At the time of writing the No More Page 3 campaign has a massive 103,139. The popularity of the campaign has perhaps encouraged Object and UK Feminista to launch the Lose the Lads' Mags campaign. Note this isn't a campaign for lad mags to update their content to portray women in a more rounded way. Or to make their covers less risque. Just a demand shops out right stop stocking them.
But protection and censoring are hard to get right and going from one extreme to another means people get left behind.
Do I want to end discrimination and violence against women and girls? Why yes, I do. And, as I included women, it should automatically mean I include sex workers. And anyone who identifies as a woman. And I'm happy to. But protection and censoring are hard to get right and going from one extreme to another means people get left behind.
Let it never be said I don't have a problem with the current lad mag culture. In 2011 I wrote about the site UniLad and its worship of lad culture. One of the things that irked me was the insistence of the writers that they had a right to treat their fellow women students as vulnerable girls. Anyone who didn't adhere to their image of how a 'girl' should behave was not just wrong but RUINING THEIR LIVES, KILLJOYS.
I believe lad culture has the capacity to endanger. But I don't think it's through images, in fact I think it is problematic to focus on the images as the problem. As Sarah Harman wrote, comparing a cover of Loaded with a Vogue cover: "If the first one is sexist, degrading, adding to women's inequality and oppression, is the second? Is a woman's naked body obscene? If you enjoy looking at female bodies are you inherently disrespecting women?" We risk continuing the notion a naked woman is dirty and rude - only this time it's the feminist message not patriarchy.
So whatever you wear, where ever you go...careful what you wish for.
UniLads Bursting the Bubble
Lads Party like it's 1999