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[Guest Post] Further Adventures with Magazine Rack Sexism

2012 August 9

Lizzie sent us the following update to her recent previous guest post this morning. If you have a guest post brewing in your brain, you know what to do: pitch us at [email protected].

About a month ago I emailed both Sainsburys and Tesco, following it up with tweets, about the gendering of magazines. It seemed wrong that New Scientist, Photography, NME, The Economist and Private Eye sat in ‘Men’s Interests’ sections while women had the 3,738 fashion and beauty mags as well as knitting and cooking mags.

Tesco were the first to respond, telling me via tweet that they were passing this up to central management:

It took a while for anything else to happen, but a week later I got an email from Sainsburys saying that where they were refurbishing or creating a new store, they would cease to gender their magazines.

Fabulous. I mean, I would prefer it if they spent the small amount of money printing new labels for the plastic holders on their magazine racks and replaced them all NOW, but that’s because they have a lot of stores, and seeing this every day still makes my head hurt and fear for young girls who go in and subconsciously learn that science and politics are not for them and that they should concentrate on being pretty while cooking.1

But Tesco still haven’t replied properly. Nothing more except another tweet to BadRep saying management are looking at it. And now, the Everyday Sexism Project (@EverydaySexism on Twitter, and you can also check out the hashtag #everydaysexism) is really helping out – drawing attention to the gendered labels in a local store and retweeting those pressuring @UKTesco to take some form of action.

What would be even better would be for more of us to email them. And while you’re at it, email Sainsburys too and ask them to put their hand in their pocket to start making the changes now, so we don’t have to look at this sexism everyday. It’s just not good enough.

  1. Ed’s tiny note: Or indeed the boys who learn to compartmentalise “knitting”, for example, as “for girls” – certainly some proud male knitters have commented on this site in the past! []
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