The modern day feminist censorship

Written by Mariam Koslay

What happens when one organisation becomes the mouthpiece for an entire country?

When the ideologies of one group transcend current diverse opinions and preferences. When power is given to those that are, in essence, ordinary civilians.

This organisation is Collective Shout, an Australian feminist group which has successfully pressured Coles into removing Zoo magazine from its shelves around the country.

An online petition lead by 23-year-old Collective Shout activist, Laura Pintur, begins with a plea to change the ‘sexualisation and objectification of women [to] enjoy a healthy, respect-based relationship with men’.

Referring to a 2011 study that compares the content of ‘lad’ magazines to convicted rapists, she writes:

“It’s time for you to stand up for the wellbeing of women and girls and against discrimination, harassment and violence. We need to take a stance and make it known that these issues are real and it’s only going to get worse if we as a society keep normalising it.”

But Pintur is basing her argument from a study published four years ago conducted in a country that, for the last 44 years, has published topless models on Page 3 of The Sun.

In addition, there is an undertone in her call for action implying that all women in and represented by this publication are objectified.

What evidence is there to prove Australian men act similarly to those living in the UK? And even further, what current evidence proves these ‘lad’ magazines are having a major impact on the actions and thoughts of young Australian males today?

This week a spokesman for Coles released a brief statement voicing the supermarket chain’s decision to “delete Zoo magazine” from stores. Failing to mention the influence of Collective Shout or Shannen, a 20-year-old Coles worker from Melbourne who complained to her union and store manager about this very issue – Collective Shout was victorious, yet slightly disappointed.

This is not the first battle Collective Shout has won. It was only last week when the group successfully pressured popular American rapper, Tyler the Creator, to cancel his tour in Australia due to his violent and provocative lyrics towards women.

Collective Shout members are censoring content they believe is harmful, conveniently dismissing the wants and views of particular members of our society. This goes further than a vocal feminist group, but in fact bleeds into a modern day censorship that we are blindly missing.

So now every time you walk through the magazine aisle in Coles, and you realise Zoo magazine is no longer available for you to flick through, know that this is not a battle won by a feminist group but a war that challenges our right to enjoy the content of diverse publications.






About the author

Mariam Koslay