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The following comes from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) has instigated a significant policy change at Walmart as part of our continued work to change corporate policies that facilitate sexual exploitation. After collaborative dialogue with NCOSE, Walmart will remove Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines at 5,000 stores across the country. Protecting minors from the sexually explicit material that Cosmopolitan embodies and perpetuates has been a long-time priority of NCOSE.
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. Women, men, and children are bombarded daily with sexually objectifying and explicit materials, not only online, but in the checkout line at the store.
Cosmo sends the same messages about female sexuality as Playboy. It places women’s value primarily on their ability to sexually satisfy a man and therefore plays into the same culture where men view and treat women as inanimate sex objects. Further, Cosmo targets young girls by placing former Disney stars on its covers, despite the enclosed sexually erotic articles which describe risky sexual acts like public, intoxicated, or anal sex in detail. Customers should not be forced to be exposed to this content when they are trying to check-out at the store.
Walmart’s removal of Cosmo from checkout lines is an incremental but significant step toward creating a culture where women and girls are valued as whole persons, rather than as sexual objects. We are grateful for Walmart’s cooperation and for Walmart leadership’s recognition that corporations must do their part to change #MeToo culture.
Walmart’s decision makes it a leader and trailblazer in corporate responsibility. It is a big ship to turn, and ensuring Walmart’s new policy is enforced across the country will require continued vigilance. We applaud Walmart and also call on our supporters and those in our coalition to monitor Walmart’s progress as it works to implement this pivotal policy change.
As you can imagine, some of the press and social media coverage of this decision by Walmart is disparaging and flat out erroneous. This is where you can play an important role!
- Visit our Walmart page to get background information and go to the “Take Action” section and fill in the form to post a thank you message via Twitter or Facebook.
- Post at least one Facebook or Tweet per day between now and April 4 (the kick off date for the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit). Sample posts are below.
- Visit your local Walmart. Ask to speak to the store manager. Thank them personally for Walmart’s decision to remove Cosmo and for creating a sexploitation free checkout experience!