I’m pissed off. The only newsagent in my area to ever stock the women’s sex magazine Scarlet has now permanently taken it off the shelves due to complaints from customers. I’ve been told by the manager that the problem was the explicit nature of the headlines on the cover of the July issue. (I’m unable to comment on this issue at all because, again, I never got to see it.) When I pointed to all the copies of Nuts and Zoo still accessible, she sympathetically admitted that people are used to seeing that stuff and therefore seem to tolerate it more. She then added that there are plans for it to be moved to the top shelf and I said, yes, I have friends who are campaigning for that and I don’t agree with them because I think what they’re doing is counterproductive.
I know Scarlet isn’t perfect but it’s a damn sight lot better than many of the other choices we have available on the local non-specialist newsagent’s shelf. In my view, the shocking double standards on obscenity that were demonstrated to me today just go to prove that we seriously need this mag out there doing its thing. They also show what a dangerous route we go down if we pander to censorship. Guess who suffers in the long run? Clue: it’s not Nuts readers. They just have to reach up to the top shelf.