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Talitha’s Story: What It Takes To Spark Change Against Porn Culture in Australia

In Australia, women are often sexually harassed walking down the street. There is a strong culture of rape jokes and joking about women sexually. Women are viewed...

By November 15, 2017No Comments

Many people contact Fight the New Drug to share their personal stories about how porn has affected their life or the life of a loved one. We consider these personal accounts very valuable because, while the science and research is powerful within its own right, personal accounts from real people seem to really hit home about the damage that pornography does to real lives.

In Australia, women are often sexually harassed walking down the street. There is a strong culture of rape jokes and joking about women sexually. Women are viewed as sexual objects and often not taken seriously. Because of this strong culture, it can be very challenging for a woman to speak out against it.

I think if we can change this culture in Australia then we will make huge progress against rape and porn culture.

Being on the Frontlines

I have spoken in high schools in Australia and have shared very personally my own experiences with living in a society that is heavily influenced by pornography, the sexualization of women, and rape culture.

I have been on the frontline fighting against these issues, by going undercover and exposing the Lingerie Football League and the American rap artist Tyler the Creator. My campaigning against Tyler resulted in him being banned from Australia and New Zealand. When I share my story and my campaigning in high schools, I get to witness the students realizing that they are being fed lies, and that they want better for themselves and for their relationships. I have had many boys in tears apologizing on behalf of men, they shake my hand with tears in the eyes and tell me I am the bravest woman they know.

Related: Chris’ Story: This Is What The Porn Kills Love Movement Looks Like In Australia

It doesn’t take much to show the next generation that there is a better way of showing love, receiving love and expressing their sexuality than what porn shows them. Our generation and the generations to come need us to step up and speak out against porn and rape culture.

The Cost of Fighting

Personally, I have experienced an abundance of online abuse—threats of murder and rape. When I spoke out against Tyler the Creator, 1.7 million of his fans sent an onslaught of abuse. Even though this was a huge challenge, it also resulted in my biggest victory. My story went global and I had an opportunity to speak out on TV and also have a teleconference with two of the executive producers of Twitter about how to protect women online. From there, they ended up rolling out a report abuse button across all platforms of Twitter, and Tyler the Creator was banned from New Zealand and Australia. See what can happen when you decide to take a stand?

Related: Activist Richie Hardcore Speaks Out On How He Fights Porn Culture In New Zealand And Australia

The advice I always give to those who want to fight against porn is to start with you first. Change the way you speak, think, and act. Make the tough choice to stop going along with the jokes, choose to not put up with movies and TV series that promote rape and sexual violence, like Fifty Shades of Grey, then express your views and opinions with honesty and love.

Tell your friends and family about what you are doing and why, be loud about your beliefs.

An Australian grassroots campaign movement Collective Shout puts it perfectly: “Silence is the language of complicity, speaking out is the language of change.”

Let’s be a people who speak the language of change—together.


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