Tomorrow, Wednesday 23 June, Melinda Tankard Reist will visit Kuyper to speak with our Year 7 – 12 students. She is the co-founder of Collective Shout, a grassroots campaigns movement against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls. Here is a snap-shot of what Melinda will talk about on the day:
Melinda and Daniel will take our young women on a ‘tour’ of media and popular culture in a dynamic, multi-visual presentation. They will unpack with our girls the images, messages and ideas they receive every day from games, music videos, advertising, marketing, social media and explicit se*ual imagery, conveying a message that their value and worth lies solely in their bodies and physical appearance. Students will critically evaluate how these messages contribute in harmful ways to their views of themselves, their bodies and relationships, affecting their physical, emotional and social development. Drawing from global research and personal accounts of young people, Melinda and Dan will then explore how young women can respond personally, including by resisting se*ual pressure, clarifying their values and enforcing boundaries, aspiring to relationships built on respect and mutuality – and collectively – by taking action for social change and cultural transformation.
Our young men are also bombarded with hyper-se*ualised messages and images in media and popular culture. Their lives are increasingly socialised, conditioned and informed by exposure to p*rn related content online. They are exposed to this content even before their first kiss, with average age of first exposure, 11. In a dynamic multi-media presentation which includes research, along with first person stories of young men, Melinda and Daniel will explore with male students how exposure to se*ual imagery is contributing to a distorted view of bodies and relationships. They will propose that boys are being raised in a callous version of masculinity through these toxic messages, hampering their ability to form healthy respect-based relationships. Melinda and Dan will help them understand what consent and healthy relationships should look like. In a po*nified cultural landscape, our young men will be encouraged to stand against the tide, resist the ‘bystander’ effect, and choose to act with integrity.
We are blessed to have this opportunity and look forward to the ongoing conversations Melinda’s visit will create.