Many consider Cosmopolitan Magazine as “porn-lite.” Now the magazine has been pulled from check-out lanes at the nation’s largest retailer–Walmart.
The move has been celebrated as a victory by a pro-family groups that have lobbied against the magazine’s “hyper-sexualised” content for years. It had previously succeeded in getting Rite Aid stores and Delhaize America (which owns Food Lion) to put Cosmopolitan behind blinders, according to USA Today.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) said they had been in “collaborative dialogue” with Walmart for months.
In a statement, Walmart said the change was “primarily a business decision” but “concerns raised were heard”.
They said that while it would be removed from checkouts, Cosmopolitan would still be available to purchase in designated magazine sections in store.
Cosmopolitan, which has a print and online reach of tens of millions said it was proud of what it had achieved for women around the world.
Founded originally in the late 19th Century, the magazine underwent a feminist renaissance in the 1960s when it became known for pushing the envelope for sexual content, fashion and entertainment gossip.
That reputation has continued today, with dozens of international editions, with Cosmopolitan billing itself as a “bible for fun, fearless females,” according to NPR. The magazine reportedly has 17 million adult readers per month.
Walmart’s decision was celebrated by NCOSE as a #MeToo development and puts liberal groups also supporting women’s rights in an awkward position.
Haley Halverson, Vice-President of Advocacy and Outreach for NCOSE, says that they think the magazine sends the same messages about female sexuality as publications such as Playboy.
“It’s filled with articles that are extremely sexually graphic, encouraging its young readership to engage in everything from sexting, to watching pornography. It’s also promoting things such as group acts and other forms of risky sex,” she says.
Halverson believes the magazine targets a “young female demographic” with its bright covers and cover stars, such as former Disney actors.
“This is one less drop of hyper-sexualized media that is going to be bombarding people in their everyday lives, which does make a difference, especially in this Me Too culture that we’re living in, where we really want a culture that will respect women and ensure their dignity is understood,” Halverson said.
Her organization has successfully lobbied US hotel chains including Hyatt to stop providing adult films to guests.