Archive for the ‘Sexualisation’ Category

Read more Political Correctness News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Jo Swinson Lib Dem minister Jo Swinson has accused the Tories of blocking an ‘independent’ review clearing aiming to reveal sexism in the media.

The junior equalities minister has claimed that editorial decisions by British newspapers belittle women on a daily basis. She has long wanted to use an inquiry to shine a light on the issue. She revealed in a speech that the idea was shot down. In the speech at her party conference she called for censorship

I have argued within Government for a review — to be led by senior representatives of the media — to look at the implications of media sexism. Guess what? The Tories blocked it.

They are either happy with how things are or too afraid of a backlash. As we might find out in tomorrow’s papers, sometimes suggestions like this one can be taken out of context.

But make no mistake. This is not a call for censorship, this is not a call for editorial agendas to bow down to government diktat. This is a call for an independent review — chaired by media representatives — to work with government and other stakeholders to take this issue seriously.

Lib Dem sources told BuzzFeed News that culture secretary Sajid Javid was the Tory minister who put his foot down over the inquiry.

Apparently, Swinson had been fighting for a review into sexism within the media for a long time. She had been conspiring with Tory education secretary and equalities minister Nicky Morgan. The pair had even talked about who might chair such an inquiry, with Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark’s name among those mentioned.

BuzzFeed obtained the inquiry’s suggested terms of reference which revealed that the inquiry was a thinly disguised call for more censorship:

The aim of the review would be to test the effects that everyday media sexism has on society and assess what can be done to reduce it. Everyday media sexism is defined as coverage that results in representations of women that are narrow, inappropriately sexualised, and demeaning .

The panel would undertake a rapid evidence review to demonstrate the prevalence of media sexism and women’s feelings about it, and correlations between sexual violence, sexually demeaning attitudes and the consumption of pornography .

It would then consider whether there is scope to improve the regulatory framework and establish whether the public understands how to complain about media sexism, including reviewing the roles of/for Ofcom and the new press complaints body in setting content standards and assessing complaints .

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Read more UK Government Watch at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Thanks to Sergio
See article from telegraph.co.uk

Rihanna The Story DVDIt is understood the Prime Minister is considering new rules that would oblige websites hosting such videos to introduce robust age verification systems similar to those used to safeguard children online gambling.Music videos are currently exempt from BBFC censorship under the Video Recordings Act 2010. There are currently no legal restrictions on children downloading music videos of any kind.

The Prime Minister is understood to be disappointed with the music video industry’s response to a Government report that whinged about sexualisation of childhood.

Cameron is to summon leading figures in the music video and social media world to Downing Street for a summit next month and threaten censorial new laws if more is not done to protect children.

Campaigners claim there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of sexual content and explicit language in music videos which can be accessed by very young children on computers and mobile phones.

Around 200 million videos are watched each month on Vevo, a music video website popular amongst the young. Although MTV, and other television channels, censor sexual content before the 9pm watershed the same is impractical for video-sharing websites.

Music videos were singled out for strong criticism in Let Children be Children, a Downing Street commissioned report written by anti-sexualisation campaigner Reg Bailey, head of the Mothers Union, a Church of England campaign group.

The  government also remains ‘concerned’ by the style and promotion of so-called Lads’ mags, such as Loaded, FHM and Nuts. This industry is also set to be called in to Downing Street over the summer to be asked what steps they are taking to protect children.

There is likely to be strong opposition to Government restrictions on accessing music videos online. Rio Caraeff, the chief executive of Vevo, has said that age ratings are unnecessary and would be difficult to enforce. Vevo has claimed the move would be bad for business and would cut the royalties earned by some acts.

Read more UK Government Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See government press release from culture.gov.uk
See also Ofcom report: Sexually Explicit Material and Video On Demand Services [pdf]

Ed VaizeyRepressive controls to prevent children from accessing hard-core pornographic material through video-on-demand (VoD) services will be secured as part of the comprehensive review of communications legislation currently being undertaken, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has announced.

Rules are already in place which mean that video which the BBFC would classify as R18, pornography which is explicit and sold in licensed sex shops, but not illegal, can be made available through VoD services only if excessively restrictive controls are in place to prevent children from accessing it.

The Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) is the internet censor for VoD services and enforces rukles which ensure that any material which ‘may’ seriously impair children’s physical, mental or moral development, but probably doesn’t must not be freely available. Access controls such as pin protection must be put in place if R18-type content is to be made available on anytime television services or internet websites that include video.

But, in the light of an Ofcom report which recommended a precautionary approach to protecting children and new legislation, the Government has committed to securing the present controls and looking at whether the legal position should be bolstered further by future-proofing legislation as part of the current review of communications policy.

Vaizey said:

The Government is clear that children must be protected from harmful content, on television or online. We have made it a priority to address the concerns of parents that their kids are being exposed to material that’s not appropriate for them to see.

Without a doubt we want to make sure that video-on-demand services carrying adult material cannot be seen by children and it’s already a legal requirement that any such content has access controls.

But the communications review gives us an opportunity to consider whether there’s more we should do to ensure children remain protected and to limit access to potentially harmful material, such as introducing unclassified material into the statutory framework.

A starting point is Ofcom’s report to Government, Sexually Explicit Material and Video On Demand Services which has just been published.

The review will look at the availability of both R18-type material, and video content which is stronger than that classified as R18 by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) but still might be made available to adults.

Ensuring the effectiveness of restrictive controls on VoD services will also complement the recommendations made by Reg Bailey in his independent review of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood, Letting Children Be Children.

Read more UK Government Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

See article from dailymail.co.uk

mothers union logoLesbian kisses could be banned from television screens until the watershed under nutter inspired Government plans to stop children being exposed to supposedly indecent images.

A review launched with the backing of David Cameron is expected to recommend that sexually suggestive scenes currently allowed before the 9pm watershed, such as the famous lesbian embrace on soap opera Brookside, should not be shown until later in the evening.

The inquiry is being led by Mothers’ Union chief executive Reg Bailey.

The Daily Mail said that Bailey is likely to focus on more restrictive watershed rules. A source close to the inquiry said: It is hard to protect children in the internet and mobile-phone age but we have to do something.

Sources also suggested that raunchy dance routines, such as those by pop stars Christina Aguilera and Rihanna on last year’s X Factor final, could also fall foul of more censorial watershed rules.

Bailey is also understood to be looking at a ban on sexy advertisements in public places. The source added: Some of those huge poster advertisements for bras and knickers leave precious little to the imagination and they are there for all our children to see.

Bailey is examining restricting internet pornography by enabling parents to ask ISPs to block adult websites at source rather than relying on parental controls.

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12th March 2010. Based on article from mcvuk.com

Tanya ByronTV’s Dr Tanya Byron is to meet with Gordon Brown at the end of the month to discuss progress

Two years on from the now infamous Byron Report on video games age ratings, TV presenter Dr Tanya Byron is to return to her work and review the progress that has been made since her set of proposals in 2008.

Byron is currently meeting UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) officials and industry stakeholders to assess progress, and will report to the Prime Minister at the end of March.

Update: Less talk … more action

30th March 2010. Based on article from thescotsman.scotsman.com

Action to protect children from pornography and other online ‘threats’ must be accelerated to keep up with advances in technology, a Government adviser has warned. Tanya Byron called for less talk … more action on issues such as parental controls on mobile phones, and warned youngsters could now access adult sites with extraordinary ease.

The TV child psychologist said the creation of Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) and a national safety strategy had made the UK a world leader in tackling the issue. But said it must speed up to stay ahead.

In the two years since I published my first review, a lot has changed – we have a huge number of under-aged children on social networking sites; we know that there are location-based devices; we know that there is an extraordinary ease of access to pornography for children and young people.

Speeding up, we need to see a code of practice for companies and providers, we need to really think about parental controls for mobile phones that can access the internet.

Less talk and a little more action, a little more delivery would be a good thing.

She also criticised a lack of sufficient consultation with young people and parents and urged the Government to push through new rules on video game classification before the election.

Read more Government Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

26th February 2010. Based on article from nds.coi.gov.uk
See also Sexualisation of Young People Review [pdf] from homeoffice.gov.uk

Sexualisation of Young People ReviewA review into the sexualisation of young people, conducted by psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos has just been published.

Commissioned by the Home Office, the review forms part of the government’s strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and looks at how sexualised images and messages may be affecting the development of children and young people and influencing cultural norms. It also examines the evidence for a link between sexualisation and violence.

Key recommendations include:

  • the government to launch an online one-stop-shop to allow the public to voice their concerns about marketing which may sexualise children, with an onus on regulatory authorities to take action.
  • the government should support the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to take steps to extend the existing regulatory standards to include commercial websites
  • broadcasters are required to ensure that music videos featuring sexual posing or sexually suggestive lyrics are broadcast only after the watershed
  • the government to support the NSPCC in its work with manufacturers and retailers to encourage corporate compliance with regard to sexualised merchandise. Guidelines should be issued for retailers following consultation with major clothing retailers and parents’ groups
  • games consoles should be sold with parental controls already switched on. Purchasers can choose to unlock the console if they wish to allow access to adult and online content.
  • lads’ mags to be confined to newsagents’ top shelves and only sold to over-15s
  • a ratings system on magazine and advertising photographs showing the extent to which they have been airbrushed or digitally altered.
  • The exemption of music videos from the 1984 Video Recordings Act should be ended. The report in particular criticises lyrics by N-Dubz and 50 Cent for their tendency to sexualise women or refer to them in a derogatory manner, and singles out the rap artist Nelly for a video showing him swiping a credit card through a young woman’s buttocks. But it adds that, while degrading sexual content is most apparent in rap-rock, rap, rap-metal and R&B, it is to be found across all music genres.
  • jobcentres should be banned from advertising vacancies at escort agencies, lapdancing clubs and massage parlours.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said:  We will now consider the full list of recommendations in more detail and continue to ensure that young people’s development and well-being are a top priority.

Children’s Minister Delyth Morgan said:

Children today are growing up in a complex and changing world and they need to learn how to stay safe and resist inappropriate pressures. That is why we are making Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education statutory so that we can teach children about the real life issues they will face as they grow up.

PSHE already includes teaching about advertising and body image and from 2011 will include issues around violence against women and girls. The PSHE curriculum is age appropriate to give children and young people the right information at the right time to help them make the best choices and to develop their confidence.

Offsite: Let children be children

28th February 2008. See article from guardian.co.uk by Frank Furedi

Frank FurediWe can’t hide all sexual images from children but we can stop reading their behaviour through a prism of adult motives

It is difficult not to feel disturbed by the sexualisation of childhood. We live in a world where a significant proportion of 11-year-olds have been regularly exposed to pornography and where many actually believe that what they see is an accurate depiction of real-life relationships.

It is tempting to panic in response to this development and lose sight of the real problem. Sadly, the Home Office report published today proposes the tired old strategy of protecting children from exposure to sexual imagery. The report’s addiction to banning and censoring is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem. The real problem is not simply inappropriate sexual imagery but a highly sexualised adult imagination that continually recycles its anxieties through children.

…Read the full article

Offsite: The inevitable nonsense from the Daily Mail

28th February 2008. See article from dailymail.co.uk by Liz Jones

She Wolf ShakiraThe woman is naked – or looks like she is. Only a flesh-coloured leotard covers her body. Her long blonde hair tumbles down her back. She’s in a cage, sliding her fingers provocatively in and out of her mouth.

A scene from a cliched pornographic film? Sadly not. The woman in question is Shakira, a pop superstar and the fourth richest singer in the world.

The images can be seen in the video for her single, She Wolf, which will be watched obsessively, again and again, by thousands of young men and women, many of whom will form the opinion that writhing in a cage is precisely the way sexy women should behave.