Despite the increased pressure from many sectors of the community, clothing retailers have continued to stock and sell clothing that depict women in a sexualized way. The images are often pornographic with blatantly sexual slogans.

Collective Shout supporter Caitlin Roper has created the Facebook page Say No to Porn t-shirts and together they have written an open letter opposing the production, distribution and sale of this type of clothing.  The letter has the support of 59 signatories, including child advocates, child development experts, women’s and men’s advocates, academics and educators.

Read the open letter below and if you share the same sentiments you can go to Say No to Porn t-shirts and give your support.

We, the undersigned, are opposed to the production, distribution and sale of clothing, such as t-shirts, with highly sexualized adult images on them. Clothing that depicts semi-naked women as willing and available for sex, or as victims of violence, objectifies them and undermines equality and respect for women.

Sexual harassment laws prevent unsolicited exposure to sexual material in the workplace. However, these laws do not extend to the public space. The general public, including children, are involuntarily confronted by graphic sexual and even violent images and slogans on t-shirts. Ironically, examples of the images worn in public spaces cannot be printed by the media and have been removed from facebook due to their inappropriate nature.

This clothing contributes to the sexualisation of children by reinforcing the notion that their value is based on their sex appeal, as well as imposing a limited, stereotypical, pornographic aesthetic in their everyday lives. Research indicates that sexualisation is harmful to children’s cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality and beliefs.
Degrading sexual images are also known to act as triggers of distress for victims of sexual assault and violence. 

We call for an inquiry or review of the current legislation for regulating offensive material in public. We call on clothing retailers to cease the sale of clothing that degrades women by posing them in a highly sexualized manner or as victims of violence.

Signed supporters of this letter
Australian Family Association
Steve Biddulph, Parent Educator and author of Raising Boys and The New Manhood
Professor Jennifer Bowes, Director, Children and Families Research Centre, Macquarie University
Emeritus Professor Freda Briggs AO, University of South Australia, Magill Campus
Associate Professor Karen Brooks, Centre for Critical and Cultural Research, University of Queensland
Gary Bryant, Executive Officer, Men’s Advisory Network
Rita Butera, Executive Director, Women’s Health Victoria
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Author, Child and Adolescent Psychologist
Aivee Chew, Advocacy Manager, UNICEF Australia
Collective Shout
Tim Costello, CEO, World Vision
Dr Glenn Cupit, Senior Lecturer in Child Development, University of South Australia
The Hon. Greg Donnelly, MLC, NSW Parliament
Richard Eckersley, Founding Director, Australia21, Co-author of Australian Wellbeing Manifesto
Dr Lance Emerson, CEO, Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth
Lesley-Anne Ey, Tutor in Early Childhood Education and PhD candidate, “Sexualisation of Children through the media”, University of South Australia
Dr Colleen Fisher, Associate Professor, School of Population Health, University of Western Australia
Martin Fisk, CEO, Menslink
Dr Michael Flood, researcher, activist and author of  “The harms of pornography exposure among children and young people”
Wendy Francis, State Director, Australian Christian Lobby
Archbishop Dr Philip Freier, Anglican Diocese of Melbourne
Julie Gale, Director, Kids Free 2 B Kids
Alison Grundy, Clinical psychologist, Senior Clinician in the field of sexual assault
Clive Hamilton, AM, Professor of Public Ethics
Maggie Hamilton, author of “What’s happening to our boys?”
Professor Elizabeth Handsley, Professor of Law, Flinders University and President, Australian Council of Children and the Media
Ryl Harrison, PhD candidate, “Telling Lies to Little Girls: Exploring women’s experience of mothering girls (9-13 years) within a sexualized society”, Centre for Women’s Studies/Political Science, James Cook University
Angela Hartwig, CEO, Women’s Council for Domestic and Family Violence Services
Dr Susan Hawthorne, Spinifex Press, Adjunct Professor, School of Arts and Social Sciences, James Cook University
Noni Hazlehurst, AM Actor and Child Advocate
Dr Renate Klein, Spinifex Press
Laurel Leak, Dip.Appl.Sc (Nursing), Grandmother and Child Advocate
Dr Ian Lillico, Executive Director, BoysForward Institute
Libby Lloyd AM, Chair Violence Against Women Advisory Group (VAWAG)
Stephanie Lorenzo, founder/creator, Project Futures Organisation- to end sex trafficking
Dr Sloane Madden, Head of Department and Co-Director Eating Disorder Service, Department of Psychological Medicine, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Catherine Manning, Say no 4 Kids, Pull the Pin
Dr Ramesh Manocha, Convenor and Chairman, “The Right to Childhood”
Elli McGavin, Social Policy and Programme Manager, The Salvation Army (Australian Southern Territory)
Dr Betty McLellan, Queensland Women’s Health Network
Sarah McMahon, Managing Director, BodyMatters Australasia
Dannielle Miller, CEO, Enlighten Education
Lenora Newcombe, President, Hunter Alliance for Childhood Inc
Professor Louise Newman, Director, Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology
The Hon Alastair Nicholson, AO RFD QC, Former Chief Justice of the Family Court and Founding Patron, Children’s Rights International
Dr Caroline Norma, Coalition Against Trafficking Women Australia
Professor Susan Paxton, Head of School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, and member of National Body Image Advisory group
Rita Princi, Director and Clinical Psychologist, Princi Consulting, and National Treasurer, Australian Psychological Society’s Child, Adolescent and Family Interest Group
Melinda Tankard Reist, editor of “Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls”
Father Chris Riley, CEO, Youth Off The Streets
Dr Emma Rush, Lecturer, Ethics and co-author of Corporate Paedophilia
Collett Smart, FamilySmart, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy
Dr Joe Tucci, CEO, Australian Childhood Foundation
Lydia Jade Turner, Managing Director and psychotherapist, BodyMatters Australasia
WEAVE Inc (Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination)
Dr Amy Webster, Project Coordinator of Partners in Prevention at the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria
White Ribbon Foundation, Australia
Womens Centre, North Queensland Combined Women’s Services Inc
Womens Forum Australia

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha
Source: Collective Shout. Say NO to Porn t-shirts