Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Buddy Franklin's not inviting me to his birthday party and most likely not going to be my friend anymore...

I read on a football message board a few weeks back a discussion about the new line of N&P shirts, and one of the young men mentioned in passing that he liked shirts with "hot naked b*tches" on them.

If that doesn't give any indication of why I think these images are so harmful- when pictures like these exist on t-shirts, it becomes more normalized, more acceptable to objectify women and to view them as 'less than human'. They're not people with thoughts and feelings, they are just breasts, butts, legs.

I just thought I should update those who are interested on the Nena and Pasadena situation. You know that letters were exchanged and phone calls were made, but without any real success. Since then, through the very helpful medium of facebook, there have been others to share their feelings with Nena and Pasadena, contacting them through their website and their facebook page. Some also contacted the ASB about the billboard in Busselton, and some more also contacted the various stores to stock Nena and Pasadena clothing. See here to read more info, and to read some brilliant letters in the comments section.

Lance "Buddy" Franklin, AFL player, is one of the designers and also models for the brand, and while members of Collective Shout were doing some research, the AFL Respect and Responsibility Policy was discovered. To summarize some of the most relevant points,

"to work towards creating safe, supportive and inclusive environments for women and girls across the football industry as well as the broader community.

The Respect and Responsibility Policy is about shifting attitudes – ensuring that people throughout the Australian Football industry are aware, and have structures in place, that recognise that violence against women and behaviour that harms or degrades women, is never acceptable."

Next, letters were written to the AFL regarding Buddy Franklin's "extra-curricular" activities, being the face of a company that promotes soft porn t-shirts. Here's mine.

Buddy Franklin is the face of Nena and Pasadena clothing. The shirts blatantly objectify women, in overly sexual poses, revealing naked body parts. The women’s heads are often absent, reducing them to a series of “hot” body parts. There are slogans like “Angel of silence” and “I can be whatever you want me to be”. Women are portrayed as playthings men use for their own sexual gratification. In a workplace this would be sexual harassment.

Players are heroes for young boys, sending a disappointing example. It sends a message women’s bodies are for men’s entertainment. This is inconsistent with the Respect and Responsibility policy which sats “behaviour that…degrades women is never acceptable”. Does the AFL condone the making and promoting of degrading shirts? What actions does the AFL plan to take?

Do I really believe the AFL is committed to promoting respect for women? I would like to, but I do acknowledge that many corporations do not prioritize acting in a moral or ethical way over revenue. However, if anything is to make a difference for the AFL, it would be public pressure.

Yesterday an article came out on ABC's news website by Canberra author Melinda Tankard Reist about Nena and Pasadena and the AFL. Last night, after I posted a link to this article on Nena and Pasadena's facebook page, I was blocked, along with others who (even politely) shared their concerns. Apparently they posted this message on their page.

"I am the Head Designer of NENA & PASADENA & I'll make this very quick and easy to understand! - FASHION IS FOREVER CHANGING! - All designs in question were designed over a year ago! - They have been delivered and sold already! ALL your comments and attempts to slander my designs and our brands will only increase the sa...les!! I wish it wasn't so, but Unfortunately that's how it works. I pride myself in designing t-shirts which appeal to my customers.. Please feel free to message me with all your concerns. But know your not helping your own cause by posting on this page. Kind Regards,Paul Edwards Tim Arandt Ryan Griggs"

This morning I recorded a Melbourne radio interview on this same issue, which will be broadcast next week. I have also heard that James Valentine was discussing the issue on Sydney radio today.

To quote Julie Gale, founder of the organization Kids Free 2 B Kids, "When there is so much violence and sexual abuse committed against women- it is utterly incomprehensible why anyone would willingly perpetuate objectification. Dehumanising women is the first step that allows for such behaviour."

If these shirts are unacceptable to you, I would ask you to please consider writing even just a short letter to N&P to say so. Your voice means something.


  1. Is that an obnoxiously long name that he has there Paul Edwards Tim Arandt Ryan Griggs? or several peoples names conjoined? He sure sounds ruffled even though he is trying to say that it's "all good from his end". Time to get my letter on!

    Oooh, and good work on getting blocked, was that a bit of a rush?

  2. Haha yeah that would be three separate people...I know, I keep hearing responses like this will just give N&P more free publicity and increase their sales- but if that is really the case, why do they care? I do think this is making a big headache for them. Yes write your letter, sounds good!

    I wasn't sure if I was blocked or if they took their page down because of all the complaints. Then I found out other people could still access the page and I was like "Oh..." : ) I wonder if I will get blocked from Hawthorn Football Club's page next.


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