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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.

KERALA1 Wed 28-Jul-10 20:51:32

Great idea for a campaign. I worked in a corner shop as a teenager and remember feeling very uncomfortable with the fact that the Sport was treated as normal newspaper. Quite why the desires of teenage boys and few sad men for wank fodder trumps the right of women and children not to be confronted daily with degrading images baffles me.

ISNT, good on you
How did you go about it?

bibbitybobbityhat Wed 28-Jul-10 20:53:05

Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes please.

Especially re. internet porn.

We faithfully set up filters on our pcs at home but it is almost pointless when children have access to the internet in so many places other than on the home computer.

Not long ago, within the past couple of months, a mumsnetter posted a link to a broadsheet article written by a journalist mumsnetter, about pornography on the internet becoming something you could opt into instead of trying to filter out (like trying to hold water in a sieve, afaik). I thought it was a reasonable and convincing piece. Will try and find the thread.

ravenAK Wed 28-Jul-10 20:53:31

'What I'd really like to see is part of the KS3 citizenship curriculum to include teaching teenagers about airbrushing etc. A curriculum pack full of lots of before and after pics to show how unrealistic most of these pictures are.' - Arch Stanton

I do this as an English teacher - a year 9 unit on 'The Beauty Business'.

Absolutely agree re: Nuts etc. I've known 11 year old boys bring these in for 'Silent Reading' in year 7 registration periods. Not appropriate.

Putting them on the top shelf or behind the counter would be a start, although ideally I'd like to see an age certificate on them, as for videos.

ISNT Wed 28-Jul-10 20:56:15

I can't quite remember blush

I think I emailed them and got a bog standard response.

So I replied and insisted and they said they'd pass the info onto the branch manager

And then I went in a couple of weeks later and it had been moved.

Thing is in our one the newspapers are on shelves, so to move it from the bottom shelf to the top shelf wasn't that much of an ask. I'm sure the outcome would've been different if it was one of those carousel things.

Deptfordwife Wed 28-Jul-10 20:57:54

Yes, do it! Do it! Hate top shelf material on lower shelves for all the reasons in the posts.

But...

Does anyone know why these images have crept down from the top shelf? Is it the newsagents or is it the publishers? Like Ewe, just wondering who to target.

Share concerns with some posters that this could be seen as a threat to media (and ad) sales, and also to the existing power-without-responsibility situation the media enjoy. Which could make this could be a very hard-to-win campaign.

But still do it!

ISNT, the shop I have in my sights is an independent and so may be trickier to approach.
I do wonder why things seem to have changed over the years

CMOTdibbler Wed 28-Jul-10 21:08:02

The Sainsburys I go to has got a good balance with the 'lads mags' - they are on the top shelf with their covers obscured by an opaque piece of plastic which has the appropriate names on, and allows the top of the magazine to be seen. Some of the bike and car magazines live up there too as they often feature naked women draped over vehicles. Seems like a perfect solution to me.

I've got absolutely nothing against these magazines, but I don't want to discuss them with my 4 year old. Especially not in a shop

Effjay Wed 28-Jul-10 21:39:23

Fully supportive of this. No more to say.

Ewe Wed 28-Jul-10 21:39:23

Deptford, I think these lads mags are deemed to be "lifestyle" (heaven help us!) as opposed to "adult" hence the lack of restriction. They are a male version of crappy gossip/ladies mags I think, lack any real intellectual editorial, just pictures and advertising mainly.

The collective media would not be especially happy, have to look very carefully at who owns what, if I ran a website wouldn't want to piss off Time Inc or Bauer Media. I think MN should look at own advertising base before anything else just to check no conflict of interest (if they haven't already! No doubt they're one step ahead of me).

jenny60 Wed 28-Jul-10 22:16:32

Yes, I would support this 100%, for the sake of my DC, but also for mine. I DO NOT want to have to look at that stuff when I go to the supermarket.

bibbitybobbityhat Wed 28-Jul-10 22:20:35

I must say one thing I find odd: I have travelled in Europe a good deal, and in many ordinary day to day street markets, or newspaper kiosks, have seen hardcore pornographic magazines for sale on open view. Yet I do still find Holland and Spain, for example, to be very civilized countries.

And I gather that the pornography in Japan is not kept exactly under the counter either.

I wonder what the feeling is in the rest of Europe and the States (porn capital of the world).

funnysinthegarden Wed 28-Jul-10 22:21:33

yes, would support this, for everyones sake and not just children

loves2walk Wed 28-Jul-10 22:29:20

I would totally support a campaign of this nature. Surely there must be something that can be done to prevent internet porn being so readily available? The idea of boys (or girls) seeing some of these really extreme porn images with violence and degradation of women is horrific - that they see it in the first place is bad enough but that they might become de-sensitized to it and see it as normal, is chilling.

We don't know how this could affect the development of their sexuality and as a parent of boys, I feel quite disgusted that they may come across some of this stuff.

FrameyMcFrame Wed 28-Jul-10 22:30:47

yes yes yes

foureleven Wed 28-Jul-10 22:31:32

MN I have been thinking of this and I think it best if you tackle the lads mags first as internet porn is just... well... at the risk of sounding defeatist.. a battle that will not be won.

Trying to tackle it may make people just shrug off and laugh at the whole campaign.

OBJECT have loads of info about lads mags as im certain you know. Join forces with them?

mamas12 Wed 28-Jul-10 23:41:20

This is a great idea. I have been put into the position of policing my ds phone regularly unfortunately as porn gets onto it through the ring tone requests route, and other things like that.

I would love for there to be a way to register a phone as a childs phone so therefore anything innappropiate will be automatically blocked as it's recognised.

Is there anything like that available now or am I just wishing.

I also turn stupid negative images on any publication to the wall on the top shelve or even get the manager to take it away and they do after they actually look at it.
But not all of them so I would be right behind this!

sunangel88 Wed 28-Jul-10 23:43:22

I don't even think these lads mags should be on the "top" shelf which children can see when they look up! Most certainly not in Smiths, the local Smiths we have in Hampshire has childrens' books and sweets marketed at children and lads mags on the way to the toys! Cigarettes are sold behind the counter... why can't these mags be the same? It's the objectification of women that gets to me.

Though if I'm honest, if both men and women are equally objectified then it's different. To do it to one but not the other is not right. Unfortunately that would probably dilute the message....

sungirltan Wed 28-Jul-10 23:56:41

count me in. i don't care if anyone thinks i'm mary whitehouse (yes you twitter man!) i only have one chance to teach ddto value herself beyond her sexual attractiveness and objective qualities to men

Astrophe Thu 29-Jul-10 00:19:36

hi MNHQ . Great work on this

You really must see this website from ausralia -Kids free to be kids

http://www.kf2bk.com/

they are running a very similar campaign against pornographic adfvertising and the sexuaisation of kids in ads -lots of big stores(equiv of M&S types) have been taken to task for the way kids are posed in their clothing catalogues etc.

They have also had some sucess getting porn mags removed from petrol stations etc. Lots to learn from them.

Also, this book is a must read on the topic and what people are currently doing - will save you reinventing the wheel.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Getting-Real-Challenging-Sexualisation-Girls/dp/1876756756/ref=sr_ 1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1280359088&sr=8-1

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 29-Jul-10 03:01:52

great idea, it's catering to a minority audience (of pervy teenage boys mainly) at the expense of loads and loads of kids and women and men who don't want to see porn on their way to buy felt tips FGS.

What about a day where at midday MNers all over the country hit their local newsagents (or one particular one perhaps, e.g. Smiths, or even Tescos etc) and turn all the grim mags to the wall?

ProfYaffle Thu 29-Jul-10 07:06:00

Just adding my voice to the 'yes' votes, as funnsyinthegarden says, it'd be good for everyone, not just children.

Deptfordwife Thu 29-Jul-10 07:33:40

Often wondered same as Bibbitybobbity. Other countries having much more 'relaxed' attitude to things ... but when we adopt it here doesn't seem to work out the same. Another example, 24 hr drinking!

Thanks for links Apostrophe, I am really interested in finding out about what is working/what people are doing elsewhere.

theyoungvisiter Thu 29-Jul-10 08:07:55

Hmm... while I agree with the sentiments behind the campaign, I think it would be quite difficult to "market" in a positive way, and so as not to dilute the LGBG one, if you see what i mean.

It runs a real risk of MN being portrayed as a kind of "No Fun Mums" brigade, poking their noses into publications aimed at adults, and trying to force the world to do their parenting for them.

I am thinking of the very negative reaction to the coca cola story - which received a pretty much universal hmm from the press. And that was a very, VERY clear example of a porn reference targeted directly at a teen girl who Coke KNEW to be a teen girl. I can't help but think that it would be even muddier with publications aimed at adults and sold to adults.

I don't know - it's a tough one. I'd like to make it clear that I do actually agree with the concerns Justine sets out, and I do realise that it's NOT about trying to police the sexual choices of adults, but I think it runs the risk of being presented that way.

epithet Thu 29-Jul-10 08:59:34

Visibility of 'lad mags' - yes.
Internet porn - absolute hiding to nothing.

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