Australian Zoo in most offensive competition ever
Jess McCabe // 4 September 2007
If you have heard of Australian men’s magazine Zoo Weekly, it’s probably because they once offered a boob job as a competition prize.
Obviously that wasn’t offensive enough, because they have now launched a competition to find “Australia’s sexiest feminist”, reports the Herald Sun.
Of course, their definition of a feminist is boringly stereotypical, and far removed from reality and the Oxford English Dictionary:
“If you hate men, we want to see photos of you in sexy lingerie,” the ad reads.
The editor Paul Merrill comes out with this gem:
“We’re calling for feminists all over Australia to show that women can be sexy even if they disapprove of sexy women.”
In a way, this competition is sort of brilliant, in the scope and type of its efforts to willfully misrepresent feminism. Just in case it’s not blindingly obvious, feminist don’t disapprove of “sexy women”. Feminists don’t “hate men”. But when feminists criticise a magazine like Zoo for offering serious surgery as a competition prize, and presumably encouraging its male readers to send in photos of their girlfriends as candidates for this prize – and thus pressuring them into getting this surgery, it’s so much easier to make it sound like they do, isn’t it?
It’s also interesting that the misogynists at Zoo have twisted around the usual attack on feminists as ugly: this time feminists can be sexy, because that lets the magazine turn them into sexualised objects. The message this sends out: say what you want, you’re just tits and arse to us.