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It's not a Blokesworld after all

By Melinda Tankard Reist - posted Thursday, 22 September 2005

Blokesworld Live, which was to be held in Brisbane on the weekend before it was shut down at the last moment when Brisbane City Council refused to issue an entertainment licence, was billed as “the ultimate blokes’ weekend”. But ultimately, events like this lead to a not very good time for women.

“For once an exhibition designed without the needs of women in mind” read the advertising blurb.

They got that right.


The Blokesworld weekend was to be an extension of Ten’s late night TV show of the same name celebrating cars, booze and strippers. It offered its voyeur viewers “a bit of a perve along the way.”

The Blokesworld culture can be seen in message board posts: “Some nice tits on there sometimes!”, “Pole Position is awesome you get to see boobs”. One enthusiast comments that he thought the DVD version was “bloody fantastic”, but then he was so sloshed watching it he probably shouldn’t comment.

The boozy blokefest at the showgrounds offered a two-day perve including “Bikini bull riding”, (leaving your top off “will be looked upon extremely favourably by the judges”), “lingerie pillow fights” and a dunking machine. “Money raised goes to some needy group … but what’s important is that the girls get wet!!”

Promo material included ads for “the boob cruise”: the love boat, only there’s no love, just men ogling naked breasts. And an online “Blokesworld” search inevitably leads to links to escort agencies and adult video shops pimping films about “Gang Bangs” and other romantic escapades.

Blokesworld Live boasted “the world’s largest meat tray” - 500 kilos of meat served up to satisfy his hunger. Women are served up in the same way - trays of boobs and bums for male consumption.

Of course, such events are depicted as a bit of harmless fun: a boys-own booze, bikes and babes adventure. But every event which depicts women as mere playthings and recreational objects leads to the further degradation and commodification of women.


Blokesworld Live is playing its role in the ongoing cheapening of sex and relationships, eroding the real value of a person for instant gratification.

How is it that the Brisbane City Council originally allowed this event at its showgrounds? Was money more important than the wellbeing of women? Where was the premier on this? Fortunately, at least three sponsors - including the army - when realising this was more than some standard trade fair, pulled out.

Events like this help fuel demand for pornography and the buying and selling of women in the prostitution trade. After they’ve seen the topless females who have mounted the mechanical cows, and the lingerie tumbles and the freshly dunked wet women, where did these men go for satisfaction?

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About the Author

Melinda Tankard Reist is a Canberra author, speaker, commentator and advocate with a special interest in issues affecting women and girls. Melinda is author of Giving Sorrow Words: Women's Stories of Grief after Abortion (Duffy & Snellgrove, 2000), Defiant Birth: Women Who Resist Medical Eugenics (Spinifex Press, 2006) and editor of Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls (Spinifex Press, 2009). Melinda is a founder of Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation ( Melinda blogs at

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