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Spring 2007 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

GOOD NEWS! We now have 8,000 members joined together in our effort to publicly “speak for the children” and ask businesses and government for pro-family policies.

Our specific work includes sponsoring the “White Ribbon Program,” a statewide PTA effort encouraging youth to avoid pornography. Hundreds of schools now participate. Speakers from our organization recently spoke at BYU Education Week in a series entitled “Protecting Your Loved Ones and the Environment from the Onslaught of Pornography.” We also had representatives at the recent Utah County Fair handing out materials and we continue to work with businesses and plastic surgeons asking them to alter or discontinue ads with images that are inappropriate for children and teens. We apologize if you have tried unsuccessfully to get to our website. Know that we are working quickly to resolve problems.

WHAT CAN YOU DO? Individual situations vary but you can make a difference. Financial contributions help fund the increasing cost of copying and postage for this newsletter, help pay for free materials given to PTA for “White Ribbon Week” and other conferences and events where we can get information to youth and families. Speaking out at a store or through a phone call or note about any of the issues in this letter can also help. THANKS!

STORES in your area need constant comments to begin or maintain covering provocative magazines. Please take an extra few minutes when the clerk first begins scanning your order and ask them to call a manager or assistant. A simple sentence to them will do: “Thank you for covering the magazines–that’s why I shop here!” or “Shopping here would be better if you could please cover some of the provocative, inappropriate magazine covers.” Another option is stopping by the customer service desk with the same comments.

If you prefer phoning, the store number is usually on your receipt. Keep it out and call on your cell phone when leaving the store or as soon as possible after you get home. Ask for the manager or an assistant manager so the feedback gets to the top. If you have questions about doing this or want to connect with others in your area to focus on making comments at a particular store, please call our store coordinator Jim Nielson (at 801-295-2645).

One grocery store owner said, “If six to eight people approach me in a two week period of time, I make a change in my store.” If you won’t be needing your receipt, you can also write on it and leave it for the manager: “Please cover the things in your store that are inappropriate for children to see” or “Thank you for covering the provocative images which harm children and youth.”

OUR COMMENTS NEED TO BE BRIEF, POLITE AND CONSTANT because magazine representatives who supply and stock the stores don’t want the covers. Often customers who oppose our efforts remove covers or pull several magazines out in front of them so it takes tremendous effort for the stores and they have to check them several times a day. They will only do this if they are continually told how important it is to their customers. Please do it often.

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF PROVOCATIVE IMAGES: In less than 3/10ths of a second a provocative, revealing image has an effect. The effect on boys is that they begin to think of women as sex objects. Teen boys have 20 times the testosterone of the average adult male, but all men are biologically vulnerable to an instantaneous, involuntary chemical release. Then women’s body parts become the source of a chemical “high” for them. It becomes harder and harder for them to feel respect for women as thinking, feeling human beings.

Our young girls suffer terribly as they grow up seeing images of these beautiful women who are NOT REAL! Most models have had eight plastic surgeries and then the photos are touched up sometimes over eighty times. We have young women everywhere suffering from low self-esteem, body image concerns and eating disorders, self-mutilation and depression because they compare themselves to the pictures and feel so inadequate. A recent ad for plastic surgery in Hometown Values Magazine did not have a sexual image, but showed a model with thirteen arrows suggesting possible problems with her face! It sends the hurtful message that it’s all about size, shape and appearance of body parts. Many women of all ages are affected and critically tear themselves apart. The emotional strength they need to deal with life and its many challenges is lost.

If you see plastic surgery ads that concern you, please politely phone the office number listed and ask that a message be given directly to the physician. You might say, “I am concerned your ad intentionally creates body image concerns. Is that the message you really want to send women?” If there is a sexual image you could add, “I think the provocative image used in your ad is in poor taste and seems very unprofessional. Would you please consider using a more wholesome image for future ads?” We have recently had great success in this area with one doctor showing true greatness of soul by making some important and very noticeable changes. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

MEDICAL AND DENTAL OFFICES give a lot of business and revenue to magazine publishers, many of which have provocative covers and are filled with sexual images. Many of our Utah providers are family-oriented and have high values which will help them understand concerns courteously voiced by patients. It takes courage to speak up but healthcare providers have a responsibility to keep our trust and be professional. They will care very much about your feedback asking for decency in their offices. Please let your doctors and dentists know that wholesome reading material is important to you and you don’t want your family exposed to sexual images in their office.

J.C. PENNEY continues to ignore requests from family groups all over the country asking for less provocative bra and underwear ads. In the 1950s Playboy was models in lingerie similar to J.C. Penney’s catalogs and ads. Having these images in our homes puts our families at risk, especially husbands and teen boys. You can call 1-800-222-6161 if you want to be taken off their mailing list (please let them know why). Another option is a long distance call to their corporate offices in Dallas at 1-972-431-1000. You can ask them to create an option which they do not currently offer. Ask if you can be on a mailing list exclusively forcustomers who want the children’s and home catalogs but do not want any mailings with lingerie items. The images they use are provocative and inappropriate and hundreds of husbands and youth see them in our homes, feel aroused and become drawn into cycle of looking for more and more revealing images which leads to Internet porn addiction.

UTAH RESOLUTIONS: In Utah we now have 35 cities which have passed child-appropriate resolutions. The newest cities are Cedar Hills, Riverton, Taylorsville, Orem. American Fork and West Bountiful. There is a Barnes & Noble Bookstore in West Bountiful which, as a result of the resolution, has said they will give more consideration to customer requests about magazine covers and placement so please let them know if you have specific concerns while you’re in the store.

DOES YOUR CITY HAVE A RESOLUTION? Two-thirds of our Utah cities don’t so if you’re unsure please phone your city offices or ask a council member. If not, please call Jon Gunter at 801-654-5973 or Carol Brown at 801-647-4657. They can work with your city leaders to get one passed. This is very important because once all cities in your county have passed resolutions, then we can work toward ordinances which have more legal power to enforce child-appropriate standards. This is where Davis County is at right now. If any of you are able to be involved with this effort, please call Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings at 801-451-3420 and offer to help.

TELEVISION IMAGES which are sexual and offensive comes from all stations. Please know that even public television stations may carry programs on international travel or artistic nudity (another starting point for addiction), especially during the later evening hours. Cable stations are some of the worst consistent offenders. Regarding Cable Choice you can call 1-202-224-3121 and let your senators and representatives know that you don’t want to pay for stations you don’t watch. A great site for more information on decency in this area is www.parentstv.org/cablechoice.

PORN-FREE HOTELS are something Jon Gunter of our organization is working hard on. He has made some fantastic progress! He talked to one owner of nine Utah hotels who agreed to pull pay-per-view porn out of all of them. Please let hotels know this is important to you when you make reservations.

ARBY’S RESTAURANT does some great children’s ads on PBS but is also a regular sponsor of extreme amounts of sex, violence and profanity on the FX Network. Specifically, “The Shield,” “Nip/Tuck,” “Rescue Me,” and “Dirt” which regularly show the most obscene and excessive displays of sex, violence and profanity on basic cable.. They are blocking e-mails from some of the family organizations but you can call your local Arby’s and ask for the manager. Please tell them that your family cannot support them until this changes and ask them to tell corporate headquarters of the boycott. Here are a few numbers for you:

Riverton (801) 446-9300 Bountiful (801) 292-9438
Midvale (801) 255-8684 W. Bountiful (801) 298-8473
Draper (801) 571-1587 Sandy (801) 572-1577
West Jordan (801) 561-3271 Farmington (801) 451-7740

You can also talk to or leave a message for Kathy Koch (pronounced Cook) at 1-678-514-4100 at Arby’s headquarters.

THANK YOU for your willingness to help create and maintain a child-appropriate level of decency in our communities. If you need to contact us you can call Jim, Carol or John at their numbers listed above or e-mail Valerie at vmills@strengthenthefamily.net. We appreciate your help!!!

Sincerely,

Valerie Mills, President
CITIZENS FOR FAMILIES


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