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Friday, September 09, 2005

Inappropriate, Unacceptable, Unmentionable.

WHSmith sells stationery (amongst other things). It has wide ranges of 'back to school' stock at the moment, and throughout the year markets and sells pencil cases, pads, bags, pens etc. to schoolgirls particularly.

It often involves cutie animals and such, but they also have a whole Playboy section, marketed to these school-age girls, probably age 10-16.

The Guardian published a good article by Rachel Bell on the subject which is well worth a read, and there was a deluge of emails in response which are interesting.

WHSmith, it seems, are saying that the Playboy bunny logo is very different from porn - no connections at all. It is a cute bunny - awww - and little girls like cute bunnies. It appears to deny any connection at all between this logo, this company, and the sexualisation of girls and women and the objectification and abuse of girls and women in pornography. Pornography that, if nothing else, is presumably being funded by the purchases of these 'cute bunny' pencil cases.

There is a petition to ask WHSmith to stop selling porn-branded stationery to kids.

On similar lines, back in March I asked you to guess where I was shopping when I took this photo. The answer, discussed here, was that those mags were being sold in Marks & Spencer. Outrageous and disturbing!

Now, according to Object, it seems that M&S are phasing out lads mags altogether, as 'inappropriate' (quite right!) but are still going to be selling The Sun and the Star. Big sigh and even bigger grrrrrrrr.

Ex-Gay Watch is an interesting blog about homophobia, and most specifically, about those types of organisations which are keen to retrain gay people to become heterosexual. They keep an eye on the news about these things and it is important that somebody does, as they are scary.

A few days ago, An Open Letter to my Sixth-Grade Gym Teacher was published on there, and it was a saddening, but not at all surprising read. It wasn't the way I'd have approached such a letter, but that means nothing as it wasn't me who wrote it.

I commented, as did many others, and I just nipped back there to see how the discussion was going. Now, please bear in mind that I know this is all a sensitive issue, I feel strongly for the author of the letter, and I appreciate the supportive and helpful comments.

But how can I not laugh at the LA Times article posted by one commenter, which states,
She was disciplined for hugging and kissing her girlfriend. She was a straight A student, but the disciplinary action against her included transferring to another school and her grades dipped.

She was a straight A student, was she? Her or her girlfriend? Just how straight can a lesbian, or a lesbian's girlfriend be?

I rewrite,
She was disciplined for hugging and kissing her girlfriend. She had consistently high grades but the disciplinary...

Or even why not just go for she was a lesbian A student. Humph! Hehe.

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