Swedish furniture retailer IKEA says it has pulled an article about a lesbian couple in the Russian edition of its customer
magazine because that would have contravened that county's law on gay propaganda.
IKEA spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson says the story about the couple living with their child in London appeared in the December print edition of its club magazine and was available for customers in 25 markets worldwide, but not in Russia.
Magnusson said that IKEA was not able to publish the article because Russian law has restrictions regarding promoting homosexual relationships.
Several men's magazines including Playboy have been busted for supposed obscenity in the Philippines.
Editors for Playboy, Maxim, FHM, and others were dragged into the Manila Regional Trial Court for printing supposedly lewd photos. They were later released on bail.
The action stemmed from joint complaints filed by pastors and preachers of Bible Baptist Churches in Metro Manila, led by Manila District Representative Bienvenido Abante, and a senior pastor of the Metropolitan Bible Baptist Church.
According to the complaint, the publications contained pornographic, erotic or indecent pictures that exhibited nude or semi-nude bodies, sexual acts and private parts of male and female bodies with no educational, artistic, cultural or scientific
value from September 2007 to July 2008.
The complainants reportedly said that the magazines' photos were clearly and purely intended or calculated to draw lust, stimulate sexual drive, excite impure imagination or arouse prurient interest .
Playboy and FHM, disputed the charges and said the complainants made a sweeping statement of culpability based only portions of publications without directly pointing to the acts of each of those charged. Playhouse also argued and said it has
never published nudity, private parts of men and women, and cannot be considered obscene. Maxim futher stated that scantily clad photos of actresses were tastefully done and did not depict any sexual act or nudity.
Lulu Le Vay used to physically balk at the sight of a lads' mag. But once she started working for one, she became a lot less sure that these publications were as degrading and harmful as she had always assumed.
The Association of Teachers and Morality Lecturers (ATL) has joined the campaign to get high-street retailers to ban lads' mags,
criticising a supposed and unspecified damaging effect that magazines like Nuts and Zoo have on young people.
Dr Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Morality Lecturers, said:
Not only do so-called 'Lads' Mags' portray women as dehumanised objects, but they also continue to be sold in many supermarkets and newsagents, where children can easily be exposed to them. Are the attitudes towards women and pornographic images
in these magazines really what we want our children to be seeing? At ATL's conference this year our members told us resoundingly that they are worried about the increased 'pornification' of society and its pernicious effects on young people,
which is why ATL wholeheartedly supports this campaign.
We congratulate the Co-Operative for taking action and look forward to seeing supermarkets empty their shelves of pornographic images. It's not only children who are exposed to this, but also the thousands of employees working in supermarkets
stocking these magazines.
The disgraceful Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young claims that ZOO magazine made her look incompetent and immature when they photoshopped her head onto the body of a lingerie clad model.
Hanson-Young is suing the magazine on several grounds over the photo and article entitled ZOO's Asylum Seeker Bikini Plan , published in July 2012.
But NSW Supreme Court Justice Lucy McCallum struck out several of her arguments, saying she did not believe the photo made the senator look incompetent or immature. Justice McCallum, however, granted Senator Hanson-Young leave to argue her case in
front of a jury at a later date.
The magazine had said it would house the next boatload of asylum seekers in the ZOO office , if the Greens' immigration spokeswoman would agree to a tasteful bikini or lingerie photo shoot.
Senator Hanson-Young claims the magazine gave rise to several imputations, including that she is not a politician to be taken seriously and that her pro-asylum seeker stance is ridiculous .
The Co-op supermarket chains has announced that 4000 stores have now banned lads' mags as
Steve Murrells, the chief censor of retail for the Co-operative Group, claimed:
As a community-based retailer, we have listened to and acted upon the concerns of our customers and members, many of whom said they objected to their children being able to see overt sexual images in our stores.
We believe individual, sealed modesty bags are the most effective way of addressing these concerns, so we will no longer be stocking the titles that have failed to meet our request. This action will make our stores more attractive to families with young
children, by creating a more family-friendly shopping environment.
Gender extremists from Object and UK Feminista organised a series of protests outside Tesco stores calling on them to ban lads' mags.
19 Tesco scores around the country saw small gatherings of protestors at Manchester, London, Portsmouth and Glasgow
The feminist groups claim that lads' mags:
Fuel sexist behaviours and attitudes underpinning violence against women. Tesco would never allow "girlie calendars" on their office walls. Why are they choosing to stock degrading, pornographic lads mags on their shelves?
Kat Banyard, the founder of UK Feminista, said:
As long as Tesco sells lads mags like Nuts and Zoo its claims of being a responsible corporate citizen are a farce.
The No More Page 3 campaign founder Lucy Holmes said:
Protests are a great way of engaging with the public about the issue.
But the groups seem to be largely failing to attract much in the way of engagement. For instance the Daily Mail, well known for getting onboard moralist bandwagons, itself publishes material just a little too close to lads' mags content for
comfort, so has been generally negative about the Feminsta campaign. Similarly the lads' mags material is also a little close to sexy celebrity material that is so widely enjoyed by the general public, so the campaigners don't seem to be
attracting wide public engagement with their cause.
Fifty Shades of Grey , the best-selling tale of erotic romance, perpetuates the problem of violence against women, according to a new genderist study.
Reporting in the Journal of Women's Health , Dr Amy Bonomi concluded that emotional and sexual abuse is pervasive in the novel, with the main female character, Anastasia, suffering harm as a result:
This book is perpetuating dangerous abuse standards and yet it's being cast as this romantic, erotic book for women. The erotic content could have been accomplished without the theme of abuse.
The researchers, at Ohio State University, conducted an analysis of the novel and found patterns consistent with Centres for Disease Control and Prevention definitions of intimate partner violence, and associated reactions known to occur in abused
The supermarket chain Morrisons has called on rivals to adopt a collective stance over the controversy of how to display lads'
mags on shelves, arguing that consumers are supposedly confused by the different policies being adopted by the major players. A spokesman for Morrisons said:
Going it alone doesn't feel the right approach. It would be better to have an industry approach, as it could be confusing for customers.
Morrisons will talk with bodies such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the trade body for the UK retail industry , in the hope that it can encourage its rivals to come together on a collective stance.
The Co-operative store chain has given lads' mags six weeks to cover-up their front pages with sealed modesty bags or be taken
off sale in its stores.
The 4,000-outlet retailer said it was responding to 'concerns' by some members, customers and colleagues about images of scantily clad women on covers. Titles such as Front, Loaded, Nuts and Zoo have been given a deadline of 9
September to act by the Co-op.
Steve Murrells, retail chief executive for the Co-operative Group, said:
As a community-based retailer, we have listened to the concerns of our customers and members, many of whom say they object to their children being able to see overt sexual images in our stores. 'Welcome move'
Whilst we have tried to mitigate the likelihood of young children seeing the images with a number of measures in store, the most effective way of doing this is for these magazines to be put in individual, sealed modesty bags. As an interim
measure, we have introduced our own opaque screens on shelf to reinforce our existing policy limiting the display of such material.
Women and Equalities Minister Jo Swinson said the Co-op's move was very welcome :
Many parents aren't comfortable with the way that sexualised imagery has become like wallpaper - everywhere from the bus stop to the corner shop. Adults should be left to make their own decisions about what legal sexual images they look at,
but the place for these is not next to the sweets at children's eye-level. I hope other retailers will follow the Co-operative's lead.
But of course the gender extremists of the Lose the Lads' Mags campaign said the Co-op was not going far enough and are calling for a complete ban:
The Co-operative are attempting to sell their customers short. The so-called 'modesty bags' they are demanding from publishers are designed to allow the Co-operative to continue profiting from sexist, harmful lads' mags - but just a bit more
The publisher of Nuts men's magazine is refusing to place modesty bags over its magazines, and says it is willing to risk a drop in readership.
The miserable management of the Co-op supermarket had demanded the magazine be delivered in plastic bags that would conceal provocative images of women on the front cover. The chain threatened that it would stop stocking the magazine from 9
September if that did not happen.
Nuts called it an astonishing ultimatum . Editor Dominic Smith told Newsbeat he had been shocked when he heard about it in the media. He said if Co-op now removed Nuts from its shelves, it would encourage its readers to shop
I think Co-op will be surprised that we're not putting it in the bag. I think they were probably hoping for a nice easy PR win. If we do sell a few less issues, then so be it.
The Co-op has re-iterated that it will ban Nuts and Zoo for not taking up the option of modesty bags:
Our position has not changed. If Nuts and Zoo, or any of the other publications, Loaded and Front, do not put their titles into modesty bags by the date we've given of September 9, we will no longer sell the magazines.
Kate Jones, the Co-operative's head of product development, admitted that the store would lose money over the move. Speaking on ITV's Daybreak, she said:
We will be losing money but we are responding to our customers' concerns.
These are the publications that our customers are telling us they're concerned about. We do everything we can to ensure they are out of sight of children shopping in our shops.
But sometimes during the trading day displays get disrupted. We think a modesty cover would be a fail-safe solution.
Zoo, Nuts and Front have agreed to self censor their front covers as demanded by Tesco. The supermarket has been
lobbied by anti-sex miserablists. The new censorship code will apply only to the magazines' covers.
Highly explicit front covers of lads' mags may be a thing of the past, Tesco said. Zoo, Nuts and Front have agreed to make their covers more modest , the retailer said, meaning no more nudity, with less salacious coverlines and a
more conservative feel.
Latest Issue of Nuts
In addition to demanding toned-down covers, the store said Nuts, Zoo, Front and Bizarre would now be sold only to customers over 18, to reassure parents who do not want their children to be able to purchase these titles , and the
magazines will be displayed at the back of sales racks, where their covers will be obscured by other magazines.
Of course the censorship campaigners dismissed the move as a half-measure that doesn't address the harm of these publications .
Kat Banyard, founder of UK Feminista, one of two groups behind the Lose the Lad Mags campaign , said that lobbying to have the titles removed from shelves altogether would continue, because they are deeply harmful. They fuel sexist behaviours
which underpin violence against women.
Nuts, which is published by IPC Media, said it had introduced new covers ... which have a more conservative tone several weeks ago, adding: We are delighted with our readers' response and this week's issue is our biggest selling since
February. While previous issues have shown women fully topless with their nipples covered by headlines or their hands or hair, and promising the boobiest shoot ever or big-boobed brunettes , recent editions of Nuts feature
models in less highly sexualised poses, wearing slightly more modest lingerie.
I am worried about this overall message that demonises the female body and buys into the tradition that female flesh is sinful and corrupting. It is this mentality that spurred the Witch Trials of the 16th Century.
A letter from Edie Lamort, feminist and sexual freedom activist, to the Co-operative Group about their latest censorship decision:
...As a woman I find the current trend towards more puritan values very disturbing. Lobby groups such as UK Feminista and Object represent the more extreme and fanatical end of this trend and I am very disappointed that the Co-op has buckled
under pressure from them. With the proposed censoring of the Internet last week and the general moral panic at the moment about sexualisation this is another retrograde step. It is almost like we are experiencing a sexual
I am worried about this overall message that demonises the female body and buys into centuries old patriarchal tradition that female flesh is sinful and corrupting. It is this mentality that spurred the Witch Trials of the 16th Century and in
more recent times has cast a veil of silence over sexual abuse. It leads to an environment where people are made to feel shame about a perfectly natural urge leading to anger and frustration rather than self-awareness and understanding.
I am tweeting this message because I strongly disagree with UK Feminista's campaign to ban Nuts - and other popular men's magazines - from being on sale in supermarkets.
These magazines are entirely legal and bring entertainment and enjoyment to many thousands of men - and women - across the UK, and I see no reason why they should be banned to appease the views of a minority protest group.
This proposed move is a blatant act of censorship with UK Feminista seeking to ban something just because it doesn't happen to like it.
Magazines like Nuts feature a broad range of content, are stocked out of the reach of children, and are enjoyed by a large number of supermarket customers whose voices also deserve to be heard.
Therefore I am politely asking the members of UK Feminists to...
Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department have arrested Akira O-ta, the head of the editorial department at the publisher Core
Magazine, and two others for distributing supposedly obscene images. The arrestees are accused of carrying and selling magazines with manga and photos of sex scenes and other content with insufficient censoring.
O-ta and one other suspect have denied the charges, saying, We didn't think they were obscene. The third arrestee reportedly admitted to the charges.
The three suspects are accused of selling about 24,500 copies of the manga magazine Comic Mega Store with sex scenes between males and females. They are also accused of selling about 36,000 copies of Nyan 2 Club , a magazine for
reader-submitted adult photographs. Both magazines were marked with the 18+ label.
Both magazines makes minimal use of mosaic censoring over certain areas, but the police said it verbally warned the magazines' staff that there is a possibility that these magazines could still be labeled as obscene.
Update: The Ministry of Unpixellated Porn
26th July 2013. Thanks to Alan
This idiocy leaves me gobsmacked. Japanese uncensored porn is all over the internet. Back in the days of dial-up, when porn consisted largely of
still images, fans of Japanese dirty pics could download something called Mozkiller , which removed the mosaic censorship.
This also seems to be a very modern obsession. I remember going to an exhibition of ukiyo-e paintings by the respected artist Utamaro (1753-1806) at the British Museum, including many detailed pornographic pictures. In fact, one old boy was looking at
some of the smaller pics through a magnifying glass to get a better view of the action.. (Yes, he was wearing a mac!) I believe the exhibition was supported by major Japanese galleries and the relevant ministry.
Tomorrow you are going to sit down and meet with Lose The Lads Mags who want you to stop selling lads magazines because they find them sexist, degrading and offensive.
The arguments they put forward as to why you should stop selling these magazines is that they objectify women and cause sexual harassment to female customers and to your staff who do not wish to see magazines which show women as sex objects .
They deny they are calling for lads mags to be banned but if you stop selling these magazines based on their objections you will be banning them.
The justifications for you banning these magazines is based on the argument that there are people who do not wish to see these magazines whilst they are doing their shopping and that your female staff members do not wish to have to handle these magazines
or sell them to customers.
Essentially what Lose The Lads Mags are saying is that because some customers do not like lads mags and do not wish to see them in your store other customers should be stopped from buying them.
And these magazines can be covered up and put on the top shelf so those customers who are offended by them do not have to see them. But what Lose The Lads Mags are calling for is for them to withdrawn from sale completely.
As for the arguments over staff not wishing to handle or sell lads mags to customers the question should be asked as to since when supermarket employees have ever had the right to veto what the customers of the store they work in should and should not be
allowed to purchase.
And if we are going to ban lads mags from supermarkets because some members of staff object to them what's to stop other staff members objecting to the sale of other products they find objectionable such as meat, alcohol, cigarettes or lottery ticket.
Maybe we should ban those things too?
The arguments that these magazines are harmful because they make men see women as nothing more than sex objects and therefore cause men to act sexually violently towards women are spurious at best. It suggests that men are brainless drones who mindlessly
lap up whatever they see and will be turned into crazed violent sex beasts by seeing pictures of women with little or no clothing on.
Lose The Lads Mags, Object and UK Feminista believe that the very sight of a woman's naked body on the front of a magazine causes men to turn into salivating sex monsters who will defile the first woman they come into contact with.
I urge you to seriously ask yourself whether the objections of a minority of self appointed moral puritans who masquerade as feminists should dictate what you sell and what your customers can and cannot purchase in your stores.
You seriously need to consider whether you are going to stand up for consumer choice or whether you are going to remove the choice of consumers based on the protests and objections of a group of puritans who represent very few people.
The UK's adult trade magazine, Erotic Trade Only (ETO) runs an annual awards show. These are the major awards for Britain's online and
offline sex shop trade. Here's a selection of the winners for 2013's awards that may be of interest to customers.
Are you offended by pornographic images on magazine and newspaper shelves in supermarkets and service stations? Have you spotted sexualised imagery you consider offensive on T-shirts or other goods on the high street? Does
it make you angry that you and perhaps your kids too are inadvertently exposed to this kind of material by retailers as they go out and about?
The Guardian would like you to help document the story by looking for specific examples that you come across. If you care about the issue and would like to get involved, help us report the story by sharing photos of any
problematic imagery you've seen in public.
Comment: Whipping up outrage over sexual imagery on the high street…
The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has published new advice for retailers on
the considerations they should make when presenting men's lifestyle magazines with cover imagery regarded as inappropriate for children.
James Lowman, CEO of the ACS said:
Retailers recognise this and there is a longstanding voluntary commitment in place to display 'lads' magazines in a way that reduces their visibility to children.
The new guidance recommends locating lads' mags away from areas considered to be in a child's eye line; avoiding placement next to children's magazines; and ensuring that all point-of-sale materials associated with the titles are treated in the same way
as the magazine itself. Smaller-sized stores are also advised to partly obscure the titles with other magazines to ensure potentially offensive images cannot be seen, or to use modesty boards to hide covers.
Children and families minister Edward Timpson said:
I am pleased to offer my support to this practical easy-to-follow guide for retailers on how to display 'lads' mags' so that they are out of the sight of children. I hope that it will help retailers respond to the concerns of their customers and
demonstrate that they can play their part in building the family-friendly society we all want to see.
One of the first things we discussed as a group, back in September 2011, was the displaying of Lads Mags in the branch of Tesco next door to our school. This branch of the shop is frequented by almost all of the students at Camden, for
many on a daily basis, and it was stocking Lads Mags in plain sight, on an eye-level shelf and right next to where many pupils queued to get their lunch.
We talked to some of the other students around school about how they felt about this and we became worried that seeing the degrading images of women on the front of these magazines daily might start to have a negative effect on some of the
girls, especially the younger ones, and lead them to have increased body confidence issues or to believe that the best way to attract boys' attentions was to objectify themselves. As feminists, many of us were, ourselves, also uncomfortable with
these images being a part of our daily lives. We then decided to run our first campaign, our aim being to get the magazines moved to a higher shelf or for the images on the fronts to be covered up.
We initially tried speaking to some of the staff at the shop but this attempt was, to begin with, fruitless. We then made a short film, or a docufemtry as we called it, in which we interviewed pupils and teachers from the school and
members of the local community, illustrating our shared concern with where and how these magazines were being displayed. Real success only came, however, after we received media coverage; our campaign was first featured in an article in the
Guardian about new feminist grassroots groups and members of our club were subsequently interviewed by a local paper.
After this our demands were met and our expectations exceeded -- Lads Mags were removed from the shop entirely!
Feminists are set to gather in Birmingham in a bid to stop shops from putting saucy magazines in the view of children.
Shelve It! is a drive calling on newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations to position lads' magazines at least 1.75m off the floor. The campaign, by Birmingham-based Women's Networking Hub, includes a website rating retailers on how and if
they sell adult mags.
Campaign co-ordinator Shahida Choudhry claims the magazines have a harmful effect. She said she had become ashamed of Birmingham:
We only have to walk into our local store for a pint of milk to witness the dehumanization and sexualisation of girls and women -- in full view among the men's health and lifestyle magazine titles.
The enhanced, plucked, botoxed, tweezed, and altered images in lads' mags are selling superficial warped ideals of women and girls, invading and shaping how we view ourselves.
Now a one-day conference is set to be held on February 26, and will be attended by dozens of feminist nasties, including UK Feminista, Object and the Young Foundation.
The religious group, United Sikhs, has been 'offended' by an article titled Turban Legend in Australian lads' mag, The Picture .
The article uses an image of a Nihang Sikh, a centuries-old warrior with hands clasped in prayer, as a back drop for a display of nude models. United Sikhs commented:
The entire magazine displays raunchy nudity and is replete with foul, irreverent and inappropriate language and the tone ridicules the dumalla (turban) and Nihang Sikhs.
United Sikhs is of the view that the publishers have breached both Federal and State criminal, civil and human rights laws. We are lodging a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission.
United Sikhs is activating its Legal Team to issue formal legal notices to the publishers, printers and distributors and to launch the necessary legal action under Federal, States/Territories laws including the Australian Human Rights Commission;
United Sikhs supports and advocates for the democratic right of all Australians to free speech... [BUT] ...Such a right comes tempered with responsibilities to fellow ethnic and culturally diverse Australians.
United Sikhs calls on all Australian MPs to stand up and publicly condemn irresponsible and morally offensive publications such as this article and to call on the publishers to exercise common decency, restraint and responsibility towards fellow ethnic
and culturally diverse Australians.
United Sikhs calls on all Australian Governments to review, revise and refine legislation and processes in response to, and to curtail the conduct displayed in, publications such as this.