Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lad's mags, feminist campaigns, modesty covers and the Co-Op

Do the supermarkets care about children?

I ask because this has been one of the main reasons that they have recently decided to censor or ban lad's mags. These magazines, with sexy covers of bikini-clad babes, predictably got the feminist pressure groups frothing at the mouth with indignation. They started to lobby the supermarkets to cover them up. Some have moved them to the top shelves, and placed them behind boards. This week one magazine (Nuts) refused even more draconian demands from the Co-Op chain to put their magazines in modesty bags, which cover up the front cover. Co-Op will now ban Nuts from its stores.

The rational behind these measures was supposedly that its bad for children to see sexual images (women in bikinis/in provocative poses etc).

Yet, hypocritically these supermarkets don't seem to care at all about:

(1) Women's magazines which show women in bikinis on their covers

(2) Magazines for women and gay men which feature images of naked or semi-naked men on their covers, with often sexual headlines.

(3) Trashy celebrity/gossip magazines (of which the supermarkets stock MANY more than the lads mags) which have garish covers filled with headlines about abuse, incest and sex, not to mention endlessly mocking people in the public eye for their weight.

If lads mags are so bad for children, the supermarkets must also believe that the women's and gay's magazines are equally harmful, yet they do nothing to censor them.


In other words, it doesn't look like 'protecting children' was the reason for the censorship of the lads mags.

Also, if supermarkets were so keen on the welfare of children why do they sell so many processed and highly sugared foods aimed at children which are undoubtedly harming their young bodies?

Interestingly, this week I went into one of Co-Op's most prominent stores, on the Strand in London, and the only magazine aimed at men at all was 'Attitude', the gay men's magazine, which had a cover image of a half-naked man, and boasted of a feature on 'the 100 sexiest men'.

Given Co-Op's aggressive stance on censoring sexual images and headlines, was this magazine on the top shelf?


Was it hidden behind a board?


In a modesty cover?


It was prominently positioned on a special display with the title 'We recommend'.

Clearly Co-Op doesn't care at all about children seeing sexualised images and headlines, they just seem to care about alienating straight men.

I have nothing against gay men (I have gay male friends and colleagues) but I find Co-Op's hypocrisy rather disgusting. I don't even buy the lads mags, but I don't like the fact that they display so many trashy magazines which clearly are just exploiting concepts like abuse and incest for profit. I would not want children to see this kind of material. Also, why is it that the store I went into stocked tens of magazines aimed at women and not one aimed at me, as a man? 

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