> about OBjECT!
OBJECT is a women-run, voluntary radfem campaign linking, exposing and fighting all systems that objectify, exploit, harm and kill women as a sex class. These systems are usually linked with sex and reproduction and they disproportionately harm women of colour.
OBJECT takes action founded on evidence and science. We do not depend on funding so we can speak the truth as we see it.
Our banner proclaims proudly ‘Prostitution, Pornography, Sex clubs, Surrogacy, Gender Ideology – WE OBJECT’.
..because all these systems harm women, the largest group in human society. And because women still largely do the caring work, these systems also indirectly harm children, people with disabilities and the elderly (who are also mostly women).
Action to help women makes things better for EVERY major vulnerable and disadvantaged group, so society should prioritise women’s rights.
Working with other feminist organisations, OBJECT’s ‘End Demand’ campaign raised awareness and advocated for the Nordic Model long before France, Ireland or Canada adopted it. A law change was achieved which made it a criminal offence to have paid-for sex with a woman known by the punter to have been trafficked– the Policing and Crime Act 2009. Our OBJECTinars have featured prostitution survivors and campaigners from around the world.
We call for the Nordic Model to criminalise the purchase of ‘sex’ from vulnerable women and to provide ways out for those that wish to leave prostitution.
We collaborate internationally with organisations fighting prostitution, for example SPACE International, Build A Girl, blogger Elly Arrow and we support the work of Nordic Model Now.
OBJECT nominated a Sam Walshe, a sex trade survivor who works to help women exit prostitution, for the Emma Humphries Memorial Prize.
Working with sister organisation #NotBuyingIt OBJECT has responded to consultations and attended relicensing meetings around the country to raise awareness of the harms to women by Sex Encounter Venues and also the damage done to local areas and communities. Back in 2011 OBJECT gave voice to the women working in clubs by publishing a book ‘Stripped – the Bare Reality of Lap Dancing’ by Jennifer Hayashi Danns and Sandring Leveque. See also our OBJECTINAR with Dr Sasha Rakoff.
Back in the day, OBJECT campaigned to get ‘Lads’ Mags’ shrink-wrapped because the content was so pornographic, sexist and objectifying to women. A study showed that the attitudes of men who read ‘Lads’ Mags’ were the same as those of convicted rapists. When Tesco banned people in pyjamas from shopping there yet continued to stock ‘Lads’ Mags’, OBJECT activists protested that ‘Porn is much worse than pyjamas’ by singing and dancing the conga round Tesco wearing pyjamas. Proving that activism can be fun!
OBJECT activists protested at the 2011 X-Biz pornography industry summit, dressed as butchers to show how porn treats women as pieces of meat.
OBJECT members in conjunction with the ‘No More Page 3’ campaign protested outside The Sun’s Wapping headquarters about the Sun’s practice, now discontinued, of showing a topless woman in its publication each day.
OBJECT demonstrated outside the 2011 Miss World Finals and were delighted to find among us the three women who first made headlines with their ‘bags of flour’ protest back in 1970. We joined them in a few choruses of ‘We’re not ugly, we’re not beautiful, we’re angry!’ Making the point that what women think and feel is more important than comparing them to stupid ‘beauty’ standards.
In 2019 by contacting Camden Council, OBJECT got the London Porn Film Festival moved out of central London to a scuzzy pub in the outskirts where it lost money – we were given an invoice to prove it!
We also got Marks and Spencer to change the name of its Porn Star Cocktail to Passion Star based on 2 arguments: first, that a family store should not be normalising porn, and second, that M&S’s complaints system rejected the word ‘porn’ which was hypocrisy given the name of the drink. The embarrassment factor can be key in successful activism!
OBJECT started work on surrogacy in 2016. We now work closely with Stop Surrogacy Now and the Centre for Bioethics and Culture to expose surrogacy as a system which deliberately harms women and children and commodifies their bodies. Outraged at the Law Commission’s research into deregulating surrogacy because it ignored the interests of women and children, OBJECT carried out its own study with women’s groups and found no fewer than SIXTY major problems with surrogacy.
OBJECT protested with StopSurrogacyNow at the 2021 Modern Family Show which markets surrogacy to rich LGBTQ people with no concern for the harms done to women, the trafficking in babies or the deliberate creation of troubled children to satisfy a market..
5. GENDER IDEOLOGY
OBJECT sees transgenderism as an impossible belief used to harm women. Profit is the main motive – business for clinics, cosmetic surgeons, drug companies, counsellors, therapists, manufacturing companies (big high heels, ‘packers’ ie fake penises for kids’ trousers. Transgenderism also creates a market by surrogacy as the cross-sex hormones reduce fertility.
We see gender as socially constructed – women are taught ‘femininity’ from the culture we grow up in, it is not innate. Sex categories – male and female – are real. Only women can have babies and breast feed them. We believe we should be able to discuss these matters freely. Women need their own spaces, shortlists, scholarships etc because in the past they were excluded from them by men and put in physical danger because of male violence against women. We believe women’s spaces should end when patriarchy does, but not until then.
OBJECT participated in the 2018 London Pride ‘Get the ‘L’ Out protest’ objecting to the erasure of lesbians by Stonewall in its rush to represent trans people. OBJECT’s chair, Janice Williams, was disciplined by Humanists UK for attending this.
Since 2016 we have supported women unjustly attacked for fighting transgenderism and sex-based oppression: Maria Maclachlan, Keira Bell, Maya Forstater, Heather Brunskell Evans, Kate Scottow, Stella Perrett, Sonia Poulton, attending court, live tweeting and helping publicise their cause. We have revealed the Hidden Voices of many of them in our OBJECTINARs.
In 2021 OBJECT got an unscientific Open University course (designed by Gendered Intelligence) about trans people taken down by critiquing its unevidenced statements. This resulted in the formation of the OU Gender Critical Group by staff and students who contacted us to thank us for complaining. We have challenged the OU again about another dodgy course and received a threat of legal action. Watch this space!
OBJECT looked into the history behind transactivist claims that Native American ‘two-spirit’ people were trans. Only one historian, a US university professor specialising in Native American issues, had written on it, and he stated 28 times over 14 pages that there was no evidence that two-spirit had ever been used to mean trans until the 1990s.
Another myth busted!
We recommend Transgender Trend, Fair Play for Women, Sex Matters, the 11th Hour blog, Peak Trans for more information about transgenderism