I don’t know about you, but I only get to read the papers I buy on Saturday slowly during the week, so here it goes, a bit late…
Guess what everyone is talking about these days, and was the headline of the Guardian this Saturday? New regulations on the sexual commercialisation of children. David Cameron (the UK Prime Minister that is) commisioned research on this, called the Bailey Review, and the report is out this week. Some of the recommendations include:
‘to back a plan to stop retailers selling inappropriate clothes for pre-teens and shield childrenfrom sexualised imagery across all media, including selling “lads magazines” in brown covers and making the watchdog Ofcom more answerable to the views of parents.
Retailers would be required to sign up to a new code preventing the sale of items for pre-teens with suggestive slogans, which the prime minister has repeatedly criticised.’
What it seems like is that more than regulation and legislation the recommendations are going to be for signing up to voluntary codes of conduct for instance.
What Tanith Carey argues in the the family section is that regulation is a good way of sending a signal, but it is only a starting point, and urges parents to be more vocal and to exert their power as parents too.
I think it is a step forward that this is a matter of debate, of regulation and that it migth open up spaces for parents to feel that they are not isolated in thinking that padded bras and thongs with suggestive slogans are a bit mad for 6 six year olds.
In this debate, there were many opinion pieces which can be found online here and here and here for instance, and luckily the F word made an appearance because I was already starting to worry about siding with the conservatives!