Guest blog: Lose the lads' mags - or risk legal action

(171 Posts)
JessMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 29-May-13 11:12:44

Brand new legal advice shows that displaying and selling magazines and papers with Page 3-style front cover images can constitute sexual harassment or sex discrimination in the workplace. This means that employees who are exposed to such publications, as well as customers, could take legal action against retailers.

In this guest blog Elizabeth Prochaska, barrister at Matrix Chambers, explains the laws which underpin the latest campaign to rid our shop shelves of lads' mags.

What do you think? Let us have your thoughts on the thread - and if you blog on this issue, don't forget to post your URL. Also, please do share on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

"As you might have seen in the papers this Bank Holiday, campaign groups UK Feminista and Object have launched a new campaign to Lose the Lads' Mags. The campaigners joined forces with a group of lawyers to warn high-street retailers that they risk legal action if they continue to display lads' mags, such as Zoo and Nuts, on their shelves.

As regular Mumsnetters will know, lads' mags have been the target of several high profile campaigns, including Object's Feminist Fridays, Mumsnet's Let Girls be Girls and Shelve It! The Government-commissioned 'Sexualisation of Young People Review' in 2010 found: "a clear link between consumption of sexualised images, a tendency to view women as objects and the acceptance of aggressive attitudes and behaviour as the norm. ... Exposure to the sexualised female ideal is linked with lower self-esteem, negative moods and depression in young women and girls."

The evidence shows that lads' mags normalise the objectification of women. As the government review found, they promote attitudes and behaviours that underpin discrimination and violence against women and have a negative impact on the self-esteem and aspirations of women and girls. Extensive research has revealed that viewing media which reduces women to sex objects leads people to become significantly more accepting of gender stereotyping, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence and rape myths.

Following the Mumsnet campaign, some retailers agreed to put lads' mags on the top shelf so that children are less likely to be exposed to the images. But many retailers continue to display lads' mags prominently and employees of the shops are required to handle the material, regardless of where it is stacked. So what can the law do about it? The law respects the right to publish pornographic magazines and the campaigners are not calling for the magazines to be banned. The campaign is focused on the protection against sexual harassment and discrimination found in the Equality Act 2010.

The Equality Act consolidated all the UK equality laws, including the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, in one piece of legislation. It makes sexual harassment by employers unlawful. It also prohibits providers of services, such as newsagents and supermarkets, from harassing their customers. Sexual harassment is defined in section 26(2) of the Equality Act to mean 'unwanted conduct of a sexual nature'. The person's conduct needs to have the effect of violating another person's dignity, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. There is no need for the employer or shopkeeper to intend to degrade or humiliate a person and the subjective perception of the person who feels degraded is taken into account when deciding whether or not the conduct constitutes harassment.

There have been successful legal cases brought by female employees who have felt degraded by their male colleagues viewing pornographic images in the workplace regardless of whether or not the men intended to create an offensive environment. UKFeminista and Object have evidence that customers and shop employees are unhappy being involuntarily exposed to the pornographic images on the front covers of lads' mags. The lawyers supporting the campaign argue that shops that require their employees to handle these magazines and display them on their shelves risk creating a degrading environment that may lead to claims under the Equality Act. If a woman does bring a claim, it will be up to the courts to decide whether she was sexually harassed in the circumstances of her case. In the meantime, retailers will be thinking hard about heeding the call to lose the lads' mags.

You can join the campaign here: www.losetheladsmags.org.uk

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Wed 29-May-13 19:07:08

Will the unions fund the first claims, do you think? Without some funding I wonder how meaningful this development will be?

Signed the petition. Cover up or remove .

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 19:14:33

This a great way to empower people. Lads mags have been upsetting the many for the benefit of the few for far too long now. smile flowers

MeiMeiMeiMei Wed 29-May-13 19:14:57

I detest having lads mags on display when I'm in our village Co-op (y'know that family friendly store hmm). Do I have any rights under the law to ask them to remove them?

I would suspect many of the mainly female employees don't like these porn mags being there but wouldn't risk losing their minimum wage jobs by complaining to Head Office about it or consulting a lawyer.

TheFallenNinja Wed 29-May-13 19:16:06

I imagine that lads mags are as lawyered up as they need to be, there's lots of advertisers money to play with.

But, I don't believe this can be solved with the simple "threat" of possible legal action. If laws are bring broken lets get it into court and deal with the ruling.

poorbuthappy Wed 29-May-13 19:20:11

Well Morrisons won't give a shiny shit. I complained via their Facebook page and was torn apart by the masses. Morrisons didn't even bother to reply.

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 19:21:19

MeiMeiMeiMei "Do I have any rights under the law to ask them to remove them?"

I think it means you can sue for harassment/sex discrimination.

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 19:23:46

"I imagine that lads mags are as lawyered up as they need to be"
But its not the lads mags being sued - its the shops.

I've asked Tesco metro as mags at my DS head height. They basically told me I was anti press freedom and a prude

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 19:33:31

SauceForTheGander Did you email their complaints or speak to the manager? I'd be interested to know if they have a policy on that sort of thing or if it was the words of one individual.

So why is it that women's magazines use pictures of 'fit' attractive women then? Those magazines are aimed at the female market. Is that not equally 'sexist'?

However I might just find a soapbox and have magazines like 'Mens Health' removed from the shelf. After-all, on the cover is often a topless man showing his rippling washboard stomach.

However. I do think that music in particular is overly 'sexual', especially when the targeted audience is tweenage girls. Though I'm not arguing that case on a 'sexist' ticket, but on a 'decency' and let kids be kids basis.

I'm now going to run for cover! Popcorn ready!! :-)

StephanieDA Wed 29-May-13 19:46:02

This is long overdue. I hate having to run a gauntlet of porn when I'm looking for magazines I want in newsagents or supermarkets.There's enough research now to show that we take in these images at an unconscious level even though we may not consciously notice them, and we know the effects of such conditioning on both girls and boys. It creates a toxic and disempowering environment for young girls, especially the most vulnerable ones.
I wrote a bit about that in this blog: www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/stephanie-davies/the-cases-of-lee-rigby-an_b_3342074.html

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 19:55:11

Haplesshacker "So why is it that women's magazines use pictures of 'fit' attractive women then? Those magazines are aimed at the female market. Is that not equally 'sexist'?"

It a case of discrimination/harassment isn't it? If you felt this:

"Sexual harassment is defined in section 26(2) of the Equality Act to mean 'unwanted conduct of a sexual nature'. The person's conduct needs to have the effect of violating another person's dignity, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment."

was caused by women's magazines then I suppose it would apply to them too right?

In my personal experience, although I find women's magazines gratingly patronising and shallow, they've never created a hostile or degrading atmosphere for me in the same oppressive way lads mags have.

* Radio*

I emailed someone in customer services. It was a few years ago and on the bottom of my receipt it said "is there anything we can do to improve" so I thought you know what, I'd rather my son hasn't just asked me why that woman had stars on her (covering up her breasts). So I emailed the address at bottom of receipt saying I didn't think queuing next to the magazines was a nice experience as had to stand next to the Lads Mags with my small DS and could they move the mags / cover them up. I got a reply saying Tesco were not the moral guardians and could not dictate to a free press what they put on their covers. So I replied saying don't ask your customers for their opinions if you're not going to do anything.

I've avoided tescos ever since!

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 20:00:15

That is piss poor sauce

I wasn't that pissed off until I got the reply and then I decided I hated Tesco! I've just searched for the email. I'm
Sure I saved it. ...

TheFallenNinja Wed 29-May-13 20:05:42

Well nobodies being sued are they? Just this threat of possible legal action that may or may not give in very individual cases the required result.

I honestly don't see this going anywhere, most supermarkets are displaying these magazines in specific holders as the law proscribes.

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 20:12:14

"I honestly don't see this going anywhere, most supermarkets are displaying these magazines in specific holders as the law proscribes."

Lidl displays the Star where you queue up at about 8" off of the ground

TheFallenNinja Wed 29-May-13 20:23:37

Just to be clear, I'm not opposing this in any way, I'm not a fan of lads mags but then I'm not a fan of celebrity gossip or lifestyle magazines.

What I am in favour of however is doing things right. Threatening legal action to the supermarkets ultimately threatens the publishers revenues, in this case of course their lawyers will get involved.

This can only be fixed by changing the law.

So to put the sexual harassment, degrading thing into context, for what are essentially women in bikinis on these front covers. Should lingerie shops and there advertising be banned from the high street?

What about the Marks & Spencer Summer adverts that are running on TV at the moment. Girls in see through beach wear and bikinis and swimsuits. Should that be banned as well?

If your hubby or boyfriend, okay lets be PC about this, or your girlfriend, bought some racy underwear for you. Would you feel equally as degraded or objectified. And would you want a court ruling regarding them purchasing this kind of stuff for you ever again. Or would you wear it, feel sexy, and enjoy some rekindled passion? Somehow I doubt it.

I'm all for protecting the children. And on that basis I support your sentiment. However 'lads mags' are often placed high on the shelf where the old 'soft porn' magazines used to be kept. Which have disappeared from all but the 'independent' retailers.

MissStrawberry Wed 29-May-13 20:30:13

Years ago I complained to WHSmith's about their magazine display by the till which was full of topless women, no nipples covered with stars then. Plenty of other places they could have displayed the mags. I don't think I even got a reply.

cocolepew Wed 29-May-13 20:33:33

I think it is a moot point bringing up magazines like Mens Health. Womans health magazines like Top Sante or Zest usually have a fit looking woman in gym kit/shorts on the front but none of these are the same as the lads mags covers.

cocolepew Wed 29-May-13 20:36:14

I complained to Tesco about them being next to comics, nothing was done. In fact the manager looked at me as if I had 2 heads. In Asda after I mentioned they were at eye level to children they were immediately moved to the top shelf. The manager got in touch a few,days later to say they were now behind shields with only the title on show .

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 20:37:13

Haplesshacker So to put the sexual harassment, degrading thing into context, for what are essentially women in bikinis on these front covers. Should lingerie shops and their advertising be banned from the high street?

confused this isn't about banning is it? Harassment is something that is experienced by individuals.

It is quite possible that lingerie/swimsuit ads could be harassing if they look really porno and demeaning or suggest women are there for the taking.

Mens Health has a naked torso male on the front. Somehow that's okay??? But women in swimwear is not!!! confused

Dare I suggest that women are sexiest about their own kind!!

cocolepew Wed 29-May-13 20:44:02

Mens Health is a magazine for,*men*.

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 20:49:17

"Mens Health has a naked torso male on the front. Somehow that's okay??? But women in swimwear is not!!!"

That's a silly point isn't it? I have never in all the times I've been to the swimming pool seen men in a full swimsuit.

Also it is the matter of context too and whether it is sexually suggestive. Another point to consider - rape. Voyeurs, flashers, sex-pests, harassers, rapists, etc are overwhelmingly male and their victims are overwhelmingly female. This factors into whether an environment feels hostile or degrading or not for somebody.

So naturally you wouldn't find that offensive, degrading, sexually discriminating, or otherwise distasteful to you then?

But well observed. So are lads mags. Well men under 25 anyway.

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 20:56:53

Haplesshacker "So naturally you wouldn't find that offensive, degrading, sexually discriminating, or otherwise distasteful to you then? But well observed. So are lads mags. Well men under 25 anyway."

I think you seem to be missing the point about gender equality.

"Also it is the matter of context too and whether it is sexually suggestive. Another point to consider - rape. Voyeurs, flashers, sex-pests, harassers, rapists, etc are overwhelmingly male and their victims are overwhelmingly female. This factors into whether an environment feels hostile or degrading or not for somebody."

If as a women you feel 'threatened' by doing some shopping in a store that sells these magazines. I'm surprised that you manage to step outside the door.

I've been more scarred out on a Friday night with a pack of drunk baying women jeering and clawing at me. But I'm not going to suggest banning alcohol.

I'm not sure if this debate on here is really about protecting children, or about some women's own insecurities about their own self image. The former I support. The later. I don't give two hoots about. As for feeling 'threatened' by a picture of a woman in a bikini. Get over it.

One thing I have noticed is that no comment has been made regarding my M&S or high street reference.

I've said it before. I agree with keeping lads mags to the top shelf. However I will add that all the 'gossip' mags should also be up there. Most kids can read ya' know!!

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 21:05:35

"I'm not sure if this debate on here is really about protecting children, or about some women's own insecurities about their own self image"

So this is the scope of your understanding of the issues is it?

Do you understand what harassment is?

"So naturally you wouldn't find that offensive, degrading, sexually discriminating, or otherwise distasteful to you then? But well observed. So are lads mags. Well men under 25 anyway."

I think you seem to be missing the point about gender equality."

I get gender equality. But I'm not the one who won't go into some shops that have magazines of half naked men on the cover. I'm fine with it.

TheFallenNinja Wed 29-May-13 21:06:36

Out of curiosity, what's with the quoting radioeggs?

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 21:09:08

?

""I'm not sure if this debate on here is really about protecting children, or about some women's own insecurities about their own self image"

So this is the scope of your understanding of the issues is it?

Do you understand what harassment is?"

Oh god yes. I do!!

As I said. The debate on here seems to revolve around a few different viewpoints. The 'feminist' one. The protecting the children one. Which I'm all for. And the sexual harassment one. Which in this case, is probably the weakest basis of the argument. You will get more 'general' support for this 'mission' on the basis of protecting children. The case regarding harassment from a magazine picture comes across as a bunch of loony left, feminist claptrap. Though I suspect that more media coverage would be give to this, because of that. But general support. Nope.

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 21:21:03

"The case regarding harassment from a magazine picture comes across as a bunch of loony left, feminist claptrap."

In workplaces you no longer get the pin-up calendars - it is now completely accepted that they are inappropriate - by people across the political spectrum (apart from weird, backwards, creepy dinosaurs).

TheFallenNinja Wed 29-May-13 21:21:08

I was wondering, but I think this all looks different on the big screen, I usually use the app and haven't had much of what I've said quoted back to me to specifically disagree with that point.

Hey Jo

TheFallenNinja Wed 29-May-13 21:21:29

Hey ho even smile

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 21:24:13

"I usually use the app and haven't had much of what I've said quoted back to me to specifically disagree with that point."

Are you talking about the M&S point or are you talking about quoting? confused

TheFallenNinja Wed 29-May-13 21:27:23

I'm wondering if your computer is automatically quoting back to me what I have written?

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 21:29:46

I dunno - it all looks normal at my end - I'm only quoting points I'm addressing - maybe somethings weird at your end

dawnofthedame Wed 29-May-13 21:35:58

The Government-commissioned 'Sexualisation of Young People Review' in 2010 found: "a clear link between consumption of sexualised images, a tendency to view women as objects and the acceptance of aggressive attitudes and behaviour as the norm. ... Exposure to the sexualised female ideal is linked with lower self-esteem, negative moods and depression in young women and girls."

For the sake of young people I think that action should be taken now to move these lads mags to the top shelf instead of normalising these sexualised images and exposing staff and customers to it. Either shops needs to take on some social responsibility and respond to the campaign, the lads mags need to redfine themselves as more mainstream media and 'tone down' a bit, or just be honest about what they are and put a plastic cover on it on the top shelf like all the other adult content.
Dumb & Dumber: Sexual Inequality & De-intellectualisation of The Nation - my response to The Lose the Lads Mags Campaign

TheFallenNinja Wed 29-May-13 21:37:18

Oh Well

I await the first claim to go to court, I guess that will set the ball rolling on the banning of stuff.

Next time I'm out shopping I'm going to ask the female members of staff if they feel subjectified, harassed, or otherwise threatened by these magazines.

It's an interesting debatable topic. Believe it or not I am not a masoginistic (sp) dinosaur. I did most of the cooking when I was with my girlfriend, and opened doors etc. However common sense needs to prevail with topics such as these.

I read an article today that the latest garden advert for IKEA with the gnomes getting broken was up in front of the ASA because 50 people. Yes, 50 people!!! Had complained about the 'violence' in it. Really!! The ASA over-ruled the complaints. Some people just have too much time.

On the basis of protecting the kids. Yep, stick the lads mags up high. But to ban them? I reckon it would open up the whole debate as to where the majority of adult (and by that I don't mean porn) magazines should be placed.

radioeggs Wed 29-May-13 22:24:56

"Next time I'm out shopping I'm going to ask the female members of staff if they feel subjectified, harassed, or otherwise threatened by these magazines."

I doubt if any woman would be comfortable talking to a random man about feeling sexually harassed or threatened - they'll think you are a pervert, pisstaker or mug with delusions of chivalry - you'll probably be dismissed. Try sending your girlfriend in instead if you want more chance of a truthful response.

But I have contacted Tescos and said that I do feel uncomfortable, on my behalf and because of my small children. I was told I shouldn't feel this way and that I was wrong to feel this way.

So why would women admit to how they feel when they are told their feelings are invalid?

And if its not enough for you to accept that the women on this thread dislike lads mags why will you suddenly say "oh OK, women who work in [supermarket] dislike these magazines, I now accept they are sexist" .

What you are trying to do is suggest we do not have the right to point out the sexism in these magazines. You do not believe and won't accept we are offended and belittled by them.

I can only promise you, I am. They fuck me off and I don't want my DCs growing up thinking its ok to reduce women to tits, arses and male playthings.

Opening doors and doing some cooking doesn't make you a feminist hero.

KaseyM Wed 29-May-13 23:55:39

What Sauce said. I think a lot of women feel under incredible pressure to act as if they're cool with it, for fear of looking prudish. I know I've felt that in the past and have pretended to be not bothered when really I have been.

Also, you can tell us till you're blue in the face that we aren't really bothered by this, or that we shouldn't be bothered, but what can I say? I'm a woman & I hate it. That's the truth of it.

One very early memory I have is as a girl walking into a car mechanic's and seeing a page 3 calendar on the wall. I didn't know anything about feminist theory, objectification, censorship whatever. All I knew is that I hated it and didn't want to go back there. So, there's your proof that it affects kids, right there.

Darkesteyes Thu 30-May-13 01:12:22

The ex manager of our local Superdrug stopped selling Scarlet magazine a few years ago but was happy to continue selling FHM.
Double standards.

The images on these 'lads' mags are very offensive. It is not a matter of how much flesh is on display necessarily it is the way that these are displaying women as sexual objects, often holding their (to my eyes) unnaturally large and round breasts or with ridiculous little stickers over their nipples making them look almost 'comical'.

Why is this acceptable in a shop?

If I were a man (I am not) and I were to walk into work, at a university lecture theatre or an office or factory floor or just about any work place and saw numerous images of men clutching their buttocks or testicles and leaning over in many different ridiculous poses I would imagine that I would find this very offensive and upsetting. If this were the case every time I walked into work I am pretty sure I would consider this as harassment.

With our country still reeling from the appalling news of the sex gangs of Oxford and Rochester and other news of murders of girls and women I would have thought as a country we would want to make a safe environment for children (both girls and boys) to grow up in.

By presenting children and adults with offensive images of women on a daily basis we are not as a nation providing a safe environment.

"If a part of 'grooming' is defined as 'making a behaviour seem normal', then our society puts a grooming tool into the hands of every potential abuser, in the form of mainstream tabloid newspapers displaying images of young women as sexually willing objects."

www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/stephanie-davies/the-cases-of-lee-rigby-an_b_3342074.html

The only reason that supermarkets and shops can get away with putting this crap out for all to see is because most people do not complain. It does not mean most people don't find them offensive. We live in a democracy and the majority of people in this country are female (50.8%) but even if we were not I wonder why we put up with this crap!

I hope this campaign will succeed. If it does not I hope that many more people both female and male will make a point of telling places that sell these magazines that they don't want them on display.

libertarianj Thu 30-May-13 02:04:37

The case regarding harassment from a magazine picture comes across as a bunch of loony left, feminist claptrap. it certainly does, i'd also add the word authoritarian too.

and fair play to the supermarkets for replying back in the way they did.

I don't really care for the magazines in question and think they will probably fade out over time anyway. What i do have an issue with is a small minority of extremists trying to force their morals/ insecurities on everyone else. Also unlike the 'no more page 3' campaign which was to ask the editor nicely, this campaign is far more aggressive and is blackmail.

Sausageeggbacon Thu 30-May-13 06:58:50

Found it interesting that the poll in the Guardian Online saw 37% against the lad mags and 63% for. This in the online paper most likely to get readers that are against the mags. I think we can guess what we would see if polls were run by the Sun.

Personally I agree with the view this is just a stunt by a couple of Rad Fem organisations that have not had column inches in the news for a while.

Tee2072 Thu 30-May-13 07:36:49

I am really struggling with this.

On the one hand, those magazines are awful and I do think we need to protect our children from gratuitous sexual and violent images.

On the other hand, I do agree that it seems stunt like from the RadFem movement, even though MN started this ages ago, MN certainly didn't bring up the legal definition of harassment in their campaign and start threatening law suits.

On the third hand (I'm an octopus grin), I hate censorship of any kind. And this could lead to censorship.

I am not sure why it's a big deal for the shops to move the mag above eye level for children and/or put them behind covers.

DaisyheadMayzie Thu 30-May-13 07:51:56

This reminds me of doing school organised work experience at a WHS warehouse when I was 15. For one day I was working with an older guy, sorting out magazines that had been returned unsold, which included the soft porn. The man asked me if they offended me - perhaps he was being genuine but, as a rather naive teenager, I thought he was being creepy and, not wanting to appear prudish, said no they didn't bother me at all. As I can remember this clearly, I think I was far more bothered than I admitted.

DaffodilAdams Thu 30-May-13 07:53:30

UK Feminista and Object are not "Rad Fem organisations" and the Guardian is not the epitome of sexual equality - CiF anyone? But carry on living in your fantasy world Sausage.

This is about men thinking they have the right to treat women as sexual objects. I was surprised at the 37% you quoted Sausage, higher than I thought it would be given the commonplace culture of female sexual objectification we live in <shrugs>

But of course women, you must remember to ask "nicely" for equality. That way men will see how reasonable you are, realise the error of their ways and just give up their privilege. Oh wait...

God forbid you use the law to be treated equally.

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 08:29:10

"Guardian is not the epitome of sexual equality - CiF anyone?"

I wonder if this is the reason for the right-wingers colonising CIF? They definitely work in an obsessive, organised way - perhaps they deliberately want to misrepresent the thinking on the left for situations like this?

Tee2072 Thu 30-May-13 09:09:52

No one is saying we have to ask nicely for equality.
There has been nothing nice about the campaign against FB and we, so far, have won that one.

But there is also no reason to start threatening lawsuits until and unless all other options have been exhausted.

A few anecdotes about bad responses on the local level is not exhausting all other options.

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 09:26:22

Tee2072 "But there is also no reason to start threatening lawsuits until and unless all other options have been exhausted."

1) Why do you need to exhaust all other avenues first? If you are experiencing harassment, surely it is up to the individual to decide the means by which they want to challenge that harassment?

2) I haven't seen anyone threaten lawsuits so far- but I have seen people told that the law is on their side should they choose that course of action.

3) At what point do you declare all other options have been exhausted? What would you suggest as an alternative that needs exploring that hasn't been?

4) Where is your evidence this avenue hasn't already been taken and failed? What do you think would be the 'last straw' before legal action is appropriate?

Tee2072 Thu 30-May-13 09:51:22

1) Because that's how to be taken seriously and not be looked at like a sue happy loon.

2) Did you read the blog? That's a threat.

3) I have no idea. Didn't say I did. I just hate the automatic cry of 'harassment'. It's as bad as the automatic cry of 'racist' and 'sexist' and 'non-PC'. Fuck that shit.

4) Hard to prove a negative.

As I said in my original post, I'm not even sure this is an issue or just an excuse for certain members of the human race to look for a reason to cry 'harassment.'

Completely agree that porn mags should be binned, but at least they are honest about what they are and generally have the sleeves over the cover to hide images.

I find the grey area that mags like FHM dance around in more offensive? To an extent the covers of mags like FHM are not the problem as such, it's the content. It's been a while since I saw a copy of my brother's FHM, but iirc it's all birds are gagging for it, shag around/ cheat if you can get away from it, objectification from cover to cover. It's that messaging that I have a problem with.

*Away with it

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 11:07:34

"Because that's how to be taken seriously and not be looked at like a sue happy loon."... That isn't a thought-out response. You'll look like 'a ---- happy loon' (fill blank with whatever action) to those who want to silence/bully victims of harassment into keeping quiet.

"Did you read the blog? That's a threat." I suppose it could be seen in that way, but no one is claiming they'll personally take action, its just saying that if people know their rights, it is possible they will take action. The same goes for any employer who has harassing material in the workplace or anyone who provides a service who exposes their customers to harassing materials at the point of access.

"Didn't say I did. I just hate the automatic cry of 'harassment'. It's as bad as the automatic cry of 'racist' and 'sexist' and 'non-PC'. Fuck that shit." cry harassment this can now go in the misogynist bullies lexicon of myths to silence victims of oppression. Along with cry rape... oh yes, and cry racism.... All these meaningless 'cries' eh? And 'non-PC'.... UKIP voter alert shock

Any way, I want to return your point "But there is also no reason to start threatening lawsuits until and unless all other options have been exhausted" which implies you are aware of some alternative or are aware of the fact that little else has been tried and yet to my question At what point do you declare all other options have been exhausted? What would you suggest as an alternative that needs exploring that hasn't been? you replied "I have no idea."

So basically you are sounding off about something you don't know much about right? And saying it is "Hard to prove a negative." is a cop-out - in the blog itself it says "lads' mags have been the target of several high profile campaigns, including Object's Feminist Fridays, Mumsnet's Let Girls be Girls and Shelve It! The Government-commissioned 'Sexualisation of Young People Review'" so surely you could follow those links at say what has been missed instead of asserting things without any basis?

"As I said in my original post, I'm not even sure this is an issue or just an excuse for certain members of the human race to look for a reason to cry 'harassment."

What does this even mean?

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 11:42:13

Re reading the original post it cites the handling of the magazine and its cover content as the issue.

Would plain covers solve that aspect?

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 11:54:01

"Re reading the original post it cites the handling of the magazine and its cover content as the issue. Would plain covers solve that aspect?"

I suppose in most cases it would, but then again, what about staff who feel creeped out having to sell wank mags in an ordinary shop? People who work in sex shops know what they are getting into. They are presumably happy handling other people sex aids and interacting with the dirty mac brigade, but working in a general store, I think it could still feel degrading and creepy - so I imagine there might still be grounds for claims of harassment - but probably a lot less likely.

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 12:24:55

I see what you mean but in my local sainsbury I can buy various Durex "accessories" greeting cards with images not too far away from lads mags covers, DVD and CD with racy covers etc etc.

I guess it's how far does it need to extend to satisfy the majority.

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 12:35:01

I guess the other approach would be to establish what is sold in the stores and employ accordingly. So if you object to working with them you don't get the job.

The spirit of the OP could extend so far it's possible to see all kinds of items that could present moral issues. Condoms, meat, baby formula, horror films, racy novels etc etc. the list could be extensive.

libertarianj Thu 30-May-13 12:59:37

radioeggs do you really believe that these magazines are used for that purpose? Surely one would just go for something like Razzle or Mayfair if that was the sole purpose for buying it? It's a just a bit of topless nudity interspersed with reviews and articles and sport etc. I think it's a bit far fetched to brand them as 'jazz mags'

and who's to dictate what a supermarket can or can't sell (as long as it's a legal product which lads mags are?) It's a free market at the end of the day. No one is forcing anyone to work in one and no one is forcing you to shop there.

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 13:34:27

TheFallenNinja I see what you mean but in my local sainsbury I can buy various Durex "accessories" greeting cards with images not too far away from lads mags covers, DVD and CD with racy covers etc etc.

Yes I've noticed that boots have starting selling dildos - I think this is a bit of a trend towards breaking the boundary between 'adult' and 'family-friendly' and I don't think its positive. As far as durex, etc, go - they are a kind of chemist/medical thing aren't they? They protect against diseases and unwanted pregnancy - they aren't for the purpose of getting off.

"I guess the other approach would be to establish what is sold in the stores and employ accordingly. So if you object to working with them you don't get the job"

I agree - but you have to factor in that working in supermarkets/newsagents/petrol stations etc, is not aspirational, so people don't tend to 'choose' to work there, they get the job because that's the job available/convenient (can work around child care/etc). If these mags were just sold in sex shops, then you could more meaningfully 'choose' to work there.

"The spirit of the OP could extend so far it's possible to see all kinds of items that could present moral issues. Condoms, meat, baby formula, horror films, racy novels etc etc. the list could be extensive."
I think the OP is about harassment, not moral issues. But yes, there's a lot to think about when individual dignity and conscience meets with capitalist utilitisation of the workforce. I suppose that's the point of employment rights.

libertarianj "radioeggs do you really believe that these magazines are used for that purpose Surely one would just go for something like Razzle or Mayfair if that was the sole purpose for buying it? It's a just a bit of topless nudity interspersed with reviews and articles and sport etc. I think it's a bit far fetched to brand them as 'jazz mags'" Isn't that the way Playboy was marketed? That's a legitimate 'jazz mag'. If the objectified women presented in such away to allow the viewer total freedom to use the image however he will, was not present - I don't think people would by them. I would say the primary function for the objectified women is for wanking, and the secondary function is for male-bonding/validating masculinity at the expense of the dignity of women. And both of these functions fall into the area of sexual harassment.

"and who's to dictate what a supermarket can or can't sell (as long as it's a legal product which lads mags are?)"
I think there are a lot of forces that do this, for example, you can't buy a slave at the supermarket, or a gun, you can't buy S&M paraphernalia, you can't buy pets... Individuals do not dictate, but if supermarkets listen to their customers, they should be thinking about maximising happiness for the greatest number, and you don't do that by pissing most people off so a tiny minority of young men can get their jazz mags conveniently.

"It's a free market at the end of the day. No one is forcing anyone to work in one and no one is forcing you to shop there."

This is a spurious point. There is not infinite choice going on here. Proximity, accessibility, personal responsibilities, etc have a bearing on what is actually within our viable options.

rosabud Thu 30-May-13 15:13:18

One thing that's interesting is how we often feel, when complaining, that we ought to justify it by mentioning our children, "it's at my 4 year old's height," "it was by the children's comics" etc etc. So frustrating that we don't feel we can simply say, "it offends ME!" Yet another example of how women's opinions are not considered really valid, or how women are only thought of as important in their roles as mothers/wives/daughters etc.

WhentheRed Thu 30-May-13 16:18:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

The calling people who don't agree with you a prude thing is a very easy bit of mud to sling and is actually pretty meaningless.

www.thefreedictionary.com/prude

"Word History: Being called a prude is rarely considered a compliment, but if we dig into the history of the word prude, we find that it has a noble past. The change for the worse took place in French. French prude first had a good sense, "wise woman," but apparently a woman could be too wise or, in the eyes of some, too observant of decorum and propriety. Thus prude took on the sense in French that was brought into English along with the word, first recorded in 1704. The French word prude was a shortened form of prude femme (earlier in Old French prode femme), a word modeled on earlier preudomme, "a man of experience and integrity." The second part of this word is, of course, homme, "man." Old French prod, meaning "wise, prudent," is from Vulgar Latin prdis with the same sense. Prdis in turn comes from Late Latin prde, "advantageous," derived from the verb prdesse, "to be good." Despite this history filled with usefulness, profit, wisdom, and integrity, prude has become a term of reproach."

I have not yet tried to bore anyone to death with the dictionary definition of prude! Yet!

When people first suggested that second hand smoke could be harmful I expect they were called the medical/health version of a prude! Now we accept that we don't want to breath in other people's foul smelling smoke in public places. When these magazine are on display for all (young and old) to see, we are effectively allowing people to smoke in public, and even if we do not see them all directly they pollute what people's attitude is towards girls and women. Both the attitude of boys and men and of girls and women themselves.

We do as a society accept censorship in all kinds of areas and in all kinds of ways, so to say that this is a censorship issue is also, I think, not really valid. We censor all kinds of stuff all the time, we have rules in society about what is acceptable in all kinds of situations. Why should it be different in a shop! People may not agree with the actual issue, but to say it is 'censorship' is (I think) not relevant. Is it good or bad, does it help or hinder? Those are the real issues (IMHO).

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 16:53:57

That's very interesting about the origins of 'prude' - basically a good word when associated with men, but when it became associated with women it went through the transmutation by misogyny into an insult!

A bit off topic, but a similar thing happens in other areas too -eg- when more women became doctors the profession lost status and pay.

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 17:21:49

I agree that nobody should be forced to carry out objectionable tasks as a condition of employment but, equally, if that task is a clear condition the employer should be clear about it giving the potential employee the choice whether to accept or not.

FloraFox Thu 30-May-13 17:22:11

Tee didn't you say on another thread that you were 100% against censorship, no exceptions?

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 17:34:38

"I agree that nobody should be forced to carry out objectionable tasks as a condition of employment but, equally, if that task is a clear condition the employer should be clear about it giving the potential employee the choice whether to accept or not."

I'm a little bit confused by this. Are you saying the employer should say "We sell degrading lads mags - if you are offended, we will find ways that you don't have to view or handle them" or are you saying "We sell degrading lads mags - you'll have to view and handle them here as part of your job and if you don't like it, find a job elsewhere"?

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 17:38:17

To be brutally frank, probably the second.

WhentheRed Thu 30-May-13 17:46:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 17:50:41

Not talking about sexual harassment, I'm talking about handling lads mags which is the subject of the OP. If you go for the job and you are informed that this is one of the legal duties you will be required to do and you object it seems quite simple, don't take the job. I don't want to kill animals so I don't go for jobs in an abattoir.

theboutiquemummy Thu 30-May-13 17:53:53

To be honest I wish UK feminista had just brought the case to court then it would be a clear legal definition that everyone could write into company policy problem solved instead we'll do the trial by media

Tell me are they also asking for magazines with pop stars like beyonce or riri nearly naked flashing their bits n pieces about to also be covered I find these more offending then nuts

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 17:59:57

I suspect they didn't have the financial backing to support it. The people selling this imagery are making zillions of pounds and the consumers are there to buy it.

I would welcome legal clarity but its not the courts place to make law only to examine if its been broken and by who.

WhentheRed Thu 30-May-13 18:02:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 18:06:59

What's the current legal definition of sexual harassment. This is a good topic and for my money I'm neither supporting or opposing, it's interesting to see whether that legal definition could fit this situation.

I know it was used to get the topless calendars removed from canteens years back (but this was rapidly replaced with daily sports on the tables)

WhentheRed Thu 30-May-13 18:15:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 18:46:23

WhentheRed "In a large supermarket context, it is relatively easy to prevent the sexual harassment caused the presence or handling of lads mags"

In theory - but it is possible that a culture will occur as a result of any measures - eg- the only ones stacking the magazine shelves are the ones who aren't bothered or actually want to stack Lads Mags. Laddish banter begins at magazine shelf-stacking time, comments and in jokes begin, women who feel uncomfortable in the environment are mocked.... Hey presto - an "intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment" has been created for women in the workplace- ergo harassment.

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 18:55:49

TheFallenNinja "If you go for the job and you are informed that this is one of the legal duties you will be required to do and you object it seems quite simple, don't take the job. I don't want to kill animals so I don't go for jobs in an abattoir."

This is a bit of a poor analogy. It might make sense to say - 'if you don't want to look at/handle objectified women for wanking, don't work in a sex shop' but to say 'if you don't want to look at/handle objectified women for wanking don't work in a supermarket, petrol station, newsagent, post office, or anywhere else that sells it, then you are seriously limiting people choices. There is no reason for objectified women as wank material to be so ubiquitous and normalised. Or I should say no good reason. The actual reason is women's inferior status.

Sausageeggbacon Thu 30-May-13 18:59:33

UK feminista and Object haven't got the money for this and as I said earlier this is just a desire to get themselves back in the press. Make a loud noise and do nothing so it is just a case on making a noise for the sake of making a noise. Unless those who started this get matrix chambers to actually take cases it is just an exercise in reminding people they are out there. So Kat Banyard you going to spend your own money or is this just grandstanding?

WhentheRed Thu 30-May-13 19:02:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FloraFox Thu 30-May-13 19:03:07

So Kat Banyard you going to spend your own money or is this just grandstanding?

hmm or maybe campaigning?

DaffodilAdams Thu 30-May-13 19:05:32

Tee just to clarify, my comment about being 'nice' was directed at libertinej who was definitely implying we all need to play more nicely.

I don't see what is wrong with using the law to assert rights. That's what it is there for.

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 19:07:16

Thanks for taking the time to point out how poor an analogy it is, it's useful to know.

However, the reality, is that employment comes with conditions. You either accept them or you don't, the grounds for this are irrelevant. Your insistence on equating lads mags with masturbation and all the other ills in the world are, whilst I'm sure some part of the problem, aren't really the point.

Justfornowitwilldo Thu 30-May-13 19:17:52

I was sitting in a train station having a coffee a couple of weeks ago. Directly facing the chair was the magazine stand, about three feet away. The cover picture was a young woman wearing knickers and no top who had very large breasts. Each breast was covered (the nipple only) by the hands of the young women standing either side of her wearing underwear.

Why is that on display when I'm sitting having my coffee? It's a busy station (quieter when I was there) where hundreds of people commute to and from London for work. Also, hundreds of school children use it daily. It's a cafe/newsagent, not a teenage boy's bedroom. I don't expect there to be sexualised posters of young women there. That's what those covers are.

Justfornowitwilldo Thu 30-May-13 19:21:44

If you removed the cover page from those magazines and pinned them up in the employee break room, no one (excepting a few special cases on here) would argue that it creates an unpleasant working environment for women. That's been done to death by courts and tribunals. Why is it any different when they're being displayed on shelves rathe than a wall?

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 19:52:00

TheFallenNinja "the reality, is that employment comes with conditions."
Indeed - but having employees also come with conditions, such as not subjecting them to harassment, bullying, etc.

"You either accept them or you don't, the grounds for this are irrelevant."
This is not true. If your employer says to you a condition is 'we only take on people who like to have a laugh' then you find out that they are bullies, the joke is on you and get the sack for not fitting in by participating in your own degradation, then the grounds are completely relevant. Conditions of employment must be reasonable and within employment law.

"Your insistence on equating lads mags with masturbation and all the other ills in the world are, whilst I'm sure some part of the problem, aren't really the point." confused What do you mean? - I don't get this..

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 19:52:57

Which is what I asked earlier, surely a plain cover would satisfy the problem of visibility.

FairPhyllis Thu 30-May-13 20:06:29

Presumably it can be brought to court only when an employee is prepared to stick their neck out for a test case. For someone in a MW job that is not a small thing. But there have been cases on workplace harassment before, so it is only a matter of time and finding the right test case.

I bloody hate these mags - I hate running a gauntlet of pervy men browsing them when I am looking for my magazine - which for some reason is always in the 'male hobbies' section - and I wouldn't be thrilled about having to sell them.

I am baffled by people's refusal to accept that women's feelings on this issue are real or worthy of consideration. I mean, it's almost like in their eyes we're not real people capable of having valid thoughts and feelings!

TheFallenNinja Thu 30-May-13 20:33:13

The problem is made worse by, in my local supermarket anyway, people treating the magazine area as a library.

louisianablue2000 Thu 30-May-13 21:25:55

Can't believe this has just come up, I wrote an email to complain about my local Shell petrol station having a Daily Sport on display at child height outside the service station at the weekend. Awaiting a reply...

libertarianj Thu 30-May-13 21:47:18

The calling people who don't agree with you a prude thing is a very easy bit of mud to sling and is actually pretty meaningless.

Yeah and it's a bit like how the word 'objectify' is used on here a lot. Where as prude is used to insult people who object to page 3, lads mags, porn etc. Objectify is used as an insult to people who support these things. They are both terms that make assumptions on how people should think and disregard individuality.

so for example a typical prude mud sling would be:
' If you don't like porn then you must be a prude who hates sex'

and a typical objectify mud sling would be:
' If you enjoy looking at lads mags then you objectify women and are unable to see them as real people or as equals'

Both are assumptions, both are pretty meaningless...

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 22:31:18

libertarianj This comparison is silly and doesn't work:
'If you don't like porn then you must be a prude who hates sex'

Porn and sex are two different things. Porn is voyeuristic enjoyment of varying degrees of sexual abuse and exploitation of people you don't know, and often depicts degradation, violence and the eroticisation of inequality, and there are many reasons why a person might be critical of that. Sex is something that can be (and usually is) a private experience and expression of feeling/sensation between people. Calling people anti-sex prudes because they don't like porn is a deliberate ploy to deflect any critique that might expose its dysfunctional nature.

' If you enjoy looking at lads mags then you objectify women and are unable to see them as real people or as equals'

As for this "If you enjoy looking at lads mags then you objectify women" - this is an entirely true statement. Lads mags objectify women and those who enjoy the magazines enjoy objectifying those women. It is a fair point that any man who feels comfortable about objectifying women without consideration of the actual power dynamics at play and the structural inequality that leads them to be in the position to have women's bodies served up on a plate to be appraised and disregarded, probably has difficulty viewing women (in particularly those served up) as real people and equals..... Just look at the way the defenders of lads mags here on this thread so easily disregard the feelings of the women on the matter - that hardly shows them proper respect as full equal people.

FloraFox Thu 30-May-13 23:26:27

Exactly radioeggs

libertarianj the flaw in your comparison is evident in the language:

"if you don't like porn *then you must be a prude who hates sex*"

ie if you don't like A you must hate B

whereas

"if you enjoy looking at lads mags then you objectify women..."

the act of looking at lads mags objectifies women.

radioeggs excellent point.

libertarianj I would also add that in the case of these magazines being on display, where anyone can see the covers, it is not only the people who want to buy/read/look at them, who will be influenced by them.

IMHO it will be those who work in the store, those who are picking up their Radio Times or their Ceebeebies mag etc, who will also be influenced by them. The images portray an idea of how they think women 'should' be, big-breasted, scantily clad and sexual objects. What will this tell 'us', as a society, about women?

Can I quote Sophie Bennett, campaigns officer for Object, because she says it so well .....

"Lads' mags dehumanise and objectify women, promoting harmful attitudes that underpin discrimination and violence against women and girls.

Reducing women to sex objects sends out an incredibly dangerous message that women are constantly sexually available and displaying these publications in everyday spaces normalises this sexism."

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10082265/Retailers-warned-over-lads-mags.html

This is not just about women's bodies, it's about how they are represented. I just watched 'Emmbarresing Bodies' on TV, plenty of nudity but a totally different representation. This is not about being a 'prude' but it is about objectification.

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 23:38:36

Thanks FloraFox for the clarification of the logical side.

And how about the circularity of using the term 'mud sling' as a mud sling eh? I mean saying if you don't like A then you must hate B is a clear mud slinging tactic(or more than simply slinging mud, a deflecting tactic by bringing irrelevant issues in).

However to refer to a critique no matter how grounded, intelligent and true as some sort of mindless mudslinging exercise- is itself such an insult to all intelligent critiques grounded in the truth.

radioeggs Thu 30-May-13 23:52:28

This is not about being a 'prude' but it is about objectification.

Absolutely... and there are subtle messages reinforced through portrayals of nudity by the inequality and lack of context. I mean nakedness is a form of vulnerability no matter how many times people try to spin it as empowerment - that's why they strip people naked in Guantanamo Bay - because prisoners feel powerless, vulnerable and will be more compliant and easy to control as a result.

libertarianj Fri 31-May-13 01:30:47

but how do you know what an individual thinks of when they see an image of a topless woman in a lads mag for example? you don't truly know is the simple answer. How do you know that after seeing these images, they then regard the model as a sex object or other woman as sex objects. Again it is impossible to know this. How do you not know that most decent ordinary persons, actually realise that she is just modelling, or acting ( pure fantasy, like any other kind of entertainment) and she still a real person at the end of the day and what she does in front of the camera does not reflect what she does in real life? and that people don't think 'ah look she's taken her clothes off so i reckon that all other women should want or have to do the same.' or 'hey that's all women are good for - taking their clothes off to please me'

All that objectification is saying is that people are stupid (particularly men in this case) and can't be trusted to view such things, without it warping their minds. You are wanting to believe the negative in people but there is little evidence to back this up. You are scaremongering and trying to make lads mags a scapegoat for the actions and bad behaviour of a few. It's this kind of thinking that fuels the nanny state, and could lead to an Orwellian big brother style society complete with the thought police.

I don't have a problem with individual persons saying x,y and z offends them and think the point Rosabud made on this was a good one, but making blanket assumptions telling other people what they are thinking or what they should think is just not fair and is very suppressive behaviour.

radioeggs Fri 31-May-13 02:01:52

"All that objectification is saying is that people are stupid (particularly men in this case) "

No objectification is the viewing and treatment of a human being as an object. It is a matter of perception .

"and can't be trusted to view such things, without it warping their minds." It is a two-way process. Men who feel comfortable objectifying women are already sexist. By consuming products to feed their sexist perceptions of women as objects, their sexism is reinforced and validated (including their sense of superior entitlement to view and treat women as objects).

"You are wanting to believe the negative in people but there is little evidence to back this up."
I have plenty of evidence to back this up.

"You are scaremongering and trying to make lads mags a scapegoat for the actions and bad behaviour of a few."
Lads mags are the actions and bad behaviour of a few. The tiny number of people who have profited from lads mags have caused a lot of misery while they were on the make.

"It's this kind of thinking that fuels the nanny state"
The nanny state is a misogynist myth conjured up to oppose fairness, equality and safety for all. "and could lead to an Orwellian big brother style society complete with the thought police." I think this discussion would be helped if we acknowledge the difference between oppressive state control of the little person, and empowering the little person to speak out and fight against a powerful oppressor. They are two very different things - polar opposites in fact.

"making blanket assumptions telling other people what they are thinking or what they should think is just not fair and is very suppressive behaviour."

Look, if someone buys Bernard Manning's complete DVD collection for entertainment purposes - then they are racist. Simple. If they buy lads mags, they are sexist. Calling a spade a spade in this case is totally fair, and is no more suppressive than the truth itself.

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 31-May-13 02:13:38

Pictures of women in very little clothing posed to be sexually enticing are all about showing women as sexual objects. The pictures themselves are objectifying. It's not about what's in X's head when they look at them.

Yes, women's magazines do have pictures of women in bikinis. They would sack the photographer if they took the kind of pictures used in 'lads' mags.' The poses are overtly sexual. That's the point of them. Legs open, lips parted, chests pushed out.

Women are both desired and desire. We like sex. I don't like seeing one aspect of women's sexuality, grossly exaggerated, and stacked next to The Economist. It's women presented as sex dolls.

radioeggs Fri 31-May-13 02:19:51

"one aspect of women's sexuality, grossly exaggerated, and stacked next to The Economist. It's women presented as sex dolls."

Very well put

Mugofteaforme Fri 31-May-13 10:30:39

I hate to break it to everyone, but attraction is at first (extremely commonly) superficial. Therefore we ALL initially objectify to some degree based on the limited information available. I bet the women don’t feel at all objectified. I strongly suspect most of them will bask in the glow of it at nightclubs from Penzance to Pitt Lochry! Let them celebrate it! One day such glories will only be captured in reflection.

I agree move the magazines up a level, but ban??

I'd suggest magazines which highlight the tiniest bodily inperfections, in closeup,are far more dangerous. Why is it that magazines that highlight the beauty of a womans body are criticized, but those that create insecurity are overlooked..Could it be the readership??

radioeggs Fri 31-May-13 11:11:20

"I hate to break it to everyone, but attraction is at first (extremely commonly) superficial. Therefore we ALL initially objectify to some degree based on the limited information available"

I hate to break it to you, but there is a difference between objectification and attraction - no matter how superficial.

Attraction= be attracted to someone or share a mutual attraction.(NB- this implies a level of equality, of a two person experience)
Objectification= view or treat someone as a thing to be used. ( this is about power imbalance, where one person is the agent that acts upon the other thing-ish sub-person.)

I very much doubt being treated as an object leaves anyone in a glow no matter where they are (unless they have been so badly mentally abused and isolated that even disrespect feels like positive attention) in fact for most people this disrespect feels frightening, humiliating and violating. It falls on an abuse spectrum - from creepy glances through harassment to violent rape.

Creeping Fri 31-May-13 12:09:30

I don't understand this angst about how supporting this would be equal to a nanny state/big brother/censorship/thought police. The magazines can still exist and may still be bought, but covered up on the top shelf, or better still, just in sex shops. People who insist on reading them would still have that opportunity. The real reason why his argument is wheeled out is because you think you are entitled to it and its harassing effect on women doesn't need to be taken into account.

Mugofteaforme Fri 31-May-13 12:25:23

"I very much doubt being treated as an object leaves anyone in a glow no matter where they are (unless they have been so badly mentally abused and isolated that even disrespect feels like positive attention)"

So you're saying that by appearing in such a magazine intelligent, wordly young women are doomed to be/feel violated? I'd say no. Most treat it as a giggle over a glass of wine, some use it as a springboard for further modeling. some are a bit embarrassed but put it down later to one of lifes experiences. I doubt any of them go into Post Traumatic Disorder over it. They may get a bit more attention, but its unlikely they'd have done it if they were shrinking violets smile

Of course if anyone could provide me with a good research source that significantly confirms your hypothesis then I'm all ears.

radioeggs Fri 31-May-13 12:51:36

What does being 'intelligent' or 'wordly' have to do with anything?

For as long as women have second class status there will always be a compelling incentive to participate in their own exploitation. Being part of the sex industry from prostitution through to 'glamour' modelling involves a form of submission that is fundamentally degrading, but that is still a leg-up from other depressing non-alternatives.

There are many amazing wonderful women within the sex industry and also exited, who are abused or exploited, and this is in no way an indication of or a stain upon their characters. That's what is so depressing about objectification. No matter how worldly, intelligent, funny, talented, original and brilliant a woman is, she is reduced, viewed and treated as a piece of meat or a pleasure doll, her worth packaged up and quantifiable in order to be traded and consumed by men who couldn't give a flying f*ck about what is actually going on inside her mind- beyond a fantasy they want to project onto her body as a blank, non-person canvass.

Mugofteaforme Fri 31-May-13 12:52:09

"The magazines can still exist and may still be bought, but covered up on the top shelf, or better still, just in sex shops."

Just the top shelf so that the kids don't sneak a peek. Why reduce bawdyness to the extremes found in your local adult emporium?

Really you've only got to scan the cover of Cosmopolitan to get some idea of the sexualisation and male objectification within.

I've really no problem with Cosmo or the lads mags as long as they're kept high.

Boredinchippenham Fri 31-May-13 14:32:27

Lads mags are sexist,no point saying they're not,you notice how the women's mags showing naked men have disappeared , wonder why is it because publishers are male? . Men always have multiple comments about harmless fun blah blah ,but if it offends it offends and no one should have to apologise for that.by the by my other half was seriously offended when I looked at naked men in a magazine at Ann summers party one years ago but apparently that was different!

Darkesteyes Fri 31-May-13 14:59:10

Agree Bored. Scarlet magazine was discontinued 3 years ago.

Darkesteyes Fri 31-May-13 15:03:27

I'd suggest magazines which highlight the tiniest bodily inperfections, in closeup,are far more dangerous.

Really Mug. I very much doubt that the men who yell out nasty comments at women who walk past pubs (because they dont match up to whats in the lads mags) have been reading Heat or Closer (though i cant stand those either)

Mugofteaforme Fri 31-May-13 15:32:52

Really Darkesteyes Yes. What made you think it was one of the Lads mags that made them be so cruel? Were they waving the latest copy of Loaded like a triumphant banner? More likely they were a bunch of pathetic pisshead scum trying to impress each other. I worked a bar for a good many years and once I saw five women in their thirties(ish) insult this one guy walking past,one directly to his face. The guy got a little pissed off and retorted verbally to which one of the women calmly said. "I can always call the bouncers". Strangely enough their wasn't a copy of Cosmopolitan in sight.

Darkesteyes Fri 31-May-13 15:38:00

Mug their comment to a friend of mine was (and i quote) Cor you are no fucking Lucy Pinder are you. Followed up with a comment about her flat chest.

Darkesteyes Fri 31-May-13 15:40:44

Strangely enough their wasn't a copy of Cosmopolitan in sight.

Well there wouldnt be would there since its aimed at women in their 20s.

Mugofteaforme Fri 31-May-13 15:50:24

Cor you are no fucking Lucy Pinder are you. Followed up with a comment about her flat chest.
Yes that's unforgivable. Im sorry that she had to put up with that.

Creeping Fri 31-May-13 16:07:30

Mug, I just did what you suggested. I googled Cosmopolitan covers and guess what? Not a naked bloke inside. There does seem to be an article about sex in every issue though, but it manages to do that without needing to put an objectified man on the cover pure for the sexual gratification of its female readership. So what are you on about?

Creeping Fri 31-May-13 16:09:14

Or have I completely misunderstood?

radioeggs Fri 31-May-13 16:19:01

Darkesteyes "'Id suggest magazines which highlight the tiniest bodily inperfections, in closeup,are far more dangerous."

Much as I hate it, I'd say that the 'if you don't like it don't buy it' argument holds more water with the harms of Heat and Closer than with lads mags. With lads mags they shout out and harass even from the stands they are displayed on, and in so doing, make it seem an accepted and normal male-bonding/masculinity verification technique to demean women such as in the anecdote you described.

You can't choose not to be sexually harassed and mistreated by 'lads mag men' when you go about your daily business, or choose not to have their leery language shouting at you from the news stands. But Heat and Closer - I never notice much really. I don't pick them up. Don't look. So it is possible to avoid them and they aren't a form of sexual harassment.

Perhaps I'd feel they were more dangerous if I wasn't able to avoid them.

Creeping Fri 31-May-13 16:29:02

not a naked bloke inside

I meant to say: not a naked bloke in sight. On the covers that is.

libertarianj Fri 31-May-13 23:18:09

radioeggs
The nanny state is a misogynist myth conjured up to oppose fairness, equality and safety for all. that has to be one of the most bizarre arguments i have encountered on a forum in some time. confused Are you really saying that only men oppose the nanny state? hmm if You are, then your statement is actually very sexist.

and that link you put up, is that really the best study you could find? A sample size of just 21 blokes of similar age? it explains very little about the methodology used or how they analysed the results. Why did they not conduct the experiment with women either? and just ASSUME it wouldn't work. So the experiment has no control sample. Maybe if they had done the same test with women it would given exactly the same results which would have scuppered their agenda? and flashing up images for just two tenths of a second, surely that's more to do with colours than anything else, as in the contrast between flesh tones and clothes. I therefore conclude this is nothing more than junk science and proves nothing.

I see you continue to make assumptions about how people should think so i will again post what i put earlier and the part you chose not to reply to:

How do you not know that most decent ordinary persons, actually realise that she is just modelling, or acting (pure fantasy, like any other kind of entertainment) and she still a real person at the end of the day and what she does in front of the camera does not reflect what she does in real life?

come on then? how do you know this isn't the case for the majority of people? How can you only assume they see topless models as chunks of meat or objects?

There is a nice article here written from a woman's perspective and she is pretty much saying the same thing as me, for what it's worth:

www.newstatesman.com/media/2013/05/censorship-and-over-simplification-problems-lose-lads-mags-campaign

radioeggs Fri 31-May-13 23:44:25

"Are you really saying that only men oppose the nanny state? if You are, then your statement is actually very sexist." He he - its funny that you assume only men can be misogynist in the same breath of accusing me of being sexist against men grin

"is that really the best study you could find" No it isn't, but it was the only link I could be bothered to find at the time.

" How can you only assume they see topless models as chunks of meat or objects?"
Ill refer you to Justfornowitwilldo's post to respond to this again: "Pictures of women in very little clothing posed to be sexually enticing are all about showing women as sexual objects. The pictures themselves are objectifying. It's not about what's in X's head when they look at them."

The logic is that they are portrayed as objects, and people who are comfortable enjoying those images, are comfortable looking at objectified portrayals of women. However, if on the other hand they saw the full humanity of the women, they would feel uncomfortable and conflicted about the vouyerism of it, and strange about the intimate knowledge of someone they don't even know, and awkward about seeing a genuine woman acting in an exaggerated clownish sexual caricature for approval and money.

quoteunquote Sat 01-Jun-13 00:49:26

Stop, you will ruin one of my favourite secret hobbies, Just buy yourself a big mixed size bag of these, you get about 500, for a few quid.

I always have some in my pocket, they come in handy a for all sorts of things.

I just stick them anywhere suitable, on porn mags/ vile newspapers out in view left where I or my children can see them.

Get told off occasionally(well that the opening they go for, clearly that is an invitation for me to let them know what I think) , funnily enough no one wants the publicity, of taking it any further, especially when I suggest they should.

libertarianj Sat 01-Jun-13 02:47:07

He he - its funny that you assume only men can be misogynist in the same breath of accusing me of being sexist against men

yeah i know but in this context you were referring to men weren't you?

The logic is that they are portrayed as objects, and people who are comfortable enjoying those images, are comfortable looking at objectified portrayals of women. However, if on the other hand they saw the full humanity of the women, they would feel uncomfortable and conflicted about the vouyerism of it, and strange about the intimate knowledge of someone they don't even know, and awkward about seeing a genuine woman acting in an exaggerated clownish sexual caricature for approval and money.
but whether they are portrayed as objects is highly subjective and down to individual interpretations. In this instance YOU are portraying them as objects, I however am portraying them as people who are posing for a photograph and looking attractive.

SarabiDog Sat 01-Jun-13 04:07:43

My OH objects to seeing Taylor Lautner's half-naked pictures slapped all over the front of anything to do with Twilight.

I assume the MN community would be equally as supportive in getting them covered/placed high up/banned?

lavender8x Sat 01-Jun-13 08:16:24

I would suspect many of the mainly female employees don't like these porn mags being there but wouldn't risk losing their minimum wage jobs by complaining to Head Office about it or consulting a lawyer.

libertarianj you have said that the women look attractive in these magazines and it seems to suggest you think this is about beauty and looking nice? I am a straight woman but I too can appreciate that women's bodies can be very beautiful. These 'lads' mags are not at all about making women look beautiful, they are about making them look available sexually.

Can I ask if you are a man or a woman? Feel free not to answer.

Just for the sake of argument can I paint a picture of a different world where instead of lads mags, we have women in charge and assume we have lasses' mags! I am not saying that women being 'in charge' would result in this but just imagine it....

A man goes into a newsagent, perhaps with his kids. The magazine racks and promotional material (the TV shows he has been watching and the bill boards he has passed) all show strong, confident women working in 'processional' or 'productive' jobs, with hobbies or interests etc.

In contrast the men in the promotions and in the magazines often look a bit vacuous, and then you spot a whole row of mags with men looking sexually available and actually a bit stupid. They are standing in their boxer shorts or posing pouches. Sometimes clutching their chest or fondling one of their own testicles. Perhaps they are standing next to another man who is holding on to their chest or one of their testicles. You can't actually see the testicle or penis but you know what it is all about. They look a bit dumb and perhaps a bit over worked with bulging muscles.

The man's teenage son sees the pictures and compares his rather puny chest to the photos, his daughter is already thinking 'If this is what men are all about I am not sure I will take them so seriously.' Now imagine that every day, all the time. Does it feel good?

radioeggs Sat 01-Jun-13 13:56:20

"yeah i know but in this context you were referring to men weren't you?" - No I'm not stupid. Misogyny pervades everything, women internalise it (just as men do), and participate in maintaining an unequal status quo, because that's how they get approval from the class with more power and influence (men), like trained pets.

"but whether they are portrayed as objects is highly subjective and down to individual interpretations."

No it isn't. It is quite objective, but some people are too stupid/invested in not seeing it to realise.

"In this instance YOU are portraying them as objects"

No, I haven't portrayed anyone as an object, merely described the objectification in other's portrayals.

"I however am portraying them as people who are posing for a photograph and looking attractive."
You aren't 'portraying' anything either. You are speaking about someone else's portrayal (unless of course you are a 'glamour' photographer yourself bleugh). The fact that you don't see the objectification of the women and think this diminished and vacuous portrayal is showing their personhood in a complete and attractive way, shows that you objectify them, and you hold women as inferior, since you see nothing demeaning in the objectified portrayal.

Italiangreyhound yy to your descriptions.

libertarianj Sun 02-Jun-13 01:19:29

Italiangreyhound whether one finds the women on the covers attractive or sexually available is down to the individual. I believe beauty lies in the eye of the beholder.

the reverse reality situation you describe is actually a reality at my local newsagent, who sells a selection of gay hardcore, in clear view on the top shelf. I don't have a problem with it at all. What other men do is up to them. We are all individuals at the end of the day, gender is irrelevant to me in these situations. I would also argue that lads are just as self conscious as girls are when it comes to looks.

libertarianj Sun 02-Jun-13 01:33:29

radioeggs, i think you are still trying to apply this one size fits all mentality to make the objectification argument work, ignoring individuality and still making assumptions on how people should think.

We could probably go around in circles forever on this, and we are never going to agree, so i will call it quits here.

Cheers for the debate, it's been very interesting.

radioeggs Sun 02-Jun-13 09:11:39

libertarianj "whether one finds the women on the covers attractive or sexually available is down to the individual. I believe beauty lies in the eye of the beholder."

Erm... so you think that the 'eye' (or staging & direction) of the photographer has nothing to do with the creation of an image?.. That these images are reportage of women just doing what they normally when they hang out, captured impassively by someone without a particular look on narrative in mind?.... hmm Yes women always hang out, posing with silly facial expressions and just barely covering each-others nipples - doing faux lesbianism... Nothing to do with visually interpreting a male fantasy

"who sells a selection of gay hardcore, in clear view on the top shelf. I don't have a problem with it at all."
Why should you have a problem with this? No one is saying that gay hardcore should offend you. Yes, it is a man's world and gay men still have some freedom to dictate and dominate public spaces in the way straight men do.
"What other men do is up to them."
Clearly, to you, this includes when it encroaches on women's freedom to do what they want without being harassed. It would be nice if you were as interested in women being able to do what is up to them, not just men.
Oh but of course you say " gender is irrelevant to me in these situations." Oh the joys of seeing gender as an irrelevance - it would be nice if gender could be irrelevant for women, but unfortunately male dominance keeps making in an issue.

" I would also argue that lads are just as self conscious as girls are when it comes to looks" If you did, a quick look at the evidence would demolish that wrong line of thinking. Anorexia and plastic surgery stats perhaps?

"think you are still trying to apply this one size fits all mentality to make the objectification argument work"
No I'm not, I'm including the photographer/industry/culture in the event where an individual looks at a photograph of a model that has being envisioned and directed by a photographer to meet the demands of an editor.
"ignoring individuality and still making assumptions on how people should think." I'm not ignoring individuality - just not letting you use it as blanket response to hide the pattern.

"We could probably go around in circles forever on this, and we are never going to agree," Yes you are heavily invested in inequality and have made the decision to be impervious to logic and evidence.

lose24lb Sun 02-Jun-13 09:40:51

In the rest of Europe it's common for such magazines to have bare boobs complete with uncensored nipples on the front cover.

The difference is they aren't as prudish and don't complain as much as UK feminists do.

That's what UK feminism is about- being prudish.

quoteunquote Sun 02-Jun-13 09:59:14

That's what UK feminism is about- being prudish

Please don't speak for other people, if that what you get from the message, you need to listen harder.

libertarianj I firmly disagree that with your thought 'gender is irrelevant'. It would be nice but it is not true to say at the moment that 'gender is irrelevant'. I don't believe the gay hardcore magazines reflect a commonly held belief that men are sexual objects. I do not believe that lads are as self concious about there looks as girls. But if you have some studies to prove it, please do link to them. I would agree that men are becoming more concerned about their looks and maybe, just maybe for some of us women as we age we do become less concerned as we confident in ourselves. But just look at who needs to wear make up, colour their hair, hold back or push up part of their bodies. It's not usually men!

lose24lb Are you arguing for the magazines with nipples on? Or just saying we haven't got it because we are prudish? I do not think feminism is anything to do with being prudish.

But just look at who needs - sorry I meant But just look at who feels the need

WhentheRed Sun 02-Jun-13 18:38:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Is this the old Madona/whore thing? You've gotta be one or the other if you are a woman?? confused

Louise1956 Fri 07-Jun-13 18:57:36

very mean spirited. As long as women are willing to pose for these sort of pictures, men should not be prevented from looking at them. People eho don't like those kind of magazines are not obliged to buy them.

Darkesteyes Fri 07-Jun-13 20:30:31

Glad you feel like that Louise. Google Scarlet and Filament magazines when you have a min grin

GoldieMumbles Sat 08-Jun-13 08:30:29

I do rather feel that while there are women and children being slaughtered in Syria and children dying of neglect and malnutrition in the UK, there are bigger fish to fry. From the results of that Guardian poll mentioned earlier (67% not wanting lads mags banned), those readers also perhaps have this different sense of perspective.

Darkesteyes Sat 08-Jun-13 16:24:41

Goldie i object to what is happening in this country and i will often be found arguing against those things on these very boards and elsewhere.
However what i DONT do is use those things as an emotionally blackmailing silencing tactic to shut down debate on other subjects.
e.g. its a bit like saying that a woman who is being emotionally abused by her husband should put up with it and think herself lucky because the woman further down the street is being physically abused.So biscuit

GoldieMumbles Sat 08-Jun-13 17:29:39

Darkest that's quite an assumption you make about my intention and the statement I made, isn't it?

I believe, and I think you will find that quite a proportion of the general public will believe, that there are more important things to worry about than this right now.

It is also potentially quite an interesting legal precedent to set. As a Jewish woman, could I, for example, object to the selling of pork in supermarkets due to my religious objections? What about an Islamic objection to the sale of alcohol? Or a Hindu objection to the sale of beef products?

I quite agree that I do not want lads mags in the eyeline of my DC when I am shopping and I did object to having them sited next to comics. But on the visits I have made to the UK recently, I have noticed that they are now sited high up and ususally behind some sort of cover.

I find it hard to get wound up about that, frankly. But then I've lived the last 15 years of my life in a country where boobs are no big thing, so maybe I've adapted to not giving a flying fig. I wonder how much of it is to do with the Anglo-Saxon attitude towards nudity?

GoldieMumbles Sat 08-Jun-13 18:09:25

"e.g. its a bit like saying that a woman who is being emotionally abused by her husband should put up with it and think herself lucky because the woman further down the street is being physically abused"

Actually, it's not.

It's a bit like saying that the woman who is offended by the front cover of a magazine should count herself lucky that she's not the woman down the street who has been murdered alongside her children.

It's the sense of proportion I'm getting at.

Darkesteyes Sat 08-Jun-13 18:14:32

BLOODY HELL So women should count themselves lucky that they and their children are not being murdered by their spouse.
Because as women thats really the least we can expect????!!!!

WOW just WOW.

Point proven.

garlicgrump Sat 08-Jun-13 23:54:22

Goldie, you seem to be saying that atrocities committed elsewhere are so momentous that concern about them should override concern about women's bodies being commodified for retail consumption.

You know the human mind doesn't work like that. You pretend that our concerns can - and should - be distributed according to the scale of immediate harm involved, meaning we mustn't be concerned about respect for women while people are dying in wars. It's a pretence designed to diminish or silence the concern you find uncomfortable.

Luckily, it doesn't work.

GoldieMumbles Sun 09-Jun-13 09:17:50

"BLOODY HELL So women should count themselves lucky that they and their children are not being murdered by their spouse.
Because as women thats really the least we can expect????!!!!

WOW just WOW.

Point proven."

Are you being deliberately obtuse?Please tell me exactly where I say it's ok for children to be murdered? I'm saying quite the bloody opposite, for Christ's sake! OK, let me write it down in words of one syllable.

What is more important to more people:

a) women and children being killed on purpose or dying through neglect?

b) taking offense at the cover of a magazine?

There, does that explain in very clear terms what I'm asking? Or would you like me to break it down into something even more simple for you? I don't really see how I can but I'm sure you'll find a way to deliberately misinterpret what I'm asking.

Oh, and by the way, the little four year old who died of neglect - MOTHER and FATHER complicit. Rare, admittedly, but it's not all about what "we women can expect" (to paraphrase you).

This is what the public seem to ask themselves - including me - and when I do this I get what's called "a sense of proportion". Whether you like it or not, people do think like that. On the day that all of this was rolled out, the BBC Breakfast peeps ran a series of on the spot interviews with people in the street. One of them said they objected. Theother 4 or 5 said they weren't that bothered, including one woman who said thatthere are far more important things in the world to worry about. It was that comment that got me thinking and I found I agreed with her. It goes a long way to explaining the 67% in the Guardian who didn't give a fig.

FasterStronger Sun 09-Jun-13 14:15:50

"a sense of proportion" yes women are treated as second class citizens in many different ways.

that's 50% of the world assigned a second class status at birth - whether it is in a country like the UK, were women earn less, or Afghanistan where they are obviously second class.

I think the only response to all the different types of discrimination is outrage. it is false to divide issues up as 'important' issues facing women and 'unimportant' issues.

I don't want only the important ones to change. I want equality.

garlicgrump Sun 09-Jun-13 14:58:29

the only response to all the different types of discrimination is outrage

Yes.

garlicgrump Sun 09-Jun-13 15:00:47

Any less-than-outraged response, including "sense of proportion", is a kind of Stockholm Syndrome response. Women, as underdogs, should suffer most indignities while protesting the life-threatening ones.

It is not just or fair to accept that half the world's people should suffer to some degree.

GoldieMumbles Sun 09-Jun-13 17:14:00

"Any less-than-outraged response, including "sense of proportion", is a kind of Stockholm Syndrome response."

What utter bullshit! Just because some (most, accoring to the Guardian poll) people don't give a damn, you think that anyone who disagrees with your pov is effectively a sheep submitting to the patriarchy? Dear God, how self absorbed is that?

"or Afghanistan where they are obviously second class"

Funny that should be raised. Afghanistan is a country where women have been treated like dirt for eons - centuries and possibly millenia. "We" are fighting a war there (whether you agree with it or not is immaterial) where one of the positives is the slow reconditioning of the people to begin eductaing women and giving the rights back to the local population after decades of terror from the Taliban.

Who is fighting that war? Soldiers - both male and female. Undeniably the infantry, giving their lives in the name of raising the standard of people's lives, are predominantly male and prodigious consumers of... lads mags.

So men, in their thousadns, fighting for the rights of women (to be educated and considered as something more than a chattel) who look at (I wouldn't use the wor 'read') lads mags. What a paradox! I'm minded of that 1990s game Lemmings where the little creatures stop doing what hey're doing, put their hands over their ears, shake their heads and promptly explode. This simply cannot compute! Men? Dying for women's rights? And looking at the evil to end all evils?

And do you know what? As a woman I am grateful to each and every one of them.

Are you?

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Jun-13 17:19:28

What would have happened if that woman on the bus had given up her seat to a white man instead of refusing to (which she did do) because somone may have told her beforehand that there were bigger battles to fight and to get a "sense of proportion."

Why cant these things apply to sexism as well as racism because both are abhorrent.
Can you really not see the connection? Women posing in a picture on the front of a magazine in an overtly sexual way reinforces the stereotype of a woman being seen as an OBJECT rather than a BEING.
A man abuses his wife because he sees her as beneath him a domestic/sexual servant with an opinion not worth anything. An OBJECT rather than a BEING.
Oh and using the Guardian as your backup?? Considering they recently had a woman write in to them who told them that her boyfriend called her vagina repulsive and their counsellor advised that the woman try to "work through it" with him( even though its patently obvoius to those with brain cells that it is emotional abuse) their reporting on womens issues is hardly exemplary. Unless its someone like Hadley Freeman or one of the other great young feminist writers who do articles for them regularly.

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Jun-13 17:20:57

Goldie most soldiers are excemplary. But please take a look at the ARRSE forum sometime.

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Jun-13 17:24:15

I wonder if the woman mentioned in this thread is grateful enough to the soldier who attacked her for the fact that he is fighting for his country confused

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/in_the_news/1768266-Serving-soldier-attacks-a-woman-and-escapes-jail-because-of-his-job

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Jun-13 17:27:21

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22769080

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Jun-13 17:27:41
Sausageeggbacon Sun 09-Jun-13 17:33:18

Interesting Darkest but the victims on the bbc were male which guess isn't the point you wanted to make.

One question re the Mags, the law states pornography but there is no legal definition of pornography so will they mean the description of Obscenity or are they expecting to create a legal definition within a case?

GoldieMumbles Sun 09-Jun-13 17:35:04

"I wonder if the woman mentioned in this thread is grateful enough to the soldier who attacked her for the fact that he is fighting for his country"

Not really typical, though, is it? I have no idea how many infantry we have but I'm betting in t he tens of thousands. Are they all violent towards women, then?

Are you suggesting it's better that they DON'T liberate the downtroddeen women of Afghanistan?

"A man abuses his wife because he sees her as beneath him a domestic/sexual servant with an opinion not worth anything. An OBJECT rather than a BEING."

What about the woman who, along with her partner, allowed the death of that 4 year-old boy? Is that down to "Women posing in a picture on the front of a magazine", too?

I mean, really?

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Jun-13 17:35:24

NO ONE should be being abused be they male or female. And those soldiers were in a position of trust which is even worse.

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Jun-13 17:38:11

One in eight soldiers commits violence on return.
A third of victims were wives or girlfriends.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18902195

GoldieMumbles Sun 09-Jun-13 17:40:37

...and that's down to them looking at lads mags? Would you have proof of that?

Or do you think that there may be other factors at play, perchance?

GoldieMumbles Sun 09-Jun-13 17:43:03

"Oh and using the Guardian as your backup??"

If you have the results of a similar poll from another source that is without a vested interest (ie neither from a feminist organisation nor a lads mag publisher) I should very much like to see it.

Darkesteyes Sun 09-Jun-13 17:45:15

Goldie it was you who said this.....

Copied and pasted from yr earlier post.....


Who is fighting that war? Soldiers - both male and female. Undeniably the infantry, giving their lives in the name of raising the standard of people's lives, are predominantly male and prodigious consumers of... lads mags.

GoldieMumbles Sun 09-Jun-13 17:54:15

"Goldie it was you who said this....."

Yes, it was. But one does not automatically lead to the other. Yours is an insinuation based in no fact whatsoever and, in my very strong belief, is patently wrong.

Please, present us with the facts supporting your assertion.

zigzoo Tue 11-Jun-13 09:46:41

Starting today, UK Feminista, Object and the many organisations supporting our Lose the Lads Mags campaign will be putting the spotlight on Tesco. Why? Because as the UK's biggest retailer, Tesco has a leading role to play in setting standards for other retailers.

Tesco insists it is a 'responsible corporate citizen' (1). Yet stocking sexist, degrading lads' mags is at fundamental odds with corporate social responsibility. Extensive research shows viewing media that portrays women as dehumanised sex objects fuels sexist attitudes and behaviours. It leads people to become significantly more accepting of gender stereotyping, sexual harassment, interpersonal violence, and rape myths (2).

Contact Tesco now and ask them to ditch sexist lads' mags.

Link here

MisterDarsey Tue 11-Jun-13 12:18:45

I've always thought it bizarre that pornography (which obviously includes lad mags) should be on open display in ordinary shops and newsagents. It's like the Emperor's New Clothes, with women customers and shop assistants expected to turn a blind eye to the fact that these 'Men's Interest' magazines are nothing more than w*nking material for men who don't like real women.

Using sexual harrassment law against them may seem far-fetched, but it's about time women's voices were heard on this subject. And trusting the shops to behave responsibly by (at least) covering up the magazines has clearly not worked.

BeCool Tue 11-Jun-13 16:01:24

The Tesco FB page is rather fantastic today. When I get a spare minute I pop over and 'LIKE' all the comments re drop the lads mags.

gedhession Sun 25-Aug-13 14:56:09

I seem to recall that many of the models in Lads Mags, such as Lucy Pinder, Michelle Marsh, Abby Titmus, Sophie Reade and Keeley Hazell were immensely popular amongst readers and some of them, such as Keeley Hazell and Lucy Pinder, have become media personalities. Of course, some people will not accept popularity as a defense....

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