Poll: 90% of parents want Lads’ Mags covered


10:30 am - December 14th 2010

by Newswire    


      Share on Tumblr

Nine out of ten respondents to a survey by the site Mumsnet said that they do not want their children to see magazines and newspapers that carry adult sexual images on their front covers.

82% had seen sexually explicit covers displayed where children could see them, often on the lower shelves of newsprint displays.

Mumsnet will now be asking retailers to ensure that adult material is not displayed where children can see it, either by placing it on the top shelf or by using opaque covers to conceal the images.

The worst offenders were local newsagents (cited by 76%), motorway service stations and petrol garages (52%), and WHSmith (31%). 68% said that it affected their overall perception of the stores in question.

“I once had to explain to my eight-year-old daughter why there were two naked ladies (doing Lord only knows what) on a magazine cover placed right by the queue for the till. I’d only gone in to the shop to buy some milk!” (Survey respondent)

“I believe that sexual images should be for people who want to see them and who are old enough to consent. Anyone can do anything with other consenting adults.” (Survey respondent)

They want retailers to take responsibility for their products, rather than offering prescriptive solutions. Mumsnet say that head offices of retail chains should issue clear instructions on this, rather than leaving it to the discretion of individual store managers.

When asked which publications regularly use cover images that are inappropriate for children, 81% cited Nuts; 76% cited Zoo; 65% cited Loaded; 62% cited the Daily Sport and 59% the Sunday Sport.

The campaign page Let Girls Be Girls includes a list of retailers that have signed up to their pledges.

From a press release

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author

· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Headline of this kinda bugs me. Surely it should say 90% of survey respondents? I’m not saying that they shouldn’t be covered up (or just got rid of entirely), it just get my goat when data is misrepresented.

[deleted]

90% of people who find lots of things annoying want everything arranged to their satisfaction, and would particularly like to see all manner of things covered up, censored or banned.

Meanwhile, in political theory news… http://tinyurl.com/3p6d4

And how many of the 90% are Sun readers who are just fine with page 3?

Oh the stupid it burns.

5. Chaise Guevara

This site has a real problem with accurate headlines.

80% OF PEOPLE THINK MUSLIMS WANT TO EAT OUR BABIES! (according to straw poll by the Daily Mail)

As to the campaign itself… well, they’re not trying to ban anything, they just want sexual imagery covered up so that the only people who will see them is those that want to see them. That’s not an unreasonable position to take.

90% of parents responding to this survey want the entire world to change instead of imposing any kind of parental control/guidance on their children.

7. James from Durham

@6

What sort of control do you think we should exercise. Ban our children from going into newsagents? In the context of this article, I think you want us to stritjacket our kids, not just control them!

@2 and 3

As for the silly remarks about how some parents want to organise the world to their convenience, Presumably you guys would want to lift all restrictions on visible content in public places? That is the logical conclusion.

It would be interesting to know which commenters have children to see if they actually understand the issues they are dealing with here. I have two daughters.

[deleted]

[deleted]

10. Cynical/Realist?

How many of the same have issues with their daughters reading the horrid celeb-lifestyle magazines which are constantly attacking women for being too thin or too fat or too yo-yo or too this-or-that?

Don’t get me wrong, I do hate the lad’s mags and their crass objectification* of women. But it seems to only be wrong when its men encouraging unhealthy and unrealistic body images on women (especially teens).

The problem is embedded far deeper in society and sticking plaster solutions (like covering lads mags up) isn’t going to help.

@7 – Please don’t try to win an argument by saying only opinions of those with children is relevent. I’ve never been murdered (to the best of my knowledge), but I still have a valid opinion on violent crime policies.

11. Baying Lynch Mob

@James Mills, 2:

You call it “encourage [...] to lose weight” – I call it encouraging eating disorders, which is a much more serious problem.

12. Cynical/Realist?

Come on now Sally, what do we know about feeding nasty little Trolls?!

A survey on mumsnet, which will only be answered by the subset of mumsnet readers who are interested in the issue directly (this was not a survey of all mumsnet readers, but rather something hosted there). Not really very useful for anybody other than those looking for an answer and a justification.

Oh – and if people start trying to tell newsagents how to display their merchandise, I can guess the reaction. There is a clear science to displaying magazines to maximise sales, which includes not putting magazines with a high turnover in a marginal position (the reason top-shelf magazines are up there is that they are not fast movers – which is also why WH Smiths for example don’t stock them, but do the lad’s mags). There is clearly a market for these magazines (I believe it is declining, but still) and that will be the key concern for most retailers who, believe it or not, are seeking to make money not please some mumsnet readers.

On the basis of these considerations I would not look for the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (yes seriously) or anyone else to bother responding to this. It’s just another unscientific and unrepresentative survey that ignores commercial realities. If you want to effect change (and assuming you do not support censorship) then perhaps you need to tackle whatever the issues are that cause people to buy these magazines, not the magazines themselves.

14. FlyingRodent

Presumably you guys would want to lift all restrictions on visible content in public places? That is the logical conclusion.

I think you and Mr. Oxford-English need to go off somewhere quiet and have a good long chat over this word “logical”.

I don’t think this is hard. I’m not unsympathetic to the idea of moving lads’ mags to the top shelves, although I won’t lose a minute’s sleep whether it’s done or not, but I’m less impressed with the idea that it should be done because a bunch of people on a website think it should be done.

The appropriate response to statements like “Nine out of ten respondents to a survey by the site Mumsnet said they want (x) action to be taken” is either “That’s nice” or “So what?”, depending on your mood.

Mumsnet patrons may very well like to see all kinds of things restricted or altered to suit their tastes, and good on ‘em. It’s their perfect right to hold all manner of opinions. Traditionally though, when self-proclaimed liberals encounter illiberal behaviour, they’re supposed to give them more consideration than “Hey, I hate that shit too, let’s give it the heave-ho!”.

15. Daniel Factor

The line between concern for actual harm to children and women from these magazines or just the personal offence of people who “don’t want to see that sort of thing” is very blurred.

Also the feminist campaign against lads mags is unclear. On the one hand they are saying they just want retailers to cover them up or put them on the top shelf but on the other they are saying that retailers should not be selling them at all.

One feminist group recently chanted outside a Tesco store in London….

“PYJAMAS WON’T HARM US LADS MAGS DO STOP SELLING NUTS FRONT LOADED AND ZOO!”

I believe the main motivation is to have their sale banned completly!

[deleted]

OK, so first up, the reporting of this survey is lame. It’s not clear whether it’s a poll commissioned from a reputable polling agency with a statistically significant sample, or a voodoo “check this box on the website” piece of meaningless nonsense. And because we don’t have a copy of the press release to check (and Mumsnet don’t seem to have it up on their site, which is shoddy too), there’s no way of telling.

But the more important point is, the survey tells us nothing, because it’s based on “have you ever”, and (less importantly) on respondents’ standards of ‘sexually explicit”.

“Have you ever” includes any newsagent who’s, either through not paying attention or not caring, left a porn mag that isn’t supposed to be displayed on the top shelf out for public viewing. And I’ve certainly seen that. It doesn’t say anything about whether people think Maxim is porny.

Indeed, the fact that most respondents admit they’ve never seen porn on display to kids at WH Smug (which doesn’t stock porn in its shops, but does stock lads’ mags, and doesn’t top-shelve them) gives us the real story:

1) 31% of people think lads’ mags are porn.
2) 51% of people don’t think lads’ mags are porn, but have seen actual porn displayed where kids can see it at local newsagents.
3) completely separately from either of these stats about experience, 90% of people don’t want kids to be able to see what they view as porn.

If, charitably but probably more or less reasonably, we assume that all of the people who think lads’ mags are porn fall into the “not wanting to let kids see porn” group, then what we get is:

1) 31% of people want lads’ mags covered up.
2) 59% of people don’t want lads’ mags covered up, but don’t think kids should be allowed to see porn.
3) 10% of people think it’s OK for kids to see both lads’ mags and porn.

The 10% group are a *little* bit libertarian for my taste (I mean, I bought assorted dubious magazines in France and/or by lying about my age in my yoof, and I don’t think it’s done me too much harm, but probably best make it a rite of passage rather than put it next to the sherbet fountains and cola bottles).

The 59% group seem reasonably sensible

As for the 31% group… well, if they lived in a different place or time, I can take a reasonable stabs at the political and religious organisations they’d support…

s/paragraph 2: “the survey tells us nothing *even if it is a representative and respectable poll*”.

The only surprising thing is that 10% of respondants to a survey on a site specialising in prudery and outrage outrage don’t give a shit.

10 Cynical/realist

Hmm, well you proabably understand more about being a white educated male in the 21st century then I do, as a black educated female. I mean yes, Doytorvesky taught me ALOT about white male rage but really, if I was to put an argument forward in my thesis by YOU. And then write the same thing by say someone like ME. My tutor would make that as evidence coming from different view points, no? Furthermore, he would research the subjective/objectiveness, plus when the statement was said plus the background of the person who said that statement because well, we all know that a statement is just not a statement. No?

But Academia is prolly wrong if you go by some of the comments on this blog!

Furthermore, like the cornershop industry, the female magazine market makes people far too much money, which makes this battle, futile?

Women have been campaigning about body images in magazines for a very longtime and infact, this campaign is the most strategic because you can see more cause and effect. Child see magazine, asks parent ‘what is that’. V similar to the watershed campaign for TV.

But the campaign towards women magazines has always been much harder to prove the direct correlation between those figures and eating disorders. Yes, many models have come out and spoken that they were ‘starved, told not eat, made to take coke to supress hunger’ but again, these were all situational.

The issue that lies then with this particular campaign is that many women WANT to look like that. Even if they feel pressured, they still want to. It was rampant at my all girls school!

Mumsnet link to press release and full survey results: http://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/lads-mags

Good. I hope the retailers listen.

‘a site specialising in prudery and outrage outrage’

I love it! This can only be written by a person who doesn’t know Mumsnet. Very amusing :)

Also, I would listen to over 400K women coming on Mumsnet on a daily basis when they decide to do a survey.

A lot more based on a wide base of women, then say those other survey that only ask 1K plus people and its supposed to be the oracle.

You do that voodoo that you do so well…

Self selecting polls are a complete waste of time.

‘Hmm, well you proabably understand more about being a white educated male in the 21st century then I do, as a black educated female. I mean yes, Doytorvesky taught me ALOT about white male rage but really, if I was to put an argument forward in my thesis by YOU. And then write the same thing by say someone like ME. My tutor would make that as evidence coming from different view points, no? Furthermore, he would research the subjective/objectiveness, plus when the statement was said plus the background of the person who said that statement because well, we all know that a statement is just not a statement. No?’

I’m really impressed that you learnt all you need to about 21st Century British men from an 19th Century Russian novelist specialising in outsiders. I’ve read Gogol and apparently dogs talk – and you wouldn’t believe what noses get up to!

‘Women have been campaigning about body images in magazines for a very longtime and infact, this campaign is the most strategic because you can see more cause and effect. Child see magazine, asks parent ‘what is that’. V similar to the watershed campaign for TV.’

The correct response to questions from children is to answer them, not to expect the State to protect you from embarassment.

‘But the campaign towards women magazines has always been much harder to prove the direct correlation between those figures and eating disorders. Yes, many models have come out and spoken that they were ‘starved, told not eat, made to take coke to supress hunger’ but again, these were all situational.’

You’d think the massive amount of ‘concern’ for this influence might have lead to some impirical research, but apparently not.
We have an obesity epidemic in this country, not a bullimia epidemic. If there was any causal relationship between women’s magazines – you know, if women were the mindless automatons you think they are – the situation would be reversed.

Apparently Nutz just did a counter-poll with110% saying Nutz to the first poll, so problem over. Can’t argue with those stats.

[deleted]

Thanks Rowan. So we know the survey is of a base of 1007 people, but not whether it either was recruited or has been adjusted to be representative of the population

A lot more based on a wide base of women, then say those other survey that only ask 1K plus people and its supposed to be the oracle.

*professional market researcher rant*

The women who frequent Mumsnet are not representative. They probably aren’t *hugely* unrepresentative of mothers. But they aren’t representative of mothers. In particular, they’re representative of mothers who frequent a website that’s basically a community for mums to chat about being mothers, ask for advice on being mothers, and generally demonstrate in more or less every aspect of being there that they are more focused on their role as mothers than people who don’t are (and, by being members of a text-based online community, that they are more likely to be at least medium-educated native English speakers than people in general).

One of the most notorious early opinion polls called the 1936 US election massively for the wrong candidate, despite having over two million respondents, because the sample polled was unrepresentative of the population and the actual respondents within that sample were even more unrepresentative. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it is *demonstrably and repeatably true* that polling 1000 people based on a representative sample is more accurate than polling a million people based on an unrepresentative sample.

Here’s a *really really basic example*, for those who aren’t convinced: if you were to survey a sample of female Conservative party members on their views on key political issues, then although you’d have thousands of women in your sample, if you were to represent that as a poll of “what women think”, that would be risible. If this is a poll of Mumsnet members, then it’s the same thing.

Now, if it’s a poll *commissioned by Mumsnet of the population at large*, the above doesn’t apply. But the points in my first comment do, so either way this is a giant pile of steaming poo.

Doytorvesky taught me ALOT about white male rage

I hope yer ALOT learned a great deal about white male rage.

But Academia is prolly wrong if you go by some of the comments on this blog!

Academia, of course, being well known for only ever putting forward one analysis about anything.

[deleted]

‘In particular, they’re representative of mothers who frequent a website that’s basically a community for mums to chat about being mothers, ask for advice on being mothers, and generally demonstrate in more or less every aspect of being there that they are more focused on their role as mothers than people who don’t are’

That’s another really funny assmuption. Carry on guys, you are seriously amusing me today.

I feel a bit troubled though if these become in any way associated with “leftists battles”.

I’m no fan of Page 3 and I actually find Lads’ Mags annoying and braindead to the extreme.

But covering them up? Doing a “liberal” version of Mary Whitehouse?
No, thanks.

To clear up the confusion, this isn’t a general population survey conducted by a reputable market research organisation, its an internal survey of Mumsnet users conducted using Survey Monkey…

http://tinyurl.com/37cew5z

So, what the survey says is that 90% of a self-selecting subset of a self-selecting group of internet forum users want lads mags shunted up to the top shelf.

In other news, 95% percent of bears living in the wild admitted that, yes, they do generally shit in the woods – the other 5% – all Polar bears – said that they would probably shit in the woods, if only they any woods to shit in.

Claude – how about the suggestion that ‘sexually explicit’ material is placed higher than the average six year old’s height? Or is that too ‘Mary Whitehouse’ for you?

Unity – you are precluding the possibility of exhibitionist bears. I don’t think that is very wise.

What you’re saying is: they are filthy-minded and sex-obsessed

Oh dear – this is a bit of a gross generalisation isn’t it?

I know some of you don’t like the results of the findings, and they might not be representative of the population as a whole if not broken down by representative sample – but I suspect most parents would agree with it anyway.

And lastly, there is an explicit point there about Mumsnet not offering prescriptive solutions (ie banning) and wanting retailers to take action themselves. Many of you must not have read that.

This is little to do with the left/right – I suspect most Tories would actually agree here! And I suspect most Mumsnet readers are small c conservative.

claude,

It’s the normal battle between authoritarians and liberals being fought again. Don’t try applying right/left to it.

One day someone will explain to me why feminism thinks it is left-wing (rantersparadise piece on the broad church above doesn’t really help, for all I agree – the same applies to the right wing (and we don’t claim the BNP either if that helps)). It is about freedom and equality, or about enforcing one particular viewpoint (depending on your feminist) and is therefore either one of the epitomes of liberalism or just another belief system trying to impose itself on us.

Sunny.

It’s not a question of liking or disliking the findings. The problem, as usual, is the use of dubiously provenanced statistics to create a media talking point that rapidly falls to pieces no soon as someone asks ‘So where’s the data from?’.

There may be some very good arguments for consigning Lad’s Mags to the top shelf, if nothing else, putting them on general display deprives todays’ youth of the kind of opportunities to develop the kind of useful skills, such as shoplifting porno mags, that were taken from granted when I was a teenager.

But one cannot, in any sense, make any legitimate inferences about the views of parents, generally, from a self-selecting survey group of this kind.

That’s another really funny assmuption. Carry on guys, you are seriously amusing me today.

Sorry, which bit? Give me gbp5k and I’ll conduct a poll, of absolute statistical reputability with the questions pre-approved by both of us, asking about the demographic and socioeconomic status and attitude towards motherhood of the population at large, and the demographic and socioeconomic status and attitude towards motherhood at large of Mumsnet users.

I know, because *all internet polling adjusts for it and the biases are available for public reference*, that internet users in the UK are more likely to be educated native English speakers than non-internet users. Which sorts half my point without a survey, nah?

There is an explicit point there about Mumsnet not offering prescriptive solutions (ie banning) and wanting retailers to take action themselves

Maybe getting newsagents to follow WHS’s lead and not stock actual porn, given that’s the issue that most respondents have a problem with, would be a better campaign point then?

But they won’t, because campaigning against Mr Bloggs who puts Readers’ Wives next to Loaded involves unpleasant local direct action against an individual, whereas whining at a big company that they should also ban Loaded is more likely to score a points win. Despite not actually being the issue…

earwicga,

Claude – how about the suggestion that ‘sexually explicit’ material is placed higher than the average six year old’s height? Or is that too ‘Mary Whitehouse’ for you?

Yes it is – it is determining what people can do.

Although any retailer who puts lad’s mags at the height of an average six-year old is rather stupid. They should be in the eyeline of their target audience, whilst comics etc should be in the six-year old’s eyeline. So that is a battle you can win by pointing out to the retailers how to maximise their profits. Constructive positive action, right there.

And I should add that it really doesn’t help matters any that most of the headline stories that have provided the impetus for this kind of ‘anti-sexualisation’ campaign turn out to be a complete crock of shit when you actually take the time to investigate them properly.

http://tinyurl.com/25vsfy9

The problem, as usual, is the use of dubiously provenanced statistics to create a media talking point that rapidly falls to pieces no soon as someone asks ‘So where’s the data from?’.

Amen to this. While the issue is less serious, in that the banning of Loaded will make the world slightly less jolly rather than, y’know, die, this is exactly the same kind of lying-to-the-people-with-fake-stats bullshit that the AGW denialists believe in. If we’re going to plausibly condemn misleading statistrickery when it really matters, we can’t give it a free pass when the people lying with dodgy stats are nominally on our side.

‘Give me gbp5k and I’ll conduct a poll’

No. But I’ll give you my middle finger John.

46. Cynical/Realist?

@20, Its fine to express a point of view as a father, mother or otherwise. But the post I was referring to was alluding to all decenting voices not having validity. Its a way of shutting down debate, noit encouraging it.

Like how, if, to people of a certain mindset, you suggest the best way to deal with peadophiles isn’t to have the community line up with cricket bats as you fear it will drive people underground. Just to have people turn round and say. ‘do you have kids? Well shut up then’.

I’m in full agreement with how hideous mens magazines are (not sure how I feel about restriction, but if I had sons they’d be discouraged from them). But I do feel the womens magazines are very nasty. And that society as a whole is responsible and needs to change. I’ll support any campiagn to help women (and men) have a more positive body image.

Full disclosure: I work for MN Campaigns (and am posting in my professional capacity, such as it is). To avoid repetition, where I say ‘MNers’ below, please read ‘the overwhelming majority of MN posters who have responded to the many threads on this issue, as well as the survey itself’.

@32: ‘they are filthy-minded and sex-obsessed, but hypocritically want to keep all sex away from their own kids?’ – we want to keep what we believe are inappropriately adult images away from our kids, yup. Not least because many MN posters believe that the overwhelmingly uniform images presented of female sexuality are damaging for children’s developing sexuality and girls’ self-esteem.

@29: was a self-selecting sample, no weighting. We make no claim to represent anyone other than MN posters, as you’ll see from the presser. A lot of the comments on here seem to arise from the headline on this piece, which I didn’t write.

@26: ‘The correct response to questions from children is to answer them, not to expect the State to protect you from embarassment.’ – we’re not asking the state to do anything. We’re asking (politely) retailers to adhere to a certain set of parameters. If they choose not to, some of our members might take their custom elsewhere. Hardly authoritarianism gawn mad.

@24: Go on Mumsnet Talk and have a search for ‘lads mags’ – you’ll see that opinion on this is overwhelmingly uniform (and that’s pretty unusual for Mumsnetters, many of whom will happily start a fight in an empty room).

@15: our aim is quite explicitly not to ban lads’ mags, or any other sort of porn. It is simply to ask retailers to consider how they are displayed.

@watchman/FlyingRodent: we’ve have some success with a similar campaign around sexualised clothing for pre-teens. Retailers (especially supermarkets) are actually pretty interested in what mothers think, because we tend to make up a lot of their customers and spend a lot of money in their shops. Sainsburys and Morrisons, which already operate policies about the display of lads’ mags, have told me that it’s had no negative impact on their sales.

@sally: if you look at the survey, you’ll see The Sun is one of the publications cited by about 30% of our members, IIRC.

Also, I’m taking out all the comments by James – he is a right-wing troll pretending to be someone else.

this is exactly the same kind of lying-to-the-people-with-fake-stats bullshit that the AGW denialists believe in

As you’re now accusing me of lying, since I posted the story – could you please point out where the lie exactly is John? Or withdraw your idiotic comment.

The story clearly points out it was a poll done on Mumsnet. People don’t want to take that seriously enough – fine. I suspect more important people will. But the article doesn’t lie, unless you don’t know the meaning of the word.

Entertainingly, the gay equivalents of lads mags always seem to languish on the top shelf above the likes of zoo and nuts. Given that the gay mags tend to have undressed boys rather than undressed girls on the cover there’s certainly something there to take on board.
Good questions might include “why is it considered more acceptable for children to view scantly clad girls, but less acceptable for them to view scantly clad guys?”
And “why is this self-censorship by newsagents unquestioned, while extending this self-censorship to include female images very much questioned?”

49 – It’s not a lie, it’s just a misleading headline. For the phrase ‘90% of parents want lads mags covered up’, you’d need a representative poll of parents. A self-selecting survey of mothers (not ‘parents’ in general) from one website is clearly not a representative poll of parents.

I remember hijacking an Aussie newspaper poll. ‘90% of Australians think Jonny Wilkinson the world’s greatest rugby player’ would not really have been an accurate way of reporting that polls findings.

” 95% percent of bears living in the wild admitted that, yes, they do generally shit in the woods – the other 5% – all Polar bears – said that they would probably shit in the woods”

Come on, that survey had a margin of error of 5%.

I think a point about Mumsnet worth making is that although they may not be representative of all mums, they are essentially a demographic group courted by politicians. Which makes their own surveys semi-important.

Sunny,

I don’t think that John is accusing you of lying, although if we’re going to get pernickity here then its a hell of a reach to say ‘90% of parents’ in the headline based on this particular poll.

Mumsnet’s own shtick is a far bit clearer inasmuch as it does eventually get around to saying “Mumsnetters have clearly indicated that primary school-age children should not have to navigate adult sexual imagery every time they visit a shop” even if that doesn’t appear until halfway down the page and the earlier reference to a ‘Mumsnet survey’ is somewhat ambiguous.

http://www.mumsnet.com/campaigns/lads-mags

54. Chaise Guevara

@ 48 Sunny

“Also, I’m taking out all the comments by James – he is a right-wing troll pretending to be someone else.”

Ooh, is it dmob? Because I think it’s dmob.

was a self-selecting sample, no weighting. We make no claim to represent anyone other than MN posters, as you’ll see from the presser. A lot of the comments on here seem to arise from the headline on this piece, which I didn’t write.

Agreed re the headline – although the fact that your PR doesn’t make explicit the way you carried out the poll is a poor call (and something you’d be in trouble for if you were a private company using the poll to justify an advert).

“90% of respondents to a Mumsnet survey”, since MN isn’t the Daily Express but a reputable NGO, in my eyes implies “90% of respondents to a balanced poll commissioned by MN”, not “90% of MN users who clicked on a link”.

No. But I’ll give you my middle finger John.

That’s nice.

I recognise I could’ve been clearer in my previous post: commissioning a poll to make clear that the things I suggested were true, aside from the ones that we know are true, would cost about GBP5k. I’d happily sort out the commissioning and analysis for free.

I’ve commissioned a great many representative polls (ones that marketers and strategists use to find out what people really think, not the bullshit “90% of 10 women who used shampoo for a week said it was lovely” variety that the bastards use in adverts), mostly on completely trivial issues, and have always been grumpy about the fact that most important issues don’t get the same treatment.

There are a great many questions which don’t get asked in opinion polls, because the people who commission opinion polls don’t want to PR or publish (depending on whether they’re companies/NGOs or newspapers, respectively) the answers. This is one of the thousands I’d like to know. If there are any mysterious benefactors reading, then the Campaign For Accurate Polls On Contentious Issues is one that would seriously help the public debate for a relatively small outlay.

As you’re now accusing me of lying, since I posted the story – could you please point out where the lie exactly is John? Or withdraw your idiotic comment.

“90% of parents want lads’ mags covered up”? Cos we know that isn’t what the poll showed, and even Rowan admits that this claim can’t be justified.

56. Chaise Guevara

@ 54 (Sunny)

Actually, don’t answer that if you know who it is because of their email address or anything.

Cylux,

I suspect the discrepancy to do with gay-interest mags is simply because less people buy them, so they are put in a more marginal position. On the full recommended display (Menzies I think) as I last saw it, this would probably be top right, but on the second shelf down (whole top shelf for adult publications – there be a lot of money in them there porn mags).

Perhaps the best way to check would be to see where they are stocked in somewhere like Canal Street in Manchester (assuming there is a newsagents there). I suspect they would be a lot more central and have more frontage displayed.

This is less to do with attitudes towards respective bodies and more to do with market (probably way out of date but the last figure I heard was an upper estimate of 10% of the male population is gay or bisexual) and with the fact that a lot of that market would not be comfortable labelling themselves by buying a magazine expressly for gay men. It is interesting though that all supermarkets stock the gay magazines next to the men’s interest ones in full displays (sorry – I spend far too much time noticing the layouts of magazines).

58. Cynical/Realist?

@50 – The very same people who probably think its some kind of ‘do-gooder’ myth that naked skinny girls in mags/everywhere affects the body image of young girls probably get all hot under the collar about the not ‘promoting’ gayness to their young menfolk.

There is also a definate culture amongst men that draping naked women on things is perfectly reasonable, but doing the same with men is plain wrong. All without irony. I love motorsport, but cringe at how accepted it is to have nearly naked women as some kind of indicator of how ‘glamourous’ the sport is. Urgh!

Sunny: on reflection, I should add that I’m aware you aren’t lying, and that Rowan isn’t lying – but the combination of the ambiguity of her PR, and the headline that you’ve put on your cursory reading of her PR, is to spread the impression of something that isn’t true. Sorry for suggesting that either of you was being deliberately dishonest.

Although, having worked quite a lot with people who write up stats for hacks, I’m not entirely convinced that the original piece was designed to scrupulously avoid that kind of misinterpretation…

Cynical/Realist,

Would you therefore be happy to have near naked bodies of both sexs draped around the place? As on most calendar stalls…

To clarify, I have no problem with it, but I am not engaged with the debate on body image. Perhaps it would be better to have a wider range of near naked bodies on display (although don’t the lads mags promote a different image than the women’s mags and the tennage mags?), so perhaps the best idea would be to get people to appreciate beauty is a much wider phenomenon than generally thought.

but the combination of the ambiguity of her PR, and the headline that you’ve put on your cursory reading of her PR, is to spread the impression of something that isn’t true.

Bollocks. Anyone reading the press release, and it’s clearly marked as such, can make up their own minds. I doubt MN readers (it would be nice if some of the males here gave them some credit) themselves would stand for quite obviously biased or slanted polls.

The fact is, this concerns a lot of parents. I have mates who’ve just had children who complain about this kind of stuff, and they’re as soft lefties as you can get.

62. Chaise Guevara

Sunny, you should know that a lot of people make up their minds based on the headline alone. Hopefully not too many on this site, but this is now being retweeted as “Survey: 90% of parents want Lads’ Mags covered up”, which is utter fact-twisting.

The very same people who probably think its some kind of ‘do-gooder’ myth that naked skinny girls in mags/everywhere affects the body image of young girls probably get all hot under the collar about the not ‘promoting’ gayness to their young menfolk.

Hmm.

Scum-reading prats think that pictures of girls with their boobs out should be universally on show; the same Scum-reading prats also think that pictures of blokes with their todgers out (or even with Speedos on, come to that) should be banned. At the same time, there’s a conceit among some left-liberals that male pics are excellent-subversiveness and lady pics are evil objectification.

Personally, I’m all for letting it all hang out either way. Bodies are great; more pls, no matter what the gender or levels of attractiveness.

It’s something I like about being in Aus – the fact that 70-year-olds are happy to wander around in Speedos or bikinis takes a bit of getting used to, but is refreshing once you realise that, despite having inherited most of the UK’s cultural hang-ups, the heat and beachery have defeated that one.

64. the a&e charge nurse

The Daily Mail has already made it’s pronouncement on ‘Lads Mags’ (in the guise of the lovely Jan Moir) – so any further debate becomes more or less redundant?
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1274095/JAN-MOIR-Lads-mags-toxic-culture-treats-women-like-meat.html

Our Jan says, -“their mantra (ladzmagz) is that all girls are easy. Not to be treated with respect. Week after week, Zoo, Nuts and all the other corrosive titles blur the boundary between what is pornography and what is normal sexual behaviour.
They promote the dark male fantasy that ordinary girls are always ready and willing for stranger-sex. They encourage the notion that every woman has an inner Abi Titmuss just waiting to burst out of her DD chest underpinnings and succumb to their every desire”.

So women have an “inner Abi Titmuss, just waiting to burst out” – and the boundary between porn and “NORMAL sexual behaviour” is being eroded by Nuts, Zoo, et al?

Clearly 90% pollsters on MumsNet are fully in tune with the aspirations of Mailworld – and if they have their way they will soon be bringing it to a news agent somewhere near YOU.

65. Chaise Guevara

@ 64

Not really. They just don’t want their kids being exposed to them.

Bollocks. Anyone reading the press release, and it’s clearly marked as such, can make up their own minds. I doubt MN readers (it would be nice if some of the males here gave them some credit) themselves would stand for quite obviously biased or slanted polls.

But you wrote the headline, and it was actively untrue (although it’s also what I thought MN were claiming based on my reading of the press release you published).

I genuinely don’t think that MN were clear about the slant of the poll, and that has fuck all to do with the fact that I’m an man – the reason why I’m pissed off here has a lot to do with the fact that using stats in an honest and not misleading way to explain to non-statisticians what they mean is is my job, and this post is basically the opposite of that.

Again with my Imaginary Centre For Conducting Honest And Respectable Polls. If we commissioned them to survey 3,000 people (which should ensure a representative number of women, men and parents) to ask a balanced sample non-leading questions about this issue, I wouldn’t be surprised if we ended up with a genuine, *honest* result saying that somewhere between 40% and 80% of all parents wanted further restrictions on the display of lads’ mags. Which would be interesting news, would help support MN’s campaign, and would be a post I’d be happy to be associated with.

Hell, I’m happy to work for free with MN next time they devise a poll to help them clarify the difference between “shops that illegally display porn unsleeved on lower shelves” and “shops that display lads’ mags on lower shelves”, and then to ask how many people want a ban on the latter. This poll was sufficiently badly designed that it probably ended up understating that number, just by leading people in weird directions with its questions.

@64, Private Eye regularly and rightly points out the DM’s disgusting hypocrisy on this one (especially as the website – now the most popular of any newspaper in the world – is even more prurient and boob-pic focused than the print paper). Although nothing will ever beat this one from the Star.

68. the a&e charge nurse

[61] “The fact is, this concerns a lot of parents. I have mates who’ve just had children who complain about this kind of stuff” – and this is the biggest myth of all (although I am sure parent’s have expressed these concerns to you).

Watch any child that goes into a news agent.
Now stack one shelf with Nuts, et al, and another with an array of children’s titles then see how much attention is paid to the adult stuff.

My guess is, and it’s only a guess, but those children brought up in the homes of parents who are alarmed by LadsMags are far more likely to grow up with hang ups over sex and sexuality?

A relaxed, open approach is much better not least because all manner of people have all manner of sexual preferences and hiding them away on the top shelf sends a covert signal that such preferences are bad, or something to be ashamed off – which from memory, is what our Jan said in the wake of Stephen Gately’s death?

John –

‘and then to ask how many people want a ban on the latter’

MN isn’t talking about a ban. Why are you?

70. FlyingRodent

The fact is, this concerns a lot of parents.

Good on ‘em, let ‘em go tell it on the mountain. And still, what? A certain group within society thinks (x). That’s nice, but… And?

I reckon I could get thousands of signatures on a Facebook campaign to keep small children off public transport or out of pubs, if I was ignorant enough about it. What possible response would that deserve, other than Well, that’s interesting or Actually, that isn’t very interesting at all?

If a majority of Mumsnet users want lads’ mags moved, then what? Let them harrass newsagents if they like, but are we to campaign for it on their say-so, or find their opinions more worthy because they’ve got their own internet forum?

I appreciate that others are better on political theory than I am, but I always understood that liberalism had something to do with “Leaving things alone unless there’s a real and pressing need to interfere with them, combined with a likelihood that interference will have favourable results for practically everyone”

I struggle to reconcile this with “Ordering some newsagents to move some magazines a few shelves up because a thousand internet users think it’s a good idea”.

I write quite a bit about the use and abuse of statistics in public life (politics, journalism, etc.) and this is as bad an example as any.

The headline is literally untrue. This matters, because often the overall impression of the story is set by the headline and it colours people’s perceptions of what they read in the story. But also, in this age of Twitter, it’s often only the headline that many people will see. It’ll get retweeted and enter into the public consciousness without much further scrutiny by many people and be cited by others as a fact who are either too careless or too incompetent to research its provenance.

To fix the headline would be so simple:

“90% of Mumsnet readers want Lads’ Mags covered”

though even that doesn’t cover the fundamental methodological problems with the survey.

The body of the article may be literally true in that it’s faithful to the underlying press release but the real issue is that the whole exercise is meaningless. Self-selecting web surveys attract people who feel strongly about an issue and therefore are neither representative nor valid. All this story says is that 90% of Mumsnet readers who feel strongly about lads’ mags don’t like seeing them in the supermarket. It’s not a lie. It’s just not very interesting, useful, meaningful and therefore, newsworthy. Bad statistics pollute the public debate on serious issues and should be avoided. This is one such case.

100% of this post’s authors agree with me, too. I should know. I asked them all.

MN isn’t talking about a ban. Why are you?

Good point. How about we ask (multiple choice, one answer per question):

1) do you think the government should make it illegal for shops (other than licensed over-18s sex shops) to sell [insert choice of wording we agree here] magazines unless they are wrapped in plain packaging or sold on top shelves out of children’s view? (Y / N / NS)

2) irrespective of your answer to any previous questions, do you think that major retail chains should ensure that their outlets can only sell [insert choice of wording we agree here] magazines if they are wrapped in plain packaging or sold on top shelves out of children’s view? (Y / N / NS)

If you like, we could even add another question:

3) do you think this will make the slightest sodding bit of difference unless we use the existing laws to stop newsagents that aren’t part of major chains from selling actual porn within children’s view? (Y / N / NS)

Good on ‘em, let ‘em go tell it on the mountain. And still, what? A certain group within society thinks (x). That’s nice, but… And?

And I suspect the aim is to shift public opinion and get retailers to take notice of what parents are saying… Isn’t that what campaigning is about? After all, they’ve had success with some retailers on other campaigns already. I suspect you don’t get the campaigning element very well.

Bollocks. Anyone reading the press release, and it’s clearly marked as such, can make up their own minds.

Oh FFS, Sunny, that’s the exact same argument that the Daily Mail pull out in front of the PCC every single fucking time they blitz some poor bastard with a gutter headline which then then retract three or four paragraphs down the article, long after the damage has already been done and their resident trolls are busily speaking they’re branes in the comments below.

I’m sure you’re getting more than a bit pissed off after all the firefighting you’ve had to do of late but you’re usually a lot more savvy than this.

The Mumsnet crew are clearly well intentioned but, for a variety of reasons, I suspect that they’ve dropped a bit of bollock here by going after the Lads Mags in this fashion. I just hope that this doesn’t provoke a media backlash from the tabloids.

Sunny,

If the aim is to pressurise retailers then the best approach is to bypass the media altogether – the tabloids make altogether too much money pimping out semi-naked teenagers to pump a campaing like this – and go straight for the jugular.

Looked at as a whole, the Lad’s Mags are small beer compared to the combined sales figures for all the gossip, celebrity and lifestyle mags targetted at women. An organised boycott of those titles would hurt retailers far more quickly and effectively than any number of internal opinion polls.

The honest way to run a campaign is to state your aim, get people to sign up to it and then say “We’ve got X supporters and this is what we want. Join us!”

Not to run a half-arsed “survey” and PR it all over the place.

See also: Issue X Day/Week/Month/Year as if making your issue an event makes it interesting or newsworthy. It doesn’t.

@72: We didn’t ask question 1 because we’re not interested in banning anything, or making anything illegal. Our sole aim is to put pressure on retailers. We’re not campaigning on 18+ publications on lower shelves because it’s not something our members have ever (to my knowledge) expressed concern about. I’ve never seen 18+ publications on anything but top shelves.

Interesting point about the ambiguity of ‘Mumsnet poll’. It wouldn’t have occurred to us that anyone would interpret that as ‘weighted poll of general population commissioned by Mumsnet’. Fair point that we’ll bear in mind in future.

@70: ‘are we to campaign for it on their say-so?’ Absolutely not. In fact, I expressly forbid you from doing so.

I’ve never seen 18+ publications on anything but top shelves.

You’ve not been a small newsagents about 15 minutes after the local secondary school has kicked out, then.

It wouldn’t have occurred to us that anyone would interpret that as ‘weighted poll of general population commissioned by Mumsnet’.

I’d call that a success.

If this thread proves one thing its that Mumsnet has grown in credibility and influence sufficiently for people to wonder whether they have got into the commissioned poll business rather than just assume they’re putting out a poll of forum users. That, at the very least, shows that you’re getting taken seriously.

‘“90% of Mumsnet readers want Lads’ Mags covered”

Its even less than that: 90% of Mumsnet readers who *responded to the poll* want Lads Mags covered.

80. Chaise Guevara

@ 67 John B

“Private Eye regularly and rightly points out the DM’s disgusting hypocrisy on this one (especially as the website – now the most popular of any newspaper in the world – is even more prurient and boob-pic focused than the print paper). Although nothing will ever beat this one from the Star.”

Oh, I know. Don’t get me started, in fact. I was talking about the Mumsnet thing, though: they’re not actually campaigning to have the mags banned, but rather to prevent children from being able to see their content just by glancing at a news stand. As such a policy would presumably hurt the publishers’ sales, I’d say there’s a debate to be had there, especially as the idea that their presence harms children does seem to be based on presumption – but it’s no more inherently illiberal than using age ratings on DVDs.

Chaise – as I said above, Sainsburys and Morrisons – both of which operate a national policy of ‘modesty covers’ (dread phrase) – say that it hasn’t had a measurable effect on the sales of these mags. For what that’s worth.

Unity – I’ll take that, thanks ;-)

Daily Mail: there’s a long and interesting story about the Daily Mail and Mumsnet. I won’t go into the details (unless you all ask me nicely) but suffice it to say, it’s pretty much the most loathed paper on MN.

@ Shatterface 26
“about white male rage but really”

I’m really impressed that you learnt all you need to about 21st Century British men from an 19th Century Russian novelist specialising in outsiders. I’ve read Gogol and apparently dogs talk – and you wouldn’t believe what noses get up to!

I said white male rage…not british-who’s talking about British? We can talk about influences and the West, East all over the shop influenced each otthers cultural society. And the ‘angry british while male’ (you mentioned British) of Pinter’s days in the 60’s is not that far our from the prose in Crime and Punishment.

“The correct response to questions from children is to answer them, not to expect the State to protect you from embarassment.”

Everyone is different. You are lucky NOTHING has ever affected you and all you needed were your parents to tell you something else. Your parents would be proud you listened to them because I know as I kid when I first saw playboy…unfortunately my inquisitive mind did not blank after my mum ‘said you shouldn’t be able to see that!’

You’d think the massive amount of ‘concern’ for this influence might have lead to some impirical research, but apparently not.
We have an obesity epidemic in this country, not a bullimia epidemic. If there was any causal relationship between women’s magazines – you know, if women were the mindless automatons you think they are – the situation would be reversed.

His something wild for you to think of, I don’t think women are mindless automatons….where did I say that? I was talking about research and personal experience?

And yes we have an obesity epidemic in this country. Do you want to read what I wrote about that too? I agree the way they treated Jamie Oliver in this country is dispicable. We need to look into foods, the kind of foods that are being sold cheaply in certain areas. How do you educate people? A lot of parents were angry at Jamie Oliver.

We’re an ecosystem and every issue as is important as the rest. Full stop. But if we’re talking about, naked women in blokey magazines like this article is about, then it wouldn’t make sense for me to discuss ALL the other issues that I feel we need to discuss.

Like I keep on droning in this blog. People are obsessed with their agenda and that’s one of the greatest obstacles pushing women centric causes.

83. the a&e charge nurse

[81] ” Sainsburys and Morrisons – both of which operate a national policy of ‘modesty covers’ (dread phrase)” – do the 90% of MumsNet pollsters think the world is a better place because of, err, ‘modesty covers’.

Does anybody know of a single study which corroborates the negative effect on children alleged by the ‘modesty cover’ cohort?

@ Watchman

Feminism is a left wing thing because it’s about equal rights. Right Wingness is not about being equal but about a pevking order survival of the fittest-some people were meant to be born poor…women are inherently weaker and therefore the weaker sex etc.

In terms of history, the left wing movement adopted the feminist movement because of the above, it was a protest-and they are anti-establishment-, it wound up the right wing because women didn’t know their place! etc etc

It’s like, well not totally, but similar to the ethnic minorities-mainly blacks-siding with the Democrats/Labour, when they are inherently socially conservative.

But I guess you have to know which side your bread is buttered eh?

@ 83. the a&e charge nurse

There was the body image campaign by Jo Swinson-Lib Dem MP and they are developing into some kind of working group.

Spain is a good start but they banned skinny, airbrushed models across the board from magazines because of the increase in eating disorders.

If you look at Jo’s site, they have quite a bit of research there you could plough through.

86. Baying Lynch Mob

We have an obesity epidemic in this country, not a bullimia epidemic.

Eating disorders aren’t limited to bulimia – “Not Otherwise Specified” is more of a risk.

http://www.mindsupport.co.uk/archive/index.php?t-35105.html

And the media’s insistence on claiming that obesity is an epidemic is actually contributing to the prevalence of EDs.

Rantersparadise,

Historically, I can see a reason for feminism being generally left-wing, since in the early twentieth century there was much greater liberalism on the left. But I would query whether that historical fact means that it is the right place for the movement now.

If you are allowed to define the left-wing as being about equal rights (I would query this, but will allow you the courtsey of knowing your own political stance) I would suggest I be allowed to define the right wing. Which is not about survival of the fittest – that is not really a political stance at all. To say that is to ignore the fact that those of us on the right still have our concerns and ideas for society, which just differ from those on the left. It is in effect to believe the propogandists of the left that their enemies are evil and uncaring, rather than trying to understand your opponents.

The right-wing believes in equality of opportunity. The vision is that your race, gender, background, home or whatever should not stop you from having the same opportunities. Furthermore, the key difference with the left is that the right tends to believe the state exists to protect discrimination and the like, rather than tackle it. For example, the Labour party long identified itself (and often still does) with the culture of working men’s clubs and heavy industry, where the man went to work and expected food at home when he returned. This was accepted, not attacked. Nowadays, it is on the left that ‘radical’ (read archconservative) Islamic groups find a home, with their demands for women to be second-class citizens. It is on the left that politicians insist on talking of seperate communities, forcing people to choose whether they are White Irish, White British or Asian Bangladeshi, when they were born in the same hospital and when they may not feel any of those things.

I will admit the right has its problems – the EDL perhaps (I will not accept the BNP as they are statist (nationalised industry) and controlling, and not characteristic of the right). I cannot accept that it is as devise and illiberal as the left, at least at present.

I believe in feminism, but the ultimate triumph of feminism will be when the state does not care whether you are male or female because it has no practical meaning (and because society is liberal enough that any partnership has equal value). The left, with its various communities and groups, cares too much about these labels to let them go. Only if you believe that we cannot overcome labels is there a justification for an exclusively left-wing feminism, but if you believe that why are you (or I) trying?

88. Chaise Guevara

@ 84

Rantersparadise

“Feminism is a left wing thing because it’s about equal rights.”

Yours may be, and more power to you, but a lot of people who identify as feminist campaign for a degree of control over people’s behaviour that seems a lot more right wing (at least as ‘left’ and ‘right’ have traditionally been defined in this country). This site probably sees the most infighting whenever an article throws the traditional liberal stance against certain feminists’ values. Hell, not so long ago (in a thread I think you were posting in) we had people telling us that a man should be ashamed of himself if he found himself in disagreement with a woman.

Truth be told, I think feminism is so broad a church these days that it defies easy categorisation into left and right even more than most issues, which is saying something.

89. the a&e charge nurse

[85] I found rhetoric like this on JS’s site “Highly sexualised images and messages have sadly become a pervasive part of our culture. While adults can make their own decisions as to what media they consume, there is a great deal of evidence that exposure to such material can have hugely damaging effects on the well-being of children, who are not emotionally equipped to deal with them. I find it very concerning that lads’ mags and sexually graphic images in newspapers can so often be found on low shelves in the shops, often directly at children’s eye level. We must urgently look at tightening regulation to protect children from these images.”
http://www.joswinson.org.uk/news/001111/jo_backs_front_page_campaign_to_protect_children.html

What I couldn’t find was any published research supporting any of her concerns.

You mention anorexia in Spain – if we follow the logic of those advocating ‘modesty covers’ presumably LadsMags are a causative factor in eating disorders and rates will diminish once that the offending items have been banished to the top shelf of Fernando’s paper shop – one question, any evidence to support this line of thinking?

I agree that lads mags should be covered up in newsagents.

lesbians read porn gay men read porn and so do couples,#

so why dont you all just say POrn !

sexism is sexism

Now lets get to the bigger point they need to ban them daft silly adverts on tv with them girls bouncing up and down on space hoppers and they do make woman out to just be commodity to be honest and i really hate them ,
please ban them too asp.

space hoppers shouldn’t go though that sort of thing its cruel for the space hoppers !

I dislike the ‘liberal’ attitude that because consenting adults want to view sexually stimulating material they have the right to force children under the age of consent to view such material while going about their daily lives with their families in their communities. And the idea that parents should take full responsibility for dealing with this.

If you choose to drive a car you must take responsibility for driving it legally and in a safe manner. A parent must take responsibility for supervising their children around roads and for teaching them how to behave while near to traffic. The responsibility to keep children (and others) safe is shared between all adults involved. No one would argue that they ought to be allowed to drive however recklessly they liked and that parents should keep their children away from roads if they don’t want them to be hit by a dangerous driver.

Seeing some pictures of naked women isn’t going to be such a big deal as being hit by a car – but surely the shared responsibility for protecting children who are too young to give informed consent to seeing sexually explicit images follows the same principles? If you have the right to do something, you have the responsibility to ensure that in doing so you aren’t harming anyone else. And parents are reporting that they feel their children are being harmed in some way by the constant exposure to the images and marketing that they are unable to avoid because they are everywere – on TV, on buses and in their local shops. What gives you the right to ignore these concerns and force images into the view of these young children because you as an adult want the choice to view them?

92. the a&e charge nurse

[91] “parents are reporting that they feel their children are being harmed in some way by the constant exposure to the images” – what harm are you trying to protect children from – what is the worse thing that can happen?

The biggest harm is usually from the warped fears of adults many of whom are rather too keen to project their own sexual anxieties onto their sproggs?

You might dislike the ‘liberal attitude’ but it is the liberal attitude that has led us to a generally more open, inclusive and tolerant society.

No child has to fear Nuts providing he/she has been equipped by their parent’s to adapt to, accept and understand the implications of a wider freedom of choice and expression.

@91

And parents are reporting that they feel their children are being harmed in some way by the constant exposure to the images and marketing that they are unable to avoid because they are everywere – on TV, on buses and in their local shops.

Parents were also ringing up and emailing the BBC to complain about that CBeebies presenter who only has one hand, and made concocted reasons along the lines of “she scares my child and makes them uncomfortable”, when what their actual complaint was “I don’t like seeing her stump”. Generally what parents feel is happening to their kids, and what is actually happening to their kids are not necessarily anywhere close to the same thing.

Mumsnet – are you having a laugh ? A bunch of latte sipping middle class yummy mummie hypocrites. Who cares what they want or think.

Yes, you’re all very liberal and tolerant towards people who don’t feel that it’s appropriate for children, some not even of school age, to be exposed on a daily basis to pictures of scantily clad women in erotic positions.

Because that’s absolutely the same thing as accepting disability and race. It’s totally the same to explain to a five year old that some adults like looking at young women dressed up to resemble school girls as it is to tell her that some people are born with a disability or that we all look different and have different skin tones.

It’s fine that boys are growing up exposed to those types of imaes every single day; and of course that won’t shape their expectations of themselves and relationships. Not at all; because advertising never works and companies don’t spend millions on product placement knowing that frequent exposure to things influences attititudes and encourages certain behaviours?

But of course, good parenting will cancel that all out so te people who want to view the images don’t have to take any responsibility at all.

96. the a&e charge nurse

[95] “good parenting will cancel that all out” – agreed.

So where does the great socialist dream of looking out for those who are vunerable because they don’t have that good parenting fit into that?

Or does that not matter when it might impact on the wide availability of sexy pictures?

@ 91 – I don’t think *that* many people consider a naked woman to be “sexually explicit”, and by law, no magazine in a newsagents can show a naked woman on the front page anyway, topless yes, naked no.

I have children, but I wouldn’t use them to impose my particualr world view on the rest of the population. I don’t accept this “modern parenting” idea that just because I have children, absolutely everywhere – pubs, restaurants, er newsagents has to be suitable for them – that way leads to everywhere being like Disneyland/McDonalds, not a healthy society.
I’m not quite sure what you mean by children “going about their daily lives” either, how many children visit newsagents as part of their daily lives ?

On a more scientific note – “feeling that their children are being harmed in some way” isn’t the same as them actually being harmed, as they would be if hit by a car. The logical extension of your argument is that cars should also be banned ?

So where does the great socialist dream of looking out for those who are vunerable because they don’t have that good parenting fit into that?

It resides squarely in those of us who argue for and advocate the provision of high quality, age appropriate, evidence-based sex and relationships education in all state schools.

Paternalism isn’t the answer, education is.

Not at all the logical conclusion; I don’t argue that cars or pictures of topless women should be banned. Only that children shouldn’t be constantly exposed to them while going about their daily life. Where did you read ‘banned’ in any of my posts?

I’m pretty sure that today’s 16-18 year olds will have been exposed to lads mags, in varying degrees throughout their childhood and teenage years. How dysfunctional exactly are their relationships, and how dysfunctional are their expectations of themselves?

102. the a&e charge nurse

[97] “where does the great socialist dream of looking out for those who are vunerable because they don’t have that good parenting fit into that” – that’s a good question.

If a child does not have effective parenting then I think the the front cover of Nuts is likely to be a relatively minor issue in the life of such children – there is no easy to answer to such a conundrum, not least because the state (when called to) generally makes a very poor parent substitute.

The likes of Jo Swinson claim “there is a great deal of evidence that exposure to such material can have hugely damaging effects on the well-being of children” [see 89] – but what is the nature of this damage, and which piece of research provides the most compelling evidence that Nuts-related harm actually exists?

In my experience a well adjusted boy will find a Pokemon front cover infinitely more interesting than the latest Abi Titmuss spread – by far the most important influence on a child’s relationship with others is the nature of the interactions between his/her parents, if that relationship is problematic then as I say I what Nuts put on the front is the least of his/her worries.

I agree that the headline statistic totally fails to do what it says on the tin, and would like to encourage Sunny to change it.

Personally I’m *a lot* more bothered about the abuse of statistics than I am about mumsnet or naughty magazines.

104. FlyingRodent

@95 Yes, this is exactly the kind of finger-waggy horseshit I’m on about. If people object to sexualised culture and want to do something about it, then narking at newsagents to move Zoo and Nuts is a small blow stuck in that fight. Good on you, best of luck, and so forth.

On the other hand, there are very good reasons to question exactly how this laudible aim is to be achieved; how progess is to be quantified and whether actions and effects are proportionate to the stated aims. These should be reasonable questions.

And yet, I continue to be unsurprised that there are so many people whose response to more or less every poblem that upsets them is to issue diktats on what can be seen, said and done and the manner in which they’re done, instantly back up and start accusing anyone who objects of wanting to shove porno down toddler’s necks and so on.

This is why I keep invoking liberalism here – because if it means nothing else, it surely means reason and proportionality in dealing with complex issues, as opposed to instinctively banning fuck out of everything and denouncing everyone with the temerity to object.

And yes, I know it’s just a magazine moving on a shelf, and I don’t even object to that. It’s the fact that the entire mindset that this stuff grows out of is so nakedly dictatorial and condemnatory that should deter anyone who doesn’t like being told what to do and say from joining in.

@98 If the pictures aren’t sexual: what exactly is the point of them?

@ 100 Anna – I don’t buy this “constantly exposed” idea. Are you objecting, on feminist grounds, to gender representations in the media, or are you genuinely concerned about childrens welfare ?

On the former I happen to have done some empirical research as an undergrad and it might surprise you to know that the magazines with the highest number of images, on average, of provocatively posed, partly dressed women, are womens magazines. I mean would you consider the current M&S advert – aimed at women and featuring a young lady in scanty underwear – to be acceptable pre watershed ?

On the latter, there is no credible evidence that they (the front pages of lads mags) are harmfull in any measurable or objective sense. As a parent I am personally far more worried about what my kids could stumble across on the internet.

107. Emily Davis

Would the people who criticise the argument of this article see nothing wrong with with children being exposed to hard-pornography rather than just soft? I assume not, so I reckon the argument is that as it’s ‘just soft-porn’, so it’s not as harmful. But really, why should it have to visible be at all?! What gain can there possibly be? If it is covered up I don’t see how anyone loses!
It’s rather surprising to me that there is no-one in the comments to this, and similar articles, who has pointed out that showing pornography to someone without their consent constitutes sexual harassment, at least in the workplace: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_harassment So if you think about the fact that you could describe the expoure of soft-pornography to children as sexual harrassment of that child, even indirectly – does that not make you feel really uncomfortable??

@106 You may have noticed that I also mentioned things on TV and used the example of buses earlier: to me it isn’t one thing. Magazines having topless women on them isn’t intrinsically harmful. But it is something I think we should be concerned about when it’s put together with all those other things.

It also isn’t the nudity, or underwear, for most images that’s concerning to me: it’s the portrayal of sexuality and gender and the impact that has on developing children. Children seeing naked adults isn’t harmful; it isn’t just nudity though is it? Because if it wasn’t sexual- well what would be the point of those images being there.

I’m interested you say women’s magazines are as bad; I don’t buy them and they certainly aren’t displayed as prominantly in the shops I go to: my daughter has never asked about the covers of them. Would you say the covers are as ‘bad’ as the lads mags or is it limited to inside the magazines?

@89 a&e

I mention spain because they did quite a bit of work on trying to pass it as law. Yes maybe, the govt there is just like us on work on NO research but personal motives but I do recall reading quite a bit on this issue in Spain as it was quite the shock that it happened.

@ Chaise and Watchman

I did mention that because of the equality thing, these groups chose to join the movement because it is ‘at which side your bread is buttered’.

@ Anna & A&e

Utter tosh about ‘good parenting’.

My parents were incredibly conservative and barely let me watch anything, though I tried to because, duh, I was a kid.

I’m so glad both of you shied away when your parents told you ‘bad, don’t look’ but some of us who are clearly not as highly intelligent and behaved immaturely like kids,did in fact look and it stayed with us. Call me a perv but the first time i saw ads for nine and a half weeks as a 6 year old, I was SHOCKED. This wasn’t barbie or ken, nor my stupid imaginary friends but naked people with breasts and penis’s. My parents couldn’t stop it as it was an ad in a newsagents.

Did it effect me? Not saying but at the grand old age of 30 by god I wish I was given more years to think boys are smelly and that women just have babies.

But good for you two! Again, we’re not all like you. I wish I could be but alas I was your average simple contrary kid who didn’t do what my parents wanted me to do.

@ Watchman

Somehow I don’t think your right wing friends think the same way as you do. Are you saying you know more buds who are equal op in your gang? Come on, you and I know that is a joke.

If I go to any right wing blog, do they have the same stories as here? They don’t. I’m on there all the time. You talk of the unions or White working class male who were part of what was Labour.

Not so interestingly enough, leftism was about supporting the one race in that country because the right was about greater markets that made the rich even richer. In fact, the Tories who came after the Whigs were nouveau riche and had probably more of a mixture ethically then the working class left-slightly. Churchill’s mother was a rich American Jew as we all know. But similarly the working class started to stop being the people in the country side to the people in the cities.

This is when things started to change and yes, the idea of who is left and right became slightly blurred. I do know that many White working men were angry when the Labour party in the 60’s moved to support the immigrants. I guess it was like, ‘you’re about all equal men but not those darkies’.

Again it goes back to agenda’s.

A feminist will not, does not feel comfortable around people who want to have a say on when she has an abortion or when she gets divorced or wishes not to marry. The left wing now is the only place she will feel comfortable..at least. And not the right wing. Ever.

Left wingers in structure are as bad as the right wing. They want to control you either by the state or big business.

But at least left wingers have empathy.

@106 I just typed a long reply and lost it! Am on my Phone and so it will have to wait till tomorrow. Can I ask till then, do you think women’s magazines are as likely to use these kinds of images as covers? Because that cetainly isn’t the impression I get from the magazines in the shops we go to, and I don’t really care what’s INSIDE them for adults to view because that isn’t right in childrens faces.

@107 my good parenting remark was slightly sarcastic; I do think parenting is hugely important: but I think keeping sexual images from non-consenting children is a responsibility that should be shared.

@ 105 I didn’t say they weren’t sexual, I said they weren’t explicit. As in, I would not classify them as porn. The point of them is to sell the magazine, or more accurately sell the products that are advertised in the magazine.

So the question is; is it right for children of all ages, from birth onwards, to be exposed to sexual images during every day activities like shopping? Or is it the responsibility of their parents AND the adults who choose to view those images to ‘protect’ them from it?

It’s Zoo and Nuts we’re talking about. Not Readers Wives.
I tried to read all the posts on this thread, but just couldn’t.
It’s Mumsnet we’re talking about ffs. They’re like soccer moms.

114. the a&e charge nurse

[110] let me turn the question round – which countries have the most unhealthy approach toward sexual matters?
To answer my own value laden question I would say it is those countries with the most repressive attitudes, bolstered by laws and customs which perpetuate such an unhealthy outlook when it comes to sex and sexuality.

OK some of our kids are confronted by images of a sexual nature, but notwithstanding Rantersparadise negative experience after seeing nine and a half inches, children do not usually worry about it, except for those who intuitively pick up on their parent’s discomfort, probably because so many parent’s were themselves brought up in households where uptight sexual attitudes were hardly the exception to the rule?

I am a mumsnet addict and am not a mum. I discovered the website a few months ago and was pleasantly surprised at the level and types of discussion they have on there. I had thought (very mistakenly) that it wouldn’t be a site that interested me but I was very wrong.

As for this campaign, I think it’s great news. I am absolutely sick of seeing a lot of tits everywhere whenever I go to buy a pint of milk or a newspaper. FGS, let people buy them if they want to buy them but why should everyone else have it shoved in their face?

I don’t understand Liberal Conspiracy. I would have thought that this site would be all about utilitarianism and doing things for the greater good. Isn’t moving a load of Tommy Tank mags to the top shelf and covering them up (hardly much to ask, really!) such a big deal?

So many people I know (yes, feel free to rip apart my lack of scientific study) are sick of seeing these magazines but our choice as to whether we view them has been taken away. The choice of parents as to when their child views these images is taken away. Very difficult to leave these things up to parents as some have suggested if it’s on view everywhere they go now (a Shell petrol station I visited last week was displaying the Sport with its obligatory photo of a barely legal girl bending over showing her crotch).

WHSmut says that it adheres to a voluntary code of not displaying its Tommy Tank mags below a height of 1.2m (i.e. out of range of children). The Department of Health website has a height/age survey that shows that the average 6-7 year old is now over 1.2m. What does WHSmut class as a child?

I don’t know when the rights of a few men to see the Tommy Tank mags that they are buying got precedent over the rights of everyone else not to have to see them. Seriously, is it really so hard just to move them up a few shelves and stick a cover over them? It appears so!

And for those who are saying, it’s just Nuts/Zoo…it’s not that bad.

Er….Even Smut’s own MD in 2000 said that Playboy wasn’t any worse than FHM yet they put one on the top shelf and cover it up and the other at the height of a 6 year old. And this was before the likes of Nuts/Zoo were being published and they have pushed the boundaries even more.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1375128/WH-Smith-puts-sex-back-on-top-shelf.html

So the question is; is it right for children of all ages, from birth onwards, to be exposed to sexual images during every day activities like shopping?

No, Anna, the question is whether the minimal exposure to sexual imagery that some children may be exposed to because of the shelf placement of lad’s mags in some retail store could reasonably be considered to be harmful…

…and the answer, taking into account cultivation theory, which is the core premise that underpins the sexualisation argument, is no. not unless you’re prepared to argue that children are actively traumatised by the front cover of Nuts, in which case you’ll fighting a losing battle because there is no evidence to support that view.

I need to blog this properly but for all that Mumsnet’s campaign is well-intentioned it has rapidly become desperately confused about some of its objectives and, more importantly, about why its pursuing those objective.

The confusion arises from the involvement of a number of different constituencies each of which is operating from a very different and, in some case, mutually incompatible set of motives.

Feminists are getting involved in this because they see the campaign as fitting neatly in their objectification narrative.

Social conservatives are getting involved because they sense an opportunity to garner public support for their censorious instincts without getting tarred with all the usual Mary Whitehouse stuff.

The media have got involved, even though they genuinely don’t give a shit about what either feminists or social conservatives think, because all they do care about is that elements of the campaign fit neatly in their ongoing ‘Paedogeddon’ narrative and that flogs newspapers.

And some parents will happily sign up to a campaign to consign lad’s mags to the top shelves simply because they find their visible presence embarrassing and worry that their kids might start asking awkward questions that they’re really not prepared to answer.

That doesn’t mean that Mumsnet is necessarily confused about what its trying to achieve and why its trying to achieve it, its simply reflection of the fact the campaign has attracted a range of disparate elements, each with own agenda, any one of which could easily end up derailing the whole project.

Or as we generally put it on the left, everything was going really well until the fucking SWP turned up and tried to take over.

Hate to make a process point, but…

>400,000
Sorry, 936 answers to the question.

“sexual imagery”: undefined.
“sexually provocative imagery”: undefined

Demographic breakdown: not provided. Not even by gender.

Age of child considered: not defined. They do do “how old are your children”, but that’s meaningless without a lot of assumptions.

I don’t understand Liberal Conspiracy. I would have thought that this site would be all about utilitarianism and doing things for the greater good. Isn’t moving a load of Tommy Tank mags to the top shelf and covering them up (hardly much to ask, really!) such a big deal?

JP:

Utilitarianism and liberalism are not synonymous but, in any case, were untilitarianism to be the overarching political philosophy here at Lib Com then you’d still have to establish some kind of rational/empirical argument to support your contention that stuff lad’s mags on the top shelf genuine would constitute the greater good.

That, in a sense, is what much of the debate on this thread boils down to.

LibCon is also an open platform, which means that there’s no guarantees that any particular commenter would consider themselves a liberal, which all to the good because this would be a desperately boring place if the only thing anyone ever posted in comments was ‘me too’.

@ JP 113 and elsewhere,

It’s not helpful to frame this discussion in the context of “rights”. The only actual legal rights here are the right of the shop owners to stock whatever goods they choose and display them as they see fit within the confines of the law.

You are not obliged to visit anyone’s shop nor do you have any right to enter or remain there without the owner’s consent.

I entirely understand that some people have a strong preference not to see a certain kind of thing when they go into some shops. Your recourse is limited to petitioning the owners not to act in a way you find offensive and suggesting that you’ll take your business elsewhere. That is what Mumsnet is doing. Inventing imaginary rights doesn’t make your hand any stronger.

Clearly, children should see women naked for the first time the natural, traditional way; in ripped up pages of porno mags left in hedges.

LOL Brummiedave! I remember those days…

Damon – you think I am like a soccer mom?!?

Unity – look forward to your post on this. The way feminists and what you call ‘social conservatives’ do team up together is very odd.

Damon – you think I am like a soccer mom?!?

How would I really know? I think the covers of Zoo and Nuts are pretty harmless though.
Not so the Daily Sport. That should be kept off low shelves. It’s much more of a low class porn rag – I think.

I’m surprised no one has picked up on my question at 101, if lads mags are genuinely damaging toward the development of children/teenagers, then we should be able to see the results of this damage now. Lads mags have been around long enough for today’s young adults to have been shaped/maladjusted by them.
So if today’s young adults are not “damaged”, then how tenable does the argument that lads mags are ruining our youth become? Does it also mean that the mumnets campaign becomes less of “protect our children” and become more “I’m sick of seeing tits on every magazine shelf”?
If it does become the latter, I refer everyone to FlyingRodent’s comments on liberalism.

Seriously, we’re asking for a few soft porn mags to be moved to the top shelves and covered up. Why does that bring out such a strong reaction in people? It’s not much to ask retailers to do and who is hurt by that? No one is going to lose out. It’s really not a big deal.

To those who say no harm us caused, have you read the Home Office review published in Feb 10, The Sexualisation of Young People report?

If we were talking about sexual imagery of men would you all be screaming ‘freedom of speech’ still? Let’s have parity here then and bring all the gay mags down to the lower shelves!

As for talking about the rights of retailers, many retailers I’ve spoken to don’t actually like stocking the soft porn mags (Nuts, Zoo etc) but are made to by their supplier, which in the main is WHSmith News.

So we’re putting the profits of a big company over anything else. Is Liberal Conspiracy a site where capitalists support the current system then? Just so I know where you’re all coming from, if I decide to post again.

Supporting major corporations doesn’t seem very liberal or anarchic to me but then it seems I have Lib Con all wrong.

Let’s have parity here then and bring all the gay mags down to the lower shelves!

I’ve got no problems with that…

@Unity-I would expect nothing less from a site which is always saying, “what about the men”!

So you think children should be exposed to images which objectify men as much as women? Interesting.

@101 and 123 Cylux

From the HO sexualisation of young people

“Behind the social commentary and the headlines about inappropriate clothing and games for children, there are the real statistics, on teenage partner violence, sexual bullying and abuse that need to be acknowledged and addressed”

and

“The shocking results of a recent survey carried out by the NSPCC show that for many young people, violence within relationships is commonplace – one in three teenage girls aged 13–17 had been subjected to unwanted sexual acts while in a relationship, and one in four had suffered physical violence”

That last bit does not match my memory of the way teen relationships seemed to work when I was a gal (i know that many anecdotes do not evidence make, but hey)

Look at all those teen girls posting provocative pictures of themselves on social networking sites. Do their poses remind you of anything?

So maybe we are seeing the influence of the sexualisation of young people, of which the lads mags are a contributary part, depicting girls as ever available, waiting to please etc.

It seems to me that what the Mumsnet campaign / press release is asking for is the magazine display equivalent of the watershed on the box. Is that such a big ask?

Or do the LC regulars think we should to do away with the TV watershed too?

How do those concerned about these magazines feel about adult men and women dressed and/or acting in a sexually-provocative way in public? Doesn’t that encourage “objectification” more than magazines? If so, what, if anything, should be done about it?

131. Chaise Guevara

@ 124 JP

“If we were talking about sexual imagery of men would you all be screaming ‘freedom of speech’ still? Let’s have parity here then and bring all the gay mags down to the lower shelves!”

What in god’s name are you on about? Take a look around this site. Do you really think you’ve pulled off some kind of suckerpunch, that we’re all going to yell in horror “OH NOES! NAKED MENZ!”?

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100418065544/http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/Sexualisation-of-young-people.html
We have the report that’s already been mentioned.

So just how healthy are young people’s relationships? Lets take a look:

‘42% of young people know girls whose boyfriends have hit them’
ICM survey commissioned by the End Violence Against Women campaign

‘20% rise in the number of children being given court orders and warnings for sex offences’
Youth Justice Board report

‘56% of unwanted sexual experiences occurred for the first time when girls were under 14′
‘Sugar’/NSPCC readers’ poll in 2006

‘40% know girls whose boyfriends have coerced or pressurised them to have sex’
ICM survey commissioned by the End Violence Against Women campaign

No, there isn’t absolute quantitive evidence that pictures cause harm; but can’t you see that the pictures, along with everything else may have a cumulative impact on the attitudes and behaviour of young people?

And we already acknowledge that this happens because we do have age ratings and the watershed – if we don’t accept the premise that what children see has an impact on them then what is the point of having those things? Of course the images we see have an influence; as I already mentioned – companies have huge advertising budgets because they know that images seen frequently build brand awareness and favourable responses to products – why would children, who may not yet have developed the skills to analyse and interpret images be any less susceptible to imagery?

So you think children should be exposed to images which objectify men as much as women?

No, I think that if you’re going to deploy a harm-based argument then you should at least make some effort to ground that argument in a bit of empirical evidence rather than shouting “but what about teh kidz”.

If you want to take this on in terms of objectification that perhaps the key problem with that argument is that its too-often framed in a desperately paternalistic manner which portrays women, and young women in particular, as passive beings with little or control over the extent to which they’re influenced by wider cultural influences.

Philosophically speaking that’s a fairly objectionable way of looking at things, not least because it suggests that women have no understanding of the media and no agency to make decisions about their own sexual behaviours or beliefs –

– but then I’m a bloke, so what do I know about feminist theory.

“Philosophically speaking that’s a fairly objectionable way of looking at things, not least because it suggests that women have no understanding of the media and no agency to make decisions about their own sexual behaviours or beliefs – ”

We aren’t talking about adult women though are we? We’re talking about children seeing those images of women portrayed in this way from an incredibly early age.

Anna…

1. Correlation does not imply causation

2. The plural of anecdote is not data.

I’m not stupid; you might see that I actually said it isn’t quantitive evidence.

Are you arguing that images have no effect though? Because you don’t seem to have the evidence for that claim either.

137. Chaise Guevara

@ 133 Unity

“If you want to take this on in terms of objectification that perhaps the key problem with that argument is that its too-often framed in a desperately paternalistic manner which portrays women, and young women in particular, as passive beings with little or control over the extent to which they’re influenced by wider cultural influences.”

That, and the fact that it requires a very skewed and prudish attitude to begin with. If people are good at their job because of almost any other asset, nobody bats an eyelid; if it happens to involve attractiveness and sexuality, suddenly thousands of people invoke the objectification fallacy.

Anna:

There is no evidence either way because no empirical research has been conducted on young children – all the extant research on ‘sexualisation’ relates to teenager girls – there’s very little research on boys either.

What you’re doing here, without any evidence to support your position, is trying to apply the limited and somewhat equivocal evidence base for teenagers to pre-pubescent girls without any consideration as to whether that evidence is at all applicable to the experiences of young children.

You, and others who’ve taken on the ‘what about teh kidz’ angle are trying to argue from what is an essentially invalid premise, one that is, in the main, driven entirely by parental anxiety and the internalisation of the media’s ‘paedogeddon’ narrative- which is where all the stuff about allegedly age-inappropriate clothing began back in 2003.

You cannot legitimately extrapolate from the experiences of teenage ages, who are far more aware of the concept of sexuality and sexual identity for very obvious and straightforward biological reasons, to the experiences of young girls who, unless they grow up in an extremely dysfunctional family environment, simply do not possess that kind of awareness.

In doing so, far from combatting the ‘Lolita’ myth, which is what some seem to think they’re doing, you run the risk of internalising that myth and, in doing so, of shaping an overall narrative which implicitly, if unwittingly, attributes paedophilia to the physical appearance of the child rather than the socially unacceptable and – as some would argue – aberrant sexual drives of the paedophile.

If you want to argue that parents find the prominance of lad’s mags rather embarrassing when they’re out shopping with their young kids then feel free to do so – that’s a perfectly valid point and one that’s well worth arguing.

What you cannot legitimately do, however, is argue that the minimal exposure to such imagery is harmful to young children, not without producing either some positive evidence of harm based on a study conducted on young children or, as an absolute minimum, demonstrating that young children possess an internal frame of reference which is capable of interpreting such imagery in terms of its perceived sexual content.

To put things in rather bald, but hopefully humourous terms, if you show a teenage boy a picture of a pair of tits then its reasonable to think that the first thoughts that enter their head have something to do with sex.

Show the same picture to a baby and its first and only thought is likely to be ‘Yay, it’s dinnertime’.

Young children do not possess the same frames of reference as teenagers, so you cannot extrapolate from one to the other.

Hang on; it’s alright for you to say ‘there’s no evidence so we must assume images don’t cause harm.’ End of discussion.

But it’s not ok for people to say there’s no evidence but *in my experience* I have found images do have an impact.’

Why is that?

You’ve set up an argument about the appearence of children and some form of victim blaming. No one has mentioned abuse in that way. We’ve been, as far as I can tell, having a discussion about how exposure to certain images in the formative years may play a role in shaping the attitudes and behaviour of children.

So you all support WHSmith’s right to sell soft porn at the eye level of children?

You do think sticking some covers on the front is a big deal? Or asking men to reach up a few shelves to get their soft porn mag is too much to ask?

Do any of you actually give a toss (no pun intended) about the impact on people, not just children? Or is or just too much fun ripping apart statistics and arguing about semantics?

Just so I’m clear.

I think there are three issues now apparent on this thread.

1. There is a movement to control something versus a movement to be liberal. There is no middle ground on this – by allowing a pressure group (and mumsnet is acting as such here) to dictate what can and cannot be done, we would abandon the concept of liberality.

2. There is a debate about whether sexual images are harmful to children (which is wierdly centred in our own post-Protestant society, rather than looking at any one of a number of more liberal societies on the planet), which seems to be based on people making assumptions that suit their position on point 1. As Unity keeps pointing out, the entire argument is being run on instinct, not evidence – on which basis we would still assume the sun went round the earth.

3. There is an underlying debate about whether an action such as banning/moving literature makes a difference to problems which (if they exist) are actually deeply rooted in society. This is a wider issue here – people always seem to assume that something that may be a symptom of a problem are actually the problem that needs solving. It is easier to attack a manifestation than an issue…

142. Chaise Guevara

What do you mean “you all”? Many people here are on your side.

I for one don’t see any problem with enforcing stricter standards in terms of what is allowed on the covers of magazines (and, while you’re at it, DVDs and the like). However, I would say that it shouldn’t be retroactive, so existing products that happen to have scantily clad people on the covers shouldn’t have to be pulled.

143. Chaise Guevara

My comment above was aimed at 140 JP, btw.

144. Chaise Guevara

@ 141 Watchman

“1. There is a movement to control something versus a movement to be liberal. There is no middle ground on this – by allowing a pressure group (and mumsnet is acting as such here) to dictate what can and cannot be done, we would abandon the concept of liberality.”

There’s always a middle ground. If you make every decision based purely on the perfect application of a certain moral value, you tend to end up in some weird places. Also, there’s nothing wrong with compromise in most situations. Deprioritising some value or other in one situation does not mean you’ve abandoned it completely.

Agreed with the rest of your post, though.

Surely, we must always pay attention to hard evidence, and have an attitude of refusing to move without it.

To take a case with more serious consequences, we have the Extreme Pornography laws on the books, which were introduced with an absence of supporting evidence and amid clouds of excitable false rhetoric – e.g., Harriet Harman’s untrue claims about Punternet in her conference speech. These laws are now busily breaking up families for no reason whatsoever.

It matters that suggested changes are well-founded, no matter how trivial the proposal.

I note from the survey that only 214 out of 1007 people in the survey said that they had actually been asked questions by their children in response to the publications which are the alleged problem.

So is there a problem? Or is there just a group of people in a web poll who perceive or have heard that there is a problem?

Matt-so you are saying that exposing children to soft porn is ok? Have you read the Home Office report?

@Chaise-you are right in questioning ‘you all’. I am typing on my phone and at work so am not being as clear as I would be otherwise. I mean ‘all those who have a problem with the suggestion that soft porn mags should be in full view’.

@Matt
No one is talking about banning anything. And yes, it would be great to change people’s attitudes so they don’t buy these mags in the first place. But if you make them less acceptable by, say, moving them away from the CBeebies magazines and putting them in the porn section where they belong it might make men think twice about buying them.

I really don’t see what the big deal is about putting these mags where they actually belong. And it does surprise me that some people are defending a retail company’s decisions which are based on pure profit alone and which don’t consider their wider social responsibility. In a sex shop, fine- you know what you’re going in for. But a petrol station? I want to pay for petrol not be confronted with soft porn images as I walk in the door. As I said, let people buy them if they want but the rest of us don’t have to be forced to see them.

Watchman:

There is a middle ground to be found on this and the liberal tradition has, of course, a perfectly servicable basis for seeking to identify that middle ground, one rooted in Berlin’s oft-misunderstood and woefully misrepresented work on two liberties.

Anna:

Hang on; it’s alright for you to say ‘there’s no evidence so we must assume images don’t cause harm.’ End of discussion.

But it’s not ok for people to say there’s no evidence but *in my experience* I have found images do have an impact.’

Why is that?

I love the smell of burning straw men in the morning.

If I have to explain that to you, and it seems I do, then its suggests that you’re somewhat less than acquainted with the scientific method.

However…

In the first instance, as you’re the one proposing that the minimal exposure of a young child to what is, after all, relatively mild sexual imagery by comparison to the stuff that’s easily found on the internet, is somehow harmful to the child’s development, then the onus is on you to put forward the evidence to support your hypothesis.

I am not required to make any assumptions either way, nor indeed have I. All I have done is pointed out that, at present, there is a distinct lack of direct empirical evidence to support your position and that what little evidence there is from studies on teenage girls cannot be legitimately transposed onto the experiences of young children.

In the trade we call that comparing apples and oranges and, trust me, it just doesn’t fly.

If you want evidence to support the general claim that exposure to sexual imagery can be harmful to young children then you need to look in the literature on child sexual abuse as it relates to children growing up in abusive family environments.

There you will find the evidence to support the general proposition that sexual imagery can be harmful but, unfortunately, that evidence relates to children growing up in wholly atypical circumstances and who have, as a result, been subjected to prolonged exposure to sexual imagery and other forms of direct abuse.

So, even thought you have that evidence what you cannot do, once again, is legitimately extrapolate from it to the experiences of young child who unwittingly finds themselves confronted with the cover of the Christmas edition of Loaded.

More apples and oranges, I’m afraid.

So, all that you have to put on the table, it seems, is a personal belief for which you can provide no supporting evidence, and as an advocate of evidence-based policy making my only response to that is, sorry, but no – come back when you’ve got some evidence to back up your arguments.

What you do have is the Mumsnet poll which shows that a self-selecting subset of the site’s users would be much happier were Zoo et al to be consigned to the top shelf, which is evidence of consumer opinion – of a sorts – but falls short of offering a reliable view of broad consumer opinion due to the methodological shortcomings of the polling method used.

If Mumsnet can expand on that evidence by repeating the poll using a representative and properly weighted sample of the general population then it has something concrete to work with, although it will face considerable opposition from a range of commercial media interests.

Unity,

I cannot see a middle ground between those who want to impose censorship and those who value liberal society. I allow that in a liberal society government can sometimes take actions to restrict freedoms (to prevent harm), but I cannot allow that this is the same as finding a middle ground with a campaign with no proven popular support or democratic legitimacy. That is diluting your position by moving towards them, but such campaigns will not then retire pleased with their acheivement but rather campaign for more restrictions. Hence I reject the middle ground, because compromise only works if the other party are prepared to accept that as final, and campaigning groups by their very nature are not.

Obviously there is a full right to campaign, and engaging the political process should be encouraged, if only because it gives us a chance to vote for or against the campaign in question (as a liberal I accept that verdict, even if it appears illiberal).

Note that I feel the same way about anti-immigrantion groups, anti-taxation groups, environmental groups or whatever. They are free to peddle their particular point of view, but they should not be compromised with unless they are actually engaged in the political process. There has to be a stage of democratic legitimisation between demanding something and having something happen.

This is highly relevant and delightful:

Pimhole is an area of Bury, just off the M66. More relevantly though, it was used in a Fry and Laurie sketch way back in 1990 as a fake swearword. The joke was that the BBC wouldn’t let Fry and Laurie swear on the telly, so they’d had to make up their own swearwords, like pempslider, frunk, fusking and pimhole.

Last week YouGov carried out a poll asking about attitudes to swearing on the television and asking people which words they thought were acceptable before the watershed, which should be limited to after 9pm and which were totally unacceptable on the television. As an experiment, we also added one fake swearword – pimhole – to the list to see how people would react.

25% of people, naturally enough, said they didn’t know. A further 14% said that it would be quite alright to say pimhole on the telly before the watershed (I have no idea how many recognised its provenance or suspected it was made up). However, 38% of people thought that pimhole should only be broadcast after the watershed and 23% thought it should be totally banned on the television.

Watchman: do you accept a difference between individual freedoms and regulation of businesses and industry?

151. Chaise Guevara

@ 149 john b

Hah!

Kinda suggests (as if we didn’t already know) that some people actively enjoy taking offence, doesn’t it?

I feel this is a concern projected onto children by their parents, as posters have said above, and think the damage it does to children (if any) is nowhere near as great as hysterical mumsnet types

heres a good example, go to this link and you’ll probably see a naked couple caressing (Its not rude or explicit and you wont get in trouble at work)

http://www.moillusions.com/2006/04/what-do-you-see-illusion.html

A child however will see somethign much different to what our smutty adult minds conceive and this is most probably true to other stuff

But it’s not ok for people to say there’s no evidence but *in my experience* I have found images do have an impact.’

Could you elaborate Anna? As long as its not too personal a question. I’d liek to know what effect this has had on children because this must be an extremly difficult thing to evaluate

We aren’t talking about adult women though are we? We’re talking about children seeing those images of women portrayed in this way from an incredibly early age.

The first thing 100% of new borns are exposed too is a gaping vagina and if that wasn’t bad enough they then get an enlarged breast (complete with unblurred nipple) thrust in their faces.

They don’t stand a chance!

I have freely admitted that I hate seeing these images when I go to buy a pint of milk or pay for some petrol. I know how they make me feel now and I know how they would have made me feel had I been an impressionable 14 year old seeing them. This is lived experience that seems to count for nothing because men on here aren’t bothered by seeing these images (funny that).

I repeat, if I want to pay for petrol, I do not want to be confronted with sexual degrading images of women on the forecourt and in the shop. All that’s being asked for is a little consideration from retailers. In case it was a question of money, I even offered to buy my local Tesco a set of covers for the w@nk mags. They declined.

Given that the former MD of Smut’s equated Playboy with FHM, I presume that all those arguing the proposal to move all soft porn mags to the soft porn section (so unreasonable!) are in favour of children seeing Playboy too.

I used to think I was liberal but if liberal means not giving a toss about how my actions and choices affect any one else then I am most definitely not a liberal!

156. Chaise Guevara

@ 155

Out of interest, how would you define the material to be restricted? Presumably anything featuring someone wearing a bikini on the cover, including a bikini catalogue, would fall within the remit?

Obviously you can’t litigate using terms like “it only applies to sex magazines” as FHM etc. don’t describe themselves this way anyway, and could easily rebrand to dodge any other law based on the definition of the magazine rather than the content of the photo.

I have to admit that I’m starting to backtrack on my support for this idea because (weak argument I know) I’m suddenly realising just how we’d look as a nation if we started covering up anything that could be considered vaguely titillating.

There’s a very real danger that this kind of campaign could be the thin end of the wedge.

The great thing about most supermarkets’ and newsagents’ shelves is that there’s something for everyone. But that means there’s something for everyone to object to, too. What would happen if every self-appointed interest group got in on the game?

Feminists and mothers of small children complain about Nuts and Zoo. Environmentalists will decry motoring magazines like Top Gear. Animal rights activists will denounce food magazines with juicy joints on their covers. Tories will make stern noises about the Morning Star while lefties deplore the Daily Mail. People with a reading age over nine will hold the Daily Express as an affront to their intelligence while sports fans will complain that there isn’t very much sport in the Sunday Sport (so I’m told).

Where will it all end? With a dog-eared copy of SAGA Magazine sitting forlornly on its own in the middle of a huge rack.

Is that what we want? Are we Iran? I hope not.

As vegetarians sometimes have to remind themselves when passing the butcher’s window, it’s fine to be offended from time to time. You’ll survive. No-one’s making you buy the stuff. It’s good to be reminded of other people’s tastes, especially when you don’t share them.

@156 Perhaps the cover models could wear modesty clothing? Or perhaps the magazines themselves could come packaged in a “modesty sheath”? I mean, if someone were to see an uncovered lads mag, they might become so distracted that they crash a bus or something.
*puts away spoon*

I don’t understand Liberal Conspiracy. I would have thought that this site would be all about utilitarianism and doing things for the greater good. Isn’t moving a load of Tommy Tank mags to the top shelf and covering them up (hardly much to ask, really!) such a big deal?

JP – I think it’s important to understand that we have different opinons here, including the writers. I can’t tell people what to think, or even control what our regular writers think. It’s a multi-authored blog. There is no one party line.

Of course, I think unity and John B are talking out of their backsides on this issue. But that is a matter of opinion.

I fully support the campaign and we’ll continue reporting on it.

The daily sport is a awesome newspaper what other paper gives you head lines like world war 2 bomber found on the moon >?
Its a it like the working class vision of the daily mail just without the strange photo-shop ladies on the front cover,

In all honesty i do take the peanut slightly but you may be scared to hear that i hate that new paper and i hate any thing like it.

Nuts Fhm and the sun newspaper.( other stupid stuff available)

I actually read only the independent to be honest and my wife was asked one day if i was a intellectual for me reading it ( i am my self ) though i do feel slightly geeky at times.

Girls mags are just as bad though last time my daughter got one i banned her from reading it.
Had a huge page on how to have a ork.
not sum-thing i want my then 14 year old to read.

after talking to my wife about this she said.

its all about the sexualising of people
any type of sexism is wrong .

But again i think blaming lads mags is wrong its a full society of wrongs
laws need changing /
i do welcome the government’s look in to the sexualising of children as long as they do sum-thing with the results

Anna,

Watchman: do you accept a difference between individual freedoms and regulation of businesses and industry?

No – if businesses are doing harm or interfering with freedoms, then do something about them. Otherwise, what the hell business is it of ours what they do or sell? For this to have legs for me, it needs to be shown that harm is being done…

On reflection, I’ve changed my mind. It doesn’t matter if a large section of the population is offended by these mags or that children are exposed to degrading sexual images of women. No, I have realised that we should be thinking of the poor men here. They’ll need the strength in their wrist for after they buy the mag and we shouldn’t expect them to have to reach up a few shelves and pull a mag out from behind a cover. They need to save their strength! I think it’s very thoughtful of retailers to consider the lower arms of the boys who need to buy these mags. God forbid they’d pull a muscle in having to reach behind the cover.

Well done WHSmith et al! They understand what it’s like to be a teenage boy! Sod all those who don’t want to see these mags. They can go elsewhere for their newspapers, milk, petrol!

Someone should start a “Save the wrist” campaign in response to the MN campaign. Obviously we’d need good empirical evidence on wrist harm but I’m sure that Nuts/Zoo could help us out on that front.

Well we have gone from protecting children from seeing inappropriate images. Particularly when they are purchasing petrol. Now it seems it is adults who do not want to be offended by looking at images of which they disapprove. However, they are not offended enough to hurt the retailers by avoiding the shops where their sensibilities might be offended. More evidence that the Puritans never died, they just metamorphosis into new forms each generation with new targets for their prudery.

@Richard W-As I have said many times, I now avoid any shops where the displays of these mags are prominent and inconsiderate. If it’s the first time visiting sonewhere you don’t know what you will be faced with. I hadn’t visited that particular Shell petrol station (mentioned earlier) before but won’t be again.

Apparently protecting children from harm isn’t a valid reason for moving the soft porn mags to the soft porn section.

So I mentioned my own offence and discomfort and lack of choice at being faced with soft porn mags that aren’t treated as soft porn mags when retailers display them. That doesn’t count either, apparently. I think you will find that many people decide to go for the children angle because too many people would be resistant to the idea of women being offended and having to do something about it.

What does count if children and women don’t? That leaves men and surprisingly not a lot of men are affected by seeing sexually degrading images of women when they pay for their petrol. It’s good to know that LibCon cares.

Ps if you decide to apologise for your incorrect assumption, it will be accepted,

166. Chaise Guevara

@ 162 JP

Um, ok… People are trying to have a sensible conversation with you and your only response is an aggressive straw man. That post may as well be titled How Not To Rally People To Your Cause.

Do you actually want to convince anyone, or are you only here for the snark?

167. Chaise Guevara

@ 164 JP

“What does count if children and women don’t? That leaves men and surprisingly not a lot of men are affected by seeing sexually degrading images of women when they pay for their petrol. It’s good to know that LibCon cares.”

Yeah, this seems to explain your ridiculous post at 162. Nobody here is saying that the only offence that matters in offence against men. What they are saying is that this is a liberal site, and as such the default attitude is that we shouldn’t ban (or otherwise restrict) stuff just because some people find it offensive.

Let’s use a non-gender analogy: if an extremist Christian was on here demanding we ban Korans because they find them offensive, they’d be rebuffed by nearly everyone. Not because we consider Christian feelings to be less important, but because we consider banning a book just because someone else dislikes it to be illiberal and wrong.

If you respond to this, please try to do so thoughtfully and maturely rather than just throwing out straw-man posts that amount to “you must all hate women” or “you all just want a wank”. That kind of attitude only hurts your cause.

So to summarise:

– There’s no evidence that lads’ mags in supermarkets harm children or anyone else.

– People campaigning for their covering or moving elsewhere are doing so from the authoritarian position that they’re supposedly entitled to be free from being offended.

Can anyone add anything sensible to that?

169. James from Durham

As I read this, no-one is actually arguing that absolutely any image should be allowed. Likewise even Mumsnet are not arguing taht all images of womes should be covered in burkhas!

I think it is probably common ground that there should be a line. If that is agreed then this is hardly about fundamental conflicts. Nor for abusing or belittling others concerns.

In the end of course, if there are to be any new laws, there has to be some real evidence that they will actually do some good and prevent some eveidenced harm.

In the meantime, people can take their trade elsewhere. But, JP, you need to tell the Shell garage why you are not going back. Else how will they know?

I

170. James from Durham

Woops, “Womes” should have been “Women”. God knows how that happenned!

Watchman/161: Okay. What about this hypothetical situation. My local supermarket doesn’t have a very interesting cheese selection [1]. It sells ten varieties of mild cheddar and that’s it. I write to it asking it to increase the variety of its cheese selection.

Do I have any obligation, before doing so, to commission MORI to conduct a survey on the cheese-eating preferences of the local population, and to fund a research grant with the local Uni to study if there are benefits to well-being from a diverse cheese selection?

The supermarket isn’t going to build an extension to accommodate the new cheese aisle. So if it accedes to my request and brings in some stilton and wensleydale, and maybe a bit of brie, something else will have to be removed from stock to make up for it. Might be cheese, might be the yoghurt on the next shelf down. Presumably someone buys that stuff, or it wouldn’t be stocked. Maybe they’ll buy an extra fridge display to keep the cheese in, and take out a shelf unit, and it’s the biscuit selection that suffers. Maybe they’ll take the opportunity to keep MumsNet happy at the same time and replace the Lads Mags with a cheese fridge. Who knows.

The point is that I shouldn’t have to prove any support beyond “this is my opinion” to ask the supermarket to change its stocking decisions, and I shouldn’t have to prove anything beyond “and they agree” if I want to start a mass letter-writing campaign over this.

What’s the substantive difference between this and the MumsNet campaign? In both cases people are not advocating a change in the law – I’m not writing to my MP to get the Cheese Diversity (Retail) Act 2011 passed – and they’re just asking private companies to change their decisions on magazine display arrangement (not even on which they stock! They make my cheese diversity letter look totalitarian). Other individuals, who disagree, can also write to the companies in support of the status quo, if they want. The company can then make a decision based on whatever it wants (and will).

I don’t think there’s a need to prove harm or interference with freedom for either my cheese diversity letter or Mumsnet’s shelving decision campaign. (I do think the lads mags contribute towards a harmful environment, but I don’t think there’s actually a need to prove that [2] because it’s not relevant to the legitimacy of the campaign)

Were they writing to state-owned retailers, or asking for Parliament to legislate, then I agree that this would go beyond voluntary commercial decisions and need a stronger basis than “this is what we think”.

[1] Actually, the local shop has a very good selection at the moment. And no, I didn’t write to them about it.
[2] How would you go about constructing an experiment to prove or disprove this anyway?

172. Chaise Guevara

@ 171 CIM

I don’t think Watchman’s saying that you should need evidence before politely requesting shops to change their behaviour (or even campaigning and organising boycotts to convince them to do so). He’s saying that it’s going to take evidence to convince him personally to support the idea.

I’m more amenable to the concept, and agree that evidence would be extremely hard to generate. But remember that certain people on the thread are acting with mass hostility to everyone who disagrees with them, throwing around straw men and stupid accusations like nobody’s business, so it’s not surprising that other people are on the defensive.

Here’s my suggestion.

Why not legislate to have the lads mags sold in a separate area of the supermarket for adults along with the alcohol and tobacco products. Possibly the condoms, tampons and lottery tickets too. The counter in this section of the store would only have one checkout operator, no matter how long the queue.

This area, let’s call it the restricted area, would have a single entrance/exit around which feminists and health campaigners could congregate, hand out educational leaflets to shoppers and subject them to general ridicule.

Problem solved.

Pagar – why tampons? The others are at least products which could conceivably be described by puritans as associated with ‘sin’, whereas “being a woman” really ain’t. Unless you count God giving women periods to punish them for Eve’s sins, which I think is a point that some religious loonies have made in the past.

175. Chaise Guevara

@ john b

I assume pagar is being sarcastic and has thus compiled a list of things people get on their high horse about. Tampons would be included under the general heading of “involves bodily fluids, so we must pretend they don’t exist”.

Apologies to pagar if I’m wrong.

cim:

I think you’ve slightly missed the point of the debate here.

No one, so far as I’m aware, has argued that there’s anything illegitimate about Mumsnet campaigning for the removal of Lad’s Mags to the top shelf on the basis of consumer opinion, give or take the early confusion caused by the headline over the provenance of the stats.

The position there vis-a-vis the issue of commissioning a properly representative opinion poll is really just a matter of adding additional weight to their argument. It all comes down to leverage, a scientific poll conducted by a reputable market research organisation is a much better stick to hit the retailers with than a poll of self-selected forum users from single website.

From a campaign point of view, this is important because, in taking on the Lad’s Mags, Mumsnet won’t be able to rely on any significant support from the tabloid press. They’re not going to willing shit in their own nest, not when they rely heaviliy on pimping out images of teenage girls and celebs for boosting their sales and/or driving traffic to their websites.

Even without bringing Page 3 into things directly, as Mumsnet have, the safest place for The Sun to mount a defence of its self-assumed ‘right’ to put pictures of semi-naked teenagers on display is on the Lad’s Mags lawn, on the assumption that if campaigners do manage to get them top-shelved then they won’t stop there, they’ll move on to the next most accessible targets, i.e. the tabloid’s predilection for T&A and celebrity upskirts.

That’s all fair enough – where things get problematic is when you start to try and argue you case on the basis of harm caused to young children.

With teenagers its a bit of different matter because there is an evidence base that can be deployed to support your arguments, but the evidence isn’t there to support a harm-based argument given the minimal exposure that young children get, if they get any all at because, as hasd been rightly pointed out, most young kids never look any further than the magazine stand that’s loaded with titles aimed at their age range.

What myself, John, Watchman, Chaise and others have gone after here is the intellectual dishonesty of the underlying argument – that fleeting exposure to the cover of Lads Mags is harmful to young children – not the campaign itself.

Pagar – why tampons?

There is currently a strand of feminist thought which says that the use of tampons panders to male squeamishness over menstruation and is therefore anti-feminist.

Witness Laurie P. referring to her periods at every possible opportunity and the enthusiasm among the fashionable cognoscenti for this.

http://feministreview.blogspot.com/2010/03/divacup-divawash-giveaway-contest.html

cim,

When my case is well put by Chaise and Unity, I kind of suspect there may be a broad political consensus on this.

I haven’t much to add to their sensible comments, which interpret me correctly in being perfectly happy for you to complain to retailers about the range of cheese (it is indeed often disgustingly poor – do that many people really like indistinguishable mild cheddars?) or their display of pornographic material. I would indeed be quite upset if I was not allowed to complain about the lack of decent cheese or pornography at my local Tescos…

My point was towards those who thought there was compromise available, and is the simple point that there is no compromise with a single-issue group (or a group weaponised on a single issue), because they will treat each step towards their position as a victory and keep on campaigning. Which is not to say that shops should ignore what their customers say (this is known as the death of the high street phenomenon) but that they should be aware of the difference between customers and pressure groups.

pagar,

I remember one of my friends at university, from up in the old mining areas of the north-east, who had a bent for social history.

She described the invention of the tampon and sanitary towel as not only great for women, but for society and hygiene, as it stopped people using old rags which were then washed and hung up to dry (bloodstained of course). It was an eye opener for me.

Nice to see feminists reanacting the past there…

180. Chaise Guevara

@ 177

“There is currently a strand of feminist thought which says that the use of tampons panders to male squeamishness over menstruation and is therefore anti-feminist.”

They’re phallic symbols, too. PHALLIC SYMBOLS!

Watchman/178: Thanks, that makes things clearer.

Is there really no compromise position, though? I agree that pressure groups do tend to work incrementally like that, but that doesn’t mean that you absolutely can’t agree to any of their requests because it’ll only encourage them to make more. (And I do think that reshelving the Lads Mags is a reasonable request to be making)

cim,

You can compromise if you wish – that’s up to the individual. I just tend to oppose it without good reason.

Ultimately, why a picture of a female wearing very little clothing (but not in a provocative pose – if she was, it would be a top-shelf magazine. Go and compare if you do not believe me) should be damaging to small children who have minimal sexual curiosity and would probably much rather look at Ben Ten, the Beano or In the Nightgarden (I can see their point with that last) anyway is beyond me. So I won’t allow there is a sensible compromise on that point – it is the equivalent of compromising with creationists on the teaching of evolution, basically diluting down your principles to please a case with no evidence.

If your case was that you and others find these magazines offensive and they should be moved, then there may be a more sensible space for compromise, since there is evidence that that is the case.

183. samuel welsh

all lad mags should be stoped


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  2. Emma Jackson Stuart

    RT @libcon: Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  3. Owen Duffy

    RT @libcon Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3 << Lad mags are degrading to… lads.

  4. Elly

    RT @libcon: Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  5. Anna

    RT @libcon: Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  6. Hazico_Jo

    RT @libcon: Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  7. iPhone Addict

    RT @libcon: Survey: 90% of parents <mums who responded to an online poll>want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  8. Nicola Blunden

    RT @libcon: Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  9. david keen

    RT @libcon: Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  10. Emily Davis

    RT @libcon: Survey: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered up http://bit.ly/hMnFz3

  11. rowan davies

    MN's lads' mags campaign getting a pasting in the comments @libcon http://bit.ly/gKB0c8 Not suggesting u shd do anything abt this *whistles*

  12. earwicga

    RT @rowandavies: MN's lads' mags campaign getting a pasting in the comments @libcon http://bit.ly/gKB0c8 Not suggesting u shd do anythin …

  13. Maria S

    RT @rowandavies: MN's lads' mags campaign getting a pasting in the comments @libcon http://bit.ly/gKB0c8 Not suggesting u shd do anythin …

  14. Elly

    http://bit.ly/hMnFz3 Mumsnet say 'let girls be girls'…. but what about boys?

  15. Natacha Kennedy

    RT @quietriot_girl: http://bit.ly/hMnFz3 Mumsnet say 'let girls be girls'…. but what about boys?

  16. Mumsnet Towers

    RT @natachakennedy http://bit.ly/hMnFz3 Mumsnet say 'let girls be girls'…. but what about boys? << let them be girls too (jokin')

  17. Laura

    RT @quietriot_girl: http://bit.ly/hMnFz3 Mumsnet say 'let girls be girls'…. but what about boys?

  18. i RISE

    Poll: 90% of parents want Lads' Mags covered | Liberal Conspiracy: Not least because many MN posters believe tha… http://bit.ly/dIkQ8v

  19. FlyingRodent

    @mcgazz Mumsnet also have some intriguing ideas about where newsagents should put their magazines http://tinyurl.com/39eq79r





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.