Good riddance to Nuts

Farewell, Nuts magazine. For 10 grot-packed years, in which you invited impressionable young males to ‘Assess my breasts’ and ensured that the girl next door was always something called Lucy Pinder, you contributed to a culture that now routinely degrades and objectifies young women (like myself). So, following the news that your owners have pulled the butt-plug on your miserable little operation, forgive me if I don’t shed a tear. When I think of the damage you’ve done, with your Big Boob Bonanzas and your Real Girl Roadshows, I feel like fucking screaming ‘Girls, gadgets, footy and laughs!’. That’s what you promised. Well, who’s laughing now? I am. That’s who’s laughing now. Me. Laughing at the P45s heading the way of all those who kept turning Nuts out, week after week, you snivelling little cockweasels.

There has been one positive thing to come out of lads’ mags: the existence of campaigns to shut them down. So to those brave young women who called on lawyers to write letters to retailers, informing them about lads’ mags’ violation of equality legislation, I can only say one thing: well fucking done!  Thanks to your willingness to insist that retailers had to put lads’ mags in modesty bags, and your bravery and courage when taking this cause to the high-street, complete with slogan t-shirts and whistles, you brought the weight of legal right crashing down on PATRIARCHY. ASDA certainly won’t take fourth-wave feminism lightly again.

Yeah, yeah, I’m aware that Nuts’ audience had dwindled to virtually nothing thanks to the great digital switchover rather than the efforts of the tens of young women prepared to put their lives on the line in Tesco’s car parks across the land. No matter, the nation’s one-handed typers can wait. Campaigns to ban stuff are not for the impatient.

Of course, as a young woman of the left, I’m obviously not a fan of censorship. I have written a lot about how much I fucking hate state surveillance and police brutality, and how activists like myself should not have to worry about protesting for fear of being sent rubber bullets with our respective names and addresses on. But there are some things that I really don’t like, like lads’ mags or the Daily Mail or bankers, which should definitely be censored. That’s why I was glad, despite the means used, that Nuts went to the wall. There’s nothing culturally valuable about ‘Boobs or Moobs?’ or a page dedicated to a pen-knife that has GPS tracking. Free speech is important, of course it is, but when it’s a question of whether a picture is showing bona-fide breasts or an excess of male adipose tissue, or whether it’s to sell gadgets combining a hi-tech locational facility with an ineffective tin-opener, then censorship is unfortunately the only option. Patriarchy is not going to slay itself, girls.

I speak to a lot of young women about the role of the media in perpetuating damaging images of young women, and they often say to me: ‘why is the media perpetuating damaging images of young women?’, to which the answer is simple. PATRIARCHY and CAPITALISM. But short of overthrowing capitalism, which I’m working on, one thing we can do in the here and now to make the world more like Brighton is to ban the things we don’t like. Jeremy Clarkson, the Conservative Party, cars. You are all in my sights.

Lauren Kookmeister is the author of Rape Culture and Manarchy, published by PublishAnythingEditNothing.

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