I attended the launch of The Little Orange book written by Jessica Eaton's & Claire Paterson-Young this week and felt privileged to hear a wealth of speakers including Natalie Collins, creator and director of
Her talk highlighted how we live in a world where children and young people are constantly receiving messages that normalise gender stereotypes and sexual violence. (If you don't believe this, perhaps take a moment to do an on-line image search for toys for 6 year old girls/boys and clothes for baby boys/girls. After that, perhaps move on to look at how cars, perfume, food and clothes are advertised for adults – below is an image currently plastered on Tube station walls).
The need to reframe our culture is a movement that is gaining momentum – see my previous resource post detailing the work of Culture Reframed. And some more good news is we can all be part of it by calling out advertisements and those that make money by providing advertising space.
We can also refuse to be persuaded to buy products promoted in this way and instead, use their material as a teaching tool. In Natalie’s words: “Reflecting on how our hypersexualised culture grooms children and young people into believing that sexual violence is normal we can offer some ideas for equipping parents, practitioners and children understand and critique toxic cultural narratives”.