'Lad magazines' criticised for negative portrayal of women

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London, Aug 4 : The so-called "Lad magazines" have been criticised for negative portrayal of women.

In a keynote speech Michael Gove, the shadow schools secretary have claimed that modern men's magazines are driving their target audience to view women as mere 'sex objects'.

The current issues of Nuts magazine features five different topless women on the front cover, while Zoo magazine, launched by Emap is promoting the "hottest videos" of girls on its cover.

It also ran a competition to find Britain's "dumbest girlfriend".

"Our strategies for dealing with teenage pregnancy need to be focused more on young men and their responsibilities," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

"That's why I believe we need to ask tough questions about the instant-hit hedonism celebrated by the modern men's magazines targeted at younger males.

"Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available.

"We should ask those who make profits out of revelling in, or encouraging, selfish irresponsibility among young men what they think they're doing.

"The relationship between these titles and their readers is a relationship in which the rest of us have an interest.

"The images they use and project reinforce a very narrow conception of beauty and a shallow approach towards women. They celebrate thrill-seeking and instant gratification without ever allowing any thought of responsibility towards others, or commitment, to intrude.

"The contrast with the work done by women's magazines, and their publishers, to address their readers in a mature and responsible fashion, is striking," he added.

He also said that the magazines were promoting a negative view of women and the family.

"I think that we need to do much more to ensure that fathers play their full part in the lives of their children.

"Cultural signals and social norms do influence behaviour. And the costs of relationship breakdown, of children left fatherless, of men behaving badly, are borne by us all.

"Alongside a new emphasis on making sure the small minority of fathers who don't live up to their responsibilities are properly challenged, there must also be greater support to help the overwhelming majority of men, who are doing a brilliant job for their children.

"Its important that we see parenting as a shared responsibility, with fathers playing an equal and complementary role, to mothers. Those societies, which help fathers play their full, and equal, role, enjoy greater family stability as a result. It is important also that we ensure fathers play the fullest possible role in those circumstances where relationships do break up," he added.

ANI

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