Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Zoo affair

How can advocating slashing a girl friend's face when you've split up with her so that no one else will want her, be acceptable? Those of you who haven't come across this story yet won't know what the fuss is about. The magazine Zoo aimed - I think - at young men answered a reader's letter about trying to get over the break up of a relationship. The answer was to go out with your mates and get drunk and smash up as many things as you can or slash your girlfriend's face so that no one else will want her. The magazine editor has published an apology on their website blaming it on a production error and saying the magazine will make a donation to Women's Aid.

The Guardian quite correctly suggests the whole magazine is very similar in tone and this particular item was only slightly worse than the rest of its normal content. The suggestion by apologists is that it was tongue in cheek advice and shouldn't be taken seriously. Suppose a women's magazine problem page suggested castrating a man you'd split up with - would that be treated as a joke? I very much doubt it and nor should it. So why is it acceptable to joke about physically attacking a woman?

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