Laura Pintur is a 23-year-old Melbourne woman who got tired of seeing the sexist lad’s mag Zoo on the supermarket shelves. Though never having campaigned on anything before, she decided she had to take action. Please support her Change.org petition now!
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.
Zoo Weekly is an ‘unrestricted’ pornographic magazine. This means the classification board has determined that there should be no real age limit on who can buy these magazines. Complaints to classifications about pornographic content have been rejected, with the magazine being deemed as ‘mens lifestyle.’
Sep 10, 2013
Take the quiz Psychologists from Middlesex University and the University of Surrey found that when presented with descriptions of women taken from Lads Mags, and comments about women made by convicted rapists, most people who took part in the study could not distinguish the source of the quotes. Read more
See also: ‘Zoo Weekly’s Anzac Furore: what about the war on women?, MTR, ABC Religion and Ethics