Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The "Lad's Mags Are The Same As Rapists" Meme Is Getting Old

A 2011 report on a correlation between some statements taken from lad's mags and some statements made by rapists is rearing its ugly head once more on Twitter.

And when I say report I mean this synopsis of it and this Jezebel article about it. As stated therein it shows men identify more with the statements made by rapists than with those from lad's mags when they were unaware of their origin. Yet this small piece of information seems to be overlooked or, I'm assuming, lose the lad's mags campaigners actually think lad's mags are worse than your actual rapist.

Surely the fact men, overall, choose one over the other shows there is actually a difference between the statements. I'm, of course, assuming the researchers have made allowances for statistical probabilities when making those claims.

So before we start banning lad's mags because sometimes they say things rapists say, perhaps we need to lock up every man as a more immediate solution to male on female rape? After all, they identify more with the rapists than they do with the lad's mags!

This study is often brought out to back up supporter's claims that they aren't anti-nudity or anti-sex. They aren't prudes! No, they are simply disgusted by the words. Of course this is itself just word play. Being a prude over pictures or being a prude over words doesn't change what it is. It is still "prudery", though that doesn't necessarily mean it is wrong to feel that way. I find those statements rather objectionable but I accept that is because I simply don't like them, they don't represent a culture I've any part of and they are "beneath" me. I embrace the prudery. I also don't really like random naked people, I'm British and it makes me feel awkward.

But I've accepted a lot of things I don't like. Rude and/or aggressive people are all around us. I dislike them intensely but I've no right to demand they never be rude again. I can certainly express my opinion of their rudeness, and I do so more with each passing year, but that is the limit to my ability to change them. I thus treat lad's mags the same. I find them puerile, unimaginative and derogatory. I think that anyone who reads them is an idiot. But, unless they say something like Danny Dyer whereby they actually incites violence, then they should be free to keep on saying it. Those quotes don't, in my opinion, actually incite violence.

There are two things lose the lad's mags could do to win me over.

1) Show me there is a causal link between reading a lad's mags and sexual violence.
2) Show me what benefits they'd expect to see 1 year after lad's mags are removed from shop shelves, 5 years, 10 years etc.

Right now they are just hoping we all get so disgusted with the content that we forget to ask: what do they hope to actually achieve?

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