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Lads mag covers vs gals mag covers - which are worse for kids to see?

(33 Posts)
Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 16:29:27

As I'm sure you all know, The Reg Bailey Review has recommended putting lad's mags on the top shelf or in plain paper bags, as they 'sexualize' children who may glance at them.

Whether there is any evidence that they are harmful, and I know many here are anti-porn so see these mags as the thin end of the wedge - when you actually look at what appears on the covers of lad's mags (girls in bikinis usually) vs what appears on mass market women's weeklies (stories of rape, incest and murder by family members usually) which do you think it better for children not to see? Which are the ones left around the house in millions of homes? Or are in doctors waiting rooms? And why did neither Reg or Anna Richardson before him notice any of this?

Here's a blog I found that compares lad mag covers to women's magazine covers. Maybe the writer is being a little selective in which ones he's shown, but I think he's generally got it right.

Thoughts please

thebockingfordkid.wordpress.com/

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-Jun-11 16:41:34

I think it's overstating it to say they are left around 'millions of homes'. Some of us don't think they're suitable reading for grown-ups, never mind children and wouldn't let one through the door. However, if you're going to get upset about women's weeklies talking about incest & rape, then you also need to get upset about newspapers or news programmes talking about war, murder or child abuse. Lads' mags are found in two places i.e top shelf or under the mattress. GP surgeries seem to stock very dull mags IME. As ever, it's down to good parenting how much or how little these things are allowed to influence our children.

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 16:47:56

I think it's... curious... how Reg Bailey didn't notice The Sport's regular upskirt front pages either, but I think it's too close to Murdoch, who Cameron is never going to annoy.

But Reg DID attack lads mags. The obvious comparison is women's magazines. And to be honest, the ones on that blog are probably worse )in terms of what should be seen by kids) than any news reporting of war, murder or anything else on the newsagents shelves this side of top-shelf porn.

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 16:49:32

And this isn't about me being 'upset' about those magazines, it's about the apparent hypocrisy from the Bailey Review.

cybbo Wed 08-Jun-11 16:51:03

Lads mags of course

And its not ususlly bikinis its usually some bird barely covering her bare nipples. ANd they arent on the top shelf

Words on a womens magazine need longer to stand and read. Those revolting pics on Lads mags are there for all to see

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-Jun-11 17:05:44

Hypocrisy is everywhere. That's why it pays not to wait for some government to decide what's appropriate for your children based on another well-meaning report and start issuing bans and edicts, but to take those decisions yourself.

Threadworm8 Wed 08-Jun-11 17:18:03

Those women's mags do look pretty dreadful, and I wouldn't want young dc looking at them. However, most of the awfulness requires being able to read, which instantly bumps up the age of vulnerability to something closer to the point where you could have a relevant conversation with your child about what's there. The images are smaller, so less likely to impact on a child passing the shelf. And the awful verbal content is simlar to nasty things the child might hear on the news or see in a proper newspaper, which therefore have to be addressed in parent-child convo anyway. The images in lads mags are large, stereotyped, and an extremely potent shorthand fostering a particular perception of women as sex objects

So, no, I don't think the two sets of mags are comparable, so as a way of deriding concern about lads' mags (which is what the comparison is all about), the blog and your OP are both pretty woeful.

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 17:22:05

When I was a child I saw a poster that said 'Don't let Rabies into the country. Rabies is a KILLER'

I thought Rabies was a person, and had nightmares for ages. Words can have a powerful effect. And with newspapers an unavoidable part of life, kids might see something disturbing - but I have never seen anything as relentlessly disturbing and potentially nightmare-inducing as the headlines on those women's mags, and would rather my kids saw any number of half-naked women (there are half naked men on the body-building/men's health mags too) than to read, either for a second in a shop, like I did with Rabies, or in a mag lying around the house, about 'my 12 year rape hell' or how 'he tried to suck out my eye - then snapped my arm!' headlines on the ironically titled OK! magazine...

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-Jun-11 17:53:45

So you're basing your whole point on your childhood misunderstanding of a perfectly ordinary, totally non-controversial poster? hmm Teach your kids to read properly and, if they see any headlines, tell them to discuss with you anything they find upsetting. That way you'll avoid the same thing happening.

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 17:58:18

You're trying very hard to miss the point aren't you? I think I'll ignore you from now on.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 08-Jun-11 18:08:19

The stupid misery-story 'womens mags' aren't attractive - kids are not that likely to bother giving them a second glance to actually read the blurbs. My MIL sometimes has a few in her house, DD doesn't look at them at all. Whereas if there's something with dogs or wildlife, or she comes across a Beano...

Actually what's needed is lots of good interesting mags (kids and good adult ones) on the low shelves to attract their interest. Displace all the crap.

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 18:10:57

Grimma, I agree! There are so few comics for either sexes anymore! If there were more, maybe they would enjoy the innocent fun of reading about the sickly ballet dancer orphan rather than rushing into the pop/soap world too soon...

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 18:17:41

And equally, despite what Mr Bailey reckons, children are not interested in Nuts or naked ladies. They don't care, it's boring... This is my main point - the second if some mags MIGHT be disturbing to a child who happened to take an interest, then those women's mags are nightmare material compared to a few half-naked ladies.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-Jun-11 18:43:54

You're looking at those magazines with an adult understanding, however. Children are not sensitised to words like 'rape' and 'incest'... they don't register as being emotional words with a child and so they don't provoke an upsetting reaction. And I agree with the above. Once a child is old enough to read the word 'incest' and curious enough to wonder what it means, then that is probably a good time to explain it.

BTW... the 'innocent fun of reading' via comics? Have you seen the content of Marvel recently? Pneumatic breasts and thunderous thighs galore.

Threadworm8 Wed 08-Jun-11 18:47:18

That's depressing, cogito -- the Marvel thing I mean. I would LOVE it if someone brought out a brilliant Beano-style comic for girls, with Minnie the Minx as the lead character. I grew up on Sparky and Beano and Dandy, and of course they are all lovely for boys and girls. But one that had a bias towards lots of female characters, instead of mostly male, would be a wonderful addition, to keep girls away from the trashy Jackie-style how-to-wear-make-up crap.

TheCrackFox Wed 08-Jun-11 18:51:43

The average 3 yr old can't actually read so the Women's Mags mean nothing to them. They can, however, be very confused at the sight of pretty much naked women on the front of lad's mags.

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 18:59:19

I think any child able to read can read these headlines, (and realise it actually happened, so could happen to them) could be disturbed/traumatised by it -

'RAPED AND TORTURED BY MY SMELLY STEP-DAD - I WAS JUST 8 WHEN IT STARTED'

'ANGELS - MURDERED BY THEIR MUMMY - THEN SHE HACKED UP DADDY'

'NO NO NO! BRUTALISED BY SEX BEAST IN MY OWN HOME!'

'THE MUM WHO HAD SEX WITH HER SON!'

The point being, this thread is in reference to the Bailey Review - he said lads mags were damaging to children - but the covers there, or if you google them, are really very tame, not the 'naked women on all fours salivating' myth... and those horrific women's mag ones he did just not mention... probably because the mothers he wants to appeal to read those mags, not lad's mags. Let's be honest.

If you think a child can see these covers/mags and not be disturbed, fine, maybe not. But does anyone really think seeing a Loaded cover is worse??

TheCrackFox Wed 08-Jun-11 19:01:08

How about banning all magazines as they are all a lod of crap anyway?

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 19:01:41

Crack fox, your putative 3 year old can see half naked men on mens health-body-building mags - why is that not a problem? Or is it?

Meanwhile, the majority of children supposedly growing up to fast/being sexualised early, can read. This campaign has hardly been about pre-schoolers.

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 19:02:11

'too fast.' I hate that mistake...

TheCrackFox Wed 08-Jun-11 19:05:51

I don't like them seeing half naked men either. I wouldn't have a problem with them being sold in a paper cover or placed on the top shelves.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 08-Jun-11 19:07:18

Two wrongs don't make a right. Cover up the lads mags; the nastier headlines on the misery mags would be better confined to the contents page rather than the front cover.

RobF Wed 08-Jun-11 19:09:40

Putting the magazines on the top shelf won't stop kids from seeing the covers, will it? I remember looking at porn mags on the top shelf and wondering what was in them when I used to go to the shops with my mum as a kid.

IMO womens magazines are far worse because they are socially acceptable in a way that lads mags are not.

Catmilk Wed 08-Jun-11 19:12:47

Another thing, and this may vary where you live - I've been looking at where I buy my newspapers and mags over the last couple of weeks - they are not from venues that have a top shelf any higher than a child anyway! Supermarkets, mini-markets, I didn't find many places with the traditional top shelf. How are things in your local news vendor?

fluffles Wed 08-Jun-11 19:14:06

The remit of the Bailey Review was the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood.

Because while i think weeklies are the devil's work, i don't think that they fall under that remit.

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