Ok I know it's heavy reading, but it's my response. Please read and RT
This is an open letter on behalf of Holly Hagan, Chanelle Hayes and of Misfits Celebrity Management.
We ask you, have you ever actually spoken to numerous glamour models? Have they ever told you they have felt ‘mistreated’? ‘Victimised’? ‘Exploited’? We can assure you the answer to all of these questions will be no. In fact, the women that partake in the production of lad’s magazines feel empowered as women and made to feel important, valued and confident. There is a lot that women have to gain from the sale of lad’s magazines.
As a woman, Holly claims she is ‘happy’ and ‘proud’ to say that she is on the front cover of Nuts Magazine this week. This has given her a sense of achievement as her career goal is to be a successful glamour model with a sense of worth. Now, would you not say that this is freedom of choice? You preach about the equality of choice, yet this appears to be an example of your double standards. Holly feels a sense of confidence by being part of something that celebrates women. Have you in fact taken substantial research and actually looked at the content of a lad’s magazine? You will see women actively making a choice to pursue a successful career in something in which they enjoy doing.
Let’s remember, these magazines are entirely legal, legitimate entertainment material, produced in a significant growing industry that contributes to the overall economy but most importantly, the livelihoods of the women involved. You wish to break down this industry, effectively taking away the investment and income of those who work there. You claim to be all for equal rights in employment, however, this significantly puts women who strive for a career in the industry at risk of unemployment.
As a society, we have more important feminist issues to think about: like the vulnerable girls sexploited by gangs, those condemned into forced marriages, those who face a day to day battle with abuse in the home or workplace. Do you not think you have bigger fish to fry than target the careers and livelihoods of women that independently choose to become part of a successful sector of the entertainment industry? By taking away the careers of these women, you are not only taking away their financial independence, but also their freedom of choice to work. You claim to be all for equality, yet, the equality of independence would effectively be taken away if such industry did not exist. In such a tough economic climate, the eradification of such a large industry puts the livelihoods of thousands of contributors into jeopardy. Would you really like that hanging over your conscience?
You claim to respect and value all women, yet there is a lot of value that women actually gain from the sale of lad’s magazines- whether it be a professional career, confidence, a sense of worth or financial independence. By banning the sale of lad’s magazines all together, you are taking away this sense of liberty and choice for young women and contradict the main clause in your argument.
As an industry, we have responded to previous campaigns to censorship lads magazines by cover ups and age restrictions. Men (and women) who purchase these magazines from a supermarket or newsagent are actively making a choice to do so. Those who choose to ignore these restrictions are the ones who you need to target. Take a look at what else is on the shelves in your local supermarket; paparazzi pictures of women in their bikinis in an unflattering light. Lad’s magazines give the model the choice of images she wishes to be released to the public. Again, an example of choice and empowerment. Paparazzi pictures on the front cover of numerous publications do not offer those involved to choose what images depict them in the most flattering light.
You claim that lad’s magazines appear to discriminate women as sexual objects. Discrimination is the act of a person who treats someone less favourably. Do you firmly believe that making a woman feel confident and empowered by giving them a sense of worth and value is classed as treating someone less favourably? No, these women are happy and proud to be part of something that is respected and enjoyed by members of the public.
Lad’s magazines are a major publishing industry that employs thousands of valued people who aim to build a career in journalism, photography and modelling. By banning lad’s magazines all together, you are taking away the hard earned jobs of these people that they have worked hard for. Is that not worth considering? Let’s not forget, these magazines bring much entertainment and employment to the thousands of men and women who produce and consume it’s broad range of content. What lad’s magazines do is provide equal job opportunities for both men and women alike, which are equally valued as part of a significant industry.
Your claims of victimisation require more substantial evidence and we challenge you to attend one of Holly or Chanelle’s next shoot for Nuts Magazine. We challenge you to find any means to find that the women are made to feel ‘victimised’ or ‘harassed’ as you so put it? We challenge you to find any means to deem the content as sexually discriminative. We challenge you to get a real sense of what it is like to be involved in such an industry, since you have already failed to do so.
We challenge your lack of understanding of female empowerment. Surely feminism is the act of girls standing together? Well girls are standing together to support the act of freedom of choice and to support the empowerment of women as a gender.
We would be happy to discuss this matter over dinner. And as you preach about female equality, we will even let you settle the bill.