PLEASE NOTE: This topic is for discussions about campaigns Mumsnet is running or may be planning to run. It's not the place for promoting other campaigns or petitions. If you do that here, we will either delete your thread or move it to a more appropriate place on our boards.

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.

Tee2072 Thu 29-Jul-10 09:01:22

I would have to agree with the posters who are saying it would be better to encourage all media to use real women, non-airbrushed, rather than try to take on the porn/lads mags industry.

Have you thought about talking to Dove and their Campaign for Real Beauty?

I think that's a much more realistic goal than trying to get lads mags removed or internet porn policed.

Especially the internet porn bit since probably 99% of it isn't produced in this country, but overseas where there are no rules about it. This is why it is impossible to police the internet, because whose laws do you follow?

smallorange Thu 29-Jul-10 09:02:45

I think supermarkets are the ones to target as they control a vast amount of the magazine market and already do not stock adult porn.

They can pressure publishers to tone down the front covers of their soft porn mags - Nuts etc - and refuse to stock them if they do not do so.

The difficulty is that publishers are unlikely to appreciate supermarkets bosses telling them what they can or can't put in their magazine.

At least The Sun puts its topless model on page three.

I hate hate hate seeing this crap when I go to the Co-op with my kids, just above the Charlie and Lola mags.

Bonsoir Thu 29-Jul-10 09:05:18

I agree with BeenBeta.

And I would rather MN focused its LGBG campaign on encouraging parents and society to help girls develop skills that will make them better adults rather than on getting things banned and broadening the nanny state.

midnightexpress Thu 29-Jul-10 09:25:16

small orange: The difficulty is that publishers are unlikely to appreciate supermarkets bosses telling them what they can or can't put in their magazine.

I disagree - I reckon Tesco probably have a great deal more clout than publishers, who are no doubt struggling for ad revenue at the moment. Indeed, this is probably a very good time to make a stand on this issue, as I imagine that lots of these magazines are having some problems attracting advertisers.

LeninGrad Thu 29-Jul-10 09:40:02

Nobody it talking about banning, just move the stuff away from the eyeline of those who don't want to see it.

By that logic you may as well have porn streaming on terminals next to the tills because we wouldn't want to infringe on the rights of adults who want to view and buy this stuff.

There's a tension (ahem) between allowing people to see and buy what they want and allowing others not to. I don't think it's hard (ahem again) to just do as someone said Sainsbury's do and just have the titles showing.

smallorange Thu 29-Jul-10 09:41:34

I suppose they could pressure publishers to put an opaque plastic wrap over the top of the magazine.

I have a vague memory of supermarkets in the states doing similar, will google.

PosieParker Thu 29-Jul-10 09:42:07

bibbity.......... Perhaps porn is on every corner in Europe, but they probably BF more, have better attitudes to sex generally, less teen pregnancy...tis very complex!!

ISNT Thu 29-Jul-10 09:43:01

I am a bit disheartened that people are saying that asking shops to move a magazine or put something over the cover - as is already being done in some shops - is too much of an ask, prudish, and nanny state gorn mad.

If someone sat my little girl down with them and started leafing through nuts with them they'd be arrested. Yet people feel that asking shops to move mags is going to far?

I think this idea from MN is a great idea, personally.

smallorange Thu 29-Jul-10 09:44:55

Actually they do this already...

press gazette

BeenBeta Thu 29-Jul-10 10:20:37

Who will decide which publications get banned to the top shelf status behind opaque plastic covers? How will it be policed? How high should the shelf be? How opque the cover? Is it just magazines obviously aimed at men or will magazines aimed at women with body distorted images of women in ligerie and scanty clothes also be branded as unsuitable?

Should we see a similar banning of TV adverts and content. I certainly think there is plenty of explicit material on TV before 8 pm I would prefer my children not to see.

Even if the campaign is successful I could see legal challenges everywhere by publishers and a myriad of arbitrary rules being poorly enforced.

Maybe a soft campaign for retailers to use their discretion about how magazines are displayed might be a good thing and could work with big retailers such as WH Smiths but not sure it would work with local newsagents.

smallorange Thu 29-Jul-10 10:27:54

At least an opaque wrapper avoids this. It's up to the supermarkets where they put the product.

As for TV at least I have control over what my daughters see. Don't want to be looking at it when buying 'Sparkle' magazine in Co-op.

LeninGrad Thu 29-Jul-10 10:37:03

Why are you talking about banning BB when everyone else is talking about moving?

Of course it would be a soft campaign, I don't want a law about it, I just want my wishes and concerns listened to and retailers to act.

I do not want my sons growing up thinking everyone thinks it's ok for women to be presented bending over because they've seen this everyday on the front covers of newspapers and magazines.

It's really not difficult.

noddyholder Thu 29-Jul-10 10:42:16

Great idea.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 29-Jul-10 10:45:34

Heaven forbid we should try to do something difficult in order to prevent porn being forced on kids.

I don't think anyone wants soft-porn publishers to be sent to the tower, or for someone to sit around measuring the square mm of flesh on view. I don't care if someone (e.g. a sport mag) publishes a magazine with a woman in a bikini on the cover, but I do mind soft porn in full view of kids or anyone who happens past.

Do you think the fact that these pictures aren't humiliating depictions of your sex has anything to do with your feelings on the matter, BB?

noddyholder Thu 29-Jul-10 10:48:39

I don't think trying to promoite something which will avoid children being presented with images of women as a sum of their parts is akin to a nanny state!

BeenBeta Thu 29-Jul-10 10:50:13

I just think MN is in danger of setting itself up for a failure here.

I dont disagree with any of the sentiments being expressed. I DONT like my DSs seeing the front covers of some of the magazines and newspapers on the shelves either. There is clearly a war to be won but picking the battles carefully is the way to go.

theyoungvisiter - I think you set the issues out rather well.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 29-Jul-10 11:00:52

I don't know - I think a lot of people object to the sexualisation of children. I mean if you had a girl posing near naked, arse in the air, on the shop floor then most people would avoid taking their kids in there (you would hope )

smallorange Thu 29-Jul-10 11:06:47

I don't give a stuff what Her Majesty's Press thinks of it.

No one is fighting the corner of parents who do not want their children exposed to soft porn on a visit to the shops.

sunangel88 Thu 29-Jul-10 11:35:35

Astrophe great links. Particularly like the links to the research. Many thanks.

Bonsoir Thu 29-Jul-10 11:45:10

As a mother of a DD, I would rather teach her the right attitude to adopt when faced with inappropriate images of women than have her wrapped up in cotton wool and to grow up thinking that the world is a pretty place.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 29-Jul-10 11:53:00

That's just silly Bonsoir. Of course there are things you can't avoid, and children need to be taught how to deal with them. But passing up the opportunity to remove some of this crap, especially since it's in front of kids from their earliest years, seems bonkers. It's not an either/or situation.

smallorange Thu 29-Jul-10 12:04:08

Also I am sick of being told it's up to me to teach my children to negotiate these issues all the time.

Sometimes it would be nice if society helped us out a little bit.

smallorange Thu 29-Jul-10 12:06:29

And what do you say when your three year old asks why that girl on the front of the magazine has no pants on?

Bonsoir Thu 29-Jul-10 12:11:27

"Also I am sick of being told it's up to me to teach my children to negotiate these issues all the time."

It is your job as a parent to teach your DCs to negotiate the world as it is.

LeninGrad Thu 29-Jul-10 12:13:20

Or change it

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now