Go and put the kettle on…

November 10, 2012

Are you comfortable?
Because it’s time to have a chat – especially with the Aussie parents out there – about a magazine that’s tapping into the seedy and degrading underbelly of our boys and men’s minds and it’s using a firm and taloned grip.

I should warn you that there are images, with text, in this post that may offend some readers (I was offended…putting it mildly) and if they don’t – I encourage you to step away from your personal perspective and think of the fact that the rest of us (including {and especially} kids, whose minds are absorbing like sponges) can’t avoid them.

They’re everywhere. Shaping.

This Australian magazine’s simple existence, (along with its horrible brethren versions around the planet) – and the manner in which it has evolved and spread over the years – leaves me gobsmacked.

Well, no, I suppose it doesn’t. Once you dangle the proverbial carrot in front of a weak society, anything goes nowadays. Point in case? This magazine.
What does perplex me, however, is the desensitised indifference that society as a whole seems to have towards magazines like this.

Or is it that most people – especially parents – simply don’t know the dangerous and misogynistic reach these types of magazines have?
This magazine is cheap – only a few dollars – with no age restrictions for purchase at your local newsagency and it predominantly exploits women.

Finally, it calls itself Zoo. Are we animals?

In a recent post, Melinda Tankard Reist discusses Zoo Magazine and says:

28000 – That’s the number of boys aged 14-17 estimated to read  Zoo magazine each week.  Despite its pornographic nature Zoo magazine is classified as ‘men’s lifestyle’ and therefore unrestricted – anyone can buy it. Zoo is conveniently positioned and priced for young readers to purchase in convenience stores, service stations and Coles and Woolworths.

It also states that:

“More Australian men buy and read ZOO than any other magazine in the country – that’s a fact.” – ACP Magazines, Zoo Magazine distributor

28000 a week – of teen boys.

Any alarm bells set off yet?

Many years ago, I had my first experience with Zoo – around the time of its inception in 2007. A copy was confiscated from a 12 year old boy at school. I looked through it and was a little stunned – for so many reasons. Amongst its variety of ‘sections’ (including a baby-seal clubbing article with pictures), the standouts in this particular issue were:

1. A multi-paged ‘article’ with photography of raunchy video-clip stills – predominantly breasts and women bending over, mouths open in erotic ecstasy etc.
2. A section where regular, everyday girls (mostly teens) have sent a ‘selfie’ of themselves in underwear or bikini in ‘sexy’ poses, to be ranked by the readers.
3. An advice section, where it’s two women answering the queries in each issue and are photographed with only underpants on, topless but turned to the side.

A 12 year old had it.

So now I’m going to ask you to have a look at Zoo Magazine’s Home Page.

How are those alarm bells going now?

Now envisage the amount of young boys going to this site.

This is the downside of the Internet, I suppose – furthered by the unyielding force that is Facebook.
Zoo Magazine has a Facebook page.

{Of course it does; it’s good business, right? And that’s what’s ultimately respected, after all – making money}

This is the place where parents can see the ease of infiltration, as well as the predatory domination that is occurring. Remember that legally, a person needs to be 13 years old to open an account on Facebook – but we all know parents who open up accounts for their children, as young as their first years of Primary School.

Recently, Zoo put up the following post (question) for its readers on its Facebook page:

“Left or right? But you’ve got to tell us how you came to that decision.”

For those who can’t read the print, the first comment that appears in this image says: “Left…You have the mouth and the tits to fuck.”

Here are some more responses:

Women being discussed as ‘holes’, ‘it’ or the lovely, ‘either end there’s shit coming out’.

Misogyny. Pure misogyny.

And this platform sees them all clapping each other on the back and giving each other high-fives. Aaahh, the Brotherhood is certainly strong in these circles.

It’s grooming our boys and they’re multiplying. How can they not be?

If the way boys and men think about women is ever-changing for the worse (as evidenced by magazines like Zoo, the post above, Facebook pages on 12 year old sluts etc) then:

Question #110: Are we happy to stand back and let these businesses sabotage our youth by only perpetuating sex as disconnected, dirty and now violently dominating?

Some boys will never know the joy of what a loving relationship entails – where a woman’s wants are equal to his. How sad, but it won’t be entirely their fault because Internet porn and businesses like Zoo Magazine, taught them differently.

And learn they do; they’re KIDS.

I can see older men shaking their head as they’re reading this, thinking how you grew up with ‘Playboys stashed underneath your bed’ and that you turned out ‘alright’. Well, your experience and attitude is a cog (and continues to be) in the terrible state of affairs today.

The comments above are hateful. Nothing good comes from hate.

One may have entertained thoughts or ‘jokes’ similar to the ones posted on the Facebook page above but I probably would have never known; now it’s posted online and it’s permanent. Then it feeds, thanks to the unprecedented way sites like Facebook spread information.

Spreading hate.
How can that NOT be damaging our kids?

A task: Want to take some action? You can join us and let the battle begin against the visible stocking of lads’ mags like ZOO.
Next time you fill up at the petrol station or shop at Woolies or Coles, have a look and see where these sorts of magazines are positioned.
Knowing the damage it can do, just from its sexist cover – should it be there?
A friend confronted a petrol station owner who had all these types of magazines above the lollies that kids make a beeline for.

After that, it’s simple. If they listen and change, continue giving them your business. If not, take your business elsewhere and tell them why you’re doing so.

Remember that money talks. It’s the only way.

Deep Breath and go get ‘em!

19 Responses to “Go and put the kettle on…”

  1. talia99 said

    I’m so glad that the link above to Zoo’s website didn’t work when i clicked using our family computer. I installed new parental controls that appear to be working! It was referred to as ‘adult content’.
    I am appalled to think I can do that on our computer and yet my 10 year old could simply purchase it at our local shop!
    Time to make my feelings heard at said shop about the sale of ‘adult content’ magazines

    • questionsforwomen said

      Great news, Talia! It’s good news to hear that your computer blocked it as adult content! Yes, it most certainly is time to make our feelings heard!
      Thanks Talia. x

  2. Congrats for ten months of blogging! I really hate magazines like these because they objectify women and give young boys a warped perspective of what women actually look like.

  3. […] Go and put the kettle on… by Questions for Women (on the destructive force of pornography that was, by the way, embraced by feminists in the 1960′s who thought this was real freedom for women; don’t believe me, see A Feminist Defense of Pornography; talk about the loss of the authentic vision of dignity for women) […]

    • questionsforwomen said

      I agree about the perplexing notion that women who dress (undress) in a pornographic manner – in the image that men find satisfying – is empowering.
      What the??
      Thank you so much for your comment. 🙂

  4. lamehousewife said

    Here are some links on men who are working diligently to respect the dignity of women: http://www.1flesh.org/category/arguments/ and http://www.e5men.org God bless you, Paula!

    • questionsforwomen said

      Thank you!
      I don’t know about over in the States, but they’re here too – it’s just that they’re not as visible (like on TV) when something is being commented on.
      I can feel the change coming and when both genders truly unite and equally stand tall and shout out ‘Enough’, it will be a beautiful thing.
      I love how you always send me stuff! I’m flat-chat at the moment…actually, lately it feels like I haven’t got time to scratch myself…so I really appreciate it.
      Lovely to hear from you again. x

      • lamehousewife said

        Those men’s groups are more hidden here as well, but they are having an effect anyway. God bless…

  5. MAST3RPWNAGE said

    Hey lady its not a dick dont take it so hard now go make me a sandwich

    • questionsforwomen said

      Oooh – that’s pretty big talk, tough guy, but you can go and make that sandwich yourself.

    • Harls said

      Hmm let’s see, Master Pwnage, sounds like video game speak for one who fancies himself. Sit in your bedroom all day with your controller in your hand, do you? Fnar Fnar. Bet you don’t get out much, and meet real women? Thought not. Just abuse them anonymously from the comfort of your bedroom do you? Thought so. Poor little man. A REAL boy would man up a little and show some respect, and maybe one day you’ll be able to call yourself a man.

    • Hey man, you’ve said 2 things in your comment and neither of them is an original thought, is it? We’ve both heard those comments many, many times before.

      I could type a one-liner from a comedy show. It wouldn’t make me funny. It would just make me look like someone who can’t think for himself.

      All your comment really says is “I’m scared of women”. You probably know that, deep down. Lots of weak people try to put others down to make themselves feel better, so you aren’t alone.

      And no, I’m not angry and “can’t take a joke”, I just kinda pity you. Insecure, unfunny and posting abuse online. What a life.

  6. It’s hard to find well-informed people in this particular subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

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