
    If someone comes forward whose input dents their campaign in some way -perhaps like the Catherine Manning scenario-it does/will impact on the public perception of any current/future CS agenda.
    I’d like to think Catherine’s brave story of her experience introduces contra evidence to some of the campaigning lobbying/theorising emanating from CS (et al.)

    But the big unanswered question is ‘contra to to what credible underlying evidence, which is universally acknowledged as fact,by professionals outside their group’ ?

    Oh well, like they say in the classics,”dominant cultures do write their own history”, AND possibly resumes too?

    I personally cannot ever see any of their King Pins engaging debate or dialogue.They seem to have an aversion to debate,dialogue and media scrutiny.There is too much at stake.Maybe that’s why lawyers are enlisted as aprotection strategy.
    BTW,that is just my mere humble opinion.(Again)(Still)

    Like

    • Catherine Manning September 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      Hypo hits the nail on the head.
      Whipping up a frenzy, then selling the remedy. At one recent, well attended 1.5 hour event where slut-shaming was high on the agenda, a quick calculation suggested the event grossed a whopping $15,000 (not including book sales, etc.). What’s most concerning though, is that especially when people pay to hear ‘expert advice’, the ‘expert’s’ rhetoric is so easily accepted, without question. They’re influencing a lot of people.

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      • Belinda September 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

        LOL – by this comment you are implying that YOU are the ‘expert of experts’ on children! Unfortunately for you, your words say far too much about yourself than said experts

        You know better than all the speakers at youth events, including your previous employer Enlighten Education, who I googled, and I see also speaks about sexualisation. Your employee wrote a book highlighting the issues herself it appears.

        The only ones who ever seem to say they have heard ‘slut-shaming’ of girls by experts are the whole six or so regular commenters on this blog. You just continue to scratch each other’s backs. No one else thinks that this is the message at all! Because clearly it is not.

        I was also delighted to see that Ray thought (in the last post) that I didn’t get satire. You made my point fabulously Ray, because in fact my comment on Betty Grumble was sarcastic and actually drew attention to Catherine’s comment about another satirical comedian on another blog.

        Catherine berated the comedian for dressing up and thus ‘slut-shaming’ girls, when in fact the comedian uses clothing and bunny ears when she speaks about Playboy’s sale of t-shirts encouraging sex in the tween mag ‘Girlfriend’. She is shaming Playboy for their work, not the girls for what they wear. Everyone else seems to get that when they watch the act. However, Catherine forgot to mention her use of Betty for the anti-pageant rally. Betty’s dress and message are very similar to the comedian Catherine berated. Hypocritical much?

        Glad to see you have all found a flock guys.

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        • Catherine Manning September 12, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

          Thanks Belinda, you prove my points perfectly. Of course you would take it that that’s what I’m implying.

          There’s no comparison between what Julie Gale does, and what Betty Grumble does. If you saw Betty’s performance, I’m sure you’d retract your statement.

          I’ve also never said that girls don’t struggle with the pressure to conform to narrow beauty ideals, including the pressure to be ‘hot’ (part and parcel). This is the problem with arguments like yours. They assume that there’s no middle ground, nothing we can agree on. I’m not the enemy here. I just want to have reasonable discussion, but it seems that’s too much to ask. Without addressing slut-shaming and looking at where the research is coming from, girls will continue to struggle. As has already been pointed out, the ‘expert reports’ contradict each other, and the Scottish report finds substantial flaws in the APA report that your CS colleagues hold up as gospel.

          Some experts used to think the earth was flat.

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        • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

          When are you going to drop the ad hominem and simply answer to the change that your campaigns of Slut Shaming and against “sexualisation” are simply counter-productive.

          The real problem is men who don’t own their misbehaviour.

          Catherine Manning articulates that point, and it appears as if she engages with her critics and supporters alike.

          Can Collective Shout say the same?

          P.S. Suing Jennifer Wilson does not count as engagement

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        • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

          Geez “Belinda”,
          You change your outfit a lot.
          How about this,seeing as you obviously have, and want a lot to contribute.
          How about approaching Dr Wilson and putting your own version up here?
          Or is that too risky for you?I mean you have obviously a ‘close’ tie to the most senior end of CS personnel and their fastidiously and unwavering selfless,humanitarian causes.
          Why not nic this thing in the bud?

          Like

        • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

          How about you answer the substantive criticisms rather than indulge in petty tit for tat?

          1. The fact that CS misuses the term sexualisation?

          2. That it conflates raunch culture with sexualisation as defined by the APA.

          3. That it cites several reports that it asserts support its cause, when in fact they do no such thing?

          4. That it does not understand the difference between making a moral judgment about good girls/bad girls and objective evidence of harm?

          Like

  2. Ray (novelactivist) September 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    The irony here is that CS gives a link to the APA Task Force Report into Sexualisation on their website. That report defines sexualisation, yet it is painfully apparent that CS does not actually understand that definition.

    What they have done, and their web site screams it, is seriously conflate two quite distinct issues: ‘raunch’ culture and sexualisation as defined by the APA Task Force.

    Under the APA definition even very conservative clothing can sexualise because it may still pressure the girl to conform to external notions of ideal sexuality. They do not understand that the archetype of the virgin is highly sexualised.

    Equally the APA definition stresses the importance of agency, as Jennifer points out. Thus if a girl is acting in a highly sexual way from an authentic, self-directed place, and not to please others, then she has not been sexualised. In fact the APA report makes a point of exempting authentic sexual expression from their definition of sexualisation.

    According to the APA definition, the naturally sexual girl who is pressured to act as daddy’s good little girl, all sugar and spice and pink princesses, is the one who is being sexualised. Whereas the naturally sexual girl allowed to express her sexuality in the way she chooses, even if that is by acting and dressing raunchy, is not being sexualised.

    In another example of irony the CS website also gives a link to the Scottish report which expressly cautions against confusing sexual with sexualisation.

    Like

    • hudsongodfrey September 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      The cliff notes read simply that they just don’t approve of sexual openness.

      Like

    • Jennifer Wilson September 12, 2012 at 7:07 am #

      Yes, that’s spot on Ray.

      Like

      • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 7:31 am #

        Sadly, those concerned about raunch culture and pornification end up attacking women who are raunchy, even when their sexual expression is authentic and self-directed.

        Thus they may introduce self-doubt to a naturally sexual child and pressure her to conform to their non-raunch standards – pressuring her to conform to external norms, namely theirs.

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        • Poirot September 12, 2012 at 8:12 am #

          I see that it’s acceptable to employ the term “raunchy” in this debate. I’m actually a little tentative to raise my head here in case in case it gets knocked off, but I’m inquisitive as to the pros and cons of this argument, and I’m not that experienced in “feminist” discussion as it pertains to our particular time and culture.

          Firstly, I agree with Jennifer that very young children are merely young children regardless of their dress. Yet, we are all beholden to consumer culture and a very “me, me,me” mindset where the visual, as she points out, is uppermost in our psychology. I’ve also been at pains in the past to make Jennifer’s point that it’s mothers who buy clothing for young girls.

          However, what really interests me about all this is the fundamental question of how both camps are assisting women and girls to feel authentic, capable and grounded in their sexuality and their womanhood.

          Being such a self-indulgent culture has it’s challenges. Our freedoms are contained within a canon that is beholden to the patterns and mores of consumer psychology. We’re very sheep-like. Our whole reality is bound up in the images we’re immersed in every day, not only from our communities, but those that bombard us in the ubiquitous media.

          Capitalism and consumer culture rule the roost here. Our independence is predicated on conforming to the system – one that has co-opted women willingly into the fold as fully-fledged and necessary to its continuity. Most so-called “independence” is an illusion, as Jennifer points out: “…Girls today struggle with influences and images to a degree previously unheard of, and unfortunately those influences and images portray and extremely narrow view of beauty and sexuality…”

          Spot on!…if women really seek independence of thought and projection, they will be required to step outside the prevailing mindset, reach deep inside for something that still dwells inside, but has been subjugated to the will of their material vanities.

          Like

          • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 9:08 am #

            Poirot,

            Yes.

            The issue is conflating raunch with the psychological process of sexualisation.

            I think it’s perfectly fine to make a personal judgment about raunch, just so long as you recognise it is a personal choice.

            What CS want to do is impose their standards on others.

            This is not just about clothes. CS has been active in seeking to ban films intended only for adults.

            Like

            • Poirot September 12, 2012 at 9:39 am #

              Ray,

              Yes, I take your point.

              It seems CS is defending the patriarchal/religious/moral aspect in control of industrial culture, while simultaneously blaming men (and man’s consumer construct) for their supposed culpability in the sexualisation of girls and women – pornification, isn’t it?

              And the opposing camp is proclaiming their individuality and freedom to make personal choices regarding their sexuality sans prudish input from the morality police.

              I think what we have is one very confused society which has problems with its bountiful invitation to”freedom of expression”…in that all freedoms invariably are limited, and are contained within an overarching paradigm. Women keep threatening to break the bounds of the system that delivered relative freedom in the first place.

              It will be interesting to see where it all ends up.

              Like

    • Marilyn September 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      Why don’t they put some work into helping the children who are abused by their parents or family members?

      1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be abused by a parent, another family member or close friend or church person before they are 18 in this country and all this mob can do is whinge about how children are dressed.

      How about a bit of care into the 30,000 kids a day who die naked and starving, those being bombed to bits or having arms and legs blown off in our killing fields of war.

      What about the 1 billion homeless children, the 2 billion who can’t get clean water or eat every day.

      I get so tired of the likes of MTR being allowed to trivialise how kids are dressed while they are wilfully blind to how many children are suffering and dying – 9 million kids under 5 die of starvation and preventable disease every year while MTR and co. carry on and while our own trash government legislated to waste $5 billion trading just a few thousand of them.

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      • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

        Marilyn,
        “1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be abused by a parent”

        Surely you mean “1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys WHO ARE ABUSED will be abused by a family member?????

        Like

        • Marilyn September 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

          Yeah, but why nitpick over it.

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          • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

            Nitpick?
            Fuck me Marilyn, if I ‘am’ surrounded by parents who have a one in 3 ratio of child abuse I would like a ticket out thanks.
            Are you for real?
            You are saying a third of ALL children are abused?Is that right?

            Like

            • acrula September 23, 2013 at 11:17 am #

              No thanks, not today, I have a headache. However, you know darn well what she meant, and dwelling on it might just make it a new and exciting topic for Collective Shout to get excited about too. Then we will all get excited about it and the world goes to hell in a handbasket.

              Like

        • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

          If you have that info I would like to be clear on it because I really would have thought that of the children who are abused most of it would come from within the family and close circle of friends first, school, clergy and other carers next and your most hardened and predatory rock spiders a distant last. Am I wrong?

          Like

          • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

            You do the maths,HG

            http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/421-440/tandi429.aspx

            One abuse is too many, but if one third or one fifth of our children are being sexual abused by family or close friends of family, we are in deep shit.

            Like

            • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

              Obviously your closing remark goes without saying, we accept it at face value.

              As for the maths it’s not so much a calculation I was looking for as the information I’ve gleaned from the report you linked to.

              According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS 2005) Personal Safety Survey, 12 percent of women and 4.5 percent of men in Australia report having been sexually abused before the age of 15 years.

              and

              According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (2005) Personal Safety Survey, of all those who reported having been victimised sexually before the age of 15 years, 11.1 percent were victimised by a stranger.

              There’s heap of other stuff I wouldn’t have known in there also, addressing misconceptions etc, that I’d really hope people like Collective Shout would also read and use to perhaps refocus their concerns.

              Like

              • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

                Not sure if I am being clear enough here.
                Take 100 individuals,if someone claims a third are subject to a form of abuse it is around 33 individuals.
                However if the reality is that a third of a lesser number is being abused by family members,that does not equate to “1 in 3 kids are abused by family members.
                Do you get what I am saying?
                Does Marilyn understand the difference in the numbers?
                It matters, does it not?
                One third of a smaller number does not equal one third!
                One fifth of a smaller number does not equal one fifth!
                So I will try another avenue.
                Please show us where the evidence for this quote (below) is found?

                “1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be abused by a parent, another family member or close friend or church person before they are 18 in this country”

                (For the previously quoted sentence from Marilyn)
                And are we talking sexual abuse or all child abuse?

                OM?

                Like

                • paul walter September 13, 2012 at 12:15 am #

                  Admittedly my view is coloured coming from Latteline and yet another depressing segment on abuse, this time involving disabled people in Victoria where it seems the social welfare system is under stress and unable or unwilling to police it self; let alone the SBS doco about the refusal of the US military to investigate large numbers of rape cases, but it does seem that figures may indicate the tip of an iceberg we are not quite
                  aware of.
                  Coming from Wiki, one study indicated that the figure maybe as high as a third (in the US), most seemed to indicate much lower percentages.
                  One supposes there is under reporting of humiliating events from both girls and boys; there are degrees of abuse and its possible that specifically sexual abuse is added to other forms of neglect and brutality to offer a higher overall figure.
                  Now, Marilyn’s point in context:
                  She is saying that with a serious number of actual abuse case- any where from 5% to 30% of kids or more its all added up, that the Collective Shout groups are barking up the wrong tree as to what the real issue may be, something most other contributors here would probably agree with.
                  Personally, from my visits to some their sites, I also think they miss the point: too often they are expressing something of their own hangups about sex and a bit too self presentationary.
                  Marilyn is ill at the moment, isn’t a fool, maybe is sometimes is prone to hyperbole but still a good source of ideas and info. At least she has been so for me, over nearly a decade

                  Like

                  • Ray September 13, 2012 at 7:28 am #

                    Actually, I thought the figure of abuse by those close to the child was around 85%, with stranger danger posing a relatively small risk. And that ‘home’ abuse has always been with us, but that children were under greater pressure to remain silent. Remember, children should be seen and not heard.

                    Like

                • hudsongodfrey September 13, 2012 at 8:45 am #

                  I am not interested in tearing down Marilyn’s maths it sounds as if she has enough problems without being held up to ridicule for mistyping that one line of her comment. But I was interested in being accurate in case I had been mistaken in my own assumptions. That’s why I appreciated your report and impartially quoted the relevant passages in my later post.

                  I don’t expect that the percentages drift from year to year that much, so these 2005 figures would suffice to say that one in eight women and only one in 20 men reported abuse before the age of 15. It appears to have been taken from and survey and strangely opts for a cut-off at the age of 15 year, below that of consent which is 16 in most states.

                  Whether these surveys are accurate or it has to be said that a lot of cases do go unreported so that the real number is much higher is a matter of some conjecture though I’m sure many have reason to believe that would indeed be the case. The observation to make being that these things which we find hardest to talk about are those mist easily hidden.

                  What would probably more accurately extrapolated from those statistics is that only 11% were abused by a stranger. And that’s the part I wanted to bring out and really emphasise in terms of what whether we ought to be worried that sexualisation leads to young children being targeted for abuse. The facts appear to heavily discount that theory on several fronts. But what isn’t discounted and shouldn’t be is that the whole idea of Slut Shaming probably features quite strongly indeed in the psychological trauma victims undergo, and that part should concern us when it comes to changing social attitudes to these crimes.

                  Like

                  • Poirot September 13, 2012 at 9:05 am #

                    HG,

                    Actually, the last five lines of your post hit home for me (I think I’m learning something here!) As I mentioned, it happened to me – although, it probably wasn’t the worst case scenario, but nevertheless quite shocking for a child to be confronted by that. I never blamed myself, but I never reported it…and the reason I didn’t report it was because of the shame of being tainted with the action.

                    I’ve always known that it was society’s attitude that held me back from reporting it, even though I was the victim – and I realised long ago that the “trauma” emanated just as much from that aspect as from anything else..

                    Like

                    • Hypocritophobe September 13, 2012 at 9:32 am #

                      Nice one,
                      I am not tearing anyone down.I am correcting a frigging blatant mistake which goes to the whole perception of kids fearing those they should not.
                      And don’t you think such a serious issue should roll with a little accuracy HG?

                      I am also fully aware that a lot of cases go unreported.
                      Of those children who are abused 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be abused by close family members etc.

                      That does not equate to 1 in 3 and 1 in 5 are abused in total.I guess if that’s good enough for you lot,well lets just make stuff up.

                      I will say it again if there are one in 3 kids , (or 1 in 5 )in TOTAL being abused ,in house, our society is completely stuffed.
                      Should I also stop worrying about the ‘few’ refugees popping over the skyline?

                      Unbelievable.

                      Like

                    • Poirot September 13, 2012 at 9:53 am #

                      Just adding that in my case it was the stepfather of a friend. I was staying at their house…..

                      I think we can probably extrapolate that it’s “people who are trusted” – whether they be immediate family members, or family members related to friends or those who are in “trusted” authority that appear to figure prominently in abuse situations of children.

                      Like

                    • Ray (novelactivist) September 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

                      Poirot,

                      Saying that society’s attitude held you back is an important. A recognised expert in this area, David Finklehor has pointed to four sources of trauma, the last is stigmatisation. Which covers your experience exactly.

                      What is even more interesting that some are suggesting that stigmatisation is the most harmful of all.

                      Btw, what is not being mentioned here is the complicity of mothers, aunts, siblings, who may know the abuse is occurring but do nothing to stop it. In some cases they assist in the cover up.

                      Like

                    • Poirot September 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

                      Well, to be honest, Ray, I think it was the sense of stigmatisation that traumatised me the most.

                      Like

                    • Ray (novelactivist) September 13, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

                      Yes, you may very well have been seen as a ‘bad’ girl, hence we return to the general theme of shaming.

                      Like

            • matthewjames123 January 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

              most children that are sexually abused are abused by a family member (immediate or extended) or someone they know. the statistics are that currently 1 in 3 girls and one in 6 boys will be abused at some point in their life times. it doesn’t mean they ALL will be abused by someone in their family but the likliehood that their predator is known to them is very high. i think this is a vitally important issue, far more important than how children are dressed. percieiving children as sexualized is a tiny bit creepy too in my most humble opinion.

              Like

              • Hypocritophobe January 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

                I keep seeing statistics like yours thrown around but with no reference to it’s source.Can you provide yours and possibly a link?

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      • paul walter September 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

        Well, that (Marilyn’s) looks like a pretty brilliant post to me.
        For the rest Poirot’s comment makes sense also.
        Marilyn’s goal of “getting real” shouldn’t be oppositional to seeking to understand how some groups are resistant to rational communication in order to maintain their sense of self esteem; the two are complementary.
        There IS a crossover between people who have sex/identity hassles and those who oppose rational political policy
        We need to understand the mentality of over feminised, conservative women and the other denial/resistance category lacking self insight, conservative males.
        The same people who babble out nonsense about sex are often the same people who won’t be reassured as to the possibility of solutions as to asylum seekers or global poverty and war and feel the need to turn suburbia into a fortress.
        How to break through the strangle hold of the ignorant on media is the sort of problem we face, also communicating to people in authority the priority of social reform over repressiveness.
        At the personal level there must be a getting through to certain types of men, to understand themselves, women and children better and with some women, discovering the means to deal with (inculcated?) passivity/aggression and the dreadful guilty till proven innocent reactiveness that blights what passes for thinking on a raft of issues, including sex.

        Like

  3. doug quixote September 11, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    Truly excellent Jennifer.

    The Banning And Censoring Wowser Agenda (bacwa) types are actually worried about their own reaction to things they see as “sexy” or “slutty”

    The Bacwa are concerned about their reaction and that of their nearest and dearest, and concerned that the “uncovered meat” will compromise their own conception of how they should be, and how things should be.

    Are the Bacwas really potential pedophiles? Do they harbour sexual feelings about weenyboppers? Should they be locked up for their own good, not just kept in hairshirts and practicing self flagellation??

    Interesting questions, no?

    Like

  4. Hypocritophobe September 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    How does CS explain the fetish ‘element’ with costumes like nuns/secretaries/maids/rubber/latex etc etc?
    No short shorts anywhere.
    Neck to knees sports carnivals anyone?

    Like

  5. gerard oosterman September 12, 2012 at 7:35 am #

    I do think that the dressing of children in adult clothing does nothing for the children. I have often remarked on the Anglo/American beach culture of young children wearing bras when there is nothing there. Why? Are children not allowed to be children?
    Seeing mothers buying lace boots with heels for an eight year old girl when they can hardly walk in them is ridiculous. The same for young boys wearing suits. As for those child pageants. Yuk!

    Like

    • Poirot September 12, 2012 at 8:36 am #

      Actually, it interesting, Gerard.
      I was reading something by Ivan Illich, that before the Industrial Revolution when most children weren’t school and society hadn’t fashioned neat compartments for age-related dress or activity, there was “infancy”. A child was dressed appropriately in infancy, but when they were of an age – probably after around 7 years-old, they began to wear adult-like clothes. Their was no particular “childhood” apart from infancy, as when they had grown to a certain age it was time to begin to learn from the adults and they would be with the adults learning by example.

      We do things so differently in industrial society and it’s difficult for us to imagine that this was the way it was for our forebears and still is in traditional societies.

      Like

      • helvityni September 12, 2012 at 9:30 am #

        I wonder if any bra-wearing toddler girl asks his male play-mates: why don’t you have a bra. Does the little girl learn that she has something there that has to be hidden…
        .
        I remember being seven or eight, maybe older, when all us village kids (boys and girls) swam in our underpants…

        Like

        • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 10:13 am #

          I recall the story of a mother letting her 5 year-old daughter run around topless at a local pool. An irate busy body walked up to the mother and told her to cover her daughter as there might be paedophiles at the pool.

          Whom is sexualising whom?

          Like

        • Poirot September 12, 2012 at 10:13 am #

          I’m sure you’re right there, Helvityni.

          But, of course, once breasts begin to form, they are immediately covered in our culture.

          I know with my own children that nakedness only became something they sought to hide around the ten year-old mark – something that seemed instinctive, but is obviously just as much tied to culture.

          Like

      • samjandwich September 12, 2012 at 10:51 am #

        We in the child protection world like to point out that people’s brains don’t stop developing until about age 25, and that people under this age can’t be expected,to function to the fullest extent required to participate in the adult world. Or at the very least they require support in order to do so – and especially if they have suffered some kind of disadvantage.

        This doesn’t stop young people from expressing themselves, or prevent us from respecting/taking at face value the way they do this. But perhaps you could say the conceptualisation of childhood is very different these days… and fluid, and changing all the time.

        Like

        • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 11:06 am #

          Yes, well that’s interesting in itself. That piece of information has been misused to try an extend childhood even further. In reality it refers to only one part of the brain concerning risk taking behaviour. With evolutionary biologists arguing that it had an evolutionary advantage. In most hunter gatherer societies men began hunting in their early teens and taking risks meant a greater chance of success. Of course, it took its toll.

          But once agin, misunderstood science misapplied.

          Like

        • Poirot September 12, 2012 at 11:09 am #

          Sam,

          Good point – the human brain is very slow developing compared to other closely related species.
          Those “children” in pre-industrial times who were working amidst the adults wouldn’t have been considered fully developed. They were learning, and the only way to learn the practicalities of their world in those times was to be immersed in the day-to-day life of their culture.
          We do the opposite in our culture. We segregate children with their age peers for twelve years at least…and then we wonder why their self-image, ideas of their culture and integrative abilities are impaired when they are finally set free to be fully-participating members of society – before their brains are fully developed, and awash with media images and expectations.

          Like

          • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

            Spot on. Dr Robert Epstein has some interesting things to say about this in a book called ‘Teen 2.0′

            Like

  6. Sam Jandwich September 12, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    You know, Collective Shout could have easily backed up their claim that they are not slut-shaming by letting that little get-together they’d planned go ahead.

    They’re obviously just all mouth and no trousers!

    Like

  7. mhairi September 12, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    yes, to some extend but there is some clothing that is just utterly inappropriate being sold.

    At a market a few years ago I saw t-shirts for pre-teen girls with “FCUK me” written on them. There’s a big difference between that kind of deliberate sexualisation and being prudish about little girls running around in fancy clothes or naked at a swimming pool.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Of course the parents cannot read T Shirts/restrict what kids wear or parent responsibly can they?

      Just how many pre teens did you question,after they bought one of these T Shirts?
      What was their response?
      Were their parents quizzed?
      Were they there?

      Like

      • samjandwich September 12, 2012 at 11:31 am #

        Some parents can’t – haven’t you seen the Slap??

        This is a good point Mhairi – there’s definitely a line to be drawn and I would say your example crosses it.

        On the other hand I saw at my local shopping mall the other day a girl of about 12 wearing a t-shirt with “all this could be yours!” emblazoned across her not-quite-flat chest – and while it does make you stop and think, I would say that this is ok. I think it’s important to ask who the message or appearances are meant to speak to. Is it boys (or girls) her own age or adults? I’d be inclined to suggest the former… and adult men all know that too, whether they like it or not. And while it’s useful to be critical of parents you also need to give them credit for being open-minded and letting their kids have a say in these things.

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 11:42 am #

          I would still like the air cleared.Did any pre teens actually purchase them and wear them?
          Or were they on display.
          I am not convinced that because something is for sale,it is sold en masse.

          There are plenty of cases of bad taste in T-Shirts,that’s for sure,but wow,that is a whole different kettle of fish.

          Like

          • mhairi September 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

            The “fcuk me” t-shirts were on open display at a market stall in sizes from age 8 to age 14. It was a few years ago, and “FCUK” was a really fashionable logo for French Connection in the UK at the time (these were market stall rip-offs btw, not official French connection merchandise). And yes, they were highly desired and they were being bought.

            I didnt speak to anyone, but I suspect the little girls wanted what their big sisters aspired to, they saw it as a cool, edgy slogan that was “grown up”. They themselves had probably little idea about what the meaning of it was, but the mums did, and their reaction varied from the “ha ha – thats so funny” (!!) to a kind of resigned purchase. Although quite a number moved their kids quickly along.

            Like

            • Jennifer Wilson September 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

              I have one of those. It says “FCUK the Millenium” No I think I have two, one that says “Cool FCUK” as well. I don’t know where they are. Now I’ll have to look for them.

              Like

              • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

                I’ve got one somewhere that says “if it ain’t Stiff it ain’t worth a fuck” does that count….

                Stiff record label. I’ve mentioned it before :)

                Like

              • doug quixote September 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

                And I’m sure I said before that I thought they couldn’t spell . . .

                Like

                • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

                  Ah well it’s not as bad as the Monk who spelt celebrate wrongly I suppose :)

                  Like

              • eremitamicabilis September 23, 2013 at 11:28 am #

                That’s the whole point. Collective Shout digs these things up, parades them in front of us with embellishments, and piques everybody’s curiosity. Might even put ideas in somebody’s head. It makes you wonder about Collective Shout …

                Like

          • Andrea February 9, 2013 at 9:44 am #

            There are two specialty oiceffs I would like to work in. My interest are in the nervous system and the endocrine system.In the 12 years I have been with my boyfriend, he has lost two sisters and a brother to different forms of lupus. He also lost his mother to the disease before 20 years before I met him. I feel working with an endocrinologist or neurologist I will be able to learn more on how these system works.The proctologist office would be at the bottom of the list. After experiencing a lower GI to rule out problems in my stomach. I refuse to go through that again.

            Like

          • rxqhpdgqi February 10, 2013 at 2:35 am #

            TpgDGi pdrxdndpstly

            Like

        • gerard oosterman September 12, 2012 at 11:44 am #

          I am not sure about this freedom of 12 years saying, ‘this can be yours.’ Australia persistently tops the list in the OECD countries in unwanted teenage pregnancies. I would be asking how a twelve year could make such a dumb and stupid choice? Furthermore, I would like to know if that same twelve year old also has been educated enough at her school to carry a condom in her school bag, just in case!

          Like

          • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

            Does it? I thought America and England was ahead. I know the Netherlands is low, but as far as I’m aware Dutch kids wear pretty much what Australian kids wear.

            Like

            • gerard oosterman September 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

              No they don’t. For a start no school uniforms. If education is to encourage growing into a self respecting and responsible individual, they don’t see a place for a uniform and rather encourage each to wear whatever they want to wear.
              They dress far more colourfully and individually and also do not as a rule differentiate much between the sexes when still children, certainly don’t go for blue boys and pink girls.
              We know, because our kids went to school (primary) in The Netherlands.

              Like

              • Poirot September 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

                That’s interesting, Gerard.

                We are home educating…no uniforms for us either!

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              • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

                Very interesting,Gerard.I think most CS members would fully endorse uniforms.But they also want a blanket ban on the masses of kiddies buying/wearing what they want banned in their CS campaigns, which is often a trend,A peer uniform if you like.
                Confusing,aren’t they.

                Is it a case of cake-hoarding, cake-eaters?

                Like

              • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

                I wasn’t thinking about school. I was thinking about casual wear. The most recent fuss was over ‘short’ shorts. Would Dutch parents be as fussed?

                I assume Dutch kids have been affected by British and American trends, pop stars, etc.

                The point is that if Dutch children are exposed to much the same clothing, music videos and advertising as Anglo children, and Dutch teen pregnancy and STI rates are lower, can we say it is these things that cause sexual behaviour in Anglo kids.

                Or is it the Dutch education system that better prepares Dutch children?

                Like

                • gerard oosterman September 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

                  Yes, Dutch education prepares children far better. It is more real and sex education starts at primary school. They are, of course, also peppered with advertising, although advertising is far more limited there than here.
                  STI rates are lower because of condom use, not because they have less sex. Sex and human behaviour is much less legislated against than here. On the other hand I suspect they would be dead against the dressing up of children in sex differentiated modes or fashion.
                  I feel that is much more blown over from the terribly mixed up culturally evangelical US which the Dutch are not too keen on in copying.

                  Like

      • paul walter September 12, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

        Not entirely Hypo…mhairi may just have a point re enculturation as played out in one individual against another.
        Does it not seem that some are more susceptible to the blandishments of fashion, glitz, appearance and the subtleties of advertising than others?
        A bit like gambling, some find it incidental, a few are vulnerable.
        That’s an inadequate analogy, I know.
        Poirot’s link to Dr Shiva yesterday indirectly points to a phenomena described in feminism whereby may women in wealthy countries may pay a certain price for inclusion in the bounty, in sublimating their independence to a certain mode of inculcated “femininity”.
        That is, their strategy for survival involves being/ becoming a submissive consumer and or feminised sex object and this is learned subconsciously from childhood.
        It maybe that there is a certain person of the Kath’N Kim/ AbFab sort somehow loses a part of the self determination you and I retain.
        In which case we are moving from mere flirtiness to a form of consumerist,slavery with consequences.
        It’s then no longer about sexual liberation or healthy expression, but almost a form of consumer slavery.
        Those of us less conservative also have a point. Many or most see past the bs- we are here socialising without the addictions of consumerism and the frantic,expensive pursuits of the world of botox and fashion (apart from the computer).
        Perhaps there is a mid-point.
        Take an analogy to alcoholism or pokies.
        Most are not addicted but some maybe genuinely are. We may not advocate prohibition; OTH we wouldn’t deny there may be a problem for some, in a subtle sort of way and deny the need and hope for some sort of informal de-programming.
        Isn’t the one thing we share with the MTR’s a certain distaste for consumerism, advertising and a sense of an individuation process outside our control at times (eg childhood)?

        Like

  8. hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Jennifer says of some of the arguments decrying “sexualisation”….

    “It seems to me one can only view the body from this perspective if one first holds a moral position in which certain kinds of sex and the female body are both regarded as immoral, except under specific circumstances such as marriage or monogamous relationships.”

    Of their moral position I would say that they’re most welcome to it not that I share their point of view. If only they’d state it as a set of beliefs and opinions rather than running a rather censorious agenda for changing public policy supported by spurious claims for the benefits thereof.

    But I also think it is pretty clear that there is in fact the second alternative, and one that I understand Collective Shout and MTR do lay some claim to when they argue that what they really want to do is to protect women and girls from harm.

    Protection for women infers that they lack the ability to stand up for themselves in a way that is itself quite sexist. I’ve said this before and credit the insight to Eva Cox’s article on the ABC’s Drum website over a year ago.

    On the protection of girls I think they’d be on somewhat firmer ground if only their claims were either accurate or even harmless in themselves. Children should be raised under the care and protection of parents or guardians who are informed about the issues and pressures today’s society places on the young. And they should be informed accurately, and that’s not always an easy thing to achieve. The penny really dropped for me in relation to some of these issues when, due to a well chosen link of Jennifer’s, I happened to read Catherine Manning’s brilliant piece wherein she bravely discusses her own victimisation and with the crystalline clarity born of her struggle to reconcile it pinpoints the fault with her attacker and not with her own sexuality or the clothes that she wore.

    I think that what Collective Shout don’t realise is that diluting that message in any way does harm, because it is that ownership that men as the perpetrators and potential perpetrators of these crimes of assault on women and girls have to fully own.

    And it is here that Jennifer and I may slightly digress, because I’d qualify this statement….

    “You can dress a child as “sexily” as you like. You can pose her as “sexily” as you like. To a normal adult human she is still a child, and not a sexual opportunity. Anyone who is imagining otherwise is potentially a paedophile. There’s no two ways about this because we are talking about interpretation, perception and desire here. These are what “sexualise” the child, not the clothing she wears.”

    There are times I can think of a few when a young girl known to the men who see her is in all innocence beautiful attractive and desirable. Happily I would also report that what is asked on such occasions among the men I know is, “How old is she?”, followed by “in a few years’ time she’s going to be gorgeous”. We’re talking about girls from roughly 12 to 16, and on occasions when girls are made up with lipstick and cosmetics it can be a disarming experience. Perhaps even more so when we realise that in societies that we generally regard to be less sophisticated these girls might very well be married off at that age.

    So what we have is a useful social taboo around the age of consent. One that is enshrined in law and so generally honoured because we understand the harm that comes of robbing a young girl of the chance to grow up, gain majority and make her own sexual choices as an adult. We understand the harm that comes of assault or advantage being taken of a someone who is too young to give informed consent and neither strong nor independent enough to protect themselves from an older person. And we rightly for those reasons strongly condemn sexual assaults.

    But what I don’t think we want to do is to confuse what Jennifer rightly says about the inability to “sexualise” the child, with the absence of sexual potential in the eyes of those who might find themselves attracted. So that the point I’m trying to articulate I fear far more ineptly than Catherine Manning does, is that men have to own their sexuality in a way that honours self imposed limits for good and well understood reasons.

    What Collective Shout et al get wrong in this regard is that they appear to use the coined term “sexualisation” as code for something that happens not in the mind or to the person of the subject but with reference to their other favourite term, “objectification”. Yet in doing what Jennifer rightly says is effectively something like adopting a paedophile’s perspective they are themselves both objectifying the victim and seeing men as almost psychopathically bereft of either the knowledge of right and wrong or agency to control themselves. And it isn’t just some men, it’s all men, because whatever paedophilia is there’s no evidence that it is psychopathic. And this above all else makes them not just mildly mistaken but wrong in the way I described earlier to be actively harmful because it concentrates its entire focus on changing something that isn’t going to work to protect women and girls from attacks.

    Phrases like “Jailbait” and “Cock teaser” are perhaps just more extreme counterparts of “Slut” in the vernacular. But they acknowledge a kind of authenticity about sexuality that I think we can try to be mature enough to face up to and take on in the knowledge that our instincts for attraction are occasionally imperfect, that sometimes the imperative is to resist them, and that statistics will show that a number of adult women are as equally challenged by all these things as men are.

    If I’ve outdone the article for wordcount I’m sorry. If you’ve read it all the way through I’m honoured, and if you agree and anything we can say here engages and helps to change the situation for the better then I’m pleased to try.

    Like

    • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

      Hudson,

      Can you clarify something for me?

      You say: “because whatever paedophilia is there’s no evidence that it is psychopathic”.

      But that’s exactly what it is, a recognised psychopathology, as first coined by Kraft-Ebing in 1886 and as enshrined in the bible of psychology, the DSMV, ever since.

      It is one of a general category of pathologies known as paraphilias, roughly translated as love outside the norm, otherwise known as fetishes.

      Like

      • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

        Well I’m surprised if that is correct, but my understanding of things could be faulty. To start with my understanding of psychopathy is that it refers to a lack of mental faculty for understanding the relationship between their desires and those of others. Psychopaths lack remorse in relation to the effect of their behaviour on anyone else. Whereas my understanding of paedophilia would be that if there’s a proper medical definition then it starts with sexual attraction to children and goes on to explain the causes and pathology. I’m hoping we’ve developed a better understanding of the brain than the one you’re quoting as first put forward in 1886, because I recognise that a significant plank of my argument is based on the notion that pederasts with their typically well planned and premeditated grooming of kids exhibit a kind of sneakiness that speaks to a keen awareness that their actions are considered wrong if only on a level that might have consequences for them. It’s a lot less than what most men would honour in observing the lawful age of consent but I do still think that it can and should be said that the ball is very much in their court when it comes to assigning blame not in the victims’.

        I read where you and/or perhaps others may have added that the nature of their attraction is also not directed at the kinds of things that CS tends to target in terms of how sexiness is defined in campaigns against sexualisation. That they don’t go for the assertively sexy child who may fight back, but for the timid more demurring individual who probably won’t. And it’s all good stuff, if it adds to the conclusion that CS are missing their mark. That I neglected to reprise or refer to it was I assure you just a product of my embarrassment at having written quite so much.

        And if you do read anything I’ve written I am probably wrong about some of it. You can assume that if I’ve checked the facts at all then I’ve probably used nothing more authoritative than Wikipedia and my own meagre store of knowledge. So by all means I’m happy if you check an refute my facts, but for now and for the reasons I outlined above I have the sense that I might be right on this.

        Like

        • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

          :) I think you are confuddled by terminology. A psychopath is one thing, but there are many psychopathologies and they are listed in a manual called the DSM

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diagnostic_and_Statistical_Manual_of_Mental_Disorders

          Like

          • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

            Good to see we’re relying on the same esteemed sources for our info ;… though on this I suspect they’re probably not too unreliable.

            I was actually relying more on trying to find the commonality between paedophilia and psychopathy using these two pages (below). Given that your page on the DSM manual doesn’t make mention of the former and only scant reference to the later.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedophilia (I had to type several different versions of the spelling to get Google to find that one. Do hope Big Brother’s not watching!)

            And even then if you did find an intersection between the two things the important part would be to find statistically significant numbers for people committing sexual assaults on children whose pathology is such that their capacity for regulating their behaviour is so compromised that stimuli like the inappropriate dress CS are on about actually mattered. That’s my real point and my beef with them. That whether you call it Slut Shaming or just plain old blaming the victim, they wrong and they’re getting in the road of better ways to help stop these kinds of crimes.

            Like

            • Ray (novelactivist) September 13, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

              From my understanding there is little understanding of what causes paedophilia. There are two schools of thought.

              1. That it is caused by a disruption in normal sexual development which causes a sexual ‘fixation’ on children.

              2. There is brain misfunction, although no one has articulated what that might be.

              In any case there is an important distinction between clinical paedophilia and predatory behaviour by otherwise normal adults. Paedophilia is defined as near exclusive attraction to children (pre-pubertal, it does not include adolescents) and they tend to have trouble forming normal adult relationships.

              However most abuse is at the hands of predatory adults known to the child. These are otherwise normal adults who have adult relationships. There may be many reasons why they offend: curiosity, boredom, opportunity, frustration, anxiety, novelty, poor impulse control, or a complex of all.

              Furthermore, not all paedophiles offend and some are what we might call platonic paedophiles.

              The really dangerous ones are the violent psychopathic paedophiles who kidnap and kill.

              But sadly, most abuse is by adults known to the child.

              And no, it’s got nothing to do with how the child dresses or what they do.

              Like

              • hudsongodfrey September 13, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

                All of this has the ring of truth about it and I agree completely with your last sentence. Perhaps it infers what I’ve been trying to establish all along, that there may be better ways to counteract their potential to do real harm.

                Like

                • Ray (novelactivist) September 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

                  Perhaps by going to the cause rather than the symptom. If abuse is caused by distorted sexual desire, then surely we need to ensure healthy sexual expression.

                  The cure for the symptoms of repression ain’t more repression.

                  Like

                  • hudsongodfrey September 13, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

                    I’ll take that for starters yes.

                    But I also thing an aspect of repression is the inability to talk about the fact that the problem exists. And if the statistics are right then perhaps the majority of offenders are particularly aware of having distorted sexual desires that they need to control and therefore encouraged to develop means to keep their behaviours in check.

                    Like

                    • Ray (novelactivist) September 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

                      Wel, the whole area is fraught.

                      What constitutes abuse exactly? We may think we know but this is where moral opinion sneaks in. A few years back I read an article critical of a uni based survey into experiences of child abuse and it included exposure to parental nudity as an example of sexual abuse. Which meant that all naturists, by definition, abused their children.

                      What a conservative Christian thinks is abuse may not be what a Byron Bay hippie thinks is abuse.

                      So we have to look at what is objectively harmful.

                      Like

                    • hudsongodfrey September 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

                      Good point. Because if it is objectivity we seek then I think we’re at the source of the problem.

                      I’m afraid that some people do think that moral absolutes represent an objective standard. Certainty without evidence doesn’t seem very objective to me, but it would probably explain their attitudes.

                      I suspect that if we ever get close to really finding what is “objectively” harmful in psychological terms the level of understanding we’d have to attain has wide ranging implications that we can scarcely begin to enumerate.

                      I think we’re stuck with focusing on the best subjective evidence we can gather and trying to establish some kind of working model or scientific theory that by definition would be useful for predicting better courses of action. And while that task may be incomplete, the obligation to do the best we can with the tools and knowledge we have at the moment remains undiminished.

                      At the moment we seem to be stuck part of the way through an iterative process of eliminating what’s not to blame, though I think we can probably make some fairly objective statements about what it isn’t. I think saying that Slut Shaming and being distracted by targeting so called “sexualisation” can be eliminated from the list of things we’d regard as being helpful. And if being unhelpful is somewhat harmful, then getting rid of what’s harmful helps. That’s why I think we’d be better off if Collective Shout et al, either stopped and went away or simply changed their focus.

                      And if communicating a message like Catherine Manning’s isn’t helpful then I’d equally be very surprised. It may not be the prefect message or the best that there’ll ever be, but of the ways to have this conversation that I’ve heard thus far I suspect it’s one of the better ones that we have.

                      Like

                    • Ray September 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

                      The victim is the first and last word. If they feel abused they have been abused.

                      What we need is a safe space for victims to tell their story without judgment.

                      This is not as straightforward as it seems simply because too many: parents, officials, police, self-appointed advocacy groups, what to jump in with all sorts of advice and judgments.

                      What if the victim just wants to tell their story, get a sincere apology and not charge the perpetrator?

                      Will the authorities listen then? Or will they revictimise her by charging the perpetrator anyway?

                      Like

                    • hudsongodfrey September 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

                      True. I’d never thought of that.
                      Maybe after the fact it is genuinely only possible to make the best of a bad situation by avoiding exacerbating it with well intentioned judgements etc…

                      But then I was just arguing from the difference between the kind of protection that CS are focused on and prevention that I think is the better option.

                      Like

                    • eremitamicabilis September 23, 2013 at 11:39 am #

                      Now what really contributed to this turn of conversation? Could Collective Shout have had anything to do with it? They sure know how to stir up unhealthy passions! Perhaps more appropriate for a bar somewhere?

                      Like

    • Catherine Manning September 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

      Excellent comment, Hudson. Just this morning, I saw an anti-sexualisation graphic on Facebook. It was a cartooned little girl (skipping?) with a caption like ‘say no to sexualising our daughters’, and a hand pushing away a short, leopard print skirt and some heels.
      I thought about what that might mean to my daughter who LOVES anything faux-animal print. She would never consider that ‘animal print’ has anything to do with sex – why should it? Again, it’s an adult imposed view from a bygone era, kept alive by false fear.

      I can’t remember in which forum I mentioned this, but I’m also interested to delve more into the way women view other women. Could this slut-shaming also be part of a jealousy thing, where older women don’t like to see younger women so blatanly ‘flaunting it’?

      Anyway, peased to report that when I went back to find the FB graphic, it had been removed – maybe these conversations are helping already? We can only hope!

      Like

      • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

        Yes well I wonder what the cartoon would look like that carried the caption “stop sexually repressing our daughters”? I gather that if there’s not much call for that then nor should there be any for people to conflate the welfare of children with a simple distaste for dodgy animal prints and uncomfortable footwear.

        On the jealousy thing, I guess we’ve all thought it from time to time, but few of us would say so and with some justification. If we can refer to the seven deadly sins in terms of acknowledging traits we consider undesirable, then envy is in there and as such is probably an insult if inaccurate, and doubly so if correct. ;)… Thus we come to the point where it can be said that a lot of what passes for rational discussion is in fact the presentation of rationalisations for some fairly emotive positions.

        Being protective is a strong parental instinct, life is hard and solutions that put the onus for somebody else to lighten the burden of parenting may seem appealing. Society is also still challenged by some of the attitudes Bishop Peter Jensen articulated on Q&A this week, submission in marriage and homophobia. So my feeling is that if some people have different views than I do then first I want to say that mine aren’t ignorant or shallow, and then I want to say that if they disagree then do so on the basis that we can live and let live.

        If we have conversations about ideas that are occasionally persuasive then I think that creates progress, but what I’m really opposed to and what holds my interest in how this particular debate pans out is that one side have completely disengaged from the discourse proper. It really is hard to respect people who behave that way, and doubly so when they’re disrespecting sound arguments that are capable of making a real difference.

        Like

  9. gerard oosterman September 12, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Againt the might of advertising, the claim that we chose freely is not substantiated by facts. Abbott claims that the fatness epidemic is best left to markets and parents. The result is more fatness and more health problems because the might of advertising easily overruns the might of ‘free-choice’. Advertisng has billions while free-choice has little or none.This is why I do believe the idea that fashion for children that exploits sexualisation of them is wrong and don’t really care if this comes from CS or anyone else. Children are not sexual being and we should respect that.
    Parents are NOT free to oppose the all encompassing forces of advertising and consumerism, our increase in fatness (and unwanted teen pregnancies) proves it.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

      “Children are not sexual being and we should respect that.”
      Agree in full, and I also note
      ‘which players’ also appear to oppose (petition) efforts by the diet industry to participate in weight reduction programs too.At least that is signal they send.

      So you can eat what you want,but not wear what you want.
      Who sponsors them A certain fast food chain?
      And I know it must be getting nauseating,but when oh when are they going to petition for a Royal Commission into church paedophilia.

      The underlying problem has not changed for CS et al/.

      Questionable causal relationships between their campaigns ‘claims’ and reality.
      And it seems until we have a clear understanding of their motives,how can we endorse their agenda, especially when, whenever the ‘big’ questions are asked or their positions challenged the silence is deafening.

      The premature closing of some articles on these issues, on Aunty, has not helped and no-one has explained the methodology behind those strange ‘early closure’ anomalies.
      Sometimes I see advertising as very convenient football.
      But I guess you’re right it does have the ability to work.
      So does education and self awareness,I guess.
      In the end don’t you think CS uses tried and tested behaviour modification techniques? Are all of of their claims upheld?
      Is the intensity of some of the campaigning and tactics not a tad akin to what they themselves accuse others of?

      And is/are there incomes derived by individuals/orgs beneath the CS label or not.

      BTW

      http://mumbrella.com.au/lingerie-football-league-promotion-cleared-by-ad-watchdog-105781

      Like

    • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      “Children are not sexual being and we should respect that.”

      Interesting. Perhaps you should read Krissy Kneen’s autobiographical book ‘Affection’ in which she describes being a very sexual child. It wasn’t something she was taught. In fact she was raised in a very conservative household and wasn’t taught about sex. Rather she ‘discovered’ masturbation and orgasms on her own, but didn’t know that what she was doing was ‘sex’.

      Not sexual?

      Well, certainly not in the adult sense.

      Like

  10. Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Influence?
    Fair and reasonable?
    Decision justified?

    http://monsterpictures.com.au/blog/2011/12/01/press-release-thc2-banned/

    I wonder if the public knows just how much power the CSs and ACLs of our society wield?

    Like

    • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      Sure Hypo, but having read a plot synopsis of that particular film I’m not sure it is a high priority anti censorship target. They’ve cut some 30 seconds out of it probably where he rapes the pregnant woman with his member swathed in barbed wire, or where she stomps on the baby’s head. I’m doubting I’d have appreciated the artistic subtlety of a film that promotes itself with complementary barf bags. It’s not that I think there’s real harm in it, just that I fail to detect the merit.

      Like

      • Ray (novelactivist) September 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

        I am sure it was crap. But that is not the point. I have a degree in fine arts in cinematography. I worked in the film industry for many years. I am mature, well read, intelligent and highly film literate.

        I object to people who are far less intelligent and film literate than me deciding what I can and can’t see, or trying to second guess my motives for wanting to see a particular film.

        I abhor censorship of the arts – period.

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

          BTW HG,
          I struggle to watch animal cruelty footage on the TV.
          These days I find myself looking away.
          But I think I know when something is confected, and I think most adults do,and can probably digest fantasy safely.
          As to whether the ‘judges’ were fit to judge it,well who knows.
          The linked article has comments about that, by the film-maker, on that topic,which seem fair enough.

          Like

        • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

          Agreed and I feel much the same about censorship, but I probably do so with a far lesser degree of priority given that we’re basically commenting against a conversation about rape prevention being stymied by far more insidious group of censorious opponents. So if I’m making a lax judgement call that we can probably afford to forgo that 30 seconds then so be it. I’m probably wrong.

          Like

      • Hypocritophobe September 12, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

        Have not seen it,just came across the article in a CS related search.
        It could very well be merit free.And/or have gratuitous content(Not my cup of tea either)
        The movie maybe a pile of barkers eggs for all I know,I was just throwing it out there for comments,based on the CS influence factor, and how long the tentacles are.

        Like

        • hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

          I didn’t find the direct link between this and CS. Again I may be wrong, though I’d unhesitatingly agree then if not them then this is probably the work of somebody like them with much the same censorious mentality.

          Like

  11. hudsongodfrey September 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    And will we all be revisiting this topic in the coming days?

    http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/henson-returns-to-the-most-provocative-landscape-of-all-20120912-25rrv.html

    I’m very much hoping not and that we’ve matured a little.

    Like

  12. gerard oosterman September 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    The good news is that the election in The Netherlands has decimated the anti- islam/ immigrant party lead by Geert Wilders. Down from 24 seats to about 14 seats. Liberals and Labour will now form a coalition. Back to normal. I knew this would cheer you all up.http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2012/09/post.php

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe September 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      So when TA gets in I now have two potential destinations as a political refugee.
      NZ or Holland.Good news indeed.Thanks Gerard.
      Best I brush up on my salted liquorice consumption.

      Like

  13. Hypocritophobe September 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Time to shame the church girls.
    Looks a lot like you can add financial misery, to paedophilia/&/cover ups, now.

    Where is your shout?
    CAT (holic loyalty) got your tongues?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-27/carlisle-catholic-clubs/4283660

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe September 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

      Apologies
      “The relationship between the Catholic Church and the Clubs is in name only.”

      (According to the article.)

      Makes you wonder though how this works.
      Is their any $$ drift from the clubs to the church?
      Are the clubs creating a problem for the church to solve?

      Like

    • Jennifer Wilson September 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

      Oh, thanks for putting up that link, Hypo I meant to do it because it was such a good program, then forgot.

      Like

    • hudsongodfrey October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Yep! I noticed Jones calling all the people who petitioned advertisers to act against him “bullies” last week, yet nobody commented on it probably because everyone so knows that it was so typical of his deluded rantings as to find it not even worthy of picking up on. “It’s just Jones”, they probably thought, “everyone knows he’s full of it…”

      Like

  14. olivia October 25, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    THANK GOD SOME ONE FINALLY ADDRESSED THESE IDIOTS.
    They are just women with too much time on their hands and too many obnoxious opinions going around in their stupid little heads.

    Like

  15. Hypocritophobe November 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

    Is there no end to the depravity?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-05/st-johns-councillor-speaks-out-over-initiation-ceremonies/4354466

    It seems the humiliation treatment is rife from classroom to boardroom, RC system is up their guts in it, again.
    Is this the sort of ritual Abbott participated in?

    Like

  16. Hypocritophobe February 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    Time to get rid of latest round of Friday fuckwits JW.

    (You can tell what they look like,they all have the same green outfits usually allocated to ‘anonymous posters)
    Someone (they seem to have the same spelling disability,in every post.
    Probably a QLDer, very high proportion of dyslexics up there.I blame incest.) who seems to have many FB names (probably hacked or just committing electronic fraud) is polluting your site with wilful intent.

    There is probably only two sources of such malicious trolls.

    Like

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  19. Jill August 3, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    Collective shout does not care what women and girls wear. However have sexualized slogans on 4y.o underwear and padded bras is inappropriate.

    The aim is to reduce advertising that shows women and children in a sexualised way…..young girls and boys see this. Women and girls are more then the sum of their body parts. They ban advertisements which shop a women appearing to be gang raped while appearing drugged. You should be thanking them on behalf of yourself, your wife and your daughter.

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How Collective Shout shames women and girls « No Place For Sheep « Secularity - September 11, 2012

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  2. Tankard Reist threatens defamation action against former colleague « No Place For Sheep - September 13, 2012

    [...] that involved guests dressing up in the style Collective Shout aggressively opposes (my post “How Collective Shout shames women and girls” is relevant [...]

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  3. Preshus Developments » - September 13, 2012

    [...] else I find creepy, and highly offensive, is being likened to a pedophile in this article condemning Collective Shout, because I find these clothes inappropriate for children. [...]

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  4. 53rd Down Under Feminist Carnival - October 3, 2012

    [...] No Place for Sheep writes about Collective Shout’s shaming of women and girls who wear certain types of clothes in, “How Collective Shout shames women and girls“. [...]

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