Walmart will be pulling Cosmopolitan magazine from their checkout lines because an activist group believes it is too sexy. The company will continue selling it in the magazine aisle if customers wish to buy it.
“As with all products in our store, we continue to evaluate our assortment and make changes,” a rep for Walmart said in a statement. “Walmart will continue to offer Cosmopolitan to customers that wish to purchase the magazine, but it will no longer be located in the checkout aisles. While this was primarily a business decision, the concerns raised were heard.”
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), an anti-pornography advocacy group also known as Morality in Media, has been pressuring the company behind the scenes for months to make this change. They believe that Cosmo no longer being visible to young customers at the checkout is important.
“Cosmopolitan we think is especially important to address because they really do target young girls,” says Haley Halverson, NCOSE’s Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach. “We see that with their bubble-gum pink covers, with the Disney stars that are on it, and they’re targeting young girls with messages that are equivalent to the messages about female sexuality that Playboy promotes.”
The NCOSE says that the removal from the checkout lines is a huge step toward “creating a culture where women and girls are valued as whole persons, rather than as sexual objects.”
Halverson also likened the policy change to the #MeToo movement. Many people online had differing opinions on the controversial move.
Walmart using #MeToo as an excuse to stop selling Cosmopolitan in checkout lines is pretty ridiculous. Censoring frank information about sex feeds into rape culture by denying girls knowledge about their sexuality and choices they can make for themselves.https://t.co/gyPllZ7QFV pic.twitter.com/YiwQQF0Vd7
— Alex Berg (@itsalexberg) March 28, 2018
The argument that hiding Cosmo from Walmart shoppers will foster a “culture that will respect women and ensure their dignity is understood” is absolutely infuriating. Sexuality ≠ exploitation https://t.co/3kUG9czzUL
— Ashley Spencer (@AshleyySpencer) March 27, 2018
— Mary McClusky (@MMcClusky) March 27, 2018
I am so grateful to @Walmart for having Cosmo-free checkout aisles! Cosmo magazine is verbally pornographic, and degrading to women. I can finally be shop without being unwillingly exposed to this content! #ThanksWalmart
Click To Tweet
— Lisa Mladinich (@lisamladinich) March 27, 2018
I don’t agree with @walmart using the #metoo movement to pull the mag, really bad timing & poor excuse. But honestly, Cosmo should’ve been pulled years ago. The topics & pics on the covers are inappropriate for children’s eyes. I won’t miss seeing it in line.
— Anna just Anna (@atheniangal1) March 28, 2018
Pulling a magazine that empowers women to talk about sex in a healthy and positive way is counter-productive. Not only does Cosmo publish articles about sex & relationships, it also discusses politics, health, news and so much more. Don’t de-emphasize that important work, Walmart https://t.co/0iucxipd4U
— Amanda McKelvey (@ammckelvey) March 27, 2018
Removing Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines at the behest of a Republican censorship organization that hates female sexuality is not a victory for the #MeToo movement. It’s a severe perversion of it.
More room for those guns though huh?
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 28, 2018
Cosmopolitan describes itself as a “bible for fun, fearless females that reaches more than 18 million readers a month.” They have yet to comment on Walmart’s decision. Only time will tell if this move will hurt sales of the magazine or if we’ll just start to see more women heading down the magazine aisle to get their fix.