It’s time for shops to Lose the Lads’ Mags
Today it’s no longer acceptable to have ‘girly calendars’ on office walls. Why? Because they create a sexist and degrading environment for female employees and customers. So why, then, do supermarkets and newsagents still think it’s OK to expose staff and customers to degrading, pornographic lads’ mags – the modern day equivalent of ‘girly calendars’ – in their stores?
A woman who works in Tesco told us, “I hate that Tesco sells these mags and papers like the Sun and the Star. In the store I work in there is a laddish culture and I don’t think having these magazines help that…”
Lads’ mags portray women as dehumanised sex objects. There is extensive evidence this fuels sexist attitudes and behaviours and creates a conducive context for violence against women.
We’ve also obtained brand new legal advice showing that shops selling lads mags’ – like WH Smith and Tesco – are potentially breaching equality legislation. Stocking and displaying lads’ mags and papers with Page 3-style front cover images can constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment under the Equality Act. Employees could take legal action on this basis and, where the magazine is visibly on display, customers could also have a claim. Legally as well as ethically, lads’ mags are well past their sell-by date.
That’s why we’re joining with Object, Women’s Aid, End Violence Against Women and many others to tell shops to lose the lads’ mags.
As is the case with ‘girly calendars’, people shouldn’t have to see sexist, degrading lads’ mags when they are going about their work or doing their shopping.