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Should we be setting our sights on lads' mags and internet porn as the next leg of Let Girls be Girls?

(496 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 28-Jul-10 17:58:06

Following on from our Let Girls Be Girls campaign, we're thinking about what we might do next in the area of campaigning against premature sexualisation. We know that many of you are concerned about explicitly sexual imagery on the covers of lads' mags and the Sunday Sport, particularly when these publications are displayed at child's-eye level. We also know that some of you are worried about the ease with which children can access frankly pornographic imagery - some of it violent and disturbing - on the internet, whether on PCs or mobile phones.

We'd like to canvass Mumsnetters' views on these and related issues. Are you angry or embarrassed about lads' mags in plain view, or are you not too bothered? Do you consider the Sunday Sport or Zoo magazine to be pornographic, or merely cheeky? Is child access to internet pornography something that concerns you? If so, who do you think should be responsible for filtering out this content: parents/carers, or the internet service providers? If you have already set up parental controls on your computers at home, how effective do you think the filtering software is? An internet entrepreneur in the US has just started selling domain names ending in .xxx, with the intention of making this domain the "red light district" of the internet - see details here; does this sound like a good idea to you?

Obviously porn and sexuality is always a touchy <cough> subject. Just to make it clear, we?re not interested in clamping down on the adult use of (legal) porn; we purely concerned with its availability to children.

We would be very grateful to know your thoughts.

PosieParker Wed 28-Jul-10 19:31:40

not eye level....

must check before posting

ISNT Wed 28-Jul-10 19:34:18

I think that taking on the worlds media, fashion houses, advertising agencies, television channels, etc etc may be a slightly taller order than engaging with retailers in the UK and asking them to sign up to an idea whereby they move certain publications away from the eye level of children/cover the covers. Additionally it is already happening - I understand that some shops put covers over so only the titles are visible, and I managed to get the Star moved in my local branch of Smiths. There is awareness in general about this, it is already half-recognised as a problem, a good shove from an influential direction (MN) could really make a difference.

On that basis I support the campaign as it stands. Taking on the worlds media etc can come later.

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 28-Jul-10 19:34:20

Message withdrawn

BeenBeta Wed 28-Jul-10 19:35:58

dittany/rankie3- I dont disagree with how you feel and what you said but just think MN should be careful pick a winnable battle.

archstanton - good idea. I know a fair few teenaqe lads when I was young used to (secretly) read Cosmo.

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 28-Jul-10 19:37:10

Message withdrawn

PosieParker Wed 28-Jul-10 19:39:02

Perhaps if the eye level idea had mags categorised by type it may force publishers to change the focus.

IE grade 1 (top shelf) if naked person is shown, any genitals, nipples, naked/topless cover.

Nope can't categorise but I'm sure someone can.

Just trying to avoid the off Harpers/Tatler/Vogue cover that also has a naked by covered women (think Demi pregnant).

sherby Wed 28-Jul-10 19:41:00

Brilliant idea

100% behind the lads mags bit. I really don't want to have to explain to my 5 yr old DD as I had to the other day why the woman on the cover had taped up nipples, boobs out and was wearing a school skirt angry

Perhaps a rule that any magazine cover showing more than 30% of the body naked needs a modesty sleeve in the newsagent would be a good idea?

It's not just kids too, I don't want to see tits and arse when I'm buying magazines either.

LouAnnVanHouten Wed 28-Jul-10 19:51:07

Its the poses on the covers of lads mags and the sport that are so bad rather than the nudity. Sometimes the women are quite covered up (by pornography standards) but have their arses in the air and a fuck me expression on their face. Very difficult to quantify.

I think that they should be under the counter or on the top shelf on a plain cover but I don't know how you could rule a women in a short skirt and bikini top is not ok on FHM but is okay on heat. Its obvious when you look but how would it be worded if it was the law?

I have no thoughts on the internet as mine aren't old enough yet so I don't know the problems.

God yes
Lets say farewell to the lads mags and 'newspapers' with women in bras and pants bending over, being sold next to my sunday paper, or in the stand that we walk past every day to go to town.
It's depressing and degrading.

PixieOnaLeaf Wed 28-Jul-10 20:07:41

Message withdrawn

SpawnChorus Wed 28-Jul-10 20:08:46

I would definitely support this.

Ewe Wed 28-Jul-10 20:17:40

I agree with all the comments about lads' mags, disgraceful to have them at eye height for young children, utterly irresponsible retailing.

Ok, so what can we do?

Contact publishers to try and do it from source? (Most already losing money hand over fist on magazines so unlikely to be thrilled about it)

Speak to the distributors?

A taskforce of different MNers in local areas speaking to independent?

Getting some MPs on board (I am attending Lab and Con party conferences in Sept/Oct for uni, would be happy to represent MN and raise it where possible, could blog live?)

Endorsements from celebrities - possibly other parents?
Slight rebranding of the campaign, let children be children? Doesn't just impact girls.

Speak to journalists and see if we can get someone writing a vaguely controversial comment piece on it with the hope of there being responses from blogs/other publications = more press coverage.

POFAKKEDDthechair Wed 28-Jul-10 20:20:38

It is NOT about the percentage of nudity on display AT ALL, as has already been pointed out. I mean at the moment you would very rarely get a woman breastfeeding a baby on the front cover of a magazine but it is routine for a woman to display herself in a way that objectifies women. So whether that woman has a bikini on or not is really by the by. As Posie Parker pointed out, Demi Moore naked is not objectifying women at all [wasn't that a Leibotwitz shot?]
So a very hard battle to fight and message to get across. Because I'm happy for my children to see naked bodies. I am not happy for them to routinely see women in subordinate and humiliating poses, clothes on or not.

MinkyBorage Wed 28-Jul-10 20:22:41

What about tv porn. I have a virgin media tv box, and there are loads of pay for view porn channels on there. Virgin have told me that they are not allowed to remove the saucy screensavers. Apparently it's a matter for ofcom.
...............so when my 4 1/2 year old is pressing buttons on the remote control and comes across a screensaver of a scantily clad lady or man advertising red hot wives, or gay nightly or whatever they're called, she's wondering what they are. I am currently trying to find an alternative, but struggling, and am loath to go back to terrestrial.

MinkyBorage Wed 28-Jul-10 20:24:09

I agree with the your ideas for the new campaign btw, sorry, forgot to say that bit

midnightexpress Wed 28-Jul-10 20:24:52

Yes, I agree with what most of the other posters are saying. I was walking through town today with my two pre-school boys - they saw a funny looking customised bike in a tattoo shop window that they wanted to look at, but it was partly obscured by a life-size decal on the window of a woman, crouching down in a g-string and nothing else. Then we got to the garage to pick up our car and there was a huge poster with a barely dressed woman lounging over the bonnet of a car (and this is the reception area rather than the garage itself). I don't hae DDs, but I don't want my DSs growing up thinking that this is an acceptable way to think of women. It just all seems to have become so normalised - I felt like I was in bloody Life on Mars. In the late 80s, early 90s, that sort of thing was so not OK, it just seems like we've regressed about 30 years. Oh Germaine, whatever happened to the cause?

justaboutblowingbubbles Wed 28-Jul-10 20:33:33

I think this is a really really really really really really really really really really really really good idea for a campaign.

Really, I do.

LeninGrad Wed 28-Jul-10 20:38:44

Agree, it's not about nudity per se, but the way the shots are taken, look at The Daily Star, just look at it, and the man controlling that wants The Sun and just got a mainstream TV channel I think.

I don't buy any papers now because I can't bear to venture into that section so all those libertarians with their anti-censorship stances can sit and watch their livelihoods disappear because more and more people will not be associated with it at all.

No 'glamour' shots on the front pages of anything at eye level, simple as that.

Just sent DH to the corner shop and asked him to see.

It is 'The Star' out on a stand at eye level on the pavement.
And he agreed that it shouldn't be there
Am disgusted
LG , was it you who got 'The Star' moved in your WHSmiths?

llareggub Wed 28-Jul-10 20:42:15

Definitely. Excellent idea.

My 3 year old has just started hassling asking me for magazines from shops and I've become really aware of the negative portrayal of women on the majority of magazines.

As my boys grow older I really wonder how I can influence their attitudes to women when they are bombarded by such terrible images.

Are there guidelines or rules for newsagents re magazines/newspapers?

Sorry, for the display of newspapers/magazines with adult covers/content

midnightexpress Wed 28-Jul-10 20:45:27

Are you sure justa? wink

ISNT Wed 28-Jul-10 20:50:00

That was me darrell smile

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