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Friday, April 21, 2006

Pink Rebellion.


When I was a kid, I really wanted one of these pink toy knitting machines, but was never fortunate enough to get one. So when I spotted this one in a WRVS charity shop yesterday, for a measly 4 quid, I had no choice but to purchase it! It has so far been fun and works surprisingly well. I am, though, a bit stuck now until I get hold of the one item which should have been in the box and wasn't - a darning needle - but otherwise it's just marvellous. And so very pink!

I heard on Woman's Hour this morning, a piece on the Playboy bunny logo being used on products being marketed and sold to children. I wrote about this here, last September and mentioned it here, too.

The new-ish group, Sheffield Fems, have been running a campaign against WHSmith, John Lewis and Claire's Accessories, to try and persuade them to stop selling porn advertising to children. Apparently John Lewis and Claire's Accessories are actually going to do so - which is an amazing achievement and such a brilliantly positive step forward. Neither of them credit Sheffield Fems for having influenced their decision, but I'm sure that this articulate, passionate group of women played a part.

So when it was on Woman's Hour this morning, I was interested to listen to the discussion. There was clear objection to pre-teen and early teen kids advertising a huge porn brand on their stationery and clothes at school. There was a feeling that young girls did not know what the brand represented - because it's essentially a cute bunny, if you don't know otherwise. There was not a discussion about how such widespread exposure to pornographic logo promotion also leads to a total desensitisation of (girl and boy) children, so that when they become conscious of what / who Playboy are, and what they do, it already has other connotations for you and is entirely normalised.

One of the most disturbing contributions to the discussion was from some older teenage girls, who said that maybe a few years ago they'd have used Playboy stationery, but really it was a bit childish and they had outgrown it. Stunned? Yep, I was.

In the spirit of googlebomb, all mentions of the p1ay80y company name are linked to radical feminist websites.

In the spirit of all girly things pink - get a knitting machine, not a not-so-cute-when-you-know-what-it-means bunny t-shirt. Seriously.

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4 comments:

yehovahyireh said...

I've always hated the merchandising of Playboy. I've never bought any of that stuff and I think it's reprehensible to market it to children as something harmless. You are right when you said that it desensitizes them into thinking it's something normal by the time they become of age to actually read Playboy because of the childhood connotations of the bunny. That's almost like using cartoon characters to market cigarettes to children.

yehovahyireh said...

Oh yeah, I freakin' LOVE the pink knitting machine. I've never seen anything like that. I know I would have spent hours with it if I had had one as a girl. I did have a pot-holder maker, though. Not quite the same thing, but still fun.

becks said...

completely OT, but i've created an lj feed for your blog:

http://syndicated.livejournal.com/incurablehippie/profile

b x

Anias Nin said...

Another comment that's completely off topic: I've created a new blog on blogger to replace my other one that I used as "Taarna" (yehovahyireh). This one is called "I Will Not Eat The Darkness" and I've listed my screen name as "Anias Nin" (I still have my Live Journal [Yehovah Yireh], though, too. I don't know what I'm going to do with all these blogs.). It's silly, I know, but she's my favorite writer. I saw on my site meter thingy that you visited once and I thought you should know who this strange person was who has a link to your blog on her blog. This one is likely to be around quite a bit longer than the other one, since my therapist wants me to print it out weekly and bring it to my appts so he can read them. Anyway, long story short: just wanted to let you know.