Toil and Trouble

Monday, October 09, 2006

Update re WHSmiths...and more random thoughts

Actually, it turns out that Smiths do not now stock 'girly' mags in their High Street shops any more, so maybe all that campaigning wasn't in vain. (They do still sell them in motorway service station branches etc. where they also stock erotic women's magazines too, such as 'Scarlett'). However, rather than responding to customer outrage, it seems more likely that the move was motivated purely by economic considerations: I managed to speak to a lady at WHSmiths head office, who said in fact they didn't really sell many Playboy-type magazines in their stores any more. Now anyone who wants to view scantily clad women only has to buy Loaded or Maxim, or even turn on MTV. None of these activities have any shame attached to them, unlike buying soft porn mags in your local shops. Presumably, most of those who actually want wank fodder these days will go online for it.

I don't have the same objection to porn now that I once did. The casualisation of the naked (and very stereotyped) female form in the newspapers, in Page 3 etc, is probably more damaging, long term, to women than the publication of such images in specialised erotic magazines, as it implies that women dressing and looking like that is part of everyday life, rather than being erotica, and therefore belonging more to the realm of fantasy than reality. Which is why the bizarre spectacle of naked women pasted up alongside often serious news items never fails to surprise me.

Which kind of brings me back to the book I just read: 'Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture'. Whilst I disagree with many of the points Ariel Levy makes, and her rather dodgy annecdotal evidence-based research methods, there is no denying that sexualised images of women are becoming increasingly unbiquitous. These images are spilling out of specialised publications, and into lifestyle magazines, pop videos, adverts, tv programmes, etc. Arguably this removes such images from their previous place in the sphere of private material and this view of women as largely based on fantasy, putting pressure on women to conform to increasingly unrealistic body type expectations. Particularly young, impressionable women, i.e. teenagers.

But does this matter, long term? Should feminists really be spending time worrying about this? It seems to me that in countries like France and Italy, sexualised images of women have been much more widespread and much more casually disseminated than in Britain or the US for many years...but can we say that French women correspondingly have lower social status than their UK counterparts, worse pay and conditions, more anxiety relating to their bodies, experience greater sexual harassment? Could we even prove this??

Either way, I don't think we should be looking at these issues in isolation, we should be considering the wider social and economic factors which affect women, and how we might change these.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

WHSmith and the Bunny Girls

So, years after my innocent student "Off The Shelf" campaign in WHSmiths in Leamington Spa, funnily enough, not only has nothing changed at WHSmiths, but they have lowered their sights and are now unapologetic about selling Playboy accessories to schoolgirls.,11812,1549273,00.html

I have emailed them to indicate my awareness of their policy, and suggest that they remove all such items from their stores, or at the very least, market and display them in a way which makes it clear that they do not endorse selling pornography-related items to schoolchildren.

If you feel similarly splenetic, drop them a line and suggest to them that they refrain from blatantly exploiting the schools market in this way:

I am trying to find out what WHSmith's official policy on stocking pornography actually is, as I did just read somewere that they *had* stopped selling titles such as Playboy, but as I rarely go into WHSmiths and never really notice what's on the top shelf (being 5'0) I'm not sure if this is still true.

I'll let you know if I ever hear back from them...If you also contact them, let me know, and keep me posted on any replies you may receive.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Will you do the fandango?

I wasn't sure where to start with this blog, but someone posted me a link yesterday which gave me, er, food for thought.

The whole of mankind's attitude to women is contained in this listing, which ranges from the clinical to the cynical, the genteel to the surreal, from lust to disgust.

There's a whole thesis in here somewhere. In fact, there are probably hundreds out there already (if you have written one, I want to hear from you!)

Feel free to add anything you think is missing from this extensive thesaurus listing of terms ....

vagina, pussy, bearded clam, vertical smile, beaver, cunt, trim, hair pie, bearded ax wound, tuna taco, fur burger, cooch, cooter, punani, snatch, twat, lovebox, box, poontang, cookie, fuckhole, love canal, flower, nana, pink taco, cat, catcher's mitt, muff, roast beef curtains, the cum dump, chocha, black hole, sperm sucker, fish sandwich, cock warmer, whisker biscuit, carpet, love hole, deep socket, cum craver, cock squeezer, slice of heaven, flesh cavern, the great divide, cherry, tongue depressor, clit slit, hatchet wound, honey pot, quim, meat massager, chacha, stinkhole, black hole of calcutta, cock socket, pink taco, bottomless pit, dead clam, cum crack, twat, rattlesnake canyon, bush, cunny, flaps, fuzz box, fuzzy wuzzy, gash, glory hole, grumble, man in the boat, mud flaps, mound, peach, pink, piss flaps, the fish flap, love rug, vadge, the furry cup, stench-trench, wizard's sleeve, DNA dumpster, tuna town, split dick, bikini bizkit, cock holster, cockpit, snooch, kitty kat, poody tat, grassy knoll, cold cut combo, Jewel box, rosebud, curly curtains, furry furnace, slop hole, velcro love triangle, nether lips, where Uncle's doodle goes, altar of love, cupid's cupboard, bird's nest, bucket, cock-chafer, love glove, serpent socket, spunk-pot, hairy doughnut, fun hatch, spasm chasm, red lane, stinky speedway, bacon hole, belly entrance, nookie, sugar basin, sweet briar, breakfast of champions, wookie, fish mitten, fuck pocket, hump hole, pink circle, silk igloo, scrambled eggs between the legs, black oak, Republic of Labia, juice box, Golden Palace, fetus flaps, skins, sausage wallet. Holiest of Holies, sugar hole, The Death of Adam, home plate, Deer Hoof, Golden Arches, Cats Paw, Mule Nose, Yo Yo Smuggler, Mumbler (Aussie), Dinner Roll, Crotch Waffle, Piss Fenders, crack, Melvin, Dove Breast, Brakepads, Vedgie, Slurpy, Vacuum Vulva, Pastrami Flaps, Hot Tamaki Walk, Buffalo Gums, Rooster Jaws, Wagon Ruts, Beaver Teeth, Mumble Pants (Sweden), Ninja Boot, Marcia (Aussie), Skin Canoe, Fatty, Mossy Jaw, The Big W, Chia Hole, Lip Jeans, Beetle Hood, Hungry Minge, Sausage Wallet, Front Bottom, Welly Top, Frum, Pancake Fold, Tongue Roll, Bologna Flap-Over, Furrogi (Poland), Fortune Nookie (China), Bearded Taco, Calamari Cockring, Displabia, Slot Pocket, Bluntfrunt, Fishamjig, Pole Magnet, Pocket Pie, Clamarama, kitty cage, Chicken's tongue, Conch shell, Crack of heaven, Dog's mouth, Door of life, Fly catcher, Fruit cup, Jelly roll, Lobster pot, bunny tuft, KNISH, her asshole neighbor, lotus, nappy dugout, moneymaker, womens weapon, tackle box, bone hider, red sea, pizzo, JIZZ RECEPTICLE, The Helmut Hide-A-Way, hairy heaven, furry 8 ball rack, crave cave, arbys with fur, fish canyon, toolshed, snake charmer, Furby, Enchilada of love, Ham sandwich, Camarillo brillo, Brazilian caterpillar, dick rack, boy in the canoe, flesh tuxedo, Mound of Venus, queef quarters, Venus butterfly, cooter, cream canal, poontang pie, wet mark, private area, thresher, punash, salami garage, tunnel of love, slurpee machine, pink cookie, penalty box, ground zero, meat crease, bait, birth canal, holy grail, pole hole, pork pie, fuzz bucket, one-eyed python trail, bubble gum by the bum, stink rink, theme park, saloon doors, pink truffle, bitter & twisted, burger bar, meat counter, temperamental ringpiece, python syphon, big bud, the Wombsday Book, the condo downstate, snake lake, the indoor barbecue, pound cake, beef tomato, tickled pink, launch pad, horn of plenty, the indoor picnic, hamper of goodies, flapped bap, bonefish, close encounter with the turd kind, sperm bank, man's charity bash, bush tucker, midnight dip, the one-door vulva, the welcome opponent, the Twatlantic Ocean, temporary lodgings, field of dreams, bean, cooze, old catchers mitt, devil's hole, lucy, pish buffet, pooswaa, poonaner, davey jones locker, pink panther, tinker bell, south mouth, dick eater, wonder bread, wolly bolly, foxhole, hot pocket, head catcher, Lawrence of A Labia, silk funnel, dick driver, purple people penis eater, meat curtains, ponchita, cherry pop tart, fat rabbit, scunt, pee jaws, mingus, The Notorious V.A.G., stench trench, poon jab, nappy dugout, babyoven, penis parking, cooter muffin, the promised land, cock pocket, cha cha, the shrine, bitch ditch, fury pink mink, mammal hole, ever-lasting cum stopper, the toothless blow job, happy flappy, wilt chamberlian's daily glove, the code defierthe salt water taffy factory, mommy's pie, the easy bake oven, the deflower patch, the virginator, the schlong sucker, the dea bone patch, the vegitarian's temptation, the vegan store, the blow hole, the pump protector, bag pipe, Spitball Bullseye, meat wagon, pickle stinker, jezebel's smell, yoni, willys haven, scrumpter, peach, sweat box, yeast pocket, penis warmer, tampon tunnel, penis pothole, cucumber canal, egg drop Box, sperm shack, dick dungeon, cock curator, b.o.b.'s bungalow, mommy parts, tuna pot pie, nice slice, peter vise, cock sock, rack of clam, peters grove, penis purse, grandest canyon, fish dish, banana box, tuna spread, pink portal, count fapula, red river gorge, happy valley, revolving in/out door, baby zipper, richards house, stop-n-pop, bone polisher, packin shack, weiner wrap, clap trap, camel toe, dildo hotel, axe gash, pearl hotel, sea food six pack, clam canal, coose canal, dick deposit, wand waxer, vidgie, erie canal, candy kiss, gauntlet, round mound of beehound,lick n' stick, lap flounder, tomahawk chop, chin-chin, pachinko, cuntry pie, lip tip, the big casino, one eyed worm hole, amazon forest, cock cave, fuck donut, coochie pop, babby, wet seal, pissy froth hole, bald biscuit, the unmentionable, mans ruin, peeshie, hairy potter, courtney cocksleeve, panty hamster,deep pink, jaws of life, gizmo, faith, cock magnet, slippery slide, Meat tunnel, pink heaven, squid, dick basket, hot spot, poochika, pudding, bowl, love cave, squeeze-box, quim, honey pot, the bone collector, goodie basket, depository, pink turtleneck, bread-box, little debbie, pole hole, pandora's box, snail tracker, cuntzilla, homebase, pud pocket, bear trap, Indiana bones and the temple of poon, chanch, big montana, noochie, choot, golden valley, nappy roots, dick mitten, mystical fold...