Thursday, January 22, 2009

Playboy all over the Western World

Spotted the above at Barratts - the shoe-shop on Oxford Street - it's a Playboy branded satchel. Now admittedly it's on a rail with adult women's leather handbags - but it's a child's eye level rail and who the hell buys satchels as a grown up? These are just the right size for school books and a pencil case! If that doesn't really hang right with you you can let them know at their "contact us" email address enquiries@stylo.co.uk. Do let me know if you hear anything back. Probably just a co-incidence but the whole time I was in there browsing a kid young enought to be my son who was serving me continually referred to me as "love". I did complain about both.

And while we're on the subject I was looking around the web for comedy clubs - like most comedians I regularly scout out for new places I might potentially work. Stumbled across this one in the US - Playboy Comedy. Seems like they book mostly male comedians though... The women on the bill are "playmates" who "appear" during the night! What a lovely industry mine is!

13 comments:

c64glen said...

Playboy related clothes have been marketed to school age children for a while. My teenage niece bought some of their clothes a couple of years back.

Needless to say, her father wasn't happy.

Cruella said...

yes there is a website somewhere that collects all the info about playboy stuff and co-ordinates protests regularly outside the shop on oxford street. sadly i can't find it now...

Ruth Moss said...

Jeez, that's dreadful.

Although I'm not sure I would complain about "love"; maybe it's a regional thing but here it is just like "mate", or "hun" or "dear", used for either sex.

Cruella said...

Certainly down in Plymouth I've had the "my love" thing explained to me as a local custom. But then there are parts of the world where child suicide is a local custom - doesn't mean I like it.

I have been told by many people that they use the term to both genders but I very very rarely see straight men call each other "dear" or "love". And in any case in this scenario - it's a shop, I'm the customer - clearly "madam" is the right response.

Ruth Moss said...

Personally, if someone called me "madam" in a shop round here, I'd think they were either taking the piss or that I'd inadvertently stumbled into some kind of weird time warp where simply by virtue of the fact I am paying for a service I should command some respect from the serving peasant who ought to jolly well know his/her place and get on with earning minimum wage for their thankless task and be bloody glad of the scraps from my table!

Have *never* got this customer is always right malarkey.

... I think it is definitely a regional thing. But then again, I think Londoners have some bloody weird customs. Like not talking on public transport. Or loudly berating tourists who dare to walk in the wrong direction on an escalator. Wouldn't necessarily put them in the same category as child suicide though!!

Do take your point about straight men rarely addressing each other "love", have heard it from time to time but only usually much older men addressing much younger men.

And I am totally with you on the playboy thing. The web site I think you're referring to is the bin the bunny campaign. http://binthebunny.wordpress.com/

Cruella said...

i know what you mean - what is kindof weird is that there isn't a respectful term for women that is also friendly.

Dominic said...

In Leicester, "m'duck" is a genuinely unisex term of vague endearment. You will hear old gents use it with each other. It's rather sweet actually.

Ruth Moss said...

Yes, here in St Helens we do also have "cock" - totally unisex - as a Scouser took me a bit of getting used to as I'd always thought of calling someone a "cock" as a bit of an insult, and still prefered "love" - sorry! Though I've gotten used to it now I suppose. Still doesn't sound right coming out of my mouth though.

I think - maybe - we're coming from this slightly from different angles? In that, I don't see why a shop worker should have to automatically be "respectful" of a customer. Maybe it's working too many customer-facing minimum wage jobs in my time, but even on the "other side" as it were, I wouldn't automatically expect someone serving me in a shop to show me respect just because I'm the one with the money... if that makes sense? Just seems a bit... dunno, maybe a teeny bit of a class thing perhaps? Not sure.

Anyway sorry I if I have distracted from the original point of your post about the playboy stuff, being sold to pre-teens. I really can't stand the way they try to get around it, too. It's like - I mean, who buys a satchel except for a child (or parent, for their child). But also, I wonder why parents, who often buy these things for their children, think the "bunny" is so innocuous. Do they *genuinely* not get it? Or is it just that they think it's a kind of post-feminist jokey thing now hey we're *all* playboy bunnies...

Cruella said...

I worked in shoe shop for many years and I always used "sir" and "madam", but then I am clearly middle class. I think it really just depends whether it comes with a patronising attitude or whether it's really really what someone believes is the right term...

Ruth Moss said...

Yes, I suppose so. I have had someone once call me "darling" in a patronising way. Not a customer, mind. He was a colleague!

h2281n said...

The Playboy bags in the shop may be displayed in the women's section, but on the website they come up under "girls bags". Hmmm, a complaint is definitely in order I think.

Rose said...

At least as a customer you can complain or take your custom else where.
I work in a shop and I am constantly pet-named all day.
As for addressing people as sir or madam; there's no way I'm going to adress as madam someone who calls me doll. Doll is the local term, I also get; love, cariad, dear, angel, flower, princess, sweetie, sweetheart - from complete strangers.
Also, why should someone be adressed as 'sir' when they haven't been knighted?

Father Ignatius Brown said...

Being an old fart I find the fashion and media industries' apparent sexualisation of young girls slightly worrying (maybe that's an understatement - perhaps darn right scary is more accurate).

I was fairly oblivious to the promotion of the Bunny image to young girls until quite recently, when looking for a house online I came across a photo of a young girl's room dressed out in very bright candy-pink and with a large Playboy Bunny poster on the wall.

I say a young girl's room because it looked like one with a little bunk bed, some homework posters, various children's toys - but there again it could have belonged to an adult with a childhood obsession and a love of pink. But the bunny poster was disquieting - it made it look like a brothel for paedophiles.

This week I heard that WHSmith has decided to discontinue its bunny range of stationery - after three years of protests from concerned groups. This is good news (although I was not aware they sold the stuff in the first place - somehow I have always thought of them as fairly respectable, but then I haven't shopped in one for 30 years).

Then yesterday, just when I thought the world might be getting saner and safer, my young daughter came home with a party invitation. The theme? Yes bunnies (it's an Easter party) - now I dread to think what some of the more liberal little darlings will be wearing - I think I will ask Mother to attend to this one.