As I’ve said before on this blog, I am a Feminist. I was full of hope when Michelle Obama took those school girls to Oxford to encourage them to have aspirations. But now my hope has been punctured as I hear that Playboy is making a return to London, thirty years after the club closed. Why? Why do we think this is acceptable in 2011? Forget all that nonsense about burlesque not being stripping, about Girl Power and Ladettes. Forget all that hot air about girls/women reclaiming their sexuality. It’s still about men having power. Oh yes, and money.
But as the mother of a 12 year old girl, I am concerned for this age group. The wallpaper of their lives is pink and padded and primed by the media, global corporations and money money money. It needs to be stripped back to the bare bones, to a place where women are seen as equal. Different but equal.
In the 90s Clare Short tried to get our society to address this issue – long before it was as bad as this. She wanted to get lads mags (aka porn) moved from WH Smiths. She wanted an end to the ridiculous Page 3 women. She wanted an end to female objectification and oppression. But what did she get in response to this brave stance? Vilification.
And now a Mumsnet campaign has helped lead to the Bailey review which, amongst other things, wants top shelf mags to be covered up and out of the vision of young girls (and boys who will grow up to be men). I can only hope this is taken seriously by society. We need to look to the future.
It concerns us all. It’s not just the worry of girls caring more about how they look than how they think. Boys care too. I mean, why did Wayne Rooney think it necessary to get a hair job?
Do something good this week. Go into your local WH Smith and ask them to move any obvious dodgy mags to a less visible place.