The last week i have had the honour of joining Melinda Tankard Reist at Sutherland Shire Christian School and Hunter Valley Grammar School, to speak to young people about the issue of the representation of women and girls in the media and popular culture (See more here: http://melindatankardreist.com/)
I was able to share a little bit about the Tyler the Creator campaign i have recently been involved in.
I was so encouraged by the response of the young girls at Sutherland Shire Christian School. Some girls shared with me how they found hope, inspiration and power to change the things in this world.
And that is why i stood up to Tyler the Creator and why i will continue to stand up and speak out against a culture that makes men believe it is sexy, fun and enjoyable to engage in violence against women. If i can encourage just one girl to say no, and fight against what boys are trying to force upon her then it is all worth it. She is worth it.
A study shows that people who listen to this type of music i.e 'Tyler the Creator' they are more likely to engage in premature sexual activity.
If those 'people' are the boys in your life, (and from the sessions at the 2 school there were a large majority of boys who listened to Tyler the Creator) it is likely to be you that they will attempt to act out their fantasies on.
The decisions you make now around premature sexual activity hold great consequences. I know it is so hard to see or understand the true weight of what those consequences hold in your future.
But i am here after experiencing the effect that media and pornography have had on the men and boys in my life to tell you...
IT IS OK TO SAY NO!
IT IS OK TO DEMAND RESPECT!
IT IS OK TO SPEAK YOUR MIND!
AND YES, IT IS OK TO WAIT!
Choosing this path will not always be easy though, you may not always be the most liked, or the most popular. And you will doubt your decision. But PLEASE keep being brave! And please know, what you are doing is right, it is worth it! when you get through those years at school and you never have to see those boys again you will wish you didn't give them a piece of you that is so precious. Because a boy that doesn't respect you enough to not grab your arse, to not ask for a picture of your tits, to not abuse you when you're drunk, to not say sexists, degrading jokes towards you, does not deserve to have any part of you! girls respect yourself enough to not give in to these lies that tell you, you need this attention from a boy to feel loved and accepted, it will only leave you hurt, broken and used.
You are allowed to get angry about this. We need more young girls who will get angry about this and not put up with what has become so grossly accepted as 'normal' within our society.
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