Blog of Feminist Activism Against Porn

This is a blog of the feminist activism of Charliegrrl and others. This is not a blog to debate the ins and outs of feminism, this is a blog to inspire people to get active and take it to the streets! This blog was started to challenge lads mags bringing porn into the mainstream...who knows what the blog will become...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Porn Exposed in WHSmut


A friend called Tom told me he went into WHSmith, and opened up the lads mags on explicit pages and placed them all round the shop, and near the entrance, to expose to customers, the degrading and pornographic content of these magazines. He said one woman went up to one of the opened lads mags, and said, 'I don't like that, I don't like that at all!' and promptly closed it!

This is a great way to draw people's attention to the degrading imagery that WHSmith sell, and can prompt people to complain. It exposes WHSmith for the 'not-so-family-friendly' shop that it is. And also...it's legal!

So I headed off to do the same!

After I took this photo, I turned over all the front covers of the lads mags to the porn adverts.

People walked past the array rather bemused. Men would walk up to the rack, to read the mags, but then walk away! An elderly gentlemen took one off the shelf just to see what magazine it was. This
is a great way to expose lads mags for the porn that they are.

I also placed the opened lads mags on a window display, to make the visible connection between WHSmith and porn.

I opened up ZOO on a 'Hunt for a Virgin' article, and placed it next to the queue for the till, so that customers could read about the degrading competition.

Then, I stood next to the lads mags display, and when men came over to read the mags, I took a photo of them. They then asked me what I was doing, to which I replied, 'I am taking a photo of the face a misogynist'. I explained they are being misogynistic because they are reading a lads mag. They were rather embarrassed, and one guy begged me, literally, to delete the photo of him reading FHM.
This idea was inspired by Rebecca who said she used to take photos of men going into sex shops to intimidate them!

But then, a security guard started loitering around the lads mags display, so I moved swiftly on!

15 Comments:

  • At Wednesday, 18 October, 2006, Anonymous witchy-woo said…

    That is brilliant!

    I know what I'm doing this weekend ;)

     
  • At Wednesday, 18 October, 2006, Anonymous Reetta said…

    Good job!:)

     
  • At Wednesday, 18 October, 2006, Anonymous tinypieces said…

    fantastic idea! i live in manchester and intend to open zoo/maxim/loaded/etc on their porn and pornified pages wherever i find them!! i'm gonna try and get other people to do the same. i reckon that one of the reasons the general public are not too bothered by these rag mags is because they dont actually know whats inside them, ditto for general pornograpy (i.e. images of women being hurt)

    When i am just going about my daily business and am confronted with magazine rakes full off this hate speech posing as "lad mags" it depresses me, now i have a way of cheering myself up! thanks again

    p.s. i read your blog all the time, think the stuff you do is amazing!

     
  • At Wednesday, 18 October, 2006, Blogger charliegrrl said…

    Tinypieces

    Join Northwest Feminists!
    We will be meeting up in manchester soon on a regular basis x

     
  • At Wednesday, 18 October, 2006, Anonymous whiztle said…

    Great action and it's perfectly legal.

     
  • At Wednesday, 18 October, 2006, Blogger Unearthling said…

    fantastic!!! I love it!

    I went into a newsagents in town today and noticed (for the first time thanks to this blog!) that nuts and zoo were on the second shelf - my one year old nephew could reach them - however, I was unsure what to do about it - now I know!

    Im not sure Im brave enough to start taking pics of men and calling them misogynists - will have to build up to that!! :-)

     
  • At Thursday, 19 October, 2006, Blogger sparkleMatrix said…

    fantastic!!! I've just had a result at my local Somerfields, though I was not as blatant as you! They have been moved to the top shelf but I am still watching!

    well done lass x

     
  • At Thursday, 19 October, 2006, Anonymous Pony said…

    We used to do this in the late 79s with mags like playbarf. One of the women said the men all lined up reading the mags looked like a bunck of men at the urinal. All kinda hips jutted forward, mouths open...

    Here, store owners can tell you not to take photos in the store, and if you do not comply they can call police. Of course, you should be able to get some good shots before they're on to you. However, on the street (you and your subject both) is open territory. They are there, you can shoot. That may not help with this action, but it should for shots of men coming out of obvious porn/video joints with the camera angled so the XXX shows as well as his face. Then, post on that Hollerback site.

     
  • At Thursday, 19 October, 2006, Blogger stormy said…

    Excellent action, wonderfully legal!

    I liked the idea of distributing them around the store, after all, I am sure you are just *helping* WHSmut by *displaying* their product...

    I think I should *help* stores *display* their nothing-wrong-coz-it's-perfectly-legal product !

     
  • At Thursday, 19 October, 2006, Blogger Fanny Blood said…

    ha ha! you crack me up! i'm gonna do the same! fran x

     
  • At Friday, 20 October, 2006, Blogger Laura said…

    Fantastic! Why didn't I think of that before?! And I'm v impressed with you taking photos etc - don't think I'd have the guts.

     
  • At Friday, 20 October, 2006, Blogger Michelle said…

    I did some re-arranging of the lad mags display in WHSmut myself today, as well as giving them some "adhesive attention". One observation- on the v. top shelf in WHSmut they stock what they must perceive to be "proper porn" mags with "modesty covers" although you can still see through these. But the amount of flesh these "proper porn" mags expose and the way these women have been photographed and the language used are just the same as Nuts and Zoo! But they're not "proper porn"?!

     
  • At Friday, 20 October, 2006, Blogger modestyrocks said…

    Such a simple idea. I really like it!

     
  • At Sunday, 22 October, 2006, Blogger Sarah Louise Parry said…

    This is brilliant! I really admire your efforts! What gets me is how sheepish, shifty and uncomfortable men look while wanderimng near the lad's mags/porn section y'know? If they claim it is so innocent, why do they feel so awkward about overtly purchasing it? These magazines keep us as play-things to the patriarchal system and my perception of WH Smut standing as a family highstreet chain of confectionaire was corrupted a lomg time ago.

    They constantly do deals where they throw in freebies like a chocolate bar or chewing gum or something if people consume a copy of Nuts or Zoo.

    I also went off the legend which was Johnny Vaughen when he lowered his journalistic excellence to doing the dreaded voiceover 4 Nuts magazine. Shame on you John boy! No one can need the money that bloody badly, especially not you mate!

     
  • At Monday, 23 October, 2006, Blogger stormy said…

    Michelle, I'm going to disagree with you - very slightly!

    I think that LMs compared to 'real porn' (playboy etc), that LMs are actually far worse in their treatment of women, with far more misogyny and hatred evident. It's all about context, 'treatment', and not necessarily explicitness.

    This whole situation is so far out of hand now. We need to have a regulator for sexually explicit material, and LMs are definitely porn, and probably should be banned because of the incitement to promote gender/sexual hatred.

     

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