Update

Child Eyes began last October and has been gradually gaining support.

These are exciting times and we can feel that change is in the air.

Gradually as Child Eyes has grown we are delighted to say that we have some fantastic supporters. We also have some super people working on this project in various ways. It is completely unfunded so all of the work is being done through passion and commitment which is wonderful. This update is about what we have been doing and where we are heading, for those following the campaign.

Child Eyes is collaborating with another campaign called Porn Out of Public Space. We are using Child Eyes as the umbrella name and we will be starting a petition soon aimed at ensuring the Government legislates in this area.

We are working on a website containing more information, research and a gallery of pictures taken so far.

The survey is going great! Thank you to all who have completed so far. We are up to 212 and the information will be so useful for the campaign. Updates on this very soon.

We are in contact with Tom Brake MP and John Stevenson MP, we need to speak to more MPs so we are working on a way to make this easy for supporters. Watch this space.

We have had some feedback that we are focusing a little too much on the female perspective. We appreciate this feedback and are keen to rectify this. The issue affects both genders although the images we are talking about are mostly women. We have many female supporters but would like to hear from more men on the subject. Get in touch if you have an opinion or ideas of things we should, or should not do.

We have a collection of photos from various shops but need more. We intend to put this into a montage to demonstrate a child’s landscape. Please please if you see it, snap it and send it. A picture says a thousand words.

We are in contact with the Save Childhood movement and hope to get involved after their launch at the end of April.

We need to gain more support, if you know any people or groups that may support us please let us know.

Thank you

Kirsty

 

 

 

Advertisements

A positive response from Claire Perry MP

Thank you very much for writing to me about the work I am doing in my new role as Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on the Sexualisation and Commercialisation of Childhood, as well as your own campaign, Child Eyes.  Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.

 

As a mother of three children aged between ten and sixteen, I am acutely aware of the risks that our young people face in the online world.  The internet and 24/7 connectivity has delivered huge benefits but there is now, in my view, a sense that the pace of technological change has eroded the ability of parents to keep their children safe in the digital environment.

 

Along with a cross party group of MPs I have been campaigning for a number of changes in the way that families access and use the internet and I will continue to do so in my new job.  Specifically, I have two areas of responsibility:

 

1.       To help implement family-friendly filters so that parents find it easier to block access to inappropriate material.   Last year the Government launched a consultation into online parental controls and while the Opt-In option – which I and many others supported – was not the preferred choice of those responding to the Consultation, the recommendations made after all the evidence was reviewed, will lead to much stronger filters with a requirement that the age of the person dealing with the household content filter is checked.

2.      To work with others to continue the implementation of the recommendations in the Bailey Review”, which the Prime Minister commissioned from Reg Bailey of the Mothers Union’ in 2010 and which covered a wide area of parents concerns around childhood commercialisation and sexualisation.   The January 2013 stocktake showed that we have already shown real and positive change in areas like child-friendly advertising, clothing retailing and adult content blocking on public WiFi networks, but there is more to do in the area of magazine display—as I know you will agree –  and age rating for music videos.  I will be working hard to drive this forward.  You can read more about the Bailey Review at: https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/Bailey%20Review.pdf.

 

In addition to this, I think that parents need more information and education to make sure they are aware of the possible risks online and to be equipped with the confidence that they know how to guide and advise their children if problems arise.  I will be working with digital industry players, parents, regulators and Ministers over the next few months to see how money and resources could be better spent to deliver this result.  Our overall ambition is for Britain to be the most family-friendly place in the world to get online, and by working together we can achieve this.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Claire

 

Picture1

 

Claire Perry

Member of Parliament for the Devizes Constituency

Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Defence

 

OUTRAGE AS BANNING FEMALE OPPRESSION IN EUROPE NEARS REALITY (or alternatively, the porn vote)

On Tuesday (12 March 2013) the European Parliament will vote on a resolution working towards eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU. This is not a vote for binding law but can be seen as a reminder and a promise to adhere to over nineteen separate treaties, pacts, and conventions the UK has agreed to dating as far back as 1979. The vote is far from a sudden European prank and was voted positively by 18 out of 21 MEP’s back in November.

The cause of uproar is this line:

Member States to take concrete action on its resolution of 16 September 1997 on discrimination against women in advertising, which called for a ban on all forms of pornography in the media and on the advertising of sex tourism.’

So, we already made a resolution back in 1997 to ban porn. Incredible that since 1997 the internet has taken porn and made it available in almost every household in the EU. See how much weight a resolution holds.

Note that the ban is aimed at the media and is not a blanket ban on porn. This would, I imagine, work the same way as we portray smoking and cigarettes in the media, i.e. not at all. We do not advertise cigarettes, we do not have them on show or glorify the habit. Yet people can buy cigarettes. People will still be able to get porn but it will not be so easy. Porn does not kill and it is harmless, advocates will maintain. In part this is true but the viewer has no idea what happens before or after the film is made. Are you watching a consensual sexual delight or a  rape victim who has been warned to do the acts and appear to be enjoying it or else? This may not enter the consumers head at the time of orgasm but it should. There is also a growing correlation between young sexual crime and internet porn. We must also consider the negative effects on boys, girls, women and men from the array of sexually explicit images of women that can be found, well, everywhere.

The sex sells addicts will bellow, ‘How dare they tell us to have zero-tolerance for sexist insults or degrading images of women and girls in the media. Why, that would mean the end of us’. Predictably, object adoring rags throw their hands up in disgust over the EU dictating to us on what we can and can’t see and do.

This result may be beginning of the end since the overwhelming majority of porn is degrading to women.

And it is degrading. Having been on a porn journey this week while researching I was subjected to tears, terror and an overwhelming fear of men. This included a fear of my own partner in an irrational momentary panic after seeing some horrific videos online. I was not anti-porn before I discovered the child porn, rape and brutal porn for free and within less than 50 clicks and under 10 minutes work.

What of people who enjoy watching porn? They still can but they just will not have it rammed down their throats everyday, or maybe they will since a majority of porn includes over sized penises being thrust into mouths making the female chag (a new word meaning choke and gag).

This is where decisions are tricky. As a society we need to make it clear that we do not accept degradation of women but it is unclear if this can truly happen without the end of  porn. There are women and men who enjoy porn and who work in the industries that may see this as restrictions on their liberty. These issues do need to be further considered. There has to be a balance here. A balance where humans can watch other humans engaging in sexually pleasurable acts that does not involve one type of human making another type of human engage in mentally and physically harmful acts. Back to the smoking analogy, some people like to smoke, others do not. It is unfair to expect all people to breath smoke. What can be done with porn is to allow people who want it to have it, but not at the expense of those who do not, in particular youngsters. Iceland do not agree and intend to ban all violent pornography.

Aside from the porn issue in the resolution, the EU aims to free the female sex from the shackles that still exist in our everyday lives that fuel inequality. Eliminating gender stereotypes is about removing a whole host of behaviours that combine to control and degrade one section of society. No wonder The Sun is crying about our freedom.

This ‘freedom’ is male freedom and liberty overriding female freedom and liberty. Those who are against the resolution are against gender equality.

In order to do the job properly the European Parliament is being asked to scrutinise the following areas that affect girls and women

  • Media and culture, recognising that girls and women are portrayed in sexual ways.
  • Education and training, recognising differing aspirations related to subjects such as science.
  • The labour market, recognising continued existence of sexism at work and unequal pay.
  • Economic and political decision making, recognising females continual battle with the glass ceiling.

The report put forward by Dutch MEP Kartika Tamara Liotard brings together the aims of Child Eyes, No More Page Three, Object, Let Toys Be Toys and various other campaigns. Child Eyes delights in its recognition that:

children are confronted with gender stereotypes at a very young age through role models promoted by television series and programmes, discussions, games, video games and advertisements, study materials and educational programmes, attitudes in schools, the family and society, which influence their perception of how men and women should behave and which have implications for the rest of their lives and their future aspirations’.

YES, exactly what we are saying.

However, do we expect this resolution to lead to a ban on porn? No, I seriously doubt it. We are still in for the long haul as attitudes do not change overnight. Sadly, a lot of people’s pockets are lined by turning girls and women into pieces of meat to be slavered over, devoured and abused.

 

Learning sex and a woman’s place from the pram

Is nursing cradle cap and nappy rash more important than nursing the ideas inside a child’s mind? As Professor Robert Winston states, “Early experience is pivotal in making us who we are as adults”.  We didn’t need a professor to tell us that what we teach our children affects their minds, right? We teach our kids moral values, we protect them and give them educational toys. We also wheel them past pornography in the local mini supermarket when we need bread and milk. The images are always women, thus providing small girls with the most vital lesson, how to master being a sexual object. For boys, this shows them how to view women. Are we happy about this? We certainly are not, but what can we do?

Child Eyes asked parents whether they feel in control of what their children see in the media and over 80% said NO! So why are parents so powerless to choose what their children can and cannot see?

The current situation in shops, supermarkets and newsagents is that they can display adult titles but that they should be out of reach of children under guidelines set by NFRN. The recommendation for ‘lad mags’ is that they should not be displayed next to children’s magazines or in the direct sight of children. Unless we are talking about children without moveable eyes or necks then this is not enough. Between the guidelines we can read that it is fine for children to see them but not to touch them. This misses the point entirely. The child could reach alcohol but the harm would be if it were to be swallowed by the child. The same premise applies here. The child cannot reach the image but it is imprinted on their vulnerable mind. Furthermore, this ridiculous situation occurs with the Daily Sport which is meant to be displayed back page up. This rarely happens. The guidelines are heavily focused on minimising complaints rather than protecting young eyes.

The question that parents need answered remains, what can we do? Well, these are only guidelines so they have no force in law. If a retailer wants to display adult magazines next to Moshi Monsters there really is no way you can stop them. You can complain, although Child Eyes supporters have done this and the result is more of the same. Out of 30 supporters asked, “Have you ever challenged a shop over explicit images? If so what happened”, only two say the images were moved. The remaining experiences show a disappointing trend of ‘who cares’ attitude. And who does care? It’s only the next generation of misogynists and sexual playthings after all.

The Bailey review into the sexualisation of childhood recommends that parents speak up when they see something inappropriate for children. This is because all parents have the time to complain about the woman bending over on the Sport that their son just saw, then to complain again the next day about the woman squatting pulling her knickers down. Missing the point yet again this totally disregards the fact that the child has already seen the offending item and the imprint upon the mind is already there. The emphasis is on the parent’s disgust rather than the need to keep these images for adult eyes only. We need to step into a child’s eyes and see what it means to them rather than what it means to us or what it means to the sale of sex. The Bailey review seems satisfied that there is enough good will in the industry to keep our little ones safe. The Government are currently stocktaking to check if our friendly retailers are exercising the good will. Sadly as our research shows there is little good will when a parent brings sexual images to the retailer’s attention. Child Eyes has evidence of many negative experiences when the display of indecent publications had been challenged;

“They apologised and changed the layout slightly. But when I returned to same shop a week later the covers were showing again in the same place as before”

“Bemusement from the staff, rejection of a man’s right to complain about these things.”

“I get laughed at and nothing is done”.

Good will was a nice idea but only works in fairy tales. This fairy tale, worse than teaching the next generation of women that the only hope is to be rescued by a man and live happily ever after, rather teaches them that their destiny is to be ogled by a man and encounter years of dealing with feelings of inadequacy if they decide against the trend of personal re-invention and cosmetic surgery.” They are taught that this is normal in a land of wonderful institutions like the Queen, a lovely cup of tea and a pouting provocative page three sex object on the breakfast table,the community centre, the ballpool and the shops.

It is clear that while parents want to be in control of what their children see, they cannot be. Sex is injected into our eyeballs and our children cannot be kept away from it. It is inconceivable that parents will have the time and energy to complain repeatedly and it is disrespectful to ask them to be insulted each time they do.

Child Eyes supporters are clear that they want to see modesty wraps and high shelves. Protectionist? Yes! but no more so than the complete ban of the sight of cigarette displays. To buy porn and sell porn is fine but there is no need to involve children in the process. Retailers had a great chance to regulate themselves but have failed. For instance, Tesco is signed up to the Mumsnet Lad’s mag campaign and will display lad’s mag’s behind other mag’s except when they don’t.  Similarly Co-op said, “The Daily Sport will be merchandised with the back page on display” except when it is not. Particular porn filled petrol stations will keep them at the top shelf, except when they point blank refuse and quote the lack of legislation as a defence. It is so hit and miss that some parents have taken to turning these mag’s and newspapers over. Seriously, do we have to do this along with the cradle cap and nappy rash.  We never signed up for voluntarily merchandising supermarket shelves when the kid was born but we did sign up to protect their minds.