"Other young women in my work force will no longer have to put up with selling a magazine that promotes rape culture"
A petition calling on supermarkets Coles and Woolworths to stop selling 'lads mag' Zoo Weekly has resulted in Coles agreeing to discontinue the misogynistic, all-ages porn mag.
The petition, started by Collective Shout supporter Laura Pintur, argued that the magazine normalised harmful attitudes towards women and has no place in supermarkets that pride themselves on 'corporate responsibility' and 'supporting communities.'
Sexual objectification of women is Zoo Weekly's core business. The publication contains highly sexualised images of women along with headlines and articles discussing their body parts. Readers are shown where to access more explicit content on its website and social media, along with ads for phone sex lines and adult shops.
Despite the pornographic content, there are no age restrictions on this magazine. Zoo's website says "We reach readers from their teens all the way to their 40s, because we know them better than anyone else" and describes itself to potential advertisers as "The best way to reach men aged 16-40"
Recent market data provided by Zoo shows that 36,000 boys aged 14-17 are among its readership.
As Laura Pintur said when she wrote about the petition for the Daily Mail,
'What chance does the younger generation have when they are being fed a diet of soft porn and the abuse, sexualisation, and objectification of women has become so normalised?'
The petition has reached over 38,000 signatures, but Coles and Woolworths have continued to ignore the issue.
Young Coles employee Shannen had long felt the injustice of being required to handle and sell a magazine that promotes women's subjugation and sexual objectification. Shannen signed the petition and was then inspired to take things further. She submitted an official complaint to Coles.
Coles has informed Shannen that the magazine will be discontinued.
"As a Coles employee, selling a magazine that celebrates the objectification of women made me feel deeply uncomfortable. The sale of Zoo magazine in my workplace creates a hostile working environment because it condones the purchase of a magazine that eroticises female subjugation and vulnerability.
About two months ago I began the process of lodging a grievance with my union, the SDA, and my store manager regarding the sale of Zoo in Coles. I was motivated to pursue this complaint because I had signed the Collective Shout petition and thought that the timing was appropriate to lodge such a grievance.
Given the impressive support base for this petition, I gained confidence with the knowledge that thousands of people were behind me and it was only a matter of time before Coles succumbed to these pressures.
Knowing that Coles is discontinuing Zoo magazine makes me feel relieved, for myself, and also for other young women in my workforce who no longer have to put up with selling a magazine that promotes rape culture."
Win! Thank you Shannen for taking a stand.
Thanks to Coles for supporting your employees and taking an important step towards a safer community for women and girls.
What about Woolworths? Take Action!
Share the petition - urge Woolworths to do the right thing and #binzoomag
Collective Shout's Melinda Liszewski told Buzzfeed that Woolworths had issued a statement saying they had no plans to discontinue the mag:
“We are calling on them to rethink this decision and ask how selling an all-ages porn mag that promotes sexist attitudes towards women could possibly line up with their corporate philosophy of ‘doing the right thing.’”
“Woolworths has a great opportunity before them to take a stand against sexism and the sexual exploitation of women and girls.”
“They should pull the mag from shelves immediately.”
Do you work for Woolworths? If you're an employee of Woolworths and would like to get in touch with us click here.
Further reading on the history of Zoo Weekly - click here.