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Protecting Our Children

Thanks and Polite Requests will Get Magazines Covered in Stores

By JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton

Ninety-five percent of the stores in one city of 50,000 people now have child-appropriate policies in place. How did it happen?

Citizens of the city understood that the store owner listens to the customers. A group of people focused on two stores at a time and politely asked for everything inappropriate for children to be covered or removed. Whether or not the stores implement these policies depends on how many members in the community respond and continue to respond with thanks when they comply and polite requests until they do.

These citizens understood what Judith Reisman, author, researcher, lecturer, and advisor, taught. Reisman said that in three-tenths of a second when a child sees a sexual image, perhaps in a supposedly family-friendly store on a magazine cover, that image is in that child's mind to influence how he/she thinks and acts. The child or parent had no choice. Out of the hundreds of sexual addicts I have talked to in the past four years, 95 percent of them said their addiction started with noticing sexual swimsuit images on or in a magazine.

Here is a positive way to handle the situation if the store is covering some of the inappropriate magazines but not others. First tell them: “Thank you for having a child-appropriate standard in your store. We really appreciate that -- but could you be just a little more diligent in covering everything that is inappropriate?”

It is difficult for store managers to stay on top of this project, especially since the people who distribute the magazines at times put magazines on top of the covers rather than behind them. Customers will also be nonchalant and put the magazine back on the rack but not behind the cover. This project will become important to the managers of our local stores when they see how important it is to the members of the community.

Especially notice lower magazine displays, as often that is where the most sexual magazines are placed. The magazine company purchases the spot, and frankly they want to encourage our children to seek out more sexual images just out of curiosity, hence the sexual leaders on so many of the titles.

If it is difficult for you to speak out on this issue, just write a one- or two-sentence note and sign your name. Give the note to someone at the service desk. Ultimately the store manager wants to please you, the buyer. If you say nothing, that is like a vote that the magazine is okay.

May we each express our thanks at the service desks and to managers in every store we shop for the rest of our lives, as well as make requests for covers, and in so doing help to preserve decency for our children and grandchildren.


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