There are a lot of magazines stores could prominently display in their checkout aisle. Some mainstays are home and garden magazines, coloring books, fashion and/or celebrity magazines.
However, one we consistently see is Cosmopolitan. This is a magazine famous for making women feel like something below dog excrement while plastering the word “SEX” in bold, large letters on its cover so that your eye is instantly drawn to it. Almost every store that sells it has an issue prominently displayed where you can grab it, flip through, and throw it on the conveyor as an impulse buy at the checkout line.
But not at Walmart. Not anymore.
According to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, a group that has been hammering Walmart to remove the overtly sexual magazine where children can easily find it and read it, they scored the victory by, not appealing to the morality angle, but by the #MeToo angle.
“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 Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE.
“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,” she noted.
“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,” she added. “Customers should not be forced to be exposed to this content when they are trying to check out at the store.”
There is confusion as to whether or not this was in fact done in response to the #MeToo movement, or if it was Walmart using that as an excuse to take Cosmo down without too much backlash in order to make the store more family oriented. Walmart issued a statement saying this was purely a business decision, but that complaints from customers had been heard.
Make of it what you will, but the bottom line is that one of the most radical feminist magazines has lost prime placement. While Walmart might hardly feel a bump from the loss of Cosmo’s ability to make women impulse buy it, Cosmo will take a huge hit from losing its place in the magazine rack of one of the most frequented stores in America.
And good thing too. Cosmo is a trashy magazine that has in the past attempted to normalize sibling incest, and promote anal sex. This sounds like content you’d more than likely find in the restricted section of gas stations, but Cosmo puts that front and center in stores where families buy groceries.
Many won’t be sad to see Cosmo go. In fact, people might be glad enough to see it go that as Ed Morrissey of Hot Air points out, other chains may follow:
The bigger problem for Cosmo is that other retailers might make the same moves — Target for one, supermarkets and large-chain convenience stores, too. Rite Aid and Food Lion fell into line three years ago, well before Harvey Weinstein got exposed. Without those impulse buys, can the magazine survive? And which magazines will get to take that prime real estate that Cosmo occupied? I’m betting it won’t be Boy’s Life.