If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you probably know that over the last year I’ve been trying a few things at several local Wal-Mart stores, in an attempt to get them to relocate their soft-porn mags. They’re placed right at the eye level of our small reading children every month. This is beyond irritating, because my kids don’t need to get their sex-ed in the Wal-Mart checkout. Where is the line to be drawn with freedom of speech? When Playboy is set on the ends of every aisle? Seriously. In a porn addicted, desensitized, yet dissatisfied culture…when will we decide that enough is enough? Besides the obvious repercussions to the common porn addiction problems in our country (you need not look further than your own neighborhood, friends, even leaders), why do we as Americans continue to complain about the disrespect of women and the repercussions of producing inhuman role models (via Photoshop) that our daughters, mothers, and sisters often waste their lives attempting to measure up to- yet we still support and allow this type of marketing in every arena of our lives? The headlines found on the cover of Cosmo only attest more to the ridiculousness of being sucked into it’s monthly tips. I mean, come on dude, “25 New Sex Moves” for the last 15 years? Human anatomy hasn’t changed people. I want to bang my head against the wall at the thought of someone feeling enticed by this routine headline.
“Oh goody!! Cosmo’s come up with another way to have sex…again! I must have this issue!!”
Please understand, I’m not trying to be crude. I’ve just found myself frustrated at months of filing complaints for this trashy magazine to simply be moved out of the eyesight of kids. Flipping the magazine around does nothing to solve this society-rooted problem. The magazine will be straightened back up in an hour and the next kids get to read about how to orgasm while your kids and my kids got their eyes saved, once. I’ve been flipping these magazines around since I was 16 and the nasty, in your face headlines have only gotten worse; proof that, quiet customers prompt NO change. None.
I’ve always been polite with managers. I shake their hand. I smile. I kindly express my concern. I’m usually told (with an expression of “What’s the big deal?”), “I’ll look into it.” Once the magazines were moved for a couple of weeks, only to be put right back out a little later.
So I had a new idea recently. I decided, when I finished shopping and stood waiting in line, that I was frustrated with nothing being changed. Perhaps it was the half naked model, airbrushed to the ‘T’ or the headline “Sex Olympics” that threw me over the edge. I’m not sure, but I suddenly realized I could just move the magazines all by myself. Not harm them. Not tear them. Just kindly relocate them. I left a short note in place of the mags. After all, lots of people move items around Wal-Mart. My son insisted I’d be put in jail. My friend called it grassroots sabotage. I thought that had a nice ring to it.
The next time I tried this, I changed my note to exclude any questionable words. The only reason I’d included them the first time was because of the typical clueless manager expression, as they seem oblivious to the raunchiness of the magazine and it’s headlines.
But…you live and you learn, so I left those words out the next few times. My kids now know the routine. I grab a stack of Cosmos and turn them upside down (quickly- without them reading them. Yes, like a ninja.) in the buggy. We take them to the mag aisle, usually, and put them on top. It’s been a pretty hilarious scene, thus far. One kid hollers in the least discreet tone possible, “MAMA!! THERE’S MORE OVER HERE!!” Of course, no one notices a loud caravan of magazine movers that includes five busy children. :/
But last night, as I was waiting in line to check out! I noticed something. This:
April’s Cosmo, it just blows my mind. Yep. Still right at a 6 year old’s height.
So I decided to take the magazine to a manager, and read the headlines to him. Word for word. He seemed embarrassed, and I wondered why. But he seemed sincere when he said he would do everything he could to get to the bottom of it. I hope he does.
I just wonder what the repercussions will be in another 20 years of a society of magazine flippers, like I’d always been. Because our flipping is merely a silent nod and invitation to an industry molding our daughters, growing sex trafficking, enticing our fathers, shaming our mothers, desensitizing our sons, and making women feel like worthless objects. When will our country grow sick enough of garbage to find their voices? I hope it’s before another 20 years have passed, because I cringe to think about what my grand kids will be learning at a store checkout in the future. But even more than that, what ideals will they be aiming for and working to mimic, thanks to the silent magazine flippers who walked before them?