A Facebook page that rated the appearance of students at Melbourne University has been taken down, four days after the launch of a petition calling for its removal.

The 'Hotties of Melbourne Uni' page had been active on Facebook for years. It featured photos of Melbourne University students posted without their consent.

Law student Laura Blandthorn launched a petition claiming that: "The Hotties of Melbourne University" Facebook page perpetuates rape culture, sexism and disrespect." The petition received more than 23,000 signatures.

Students gathered outside the Wesley College gate at the University of Sydney on May 16, with their mouths taped shut, demanding the names of the editors of the 2014 Wesley Journal, which included a page called the “Rackweb”.

The “Rackweb” featured in the journal as a spider diagram of intercollegiate campus “hookups”, complete with the full names of students who had reportedly had sex with other students, and referred to women named in it as “Biggest Pornstar” or “Best Ass”.

In the week that brought to light television personality Eddie McGuire's “banter” about sports journalist Caroline Wilson, the voters of Leichhardt, covering an area stretching from Cairns to Cape York and the Torres Strait, have been treated to campaign signs depicting a witch.

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath has announced plans to introduce legislation holding commercial vehicle registration holders to determinations by the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).

This would mean the registration of any commercial vehicle with slogans deemed to be offensive or that otherwise failed to comply with the ASB's standards, such as those on Wicked Campers vans, could be cancelled.

“It was just a group of boys having fun”.

This comment might evoke thoughts of boys splashing around in a swimming pool, skateboarding on the road or tagging a brick wall.

But this comment was made in defence of a vile Instagram account called “ys [young slut]_academy_puspus” which sexually objectified underage girls as young as 11 years' old.
Worse still, the comment was made by a man who identified himself as an “old boys' club” father of one of the Brighton Grammar boys who ran the Instagram account, in a threatening anonymous phone call to a victim's mother.

A rally was held in Geelong on October 12 to protest mayor Darryn Lyons’ sexism.

Lyons was photographed at a local Octoberfest event on October 10 wearing a t-shirt featuring an image of a naked Madonna hitchhiking, taken from her 1992 book Sex, paired with the caption “Gas, grass or ass, no one rides for free”.

Fellow Geelong councillor Jan Farrell was the first to speak out about the photos. She posted on her Facebook page: “This is what passes for leadership at Geelong. As a woman who lives and works in Geelong I am beyond offended at [Lyons’] ongoing disrespect for women.”

The most recent examples of sexism by two Coalition front bench MPs reminds us that sexism and misogyny is alive and thriving 32 years after the landmark law that made such discrimination a crime.

From the outrageous sexist attacks on former PM Julia Gillard — largely from the same Coalition MPs — to MP Peter Dutton's “mad fucking witch” (MFW) text, the view that women are second-class citizens and sexual objects — and can be treated as such — remains strong especially among those with the means to shape public opinion.

A survey of 604 Australian youths undertaken by Our Watch has come up with some dismaying findings about their attitudes towards sex and consent.

Of those polled, one in four said it is normal for men to pressure women into sex, and 60% said it was “up to the girl to make it very clear if she does not want to have sex”.

Thirty seven per cent reported that it was hard to respect a female when she was drunk and 27% said it was hard to respect a woman in revealing clothing.

Tony Abbott’s government will be a dangerous time for women in Australia unless we can unite and struggle together to win a better future.

Abbott is known for his conservative views about women. His party is responsible for a range of policies and programs that have punished, isolated and oppressed women in Australia.

Just what questions can you be asked when you apply for a job? According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald on October 12, global energy company Chevron asks some intrusive reproductive health questions of women applicants in its recruitment process.

Questions include whether an applicant has been sterilised, their pregnancy history, how many abortions and stillbirths they have had, the number of “normal” children they have and any birth defects their children may have.


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