Let the battle begin.
July 15, 2013
In the UK, Kat Banyard – founder of UK Feminista – started a campaign to Lose the Lads’ Mags.
She has signatures from lawyers supporting her push to have leading businesses, like Tesco, cease to continue stocking magazines – such as ZOO – in their stores.
As it states in the linked article (whilst looking through a ZOO magazine):
Banyard points to one advertising sex line workers who are “just 18” and a bigger ad, on the facing page, promising “Asian Dolls: find your perfect Oriental escort NOW!”. She winces slightly. “I find it staggering that high street retailers sell these magazines mean, they’ve been on their shelves for years, but I still find it staggering that they expect customers and employees to be exposed to this and also that they think it’s OK to profit from them.”
I think this drive is fantastic.
I want to do it here in Australia – and this is why…
A few days ago, my 10 yr old daughter needed a few simple stationary items, so I said we’ll pop into our local newsagency – a family friendly place, right?
This is the same location where I had ‘words’ with the owner, a few months ago, about how he positioned his copies of ZOO magazine on a stand, so that you could see it from outside the shop as you walk by…or your son…or daughter…or grandparents…
He also had very provocative magazines in the same location – down the front of the store – near the newspapers.
When I challenged him about a magazine cover showing a naked lady sitting on a push bike, in plain view from where you get the newspapers, he simply told me I had good eyes. (?)
He also argued that ‘children never go there’.
He ended up removing the ZOO magazine stand – which was a positive step – but alas, it stopped there. He left the other magazines as they were.
It had been a long time since I had gone in there, so you can understand how livid I was when I saw my daughter head to the stationary section and noticed it is located directly opposite the Lads’ magazines.
The current cover of ZOO is this:
Below are the magazines ready for visual perusal, by anyone wanting to buy stationary in this newsagency – where ‘children never go’:
Bulging breasts, spread legs; titles such as ‘Six feet of Sex’ and ‘Hot Stuff’…oh and a naked woman.
Above these are the hard-core mags which have the majority of the cover shrouded in dark plastic.
If this is what’s ‘allowed’ to be shown – what the hell are on the other covers?
Where I was standing, as I took the photo below, is where they sell the newspapers and women’s gossip magazines. Stationary wall to the left and lads’ magazines just opposite.
Question #175: Does this incense you as it does me?
I spoke up.
The only person in the shop was a woman who I have regularly seen over the years and I told her I thought that it was completely inappropriate to have these magazines where children could see these pornographic photos – where anyone could see.
She shrugged, said she just worked there and it had nothing to do with her.
A fairly predictable and typical response and yet still deeply disappoints.
I always wonder if the day will ever come, when someone I’ve spoken to says, “Yeah! That’s true.” (A girl can dream).
She also offered an alternative place of business – Officeworks – to buy stationary.
I was surprised by that – proposing we spend our money elsewhere – and I said to her that sadly, for newsagents, it may just have to be the way.
At that point I directed my girls out of the shop and we did, in fact, go elsewhere.
There seems to be no thought for anyone except heterosexual boys and men to get titillated (and conditioned) everywhere they go, perpetuating this ever-invasive porn culture …and then profit from that.
Of course, we have the equally unsettling issue of the girls and women participating in this paradigm – who feel somehow empowered to be told by men they look ‘hot’ when nearly naked…and then profit from that.
It’s aaall OK, as long as someone’s getting rich – regardless of what ethical lines are being crossed.
Well, I am done.
So is my friend Lily Munroe and we’ve started research for our own campaign.
So stay tuned.
Question #176: Are you with us??
Deeeeeeep (nervous but pumped) breath.