I empowered myself today at the checkout of the grocery store. I had Clark and Natalie with me and as we checked out, this lovely piece of literature was right at the level of my waist (in other words, right at Clark’s eye level).
I edited it for you a little. You’re welcome. Then the same thing happened that always happens: I got annoyed. Then I remembered DeNae and how she became like a Las Vegas Lysol wipe. (Put that on your resume, DeNae.) I also thought that since I’m spending so much time on this Protecting Innocence Project*, I’d better walk the walk. So I asked the lady at the checkout to call over the manager.
I introduced myself and then said, “I shop here a lot, but I have a concern. Some of these magazine covers are inappropriate. You can see that they are right here at my son’s eye level. And he can read. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a five-year-old, but I think you’d agree that this (pointing right at the headlines) isn’t something he needs to see. What I would like is for them to be moved out of a child’s line of vision like the tobacco products or covered up. I’m just asking for a little discernment about what is placed at a child’s eye level.”
He nodded in agreement because, really, you don’t have to be a preacher to know that “BAD GIRL es-ee-ex” (I’m trying to avoid the wrong kind of Google hits) is not a headline for a kindergartener. He agreed that they would cover up all of their Cosmopolitan magazines with a black shield. It just so happened that the magazine rep/distributor was there and he called her over and asked her to please cover them up every time she restocks the racks. And that was it. I thanked him, gathered up my groceries and my imaginary weapons of motherhood, and we were on our way.
It was that simple.
So arm yourselves, moms. It’s not nearly as hard or as embarrassing as we think it might be. The checkout lady said to me, “I’m sixty-nine years old and even I think it’s raunchy.”
And if the manager blows you off, get an address for whomever he reports to, and mail a letter like Captain DeNae did. Fight on, sisters, fight on!
*The Protecting Innocence Project is getting closer and closer to launch. Check out this draft of one of the logos (we’ve altered the shield a little to make it more obvious.)
When it’s all up and ready, I really hope you’ll help me publicize it because it’s going to ROCK. Think form letters and contact information to make it easy for moms to complain, alert forums where we can get more voices to speak out against offensive material, tons of research, resources and links to organizations that promote the cause of protecting children from inappropriate media. I’m telling you, the devil is NOT going to like this site. 🙂