- MELBOURNE – Proliferation of sexualised and objectifying images
- MACCLESFIELD – Boots and All
- USA – Brains recognise the reality of God
- LA – Celebrating the Arrival of Modern Pentecost (April 9, 1906)
MELBOURNE, VIC, AUSTRALIA
All this and more in 30 minutes
Recently I headed to Chadstone Shopping Centre to catch up with some colleagues. It’s a typical large suburban store and, as I was a little early, I decided to browse while waiting for my friends.
Overwhelming sexualised proliferation!
I had expected to see the odd front window or billboard using the same old tired exploitation of women, but the proliferation of sexualised and objectifying images right throughout the centre was quite overwhelming.
It started with Bras’N’Things and the Playboy brand.
While many associate Playboy simply with its branded items or magazine, Playboy Enterprises own various adult TV channels and websites, broadcasting brutal, hardcore pornography. Retailers that stock Playboy branded products are helping Playboy to produce and distribute content that objectifies and degrades women.
In a 30 minute period I found close to 50 images that to varying degrees objectified and sexualised women. Some of the images were on massive billboards in major department stores including one by Tom Ford featuring a fully naked woman to sell perfume.
There were schoolgirls in their uniforms shopping with their mum’s, casually browsing the items nearby. As I took photos, no one noticed, staff stood around in clusters engrossed in their own conversations. These images have become the wallpaper of society.
Women and girls receive the toxic message that their main value and worth comes from their sex appeal. Global Research (http://tv.globalresearch.ca/) tells us that the proliferation of these images is linked to common mental health problems such as low self-esteem, poor body image, eating disorders, depression, self-harm and even suicide. We are making our girls sick. And we need to do something about it.
Some may say, ‘But the women chose to be in the ad, it makes them feel empowered.’
Are we so sure about that?
‘Five years after a famously suggestive Burger King ad ran in Singapore, the woman who appeared in it -without her permission – says, has publicly excoriated the fast-food chain for humiliating her.’
We don’t experience life in a vacuum. From the earliest of ages women have been socialised into believing that our value and worth come from our physical appearance, desirability, and ability to attract male attention.
We are growing up in a pornified culture that gives women two options; to be invisible or to be f*ckable (to quote Gail Dines). So it is no surprise that for some women they feel empowered when they express themselves in a sexualised way as a model, however we cannot ignore the broader damage that this type of advertising does to women globally.
Sexist jokes, objectifying women, gender inequality are the root cause of violence against women. In her award winning documentary Killing her Softly, Jean Kilbourne said, ‘Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step in justifying violence against that person.’
Some may say, ‘Well, men are portrayed in sexualised ways too.’ Most of the images I saw of men as I walked through the shopping centre showed them in business suits, in a position of power and control. Some even had their arm quite forcefully around a scantily clad women’s neck.
The overall message showed a clear power imbalance. What are we teaching our men and boys? And we wonder why young boys display a sense of entitlement in relationships.
So what can we do?
A few positive suggestions…
- Speak out
Try and have a friendly conversation with the store staff when you see these types of images.
Don’t ever think that the salesperson has no influence in the company. Shannen spoke out at Coles about having to handle Zoo and it was instrumental in helping them decide to cease stocking the magazine.
- Write a letter
Preferably to the manager or CEO. Let them know the harms of such advertising and that you will not be shopping with them until they change their ways.
I wrote a letter to the local pub about their lingerie waitresses. It took five minutes to pull it together and they responded in less than 48 hours saying the promotion was cancelled.
- Lodge a complaint to the Advertising Standards Board. We have a handy ‘Lodge a complaint‘ page here to guide you in the right direction for different types of billboard, radio and TV advertising.
- Learn from it
Use these types of advertising as a teachable moment in the lives of young people that you influence. Ask the question, ‘Why is that lady naked to sell a handbag?’ Media literacy skills are crucial for young people to dissect the toxic messages that popular culture is teaching them.
- Take a photo
Send it in to us at Collective Shout. As a grassroots movement we rely on the collective action of our supporters to pressure these companies to change their ways.
- Recruit pledge partners
Encourage business owners to sign our Corporate Social Responsibility Pledge. There are many clever ways to advertise a product without objectifying women or sexualising girls. If their product was any good they wouldn’t need sexism to sell it.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a long list of businesses that signed our pledge that we could shop with confidence?
Do you have any other ideas?
Or stories of how you influenced a store to consider changing its advertising/stocking policy? If
so, post them to me.
Coralie Alison is Director of Operations, Collective Shout, a not-for-profit organisation that campaigns against the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls in popular culture. Links: firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.collectiveshout.org
MACCLESFIELD, SA, AUSTRALIA
Boot and All – From séance to preacher
In the 1970s, Darryl Stott had a life plan – but discovered God had a different one for him. It took God’s divine intervention during a séance to set Darryl on the path to a life of Christian ministry that he could never have imagined.
The Bush born Aussie set off on a spiritual at venture that saw him and his wife Anne and their family devote their lives to building Karabram, a rehabilitation farm in the South Australian bush, as well as commencing a bush town ministry dedicated to helping others. The farm ran from 1977 to 2005. Then the Stotts began a charity to give respite to Australian outback ministries and support for two rural pastors in Phenom Penh, Cambodia.
Today, with over 40 years’ ministry experience, Darryl Stott is minister of Macclesfield Uniting Church in the Adelaide Hills wine region. How he took his ‘Boots and All’ attitude from an ordinary life to an extraordinary one for God is a knockout read!
Only AUD$19.95 plus $6.50 postage and mailed same day anywhere in Australia, income from book sales goes towards supporting the Stott’s Cambodia mission activity. Links: Ph. 041 220 9375 / Orders/enquiries – email name and address to email@example.com and an invoice will be sent to enable purchasers to pay by credit card, PayPal or EFT.
Scientists Prove Your Brain ‘Recognises the Reality of God’
Jessilyn Justice’s February 17, 2016 Charisma News shares about a godly ‘supersense’…
Even if you were never taught to believe in God, your brain could still recognise his existence. Such is the premise of Romans 1, and a roundtable discussion set to air on National Geographic (Photo: Flickr/via Charisma News)
According to National Geographic, fascinating new research has uncovered the possibility that believing in God may be hardwired in our brains.
‘Psychologists and anthropologists deemed that children left to their own devices would have some conception of God. Some attribute this to our innate sense of detecting patterns in the world (as to discern predators or prey in nature), while others propagate the notion of a “supersense”—or a cognitive tendency to infer hidden forces in the world working for good or ill,’ says Shaheen E Lakhan, who holds several doctorate degrees, including an MD.
Lakhan’s statements back up those of Andrew Newberg, who actively researches ‘neurotheology.’ Newberg conducted several brain studies, evaluating what happens when a person prays or meditates.
After eight weeks of prayer, ‘They had improvements of about 10 or 15 percent.’
‘This is only after eight weeks at 12 minutes a day, so you can imagine what happens in people who are deeply religious and spiritual and are doing these practices for hours a day for years and…’
Also recommended – http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/subscription/subscribe.html
LOS ANGELES, CA
Azusa Now 2016 will be an extraordinary event April 9
Dan Wooding, ASSIST’s Founder/Director reflects on this historic event…
Azusa Now 2016 has gained much support in record numbers as church leaders and the faith-based community join together to support their upcoming gathering taking place on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Azusa Now a collaborative effort
This huge gathering involves…
- Many church leaders and organisations
- The sharing a message of unity, prayer and the breaking down of racial barriers
- Participation of over 900 churches
- Dozens of partner ministries involved
- Pre-registration that reached more than 50,000 attendees
- Thousands more registering each week
- Several thousand volunteers coming from churches and organisations
- Viewing by millions around the world as it will be televised live on the day of the event by God TV and other media, as well as live streamed via the Internet
- Link: AzusaNow2016.com.
What Is Azusa Now?
There are times which scripture describes as ‘full’ – periods of unusual ripeness in which God unleashes His prophetic purpose across the earth. Such days of faith and expectation often come during periods of crisis or widespread uncertainty.
Yet the last statement of John the Baptist was not ‘Prepare the way,’ but ‘Behold the Lamb!’ If there was truly a John Movement, then a Jesus Movement is surely coming! Believing that decades of globe-spanning prayer have saturated the heavens, participants will boldly ask God for the rain of revival on April 9, 2016. An entire day – 15 hours – will be consecrated for the purpose of unity, miracles, healing, and the proclamation of the gospel.
The rally cry is Come, Holy Spirit! And instead of 120 in the Upper Room, as many as 120,000 will seek to gather in one place and one accord to simply exalt Jesus. And for inspiration, turn to the most powerful expression of revival in modern times: the historic Azusa Street Revival of 1906.
What made the 1906 Azusa Street Revival so special? Three key factors at Azusa mirrored the reality of the formation of the church in Acts 2.
- Firstly, there was a multi-ethnic gathering of unity in Christ (Acts 2:1-11).
- Secondly, the miraculous, attesting ministry of the Spirit was enjoyed in a unique way (Acts 2:2-4).
- Finally, there was a clear presentation of the gospel leading many to salvation (Acts 2:37-41).
This outpouring of heaven descended on the poor districts of Los Angeles during an incredibly dangerous, volatile and prejudiced period of American history.
God used an African American named William Seymour (left) to launch this modern Acts 2 movement. Black, White, Asian and Hispanic came together in bonds of love, unity and prayer. It came to be said, ‘the colour line was washed away’ at Azusa.
The web site states, ‘This is the legacy – the well of revival – we seek to reclaim: Unity. Prayer. Miracles. Healing. Salvation.’
Disclaimer: Articles, as well as the sources linked to, do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ConnectingwithYou! Our thanks mainly to Dan Wooding, ASSIST (www.assistnews.net) and other news sources for timely gleanings