Tuesday, 3 September 2013

porn and "lads' mags" displays in Cambridge's Mill Road newsagents

'modesty' star?
A campaign called Lose the Lads’ Mags is calling – very reasonably, in my view – for “Lads’ Mags” like Zoo, Nuts, etc to be put on newsagents’ top shelves and have modesty covers, arguing that they "promote sexist attitudes and behaviours" and "normalise the idea that it’s acceptable to treat women like sex objects".

So I decided to take a walk down Cambridge’s Mill Road from the town end to the top and look at how its newsagents store both Lads’ and porn mags. "Unedited" shots refer to covers featuring pictures of topless models where nipples aren’t obscured by stars.

Nip In Express

Top shelf occupied by porn magazines, many with whole front page displayed, no modesty covers on any. One lads’ mag – FHM – on display at child’s-eye level in contravention of National Federation of Retail Newsagents’ Guidelines on Diplaying Adult/Top Shelf Titles, no modesty covers.

R.B. Stores/Mace

Top row occupied by porn mags, no modesty covers. One – Whips’n’Chains – had unedited cover picture. One lads’ mag – FHM – on top shelf.

Lally’s Newsagents

Top two rows occupied by lads’ mags, no modesty covers, often whole front pages visible, several of these with unedited shots. No lads’ mags visible.

Tesco

No porn mags. Lads’ mags on top shelf: Nuts, no modesty cover; Zoo with modesty board on front.

Londis

Top shelf occupied by porn mags. Two had modesty covers, the rest had edited shots. Two lads’ mags – Zoo and Nuts – at childs’ eye height.

The Co-op

No porn mags. FHM and Nuts on top shelf, no modesty covers.

Spar

Top shelf occupied by porn mags, many obscured by the mag in front. But some whole front pages visible, some of which had unedited shots. DVD covers – Strap on Dildos and XXX Lesbians – visible, with unedited shots. This surprised me, as Spar's homepage says it supports the NSPCC, which recently criticised how girls feel they have to look and behave like porn stars.

Personally, I have no problem with consenting adults buying magazines containing pictures of consenting adults. But putting such images on covers which are then prominently displayed is skewing the way both genders, especially young people, view women. Change in the way these magazines are stocked and displayed is needed.

Gerry Dorrian

Resources

Lose the Lads Mags homepage

NFRN Guidance on Displaying Adult/Top Shelf Titles

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