What Can You Do?
We believe that the key to change is collective grassroots action so here are just a few ideas that may help you start your own local campaign:
- Ask your local video store manager to move the 'adult only' section away from the children's, family and comedy sections. Surprisingly, this is not an uncommon arrangement.
- Ask your supermarket to stop displaying sexualised magazines such as Ralph, Zoo and FHM where children are easily exposed.
- Ask your newsagent to stop displaying advertising for these magazines in their windows.
- Take a moment to become familiar with the Advertising Standards Board website and utilise it to make complaints. Remember, billboards are not screened before going into the public arena - a complaint must be registered before the Board will take action.
- Ring the TV stations if you are unhappy with advertising or content in hours in which children are likely to be viewing. Remember it is up to you what you let into your home. If you don't want your children exposed to certain content explain to them why you want them to switch the TV off.
- Approach store managers to complain about sexualised merchandise that is either aimed at children or displayed where children are likely to view it.
- If there are certain toys or dolls that you don't want your children to receive as presents, tell your friends. Many parents are starting to say no to Bratz dolls, no to makeup parties for young girls, no to logo T-shirts such as ‘I'm too sexy for my t-shirt'.
- Some parents are concerned that their children's dance class routines are emulating the sexualised moves of music video clips. Talk to the dance school if this is a problem.
Here is a great suggestion from Jacquie N:"Hi, I spoke to the staff at my local library about the adult magazines on the shelf where kids can see them, they agreed ... I have noticed some of the more adult ones, Ralph etc., seem to have disappeared. Has anyone else noticed these magazines in their libraries, and if so are they out of the sight of young ones?"
Communication helps us work together to create change.