Protesters join call for ban on lads' mags
They have lined the top shelves of shops and supermarkets for decades, but now men's magazines are subject of a fierce backlash in the Westcountry.
Protesters in St Austell took part in a nationwide campaign on Saturday calling on the UK's biggest supermarket Tesco to ban lads' mags from its stores.
The Cornish arm of the campaign started by action groups UK Feminista and Object set up outside Tesco on Daniels Lane in the town, where customers were asked to sign a petition in support of the campaign.
Kat Banyard, from the Lose the Lads' Mags campaign, said: "By selling lads' mags Tesco is sending out the damaging message that it's normal and acceptable to treat women like dehumanised sex objects.
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"Lads' mags like Nuts and Zoo are deeply harmful, fuelling sexist behaviours and attitudes underpinning violence against women.
"Tesco would never allow 'girlie calendars' on their office walls, so why are they choosing to stock degrading, pornographic lads' mags on their shelves?"
Displays of nude and scantily-clad women, even if they are under a black "modesty bag", fuels attitudes underpinning violence against women, the campaign group said.
Exposing staff and customers to such images could constitute sex discrimination or sexual harassment, it added, saying retailers could face the risk of legal action.
Ms Banyard added: "By selling pornographic lads' mags Tesco is risking legal action, breaching its own 'no porn' policy and ignoring the calls of anti-violence against women organisations – all in order to turn a profit.
"As long as Tesco sells lads' mags like Nuts and Zoo its claims of being a responsible corporate citizen are a farce. Tesco needs to put women's safety before profit and lose the lads' mags."
UK Feminista and Object branded Tesco's decision earlier this month to restrict its sale of lads' mags to over-18s as an "inadequate half-measure".
Silvia Murray-Wakefield, acting chief executive of Object, said: "Tesco has a 'no pornography' policy that their customers support. Instead of breaching it, they should lose the harmful, discriminatory lads' mags from their stores."
The Co-operative has confirmed it will no longer sell Nuts magazine from early next month after the title rejected an ultimatum to use "modesty bags" or be removed from shelves.