Opposing Sexual Objectification

ICJW is proud to join the Collective Shout campaign against the Honey Birdette international retail chain for continually objectifying women in their advertisements and displays in public spaces.

The ICJW Status of Women Committee continues to campaign against the sexual objectification of women and girls. A culture in which women are valued primarily for their sexual appeal is at odds with gender equality.

Sexual objectification is recognised as having a negative impact on children and through its denigration of women contributes strongly to their increased risk of sexual violence.

The sex shop Honey Birdette is a serial sexploitation offender. Located in shopping centres in UK, USA and Australia, it has attracted hundreds of complaints for its sexist advertising but continues to sexually objectify women.

Dr. Meagan Tyler, a senior lecturer at RMIT University in Australia, says: “These pornified images in public spaces serve to reduce the status of women to a consumable set of commodified body parts, positioned for the male gaze.”

Collective Shout, one of whose founders Melinda Tankard-Reist spoke at the 2018 ICJW Convention in Sydney, has long argued that the objectification of women is a discriminatory practice which constitutes sexual harassment and threatens the health, well-being and status of women and girls. They say that Honey Birdette’s sexual exploitation of women contributes to a culture that diminishes women’s humanity.

ICJW’s Status of Women Committee urges all ICJW affiliates and members to look out for such public sexualised displays in advertising and shopping centres and to write letters of complaint to the stores which feature them.