Tag Archives: human rights

International Women’s Day: Take Your Pussy Anywhere You Want

Ad agency Invisible Man created this short video for International Women’s Day, specifically for the strike A Day Without a Woman. Arranged by those who organised the march for the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., the strike is in support of the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day strike of economic equity.
The short ad states “Take your pussy anywhere you want. Just don’t take it to work” – due to the pay gap between men and women, human rights activists demonstrated March 8th as a day where women should strike from working if they aren’t going to be paid the same as their male colleagues.

This message is brought to you by a group of creative people who feel strongly that women’s rights are human rights. We believe in using our powers for good and support the efforts of every group trying to make the world a safer and more equitable place for women and girls.

P.S. We also think it’s high time women reclaim the power of a certain word for themselves.

I can’t help but see a nod towards Trump’s “grab her by the pussy” remarks, which works so well as double entendre for someone being paid less just because of what’s in between their legs.


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Enemies of Equality: If Coachella’s Price Tag Isn’t Putting You Off, Maybe Your Conscience Will

Put the flower crowns away, kids. Philip Anschutz, the owner of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG Live) has been exposed for his right-wing radical beliefs and contributions towards organisations against human rights!
The Coachella lineup has only just been released, and the hippie, beige, HOLLYWEED, home-made flower-power accessory makers of the world rejoiced after headliners like Beyonce, Radiohead and Kendrick Lamar were announced.


In all seriousness, last year, festival-goers spent a minimum of $400 on the most basic tickets for Coachella, and LGBTQ activists are urging people not to spend their hard earned money funding hate. The wonderful organisation ‘Freedom for All Americans’ released this infographic, showing well-known and influential anti-LGBT supporters:

FFAA is the bipartisan campaign to secure full non-discrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. The organisation has gained attention from reporters, journalists and bloggers for their claims that Anschutz’s foundation gave $190,000 to anti-LGBTQ organisations between 2010 and 2013. Having picked up on this information about the 77-year-old billionaire, more information has come to the surface that shows how Anschutz supports some of the most damaging and oppressive organisations in America, donating the following:

  • $110,000 to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) between 2011 and 2013. The ADF litigates cases to oppose abortion, same-sex marriage, and civil unions.
  • $30,000 to Family Research Council between 2010 and 2013. The lobbyist organisation battles pro-LGBT laws and has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
  • $50,000 to National Christian Foundation between 2011 and 2013. The foundation has contributed tens of millions of dollars to ADF, the Family Research Council, and other similar organisations.

Apparently Anschutz has funded anti-equality groups for decades, supporting Colorado’s 1992 proposition Amendment 2, a ballot created to overturn laws offering LGBT protection. Also, he has been noted by Greenpeace to finance science denial groups, with a Greenpeace report alleging that he attends “strategy meetings” with the Koch brothers (Republican narcissists who don’t believe in climate change) twice a year. This man is starting to sound weirdly similar to Donald Trump…

So, why do I care? Why should you care? Well, as we’ve seen in last year’s US election, with great power comes great responsibility – and unfortunately power is often put in the wrong hands. Something that has always deeply disturbed me from a young age is the rose-tinted glasses people seem to wear surrounding topical issues that don’t directly affect them. This is exactly how immensely rich and powerful people take control and spread hate. This is particularly important when it comes to something like Coachella, because the artists performing (almost always), such as Beyonce, are pro-human rights. Most importantly, so are their fans (Beyonce is a huge gay icon and pioneer for young black women). Thousands and millions of people are fans of these musicians, yet they would probably still buy tickets to Coachella knowing this information. Headliners Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé have both released amazing, politically charged albums over the past two years that have helped set the conversation around blackness, feminism and progressive politics.
Similar to this situation, following the US election debates, business in the USA made their political beliefs known (which is unusual) and confidently showed support for democrats – check out the extensive list here. Also, here in the UK the campaign Stop Funding Hate has convinced businesses to stop advertising their products and services in newspapers that contain ‘hate campaigns’ – Lego being the first company to break their contracts with said newspapers.

By purchasing tickets to Coachella, you are paying towards an empire that supports the following:

  • gay conversion therapy
  • pro-abortion
  • anti-LGBTQ groups
  • extremist hate groups like Gordon Kligenschmitt’s (a despicable televangelist in the US) ‘Pray in Jesus Name’
  • denial of climate change and global warming
  • Mission America Foundation (vomit), whose president considers homosexuality a “deviance”

…the list goes on.

Interestingly, a representative for AEG Live forwarded the following statement from Philip Anschutz in response to this report:

Recent claims published in the media that I am anti-LGBTQ are nothing more than fake news – it is all garbage. I unequivocally support the rights of all people without regard to sexual orientation. We are fortunate to employ a wealth of diverse individuals throughout our family of companies, all of whom are important to us – the only criteria on which they are judged is the quality of their job performance; we do not tolerate discrimination in any form.

Both The Anschutz Foundation and I contribute to numerous organizations that pursue a wide range of causes. Neither I nor the Foundation fund any organization with the purpose or expectation that it would finance anti-LGBTQ initiatives, and when it has come to my attention or the attention of The Anschutz Foundation that certain organizations either the Foundation or I have funded have been supporting such causes, we have immediately ceased all contributions to such groups.

Let’s have faith in humanity for a moment and believe that Philip is pro-LGBTQ (which is hard to believe when he has had such a huge influence in Colorado politics)… this means that someone in his team is supporting these extremist views. These donations weren’t made by accident. Who is he trying to kid? That is so depressing.

My final thoughts on this terrifying, draining topic can be perfectly summed up by Ian Silverii, ProgressNow Colorado’s executive director:

At a time in American history when discrimination and violence against LGBTQ citizens is on the rise, support for pro-discrimination groups puts Anschutz on the wrong side of Colorado, and on the wrong side of history.

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National Geographic: Gender Revolution

National Geographic will devote an entire January 2017 Special Issue to an exploration of gender, featuring cover star Avery Jackson (9-years-old). Avery first made her name earlier his year when Planting Peace painted a house they had bought across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound in Topeka (2013) in the LGBT and trans* flags, and declared Equality House a symbol of peace and positive change for the LGBT community. It was Avery (then 8 years-old) who came up with the idea for a trans house, and helped paint it:

I love the transgender flag—it’s beautiful and makes me smile. I’m happy that we will have a house painted like the flag to show that transgender people are beautiful and will make them smile.


Now, trans voices like Avery’s are being heard more frequently, and her story is being told on 27th December 2016 alongside an in-depth look into gender from different perspectives. The special issue will address gender identity, sexuality, puberty, and the problems those who don’t confirm to traditional gender norms endure physically, mentally and socially. The issue is parallel to ‘Gender Revolution’, a two-hour documentary co-produced and hosted by Katie Couric, premiering on Nat Geo in early February.


This special issue is being published at a really crucial time in history, as young trans* suicides have risen and transphobic abuse is the norm online. On top of a presidential committee next year who are all anti-LGBT, it’s important that influential media representatives like the National Geographic represent gender in a human, kind and inclusive way. Although the negative connotations surrounding the trans* community seem to be as strong as homophobia was 50 years ago, a lot of progress has been made, and that’s largely thanks to media outlets like the National Geographic, who allow gender-nonconforming and trans* folk to share their unique stories with the world.

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Google: Year in Search 2016

I’m not crying, you are…

Wow, 2016 has been the worst year for humanity during my lifetime. I’ve cried more tears over the destruction of lives (emotionally and physically) than I have over my own personal challenges this year.

2016 was the first time in my life that I questioned whether I really wanted children (this is coming from someone who’s wanted nothing but that since I can remember) – whether I wanted to ever create a human being and bring them into a world where we are all still so divided. Not just a handful of us, like I thought it was – there are a lot of people out there who believe that certain groups of people are better than others. Thousands and thousands of them.
I’ve lived my life with the reassurance that bigoted people are idiots who live in a tiny bubble with a small group of other morons, mainly due to my educational background family and friends. The revelation that we actually haven’t progressed as a society as much as I assumed we had has left my heart broken and my hope for humanity shattered into a million tiny pieces.

It’s draining and it’s tough voicing my opinion and trying to make a difference when people don’t truly care. Something I’ve also learnt over the last few years is that there’s a huge difference between ‘caring’ and ‘doing’ – we can’t possibly defeat the likes of homophobes and racists by saying “I have a black friend”, “I went to gay pride” – you have to fight. You have to stand up and say “NO!” – you have to correct people and educate people. We may be fast approaching 2017, but sadly we’ve not actually made much progress…
I don’t know what it will take to shake people into realising that sharing a Facebook post won’t stop a suicide from homophobic bullying or a young black man being shot. What I know is that if you’re reading this, you have access to 2 of the most powerful things right now: your voice and the internet. USE THEM!

“Love is out there. Search on”

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Brexit and the consequences Human Rights face

When Brexit was first announced this year, my initial concerns consisted of what will happen regarding EU laws with human rights and animal rights. I’ve already written a blog post on animal rights – mainly the recent EU animal testing policies, so it’s time for human rights to take to the stage.

Current EU law protects rights affecting millions of people in the UK, for example:

  • employment rights
  • economic and social rights
  • equality and anti-discrimination protection in the UK (from European Court of Justice)
  • protection of gender, disability, age, religion, nationality, sexual orientation

Brexit could have a huge impact on these human rights protections, and would be the first time that a significant legal protection of rights was removed from UK citizens. What concerns me most is that there is a risk that the UK government could weaken the anti-discrimination and employment rights protection in UK law. These laws were born from the EU legislation (the rights set out in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights), and although many EU laws would remain, if the UK segregates itself completely from the EU (and consequently from jurisdiction of the EU Court of Justice) the government would be able to adopt laws that weaken those human rights protections.

Scary, right? I’m British, but was born in Belgium (and moved back to London at 8 months old), so if I had stayed and obtained a Belgian passport, but moved back to London in my teens, for example, I could be in fear of my employment and human rights… Even though my family are of British heritage. This poses a very scary situation for those who have moved to the UK without British heritage, which although I can mildly relate to, cannot ever totally contemplate.


Of course, when it came to vote, I voted remain! I knew this would happen – I knew the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (which is so fantastic and fundamental for our nation) would come under strain if we left. Another scenario I could have predicted with a crystal ball was this rise in xenophobia – however, I had no idea it would be this bad. The increase in hate crimes since Brexit is absolutely terrifying! There was a 60% increase in hate crimes after the referendum compared to the year before (from the National Council of Police Chiefs), including reports of assaults and arson attacks towards EU citizens.

Since “What is Brexit” and “What is Britain” were popular Google searches during the referendum, it doesn’t surprise me that people are interpreting Theresa May’s words as an excuse to attack EU citizens, mainly those of non-British heritage. Even the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD) recommended that politicians choose their language and policy proposals carefully when it comes to political speeches, suggesting that

…public officials not only refrain from such [hate] speech but also formally reject hate speech and condemn the hateful ideas expressed so as to promote a culture of tolerance and respect.

When I heard that the government wants to require schools to record the country of birth and nationality of children, I thought this was a joke – a parody of racists – it wasn’t. It was also suggested that employers list their foreign workers and restricted entry to foreign students… these policy statements are very risky as they are conveying a message that the referendum result was a vote to rid the country of “foreigners”. I do believe that’s why the majority of Brexiters voted leave. And that’s scary because essentially, and genetically, I’m pretty sure none of us are actually British through-and-through…

The government now must make it clear what will affect EU citizens and their families as leaving the Council of Europe would significantly weaken human rights protection in the UK. It could weaken the court system in ways that would harm human rights protection across the Council of Europe region. That is scary. Something that makes me very proud to be British (and that never happens – for obvious reasons regarding association of Brexiters) is the amount of asylum seekers who start new lives here, such as members of the LGBT community who fear violence and even death in their country due to laws and a lack of human rights. Not just that, but most people I know have parents who fled their country to start a better life in the UK and have created a happy, successful, thriving life and home here. I don’t think that makes anyone less “British” – anyway, who are these racists and bigots to define “Britishness”?! We should all be forced to have DNA tests on “Who Do You Think You Are?” to shut everyone up (hey, I have French heritage!)

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Girls of Paradise: McCann Paris

With every positive there’s a negative, and this is definitely true when it comes to the pros and cons of the internet. The internet allows us to feel like we have some sort of faceless anonymity, and McCann Paris (for French organisation Le Mouvement du Nid) explored this idea with ‘Girls of Paradise’ – a fake (but very convincing) escort website that is aimed at consumers of this industry to highlight their responsibility and association with violence against women in the escort business.

As mentioned above, it is easy to become inconspicuous and innominate on the internet, particularly when dealing with something as seedy and taboo as the sex industry. On the website, one can view profiles and photos, and chat or call the women before arranging a date. The key unveiling of this project is when the ‘Girls’ are presented as already dead – this is revealed when the customer tries to converse with the escort, and is instead shown gruesome photos of the women beaten and bloody, on their death-beds. Additionally, the active customer may be told that the chosen girl is unavailable due to being assaulted or murdered (in horrific and specific detail) by a previous customer. What better way to communicate a horrendous, but urgent message than shove the evidence right in the consumer’s (accomplice’s) face?! This is why I love advertising for social change.

Amazingly, 600+ calls were taken in the first week on Girls of Paradise, and Le Mouvement du Nid (whose aim is to help women victimised by the sex trade) believes the campaign was highly influential in France’s law changes. On 6th April 2016, France made paying for sex illegal.
[McCann Paris/Le Mouvement du Nid won gold at the Clio Awards.]


Company: McCann Paris
Agency Network: McCann Worldgroup
Production Company: Medialab Technology, Paris
Creative Agency: McCann Paris, Clichy
Executive Creative Director: Riccardo Fregoso
Executive Creative Director: Julien Chiapolini
Art Director: Christophe Rambaux
Copywriter: Gilles Ollier
CEO: Bruno Tallent
Account Coordinator: Coline Déchelette
Worldwide Account Director: Fiona Ferrier-Weil
Digital Account Manager: Selim Boukhanef
Strategic Planner: Shadi Razavi
Art Buyer: Véronique Leblanc
Art Buyer: Delphine Devaux
Producer: Isabelle Créchet
Producer: Caroline de Génis
Chief technology officer: Dragan Kontic
Technical Project Manager: Vianney de Villier
Technical Project Manager: Clément Hardouin
Front End Developer: Pierre-Yves Chassaigne
Managing Director: Agnieszka Kozbial
Sound Producer: Capitaine Plouf

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Advertising and the rise of Trans* awareness

Whilst it’s perhaps not ideal as a Londoner to be writing about gender identity statistics in the US, it is still important note that the number of trans-identifying adults in the United States has doubled in the last decade (now 1.4 million adults). It’s a shame that publicised trans* awareness doesn’t seem to have the same impact in the UK… no major Government or administrative surveys have collected data by including a question where trans people can choose to identify themselves. Publicly collected data on trans people is virtually non-existent! Understandably though, there is a larger base of A-list celebrities in the USA, including trans* celebs like Caitlyn Jenner (below) and Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black).

So, for now, the focus of this blog post will be about the impact of trans* awareness through advertising and marketing in the USA…

In August, Nike aired an ad for the Olympics featuring triathlete Chris Mosier (the first transgender athlete to make a U.S. men’s national team) which had millions of people from the entertainment, creative and advertising industries taking note. Since then, brands like H&M (featuring Caitlyn Jenner), YouTube and Bud Light, have either featured trans* stories/trans*-inclusive messaging in recent campaigns.


Days after Nike’s 30-second spot, Clairol (Procter & Gamble) announced that trans* model Tracey Norman (who had worked for them previously in the 70s), would become the face of the Nice ‘n Easy ads once more. Grey (New York) were behind Clairol’s ad, and Beth Avellini (global group CD) states that “Advertising reflects society as a whole, and there’s been a slow acceptance that’s been happening in society.” I couldn’t agree more! However, there’s always a fear that marketers and creatives will use “the token trans* person” for buying power (which has also been expressed in the LGBT community as a whole), and the rise of trans*-inclusive publicity has brought into question whether these campaigns are for social benefit or brand benefit.

I have to say, the ads mentioned above do have a true sense of authenticity and passion. However, as a cis-gender woman I struggle to allow myself to actually have a strong opinion on this topic because it would never and could never affect me directly. It’s difficult to have 100% belief of genuine intentions when it comes to ads being created by hetero-normative marketers in a hetero-normative society. I have to agree with Chris Edwards (copywriter and author of the memoir, ‘Balls: It Takes Some to Get Some’) who states that “terminology is evolving… it is important for advertisers to do their research and work with advisors to make sure copy and tone resonate with the intended audience.”


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Milan Vayntrub: A Creative Force for Good

What a fantastic career! Below are my favorite parts of the article…


Do you think activism and creativity are becoming more intertwined? Is there more of a relationship between things that people view as entertainment and as activism?
People are really waking up to a global responsibility, especially our generation, and I think the internet has a big part in it. I think it’s maybe just a time of so much strife in the world that it’s hard to ignore. Then there are brilliant comedians that make it something digestible but also infuriating. So yeah, I think entertainment and activism go very much hand in hand. Though I don’t want to say it’s an entertainer’s responsibility to also be an activist. I don’t even really think of myself as an activist. I just feel very passionate about these people who are going through a hard time.

And part of getting ahead in the entertainment world is now about your social currency, too.
I think about that a lot. When I started to get a backlash for my opinions, I looked at what other women and men in the industry that I respect are doing. Some of them are big philanthropists and quiet on social media [about it]. Their social media is about their product, and their product is them, and so they post their selfies and their behind-the-scenes pics and people like it and love it and they build their audience and they book their work and then they donate quietly, and that is really cool. Then there are other people I respect like Macklemore, who uses his voice constantly to try to make change in the world, and that’s really brave and scary, and I respect that, too. I don’t know which one I should be doing because it fucks me up to have to have those conversations. And I do, I engage with those people on Twitter, and I don’t know if that’s the right thing to do.

Also, it’s so cocky of me to think that I could change anyone’s mind, but I can’t do nothing. How am I not supposed to talk to these 100,000 people about something that’s tearing me up today? How am I supposed to act like it’s not happening? How am I supposed to post my happy selfie today when I’m actually really distraught about the murder that’s happening in the world? Maybe I should. Maybe this will be the downfall of my career if people stop following me and studios don’t want to be involved with someone this controversial—not that I am controversial in any way—I don’t know what is the right move or the more advisable career move, but life is long and complicated and you’ve got to do what you feel is right.

[quotes and image from adweek]

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Liberty Human Rights | Show Me Yours…

Ad agency Don’t Panic stages a scenario in an amusing video for Liberty Human Rights where a complete stranger who walks up to pedestrians on the street, asking to access to all the personal data on their phones.

The PSA is designed to raise awareness of the sweeping nature of Britain’s Investigatory Powers Bill. Derisively known as the Snoopers’ Charter, the controversial legislation would allow the government to intercept all manner of digital communications and information.

I love this kind of campaign – I’ve always had an interest in how people react differently when faced with circumstances/problems in real life. Sort of like face-to-face pranking to make people question themselves/their actions.

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EU: Yes or No? What has the ECHR ever done for us?

After Theresa May says Britain should leave the European convention on human rights, Patrick Stewart, Adrian Scarborough and Sarah Solemani expose the problems in the Conservative plan for a UK bill of rights. Hilarious satire video:

May said the influence of the European Court of Human Rights made Britain “less secure” as she described how it had delayed the deportation of hate preachers and terror suspects, as well as denying MPs the power to ban prisoners from having the vote. May has now been ridiculed after being told Britain can’t quit the ECHR as long as it remains a member of the EU. The EU is bound by the ECHR.

The shadow justice secretary, Charles Falconer, accused May of “sacrificing Britain’s 68-year-old commitment to human rights for her own miserable Tory leadership ambitions”.

So, as someone who is wanting to take part in this vote, whilst being a human rights activist, the safety if ECHR is concerning. Shouldn’t the UK lead not retreat on human rights?

Theresa May has claimed “we can protect human rights ourselves”, which is a terrifying statement, particularly in the wake of the US presidential election, where Human Rights groups are looking for allies and support from other countries. How can we criticise Donald Trump’s views on human rights and equality if we are unable to set an example ourselves? How will this impact those wanting to have a better life in the UK after living in abhorrent, dangerous conditions?

I’m spending some time researching and thinking about which way my vote should go. I will also be considering the impact of Animal Rights laws (I’ll probably do a post on that too), as the recent changes in laws have had a hugely positive impact on EU animal cruelty regarding the barbaric testing of products etc. What will happen with China and their animal testing policy? Will we still obtain the same Animal Rights laws if we leave the EU?…

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