An email, dated 21 October 2015, sent by pitchcare.com on behalf of Etesia UK Ltd, a horticultural equipment
company, stated Meet the Etesia Calendar Girls at SALTEX! ...at the NEC Birmingham . The email included a picture of two pouting women wearing cut-off shorts, leaning on a motorised lawnmower. A second picture, linked to and taken from an embedded
video in the email, showed the same women in their underwear with one woman holding a hedge trimmer. The embedded video, filmed at the calendar photo shoot, featured the two underwear-clad models posing on or using gardening equipment.
1. A complainant challenged whether the images in the email were offensive, because they were sexist and objectified women.
2. The ASA challenged whether the embedded video was offensive, because it was sexually suggestive and objectified women.
ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld
The ASA considered that recipients would understand that the calendar image and the video photo-shoot embedded in the email were included to publicise the models' appearance at the trade fair rather than the horticultural products sold by the advertiser.
The email subject line and headline text in the body of the email both stated Meet the Etesia Calendar Girls at Saltex and included details of the trade fair. However, although the images in the email were a reasonable representation of the
calendar being advertised, we nonetheless considered that some recipients were unlikely to expect such images in a marketing communication from a horticultural equipment company.
We noted the women in the first picture were wearing revealing cut-off shorts, with their bottoms pushed out and pouting directly at the camera. Although the pose was not overtly sexual, we considered that it was likely to be seen as sexually suggestive.
The second picture showed the women in revealing lace underwear, with one woman holding a hedge trimmer, and text next to it stated See a 'behind-the-scenes' video of the photo shoot using the link here ... . Although the context of the image was
clear, we nonetheless considered that showing the women in their underwear while using gardening equipment for no other reason than a calendar shoot, presented the women as sexual objects.
We acknowledged that the images were relevant to both the nature of the calendar and the models' appearance at the trade fair, but considered that they were likely to be seen as objectifying women and were therefore sexist. For those reasons, we
concluded that the email was likely to cause serious offence to some recipients.
We acknowledged that the embedded video was filmed at the calendar photo shoot and was included in the email to promote the opportunity to meet the models at the trade fair, but considered that the scantily clad models had no relevance to the
advertiser's products featured in the video.
The women were shown posing on or near horticultural equipment in either their underwear or bikinis, or with their tops removed, although still wearing bras. Two scenes featured the women, viewed side on, individually sitting on a lawn mower. They were
wearing tops, high heel shoes and brief underpants, which revealed their buttocks. The camera zoomed into the buttock area before moving upwards. The women, both wearing skimpy underwear, appeared together on the lawn mower, one sitting with the other
standing behind her, which emphasised the standing model's groin area, before the camera panned out. Towards the end of the video one of the models was briefly seen adjusting her breasts and at the end of the video the women blew kisses at the camera.
We considered that the overall impression created by the video was that it was sexual in tone with the women portrayed as sexual images and their physical features used to draw attention to the products. We considered that the video was likely to be seen
as objectifying, and therefore demeaning to, women. We concluded that, because the video was sexually suggestive and degrading to women, it was likely to cause serious offence to some recipients.
The email must not appear again in its current form. We told Etesia UK Ltd to ensure their ads did not cause serious offence.
Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley has hit out over an 'outrageous' Calvin Klein advert featuring a supposedly plus-size model.
The Salford actress tweeted two images of svelte-looking underwear model Myla Dalbesio - reportedly a US size 10/UK 14 - and exclaimed:
Tell me this is a joke??
PLUS size?!?! Congrats on giving another generation of girls eating disorders/insecurities.
The image is from an advertising campaign back in 2014, in which plus-size Myla starred alongside supermodels Jourdan Dunn and Lara Stone.
The depiction of a Polynesian character in a Disney film has prompted 'outrage' across the Pacific islands, with one New Zealand MP
saying the portrayal of the god Maui as obese was not acceptable .
Jenny Salesa, who is of Tongan heritage, shared a picture on her Facebook account which said Disney's rendering of Maui in the film Moana resembled a creature that was half pig, half hippo :
When we look at photos of Polynesian men & women from the last 100-200 years, most of our people were not overweight and this negative stereotype of Maui is just not acceptable - No thanks to Disney.
Will Ilolahia, from the Pacific Island Media Association, told Waatea News that Disney's version of Maui did not fit with his heroic endeavours in Pacific creation myths:
He is depicted in the stories that's been handed down, especially in my culture, as a person of strength, a person of magnitude and a person of a godly nature. This depiction of Maui being obese is typical American stereotyping. Obesity is a new
phenomena because of the first world food that's been stuffed down our throat.
Researchers Sophie Daniels and Dr Simon Duff from the University of Nottingham are presenting a paper to annual conference of the British Psychological Society's Division of Forensic Psychology. The researchers claim that:
Frequent viewers of soft-core pornography, such as photographs of naked and semi-naked female models, are unlikely to think positively about women and are likely to have become desensitised to soft-core pornography common in newspapers, advertising and
Daniels and Duff examined the relationship between frequency of exposure to soft-core pornographic images of women and attitudes towards women, rape myths and level of sensitivity or desensitisation to the images.
The results indicated that people who frequently viewed soft-core pornographic images were less likely to describe these as pornographic than people who had low levels of exposure to these images. People who were desensitised to these images were more
likely than others to endorse rape myths. Furthermore, people who frequently viewed these images were less likely to have positive attitudes to women.
The researchers claim that an argument could be made for greater media regulation and censorship of soft-core pornographic images of women.
[Melon Farmers have been doing their own bleedin' obvious research, and have found that people who frequently viewed feminist writings are less likely to describe them as politically correct feminist gobbledygook than people who had low levels of
exposure to such nonsense].
Gay issues seem to be slipping down the political correctness pecking order, perhaps with gay discrimination dropping below religious discrimination. Even Sweden is now censoring gay relationships on TV, perhaps to avoid 'offending' their newly arrived
Swedish authorities have just been caught censoring a brewing lesbian romance between two main characters in an episode of popular Cartoon Network show Steven Universe.
Steven Universe, which premiered in 2013 in the US on Cartoon Network, revolves around the fictional Beach City where a boy called Steven hangs out with his friends, who are Crystal Gems who can fuse to create more powerful characters. In
particular Ruby and Sapphire are both female gems and are very much in love with one another.
The Swedish-dubbed version of the show's episode Hit the Diamond about a baseball match has been censored to mute some of the romantic dialogue between Ruby and Sapphire. Eg removing the lines:
Ruby: Just look at the ball -- Titter på bollen (Just look at the ball)
Sapphire: I'm trying, but all I wanna look at is you -- Jag försöker, jag har problem med koncentrationen ( I'm trying, I have problems with concentration)
Ruby: Do not worry, you can look at me when you're running for home -- Ingen fara, fokusera på segern när du springer runt (No worries, focus on victory when you run)
The censored conversation prompted an angry reaction. A 1300 signature petition saw the dubbing as:
An active choice to censor the relationship that Ruby and Sapphire have?¦
This happens in 2016 in Sweden, a country that is known worldwide for being progressive in its views and accepting of LGBTQ+ people.
If the two female characters are in love in the original show, there is no reason that we in Sweden would change this relationship.
The authors demanded that Cartoon Network issues a written promise never to censor Ruby and Sapphire's relationship in their translation or otherwise, as well as to stop mistranslating occasions when these two female characters show love for each other.
Cartoon Network confirmed that the censorship was a local intervention and is not attributable to the US branch.
A direct mailing for fashion brand Jack Wills, received on 7 February 2016, included their spring catalogue.
One page featured images of male and female models in their underwear drinking, dancing and on a bed together. Text at the top stated UNDERWEAR ... Pure and comfortable cottons, or flirty delicate laces, whatever your choice, you can be sure it's
what's underneath that counts ... . Large text at the bottom stated ... midnight MISCHIEF .
Another page, promoting loungewear , featured images of male and female models on a bed. Some of the models wore loungewear, one male model was topless on a bed with a woman while reading and another woman wore a bra with a strap falling off her
A complainant challenged whether the images were unsuitable for publication in a clothing catalogue that was targeted at, and seen by, teenagers.
ASA Assessment: Complaint upheld
The ASA noted that the catalogue featured images of a group of older teenagers on a weekend away, and that the images in question showed them relaxing and engaging in activities such as dancing, drinking and reading a newspaper together. Although we
understood that Jack Wills' target audience was 18- to 24-year olds, and that the catalogue was sent to an adult, we considered that younger teens might have access to the ad either directly or indirectly, and that the images were likely to appeal to
those readers because they portrayed a lifestyle to which they might aspire.
In several of the images the models were partially dressed or shown in their underwear. We noted that most of the garments were appropriately fitted and did not accentuate or highlight parts of their bodies in a sexualised manner, however, the images
were accompanied with claims such as Flirty laces , MIDNIGHT MISCHIEF and made for the morning after the night before . Moreover, we noted that the story of the group of friends depicted them dancing and drinking while fully clothed,
then dancing and drinking in their underwear, followed by an image of a woman (holding a drink) and a man next to a bed, a woman in a bra and pyjama shorts brushing her teeth while sitting facing the camera with her legs apart, and a final scene of all
of the characters in their underwear in bed together. We considered that this sequence of images, in conjunction with the text, was sexually suggestive as opposed to simply being flirtatious or playful. Because we understood that younger teenagers could
have both direct and indirect access to the catalogue, and because we considered the images and text were sufficiently sexualised to be inappropriate for that audience, we concluded that the ad was irresponsible and that it breached the Code.
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Jack Wills Ltd not to use sexualised images and text that were inappropriate for younger teenagers in ads to which those teenagers could have both direct and indirect access.
PC extremists in Norway's 3rd city, Trondheim, have introduced a ban on ads featuring models in various states of undress.
The city council has approved a ban on all advertising that could contribute to negative body image issues. The ban will apply to all municipal-owned advertising space throughout the city. The new policy reads:
Advertising that is offensive or discriminatory against groups or individuals will not be allowed, nor will advertising that conveys a false image of the model/models' appearance and contributes to a negative body image.
At a minimum, advertisements in which body shapes have been retouched should be marked as such.
City councillor Ottar Michelsen of the Socialist Left Party said the city bears a responsibility to spare residents from a sense that they need to to achieve the perfect body .
While city councillor Yngve Brox of the Conservatives agreed warned that the task of banning ads would be hopeless :
We can't ban and regulate our way to the society we want to have in all areas. Then we'll have to regulate in fine details what kind of images are okay and that is hopeless.
Perhaps someone should point out to the council that ii they could somehow change the criterion for success, then half the people would still be below average, and presumably be worrying about it
The new costumes for the upcoming Power Rangers Movie have finally been revealed but a few
feminists are less than impressed.
While the male red, blue and black Power Rangers are kitted out with trainer-like footwear, the female yellow and pink characters have to fight crime while wearing high heels. What's more, feminists have questioned why the female characters are
equipped with such prominent boob armour .
Hannah Shaw-Williams tweeted
OK, we're rebooting the Power Rangers! What fresh new ideas can we bring to this franchise?
[It's a bit much to expect 'fresh ideas' from Power Rangers].
Feminist blogger Louise Pennington claims the new costumes are:
Not only sexist but utterly irresponsible.
The women who play the pink and yellow Power Rangers are skilled athletes. Sexualising their outfits for a program aimed at children teaches young girls that their only value is in their appearance - regardless of their skill set and training.
Empower Thailand and the Thai Embassy in Sweden have both issued statements in response to the Swedish sexual politics magazine OTTAR. On the 3rd of March 2016, OTTAR published an interview with Kasja Ekis Ekman, which referred to Thai sex workers as cheap pussy.
Swedish Sex Worker Organisation, Rose Alliance contacted Empower Foundation and the Thai Embassy, alerting them of the statements that had been made.
In response, the Thai Ambassador to Sweden, Kiattikhun Chartprasert addressed a letter to the editor of OTTAR and asked for it to be published on the OTTAR website. The Thai Ambassador wanted OTTAR's readers to:
Exercise their own judgement about the writer's expression in this debate. In this letter, it was explained to OTTAR that the choice of word that the writer use[d] to describe women - billig fitta - had 'hurt and offended many people.' Chartprasert
continued, Freedom of expression is not that one can just say anything in mind. It has to come with responsibility and respect [...] We would therefore like to express our disappointment and concern, in the strongest possible terms for the use of this
inappropriate word by the writer.
Ekis Ekman elicited many questions from Empower Foundation. In Empower's statement they asked,
Is this how you talk about mothers and family providers in Sweden? Perhaps you don't know that most of our customers do not use revolting language like this to talk about us? Is this how women commonly refer to each other in Sweden? Perhaps you have
never considered that a Swedish academic feminist has a responsibility to speak with respect about other women? Or is 'cheap pussy' accepted by Swedish feminists and journalists as a way to refer to Thai women?
Our call for evidence: Gender stereotyping in ads 28 April 2016
In recent years, there has been increasing political and public debate on equality issues. The objectification and sexualisation of women in ads, presenting an idealised or unrealistic body image, the mocking of women and men in non-stereotypical roles,
the reinforcement of stereotyped views of gender roles, and gender-specific marketing to children are all issues that have gained considerable public interest.
As a proactive regulator, we want to find out more about these issues. Consequently, we will be doing three things: examining evidence on gender stereotyping in ads, seeking views from a range of stakeholders, and commissioning our own research into
At this stage we are being open-minded about what stakeholders and research tell us about gender stereotyping in ads and the impact of such advertising, which will shape the project as we move forward. In particular, we are keen for people and
organisations to send us any research they have on this issue. Evidence can be sent to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The project will report on whether we're getting it right on gender stereotyping in ads. If the evidence suggests a change in regulation is merited we will set out the best way to achieve it.
Chief Executive of the ASA, Guy Parker, said:
We're serious about making sure we're alive to changing attitudes and behaviours. That's why we've already been taking action to ban ads that we believe reinforce gender stereotypes and are likely to cause serious and widespread offence, or harm.
And that's also why we want to engage further with a wide range of stakeholders on the effect of gender stereotyping on society, including through our 'call for evidence'.
I look forward to hearing from stakeholders as this important work progresses.
Dating website Match.com have apologised for saying freckles were imperfections. A few
politically correct commuters on London Underground whinged that the adverts were a form of 'body shaming'
One of the adverts showed a freckled face with the by-line:
If you don't like your imperfections, somebody else will.
However the number of official complaints was pretty negligible with the Guardian reporting that 6 complaints were sent to the advert censor, ASA.
A Match.com spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that the Love Your Imperfections campaign was meant to [celebrate] perceived physical and behavioral imperfections and encourage everyone to be proud of their individuality.
The organisers of the Special Olympics have launched a campaign against comedian Gary Owen for using the word retarded on stage. They are 'demanding' American cable TV station Showtime censor his stand-up special I Agree With Myself from
their on-demand service. They have also launched an online petition to back their cause whihc has about 3000 signatures at the moment.
Gary Owen's show includes a routine about the comedian's cousin, Tina. Tina's retarded, he says. She's not slow. It's full-blown. It is what it is. He then goes on to make jokes about her having sex. His routine also mocks the Special
Olympics, for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. He said: The 100-metre dash is the funniest shit you'll want to see, because it's literally eight people running with no arm swing.
The petition reads:
We live in an era where bullying has become public sport, where public figures and leaders from dozens of walks of life seem to believe that humiliation and viciousness are acceptable ways of communicating.
[Gary Owens] mocks [people with intellectual disabilities'] speech, mocks their love, mocks their sexuality, mocks them as people and worst of all, does so without any qualms or hesitation. He can pick on his cousin. Why? According to him: because she's
"retarded." Apparently, she isn't worthy of even the most basic dignity.
None of this is funny. At all. It is callous and gratuitous verbal violence.
The pro-Hillary Clinton campaign group HRC Super Volunteers have threatened New York Times reporter Amy
Chozick that she is on notice for 'coded' sexism for using standard and straightforward critical adjectives.
The group ludicrously claim that the following words and phrases are somehow 'coded' sexism and should not be used to describe Clinton (probably perfectly ok to use against Trump though):
Polarizing, calculating, disingenuous, insincere, ambitious, inevitable, entitled, over confident, secretive, will do anything to win, represents the past, out of touch
The group threatened Miss Chozick saying:
You are on notice that we will be watching, reading, listening and protesting coded sexismâ?¦
Help us find journalists smearing Hillary. We must push back against their sexism.
The Guardian has initiated a series of articles calling for ideas about silencing comments from those who stridently object to the aggressive agenda
of political correctness pushed by the newspaper. The Guardian set's the scene for its call to censorship:
The internet has a problem, and that problem is people. Dramatic incidents of public harassment, abuse and threatening behaviour are never far from the news, and during recent years, public awareness of this unpleasantness has grown dramatically. With it
has come an understanding of the harms done, not just by high-level threats and abusive behaviour but by a more insidious culture of dismissal, denigration and disrespect that surrounds them. There is a widespread perception that these are problems that
need to be solved, and many digital media sites - including Twitter, Facebook and many others - are actively looking for solutions.
The Guardian is among them. Like the rest of the internet, the Guardian's comments can be a pleasure to read and participate in; they can also be a hard slog full of dismissive discrimination, or a grim argument between camps whose views are immovable
and whose main goal is simply to advance an agenda.
Offsite Comment: Why has the Guardian declared war on internet freedom?
Maria Miller, the Conservative former culture secretary and equalities minister has claimed that Britain needs better internet laws to
stop online abuse that may be creating a nightmare for society in future.
Now the chair of the Commons women and equalities committee, she said the government needed to wake up to some of the problems the internet was creating, from vile abuse on social media to easy sharing of violent explicit images among young people.
In 2014, ministers quadrupled the maximum six-month prison term for internet insults to two years. The time limit for prosecutions has also been extended to three years.
Miller now says that the laws around insult and harm on the internet could be updated further and internet companies could do more to act against threatening and abusive material online. She claimed:
We need better laws and we need better enforcement. Government needs to stop allowing internet providers from hiding behind arguments about the protection of free speech.
The problem is rooted in the fact that many internet companies won't acknowledge that they can challenge, and should stop, criminal behaviour, saying they are just like the postal service and can't help that people use their services for criminal
activity, that it's not their problem. It is their problem and we need to sit up, take notice and realise that we are creating a nightmare future.
People are unleashing their inner venom in a way I just do not think is healthy for society. We have got to have an honest debate about this. Too many people in government are saying it is all about freedom of speech and it is not.
Matthew Doyle was arrested for posting a non threatening tweet with a rather blunt criticism of the muslim community. He tweeted:
I confronted a Muslim woman in Croydon yesterday. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said 'nothing to do with me'. A mealy mouthed reply.
His comment went viral, being retweeted hundreds of times before he eventually deleted it. Doyle told the Telegraph he had no idea his tweet would be the hand grenade it has proven to be - and that Twitter's 140 character limit made the encounter
sound vastly different to how he thought it went.
Doyle said the tweet was intended as a joke and explained further:
What everyone's got wrong about this is I didn't confront the woman, he said. I just said: 'Excuse me, can I ask what you thought about the incident in Brussels?'
I'm not some far-right merchant, I'm not a mouthpiece for any kind of racism or radicalism, he says. If I was xenophobic I wouldn't live in London.
He added however that he does believe Muslims aren't doing enough to speak out against terrorism.
Doyle was charged and was due to appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court on Saturday. But on Friday night the Met police said the charge had been dropped after it emerged the police officer in question had jumped the gun and charged Mr Doyle when
in fact he needed CPS approval to do so. In a statement, the Met said:
Following discussion with the Crown Prosecution Service, Mr Doyle is no longer charged with the offence and will not be appearing at court. Police may not make charging decisions on offences under Section 19 of the Public Order Act. There will be further
consultation with CPS.
But of course the police arrest will have already sent the message that islam is beyond even mild criticism, adding to the undercurrent of feeling that people are censored from simply criticising a religion that begets so much violence around the world.
No wonder people are looking to the likes of Donald Trump to counter a world where political correctness has gone mad.
Offsite Comment: Met Police: armed wing of the offence-taking industry
Within hours of sending his tweet, Doyle received a knock on the door from the Metropolitan Police, and was remanded in custody on
charges of inciting racial hatred. Doyle spoke about the arrest this weekend: I cannot understand why I was detained, my flat trashed, my passports seized, and two PCs, two tablets and my phone taken. Doyle, we should remember, was not arrested
for anything he did -- he was arrested for something he said on Twitter.