23-year-old Melbourne woman calls on Coles and Woolworths to stop selling sexist Zoo magazine
Marketing coordinator for a non-profit organization, Laura Pintur, 23, has launched a Change.org petition directed at the CEO’s of Woolworths and Coles, Grant Obrian and John Durkan, calling on the big two supermarket chains to stop selling Zoo Weekly.
Ms Pintur said the so called ‘lads mag’ encouraged the sexual exploitation of women and girls.
“Zoo contributes to a culture that is hostile and threatening to women”,” she says.
”When big supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths sell Zoo it normalizes harmful attitudes to women.
The petition refers to a 2011 study comparing lads mags’ (including Zoo) and statements from convicted rapists. It found many people could not distinguish the source of the quotes.
“Zoo Weekly uses the same language as rapists in its magazines,” said Ms Pintur.
Zoo also gives tips to young readers on how to coerce drunk women into sex.
Sexually objectifying imagery and demeaning content feature on Zoo’s social media. This has included an image Zoo shared with its Facebook supporters of a woman’s body cut in two with the question, “Which half do you prefer?” Young readers described their various pornographic uses for the woman’s top half and/or her bottom half.
Zoo magazine is unrestricted, meaning there are no age restrictions on who can purchase the magazine. Bauer’s statistics indicate that 36,000 boys aged 14-17 read Zoo.
“Zoo teaches boys that women should submit to their demands. Do Coles and Woolworths, which pride themselves on their corporate ethics and support for communities, share this view? If not why spread it?” Ms Pintur said.
“I have seen and experienced first hand the detrimental costs of what this magazine endorses, not only in my life but the lives of other young people.
“What chance does my generation, and those younger than me have when such major corporations help groom boys to treat us badly?”
“It’s time for these company’s to stand up for the wellbeing of women and girls and against discrimination, harassment and violence.
Released May 10, 2015
Contact: Laura Pintur: 0431 923 705
How Zoo denied women value as equal people: an artist’s view
Artist Georgia Chisholm sent me this potent artwork she created, as her protest against Zoo and in support of our campaign. She writes:
The piece ‘Zoo Identity’ is a compilation of written descriptors of women taken directly from the March 2015 issue of Zoo Australia. I endeavoured to communicate the impact of zoo and its portrayal of females on my own identity formation as a young woman. The message purported by Zoo is that women are only good for one thing. I, like most other women, am constantly bombarded with images and words such as those depicted in Zoo, each time I visit the corner store, browse the internet or turn on the television. With so much media pressure devoted to women’s bodies and how we look as sex objects it has become so difficult to truly appreciate our personal worth as humans. I wholeheartedly support the removal of Zoo from Coles and Woolworths. I would be a step in the right direction towards removing a pervasive culture that denies women value as equal people within society.
Please, now, sign the Change.org petition and ask your friends to as well.
Stop promoting rape culture! Bin Zoo mag.
I’m a 23 year-old woman trying to navigate my way around a culture that is surrounded with porn, sexualisation and objectification of women and enjoy healthy, respect-based relationships with men. But how is that possible when so many of them are being fed a diet of porn and violence including in magazines like Zoo Weekly read by thousands of boys every week?
I want this to change. Why should our major supermarket chains supply this magazine which promotes the abuse of women like me?
Boys can find advice like this:
“You think your girl’s so dewyeyed she’s never sucked dick before? She knows how it works…. Is your girlfriend a bunny rabbit? A fragile ricepaper arrangement? No? Then how about you let her know she’s being f**ked?… she’ll like you taking charge like a real man.”
‘If the object of your affection is drinking, that’s already a point in your favour… you want to pick the “loosest/skankiest” one of the lot and fetch her a drink…separate her from the flock. You’re off alone, boozed-up and charming — these are three green lights!’
Zoo Weekly recently came under fire, but not for publishing quotes like this one. It was recently forced to remove advertising for its ‘ANZAC commemorative edition‘ after the Department of Veteran Affairs threatened fines.
I was stunned at how quickly Zoo could be pulled into line on the ANZAC issue, while its abusive portrayal of women goes on with no action taken.
Where are the fines for the ongoing sexual exploitation of women and girls? Where is the punishment for contributing to a culture that is hostile and threatening to women? Where is the outrage?
Zoo Weekly is promoting attitudes that put women and girls at increased risk.
A study comparing lads’ mags (including Zoo) and statements from convicted rapists found that many people could not distinguish the source of the comments. That is, Zoo Weekly uses the same language as rapists in their magazine.
Other disturbing content from Zoo Weekly includes:
Tips for using alcohol to coerce women into unwanted sex.
Encouraging readers to send in pictures of their girlfriends breasts for a chance to win breast augmentation surgery.
Their 2012 Hottest Asylum Seeker competition, encouraging female asylum seekers to send in sexy pics.
Photoshopping the head of Greens Senator Sarah Hansen-Young onto the body of one of their half naked models after she refused to pose in their magazine.
Sharing a photo on their Facebook page of a woman’s body cut into two pieces, asking fans which half they would prefer and why (the responses from men were sick).
Sharing sexualised images of girls who appear underage on their Facebook page lifted from teen porn websites.
Ads in Zoo promote explicit phone sex lines, some with images depicting ‘school girls home alone.’
And all of this is classified as ‘men’s lifestyle’ – there are no age restrictions on who can purchase Zoo. Recent market data showed that 36,000 boys aged 14-17 are among its readership. The magazine openly states that “men” aged 16-40 are their core target.
Zoo brainwashes boys into believing that women must submit to their sexual demands, otherwise they aren’t ‘man’ enough. Zoo Weekly is promoting attitudes that put women and girls at increased risk. In Australia, violence against women has become a national emergency, with up to two women being murdered by their partners each week. Magazines like Zoo promote attitudes that lead to violence against women. They should have no place in supermarkets.
I have seen and experienced first hand the detrimental costs of what this magazine endorses not only in my life and the lives of other young people, and I want to see change.
What chance does my generation, the generations above me and the generation below me who are growing up and being brainwashed to believe what is endorsed in this magazine is normal and ok, actually have?
Zoo Weekly didn’t cross the line with Anzac Day, it crossed the line a long time ago. Condemnation of Zoo Weekly must extend to its sexual exploitation of women and its sick and predatory grooming of young boys too.
Coles and Woolworths, as our major supermarket chains you pride yourselves on being family stores with a strong commitment to community values. It’s time for you to stand up for the wellbeing of women and girls and against discrimination, harassment and violence. We need to take a stance and make it known that these issues are real and it’s only going to get worse if we as a society keep normalising it. Please stop profiting from selling Zoo and remove it from your stores immediately.