Walmart Partners With Conservative Group To Remove Cosmo From Checkout Lines
Customers at some 5,000 Walmart locations around the United States will no longer see Cosmopolitan magazine among the publications for purchase in the check-out line.
That’s because the retail giant decided to remove the magazine so customers would not be exposed to its “sexually exploitative” content, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation said in a press release on Tuesday.
“This is what real change looks like in our #MeToo culture, and NCOSE is proud to work with a major corporation like Walmart to combat sexually exploitative influences in our society,” said NCOSE executive director Dawn Hawkins.
The conservative organization, previously known as Morality in Media, has been targeting Cosmopolitan magazine for some time ― long before the Me Too movement came approximately. NCOSE has even named its fight against the magazine “a longtime precedence.”
NCOSE argues that the magazine “relentlessly glamorizes things like public, anal, group, and violent sex to its young female readership” and that minors should be protected from such fabric. The content, NCOSE argues, goes against the organization’s mission is to “defend human dignity and to oppose sexual exploitation.”
“We are grateful for Walmart’s cooperation and for Walmart leadership’s recognition that corporations must effect their allotment to change #MeToo culture,” Hawkins added.
In a statement to Newsweek, Walmart said the store would still carry Cosmopolitan, but just not locate issues in the checkout aisles. “While this was primarily a commerce, trade decision, the concerns raised were heard,” the statement said.
Yet critics were quick to point out how removing the magazine in the name of the Me Too movement seemed misguided, counterproductive and opportunistic.
“The real world took another step toward its late and certain conversion to The Handmaid’s Tale this week,” Vogue.com’s Michelle Ruiz wrote.
“I’m embarrassed for Hawkins because she just broadcasted to the entire country that she is a woman who has no belief what #MeToo means. ICYMI: #MeToo is approximately unwanted sex and sexual attention, sexual assault, and harassment. While Cosmopolitan is a magazine and a brand best known for its sex tips (including my personal favorite, a suggestion to ring a donut on a guy’s penis)—it is total approximately consensual adult sex.”
More people piled on with criticism over Twitter.
Pulling a magazine that empowers women to talk approximately sex in a healthy and positive way is counter-productive. Not only does Cosmo publish articles approximately sex & relationships, it also discusses politics, health, news and so much more. Don’t de-emphasize that distinguished work, Walmart https://t.co/0iucxipd4U
— Amanda McKelvey (@ammckelvey) March 27, 2018
The argument that hiding Cosmo from Walmart shoppers will foster a “culture that will respect women and ensure their dignity is understood” is absolutely infuriating. Sexuality ≠ exploitation https://t.co/3kUG9czzUL
— Ashley Spencer (@AshleyySpencer) March 27, 2018
Walmart using #MeToo as an excuse to stop selling Cosmopolitan in checkout lines is pretty ridiculous. Censoring frank information approximately sex feeds into rape culture by denying girls knowledge approximately their sexuality and choices they can accomplish for themselves.https://t.co/gyPllZ7QFV pic.twitter.com/YiwQQF0Vd7
— Alex Berg (@itsalexberg) March 28, 2018
A reminder that Walmart is being sued (again) by female employees for gender discrimination— women are routinely paid less than men. But certain, Cosmo
— Mariya Karimjee (@M_Karimjee) March 28, 2018
Other retailers fill moved to relocate or block Cosmo’s racy covers in the past, though they didn’t invoke the Me Too movement while doing so. In 2000, supermarket giant Kroger installed blinders on some of the magazine’s covers in 2,200 stores.
The magazine did not immediately return HuffPost’s request for comment, but did provide a statement to Buzzfeed approximately the publication’s success in serving female readers.
“Cosmopolitan is the most successful global media brand for young women, with award-winning content produced by main female journalists. With our focus on empowerment, we are proud of total that the brand has achieved for women around the world in the areas of equality, health, relationships, career, politics and social issues.”