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Redditch's MP says banning lads mags is "not the solution"
5:10pm Thursday 22nd August 2013 in News
REDDITCH’S MP Karen Lumley has voiced her opinion on the campaign to ban the sale of lads mags.
Mrs Lumley sits on the on the All Party Parliamentary Group for Body Image and personally believes that banning the publications is “not the answer”, although putting them out of view of children and covering them up is a solution she does support.
She said the way in which the product is marketed is at times “crass, crude and unhelpful in portraying the role of women in 21st Century Britain”, but she feels censorship in any form is often a self-defeating route to go down, and rarely does much to tackle the actual root cause of the problem itself.
She said: “If we ban lads mags, then why not also consider banning magazines aimed at women which promote an equally harmful obsession with body image? Why should we not also ban all fatty, harmful food?
“Censorship of one item termed dangerous by some leads to the real possibility of censorship of other products. In our society, freedom of speech will always mean that some disagree.”
UK Feminsta and Object have led the campaign to ban the sale of lads mags, teaming up with lawyers who are arguing that selling them could amount to sexual harassment or sex discrimination.
Mrs Lumley said: “The Ban the Lads Mags campaign rests mainly upon assumptions that almost all workers who are employed within stores are opposed to these magazines. I would never advocate that a shop worker who may often face long hours and low pay place a magazine on a shelf if he or she feels uncomfortable in doing so, but no-one has ever come to me complaining that this is the case.
“The campaign also patronisingly assumes that any man who would buy such a product must be a potential rapist, and any women who appears in these magazines must be prostituting themselves for mens’ pleasure.”
She added: “Whilst I do not doubt the sincerity and good intentions of those who are leading this campaign, it seems to me, none the less, that it is running very much on its own prejudices and biases in the way that these groups view this issue. I have absolutely no doubt that we must do much more to break down the obsession with body image and improve the way women are viewed in society.”
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