Challenging Media Sexism
OBJECT challlenges the objectification of women and the mainstreaming of the sex and porn industries in all of its forms. This requires an end to sex-object culture in our media.
Here are some of the ways that we challenge media sexism, and ways for you to get invoved and take action.
The Leveson Report
We welcomed the news that The Leveson Report (published 29 November 2012) acknowldeged sexism within the press and that it specifically references some of our recommendations regarding equality, and the need for any new regulator to have the power to take complaints from representative women's groups. There is work to do to ensure that the Government enforces adequate measures to tackle media sexism, but it is a victory that we put the issue of women on the agenda. Well done everyone!
Read our Comment Piece in The Independent the day of the launch of the report here
Read the article in the Guardian regarding our call for Government to act here
Read our joint press release welcoming the report here
The Leveson Inquiry:
The Leveson Inquiry was set up in July 2011 to examine the 'culture and ethics of the press'. We argued that this was not possible without examining the ways in which women are persistently discriminated against in our daily newspapers.
For this reason, OBJECT and Turn Your Back on Page 3 submitted evidence along with other women's organisations Eaves, Equality Now, and the End Violence Against Women Coalition to put the portrayal of women on the agenda.
Read the OBJECT / Turn Your Back on Page 3 evidence here
As a result, and thanks to lobbying from our supporters, all women's organisations were called to give oral evidence to the Inquiry in January 2012.
Note this - our evidence was considered so degrading, that it was censored at the Inquiry, despite the fact that all images were taken directly from mainstream and unrestricted newspapers!
Read our witness statement here
See our oral evidence (from 103 mins in) here
Read our letter to Lord Justice Leveson post the evidence hearing here
Read our joint recommendations to Module 4 of the Leveson Inquiry here
'Just the Women' - our joint report exposing endemic sexism in the press
We launched our joint report, entitled ‘Just the Women’, on 25 November 2012, the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Our report consists of an evaluation of the content of eleven British national newspapers over a two week period in September this year. It examines how crimes of violence against women are reported, how women are portrayed more broadly, and the general visibility of women in public life. The fortnight’s study found over 1,300 pieces of editorial and images which illustrated different forms of media sexism.
Read this crucial and illuminating report here
Read the Observer article featuring our report here
Read our letter to the Prime Minister regarding the report here
Read the press release here
Page 3 Protest!
Saturday November 17 2012 OBJECT and Turn Your Back on Page 3, together with other anti-Page 3 groups and activists, gathered outside News International HQ to protest against 42 years of Page 3 sexism. We marked the occasion by delivering a 6ft birthday card covered in newspaper cuttings demonstrating the difference in how women and men are portrayed in our national tabloids.
Note this - The picture of the card was taken down by Facebook, despite the fact that these images were taken from unrestricted newspapers. If only it was as easy to remove such sexist images from our press...!
Inside the card, supporters wrote their own personal messages, explaining why they object to this blatant discrimination of women in our press, and we attempted to deliver it to The Sun HQ. In response, News International called the police, only to find that upon arrival they ended up signing the No More Page 3 petition!
Read more about the protest here
Read the message of support from Clare Short here
Everyday Media Sexism
OBJECT, in partnership with the Eaves, the End Violence Against Women Coalition, the Everyday Sexism Project, and Turn Your Back on Page 3, launched a new website entitled 'Everday Media Sexism' as means to collect evidence regarding media sexism, and a safe space to share stories of the ways in which media sexism impacts on our lives.
Visit the website here
Joint letter to the BBC re Jimmy Savile Inquiries
The following letter was sent by five leading UK women’s organisations Eaves, End Violence Against Women Coalition, Equality Now, OBJECT and Rape Crisis England and Wales, to BBC Director General George Entwistle on 18 October 2012 regarding the two inquiries into Jimmy Savile’s alleged abuse of children.
The letter asks that the inquiries work with sexual violence experts, and that they look at whether ‘institutional sexism’ was part of what provided a context where abuse could happen.
It asks that both inquiries look at present day as well as historical culture and practice at the BBC, including considering whether the Newsnight editor’s decision to drop the programme’s investigation was related to prejudicial attitudes which minimise abuse of women and girls (seeing it as having no news value in and of itself).
The letter ends by recommending that this year’s Children In Need appeal make organisations which support survivors of sexual abuse a priority funding area.
The letter has been copied to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the leader of the Opposition, the two Inquiry leads Dame Janet Smith and Nick Pollard and Lord Leveson.
Read the letter here
And you can read all other media mentions of OBJECT here