A stripper agency using females for advertising has been taken to the Advertising Standards Bureau Board meeting.
Strippers Wanted Agency will be under discussion at this week’s Advertising Standards Board (ASB) meeting after too many complaints were sent through about a billboard on Hoddle Street, Melbourne.
Members of the public expressed concerns about the nature of the billboard perpetuating issues like domestic violence, rape and incest.
The advertising image is of six females wearing lingerie, facing away from the camera. Strippers Wanted contacted the Outdoor Media Association and ironically, ASB, before deciding on an image to use.
“We wanted to ensure that we complied to all of the advertising guidelines, we want to promote the agency, not offend people” said Strippers Wanted.
“In fact, we were quite surprised when we learnt the word ‘strippers’ could be used, but definitely not shocked when the photo of the six girls was sent back with a red line running across their hips, where the image had to be cropped.”
The agency offers private party and function services, with a variety of different semi-nude and nude waitresses and showgirls.
And although the services offered are classed as adult entertainment, some of the Melbourne (and Sydney) public think the billboard represents much more than that.
When Strippers Wanted was contacted by the ASB, it was assured this was not an attack on its company or its industry, and that brands such as Bonds are constantly under scrutiny for promoting females in lingerie for advertising purposes.
“Some people just don’t like females in underwear on public display, it’s that simple,” said an ASB staff member.
Sexuality is used in advertising to sell us an ‘idea’, and we tend to be OK with that, until the sexuality is contextualised.
For example, a topless Rihanna selling her Rogue fragrance doesn’t really make a heap of sense when you think about it. What does perfume have to do with semi-nudity?
I never spray some sweet-scented fragrance on my neck and then head out with just my knickers on; the use of sexuality is out of context with the product.
But what else is a strippers agency going to utilise to sell their services?
Semi-nude females are what you get, so using their image for advertising is completely in context.
Some will argue the core issue here is the adult entertainment industry feeds into the sexualisation of females (and men; let’s not forget there is a market for both genders), and of course this is true to an extent.
I’m not here to raise issues about the adult entertainment industry, but I will call it what it is.
But to ascribe problems such as domestic violence and rape, and use Rosie Batty‘s name to support the opinion, is disproportionate to the advertisement and demonising to those working within the industry.
There is already enough of a stigma attached to the industry, and to accuse it of directly contributing to violence and sexual abuse against women across all of society is unproductive, misguided and not going to solve the issue.
This particular billboard represents the industry with more tact than I’ve previously seen.
At the very least, it is refreshing to see some strippers who are not a bad shade of orange and laying on their sides with their legs slightly ajar.
The decision to leave it or take it down now rests in the hands of the ASB jury. What do you vote?
Note: The billboard has been public on Hoddle Street since, 27th of November 2015.
Images courtesy of Madison Manning.
1938 – 2015
If you or your children studied Modern Hebrew, chances are you benefited from the work of Ilana Meydan who dedicated her life to promoting the language that she loved.
Ilana arrived from Israel in Australia in 1969, in Perth. For the next three years, she taught Modern Hebrew to children and adults at the Carmel-Korsunski College, where she introduced audio-visual methods. After moving to Melbourne, she kept in touch with WA, often having long telephone conversations with Hebrew teachers, who continued to seek her guidance. While with VCAA, (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority) Ilana conducted phone examinations of WA students for their Hebrew HSC.
By Hugh Harris
Rector Michael Jensen’s article, If you want kids to be happy, try religion, in the ABC’s The Drum provides a striking example of how readily the religious mind contents itself with insufficient evidence.
His thesis as follows (my emphasis):
There’s been a lot of alarmist stuff written recently about the potential detrimental effects of religious teaching on young people. What the hard data says is otherwise: an active religious faith is much to be desired in young people, and the benefits of such a faith persist into old age.
The first is a summary report by The World Health Organisation (WHO) seemingly based on data supplied by HBLPY surveys run by UNICEF. It doesn’t provide any of the data, nor the sample size, but indicates several factors which correlate to reduced risk of early sexual initiation, substance abuse and depression. One of the factors is spiritual beliefs which get a green tick for being more often associated with less risk. There’s no detail of the actual statistics, the sample size, or the ratio of correlation. Jensen doesn’t explain what relation this has to Religious Instruction.
The second piece of “hard data” contains no data at all, rather an anecdote contained within a pop-psychology book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment. It’s a story of a blind undergraduate student who criss-crosses the United States visiting religious congregations getting a measure for the relation of optimism and faith. She found that the more fundamentalist they were the more optimistic they were. Hard Data this is not – the opinion of one psychology student based on some conversations she’s had with exclusively religious people. Perhaps the message is to train children to be religious fanatics to maximise their happiness?
The third example, taken from an article in the UK’s The Independent, is a survey of 9000 people over the age of 50 who report going to church as beneficial to their mental health. I’m not so sure that the self-reported mental health of English men and women over 50 years old has any bearing on the efficacy of religious instruction for children in Australia. Again, the sequitur is missing.
So there’s our “hard data:” a report with no statistics, a survey of over 50 year olds, and the observations of a psychology student in the US. From this we are supposed to draw the conclusion that Religious Instruction is beneficial to students, or that religion makes children happy.
There’s a myriad of good reasons why the Victorian government scrapped Special Religious Instruction from its curriculum. Once parents had to opt in to the program, rather than opt out, it suffered a 40% decrease in participation. This followed controversy due to overt proselytization by Christian service providers, particularly Access Ministries, whose CEO, Evonne Paddison, had previously said:
In Australia we have a God-given open door to children and young people with the Gospel, our federal and state governments allow us to take the Christian faith into our schools and share it. We need to go and make disciples.
Children should be taught how to distinguish between beliefs and knowledge prior to considering religion. Religion should be taught as a comparative course in the development of a variety of religious traditions.
Currently, Special Religious Instruction, as it offered in all states of Australia, is taught as knowledge rather than belief. Presented as a complete worldview, by volunteer pastors from the local church, the program takes advantage of children, presenting them with a solution when it should be offering a mystery.
In an irreligious country like Australia, where less than 10% attend church, where 70% regard religion as “having no importance” (Gallup 2008), our education policies are unrepresentative of the population. Most non-believers are ambivalent about the role of religion in the public life.
This might explain why Australian children are force-fed religious belief when adults have little interest. And perhaps this also explains the apparent confusion between knowledge and belief present in the faithful who champion policies aimed at privileging the Christian tradition such as the National Chaplaincy Scheme, and Special Religious Instruction.
Once we humans adopt a belief and integrate it into our lives, the belief becomes notoriously difficult to dislodge. We must be extra careful then to ensure our children learn to use their minds as a reasoning tool for establishing knowledge, not for a rationalizing tool for defending unjustifiable beliefs. Or else we wind up content with argument fashioned out of the evening breeze, such as the “hard data” of Michael Jensen.
Hugh Harris is a freelance writer who owns a blog called The Rational Razor on philosophy, and rational thought, and is a member of the Rationalist Society of Australia.
Hugh is a contributor to the ABC, U.S. online mag The Daily Banter, the Rationalist, the Australia Times, and Secular Web.
Tony Abbott’s Conscience and the Rainbow Sails in the Sunset
Liberals, Please Speak up for Free Speech
Eric Abetz and the Case for Same-Sex Marriage
Confusing Rights with Privileges, So Many Fallacies so Little Time
The Fallacy of the “20th Century Atheist Regimes”
Tradition isn’t what it used to be
The Chomsky Harris Feud: Tribalism, Ethics and the Debate that Wasn’t
By Hugh Harris
It’s not going away… Over the weekend thousands of Australians rallied in support of same-sex marriage. Liberal MPs rueful at the farce of Tony Abbott’s stone-walling, might reflect on what a conscience vote really means. Individuals can vote freely on certain issues because of particular beliefs they hold – usually cultural or religious.
Tony Abbott has exercised his conscience, in order to disallow others from exercising theirs, as if in mockery of the very concept. This highlights the fatal flaw with conscience: if everyone acted on conscience we would have a country of 24 million Tony Abbott’s demanding respect for their own views. We’d never agree on anything and yet, some opponents of gay marriage insist the consciences of all Australians must be preserved under the guise of religious liberty. If we grant any credence to the “conscience” of one person, unaccompanied by evidence or argument, we devalue the objective good reasons why policies are implemented.
Of the 33 conscience votes in the Federal parliament many have been perceived as issues of principle. These include the abolition of the death penalty, euthanasia, sex discrimination and human embryo cloning. A vote occurred in 1973, when John Gorton proposed that homosexual acts in private should not be subject to the criminal law, and also in 1974, when the Family Law Bill allowed no-fault divorce. Decades later we look back at these two changes as measures of our progress, rather than matters of principle. Once we have moved on, the reasons for their adoption seem so obvious and apparent that we wonder why it took so long. One suspects we’ll see same-sex marriage in much the same way in 20 years.
Notwithstanding, the thwarting of the conscience vote for Coalition MPs provides a ray of hope for the stalwarts against change. If the leaders of our country can meet for a marathon six hours, hear from 90 speakers, and still resolve to do nothing it’s a good sign for the status quo. But unfortunately for them, the debate is de-facto already lost.
“De-facto” refers to holding a position in fact but not necessarily by legal right. As such, de-facto couples have the same rights in fact to marriage couples, and legal disputes are arbitrated on how “marriage-like” the relationship is. The laws on de-facto couples were changed in 2009 allowing same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Ah, but won’t marriage-equality opponents say there’s a big difference between a de-facto couple and a married couple?
No. They try to placate the forces for change by arguing equal rights already exist (see Rowan Dean). Also, note the following quote from senior fellow at Australian Catholic University, Kevin Donnelly:
By Hugh Harris
First appeared Hugh’s blog The Rational Razor
Following the US Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v Hodges its worth reflecting on some of the more hair raising departures from rational thought in our own recent debate on a Bill of Rights and Marriage Equality.
Tim Wilson echoed Coalition concerns about Gillian Triggs by suggesting her comments on a charter of rights indicate activism and that she should run for parliament (Activists Should be Politicians, The Australian, 21 June, 2015).
But since Abbott appointee Tim Wilson is a well-known opponent of a charter of rights and has made his comments on Gillian Trigg public, thus politicizing the issue, his argument is self-defeating. Why does his opinion have a special exemption? And, isn’t a charter of human rights an appropriate topic for a human rights commissioner?
25 May 2015: KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter today dubbed the Government’s proposal to remove the restrictions on cabotage in Northern Australia as potentially sabotaging domestic airlines and safety.
Cabotage is the carriage by international airlines of domestic passengers and freight between cities within another country and is restricted in most countries around the world.
Mr Katter said today that the Government’s proposal to unilaterally remove the restrictions on cabotage in Northern Australia would compromise Australian industry and jobs, with no benefit in return.
“Canberra is announcing they’re looking at cabotage, but I think they’re looking at sabotage.
“We only have one airline flying between Cairns and Townsville, and obviously if their competitor is paying their staff half of what Qantas is paying their staff, then they will break Qantas.
On the night of the eighth of May 2013, Mr Homayon Hatami rescued a woman who had jumped from a pier near Eastern Beach in Geelong Victoria. For his action, Mr Hatami was awarded the Royal Humane Society of Australasia Silver Medal for bravery. With the authority of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Second, Queen of Australia, Mr Hatami was also awarded the Commendation for Brave Conduct by The Governor General His Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove.
Mr Hatami, a karate champion, was selected to represent Australia several times. Unfortunately he could not go because Mr Hatami is an asylum seeker on a bridging visa which will not be renewed when it expires in April. His allowance (tiny though it may have been) has been cancelled.
This attempt to expel Mr Homayon Hatami, despite the recognition he has been awarded by this country, and achievements in sport, stand in stark contrast to a bunch of losers some public servants, and some politicians, thought were worthy of citizenship and/or protection.
David’s Republic will run a campaign, supported by The Australia Times to right what we believe is a wrong!
We are collecting signatures for a petition to the Minister for Immigration MR Peter Dutton asking him to issue Mr Hatami with a Visa that will enable him to remain and work in Australia.
Click here to sign the petition
Read the full story in the latest Forum Magazine
Image Courtesy of Amie Jessop