Sunday, August 25, 2013

Selling strawberries and sexism?

Tesco has received quite a lot of news air-time over the last few days - probably most of it unwelcome. Newsround went big on the story about them getting fined for misleading shoppers over the pricing of strawberries. But yesterday's "national day of action" a campaign aimed at getting Tesco to stop selling "lads' mags" wasn't reported on Newsround, though it did get some coverage on the BBC News channel.

Lose the Lads' Mags campaign organiser, Kat Banyard, told Maxine Mawhinney that there was "extensive evidence" that the magazines fuel sexist attitudes that underpin violence against women.

Unfortunately, though, the campaign may well be putting the cart before the horse. If these magazines underpin violent attitudes, wouldn't it be more sensible to tackle whatever is responsible for those attitudes arising in the first place? Blaming the magazines for violence against women is like blaming victims of rape because they weren't wearing modest enough clothing. Instead of just "modesty covers" on supermarket shelves, British women would effectively be pressured to wear full length "modesty dresses."

Lose the Lads' Mags isn't really a feminist campaign - it is faux feminism.

Rather than campaign against these mags, a more fruitful approach would encourage respect for women as equal citizens. How often, for example, have male CBBC presenters dressed up as women to raise a laugh? Finally take a look at the joke from this recent Newsround story.

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