Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A serious matter: Saving our boys

I pulled this picture up on my blog because at thumbnail size, I couldn't tell who it was. I thought it was maybe Tater. It's Pookie.  This picture was taken right before we moved from the Frozen North the end of March 2009.  I love this little guy. Exactly one month ago he turned 8 years old.

So, as you know I have five boys.  FIVE.  And I'm starting to notice the differences between these boys and my one girl.  And these boys are starting to notice things-- the eight year old and the four year old to be precise. 

I'm going to cut to the chase.  I'm tired of going to the commissary or Wal-Mart and trying to shield their eyes in the check-out line.  Sure, I shield them throughout the store and make sure I do NOT walk past the preteen and up female underclothing.  And, side note, what is with the crap they're selling to preteen girls?!  What happened to modesty?  Do you seriously want a pedophile eyeing your fifth grader and thinking nasty thoughts?

Anyhow, the check-out line.  *sigh*  Not only do my children notice scantily clad women on the cover of magazines, they can now read.  I do NOT want to hear these words out of my eight year old's mouth,
"99 different positions" followed by, "Mommy, what is an org***?"  Or from my daughter, "Mommy!  She's not modest," still staring at the magazine cover, "Why does she have her underwear on?"

There was a time when it worked to tell them, "Count how many treats start with the letter 'S'."  But not anymore.  Well, if it was only Bun and Hammy that might work still.

My last trip to Wal-Mart I found myself shoving Bun and Hammy ahead in the line hoping they wouldn't notice the smut that was at their eye level. 

So, this is my request.  I want to start a movement.  I want everyone to contact their Wal-Mart and commissary (those two would be a good start), and request for them to make a family-friendly line-- a line that you could bring your children through even if you have to stand in it for 15 minutes, to help preserve their purity.   I've been thinking about this a lot and figure they're not likely to be willing to put those opaque plastic covers over the magazines that you see in Utah Valley Macey's grocery stores.  I mean, seriously, the images sell these magazines and so do the eye-catching topics.  And although I would LOVE for them to cover them all up just leaving the magazine title, I doubt that would happen. 

So, these particular places that are supposed to be family-friendly like military commissaries and Wal-Marts, maybe they're willing to make a family-friendly line.  Are YOU willing to help me?  Even you that don't have boys, don't you want your girls to grow up to marry fine respectable unblemished boys

Please consider linking to this post on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, what have you.  Together we can make a difference.


Lisa said...

Count me in! said...

fabulous idea! where do I start?

I completely agree. we actually avoid places like walmart as much a humanly possible b/c of the smut. it's soft porn, plain and simple. and my 9 yr old boy is starting to notice these things and I fear for his innocence!

it's a sick world when you child innocence is lost in a supermarket check out line!

Momza said...

Go to the Manager...ask him to consider those plastic shields. I have heard of many moms asking for this protection/service and getting what they want. It's worth the effort! Much better than them hosting a FAMILY ONLY Line....heavens, it would reach around the bread aisle, up to frozen foods, out thru lawn and garden!

Nikki said...


I was going to say the same thing as Momza. Talk to the manager. My hubby and I were discussing this today and think we may possibly have to start a petition. I have no problem doing that as well.

I'm interested to know what people's responses are. Please keep me updated if you try this in your towns.

Momza- It certainly would be a long line. I wonder if they'd go for the plastic shields. I'll give it a try. Thanks!

Rach said...

YES YES YES!! And I think not just for the boys, but for my girls that see how these girls dress & may want to some day!! I love the idea.

Julie V. said...

Yes - count us in ...most managers are actually willing to put the plastic shields over the magazines rather than have a bunch of women pester them about displaying soft porn in a supposedly family-friendly store. I've heard it helps to be polite when bringing the problem to their attention. Let us know how your own experiences with store managers goes ... in the mean time just keep trying to protect those boys.

Tara said...

I have mixed feeling on this matter. Of course I don't want my kids to see bad stuff, and I avoid it as much as possible. But I also know that they live in the world and they have to be prepared. Life isn't about not having bad things, but getting through the bad things and making the right choices in spite of it. My kids must be weird because even my 7 year old still goes for the toys and candy and stuff. I also hardly ever take my bigger kids to the store. I go when they are in shool. Or I go at night when they are in bed.
That said, I also drive my son 20 extra mintues, past 3 elementary schools to take him to a Charter school where he is more shielded from the things of the world. We don't have cable, we moniter everything they watch. We don't let them be on the computer, etc.
But I will most definitely do what I can to help. The plastic shield idea is a good one. Definitely something I could see happening relatively easy.
If everyone talks to the managers in the Wal-marts in their area, change for sure could happen.
Thanks for posting.

FluffyChicky said...


Kim said...

I am all for it, as well. Count me in.

Leslie said...

If Walmart can have a line devoted to selling tobacco products, surely they can have one smut free line, right?

No, I still don't have internet access, or a home phone, or cable. Still waiting on all those guys so I'm just checking my email at Troy's office. Needed a break from the overflowing toilet, sewage in my tub, ants coming out of the wall, filth encrusted blinds, and cat pee smell at my "new" place.

Helena said...

I love your "Squdge." We have a Squidge. (Or Squidget.) And my sister has a little dog that's her "baby," so she decided that her dog and my daughter were cousins. We called them Cousin Squidge and Cousin Pudge.

sara@augustfields said...

oh're speaking right to my heart in this post.

i am in absolute agreement with all you say!! i have two girls and three boys and i believe BOTH need to be protected (i'm sure you agree :) ).

i was at Barnes & Noble and noticed a magazine called B**** right NEXT to the american girl magazine!!!??? hello! i went right to the manager and watched him move the stack of that magazine over 4 rows and up high. ugghh.. :(

modesty is a very important thing in our house and my friend actually was encouraging me to expand on my convictions that one CAN dress stylish and modest :) b/c i love fashion! but modesty comes first ALWAYS!

the checkout lanes (or the gossip rag mags) have become soooo exposing (even at target) that i have preplanned conversations or little games (like you did) ready.

it breaks my heart. but until we stand up and say NO MORE nothing will change.

i truly believe we don't have to work to have our children be "exposed" to most things (some exceptions) WILL i will protect and pray protection over their innocence as long as possible.

A. said...

I couldn't agree more with the smut there is out ther.e I ahte the lingerie departments as well. When I need to get something for myself I hate being in an open area for all to see what I "may" be wearing. Bleck!

As for the smut free line, I wonder how that would go. Surely there are many, many fmailies that could care less and figure they have already been going through those lines, or will have to at other stores, so will it really get much attention and use? Also, would it cause any uproars over people thinking, "Oh suuuure... go to that line because you think you're better than us." Who knows... people are nuts. But I'm up for anything that could make a difference. I know several places have made efforts to at least keep them at certain levels above the kids. Which really aren't out of eye sight at all and defeats the purpose.

I'll check out my Walmart next time I go and see what the lines are like. I'm up for a petition or other things if need be.

I agree somewhat with Tara about the mixed feelings. My daughter has actually asked baout the immodesty before and I took the opportunity to tell her what was wrong with that picture and why we dres modest. Sometimes I just remove the magazines and turn them around or put them somewhere else. If the store says something, I'd just say, "Well, it's inappropriate for kids this age and you should do a better job of where you display them." Hasn't happened yet though. said...

of course there is no protecting them from the world and immodesty! but.... should they be learning things about sex from the line in walmart? should they be reading words like "orgasm" and "sexuality" in line at the grocery when they are 6, 7, 8...

just b/c the world is corrupt doesn't mean we have to shove them into it when they are young and innocent.

anyhow, like I said before, I trhink it's a fab idea. really though I never go to walmart b/c I find the people who shop there more skanky and immodest than the magazines in my area lol. maybe it's different in other areas *shrug*

A. said...

How would one go about asking a store to put up a plastic sheild? That should be your next post Nikki - ways to be proactive on this matter. I think more people than not are offended, but don't really know what to do. Such as me just now reading Julie's comment. I wouldn't have guessed managers would comply so easily. Or even know what options other than askign them to be moved are (I'm still a little unsure of what the plastic cover is).

Nikki said...

Amy- Absolutely. I will do my research to find out the real name of those opaque covers and get back to you all. I will also update with my experiences.

Katie said...

I have four boys and I am going to write about this too. This is a serious topic and I don't think people really understand just HOW serious it is. I am linking up and hope more of 'us' will use our voice to speak up about this issue. Thank YOU for writing this post! I hope to post tomorrow.

Jennifer said...

Our Publix here in FL has plastic covers, I do appreciate this with 3 boys, one who can read. Great post!

'Becca said...

Huh. My son is 5 and has never commented on magazine-cover women, and his only reaction to lingerie departments is, "That sure is a lot of underwear!" We live in a diverse city neighborhood where we see people dressed all sorts of ways, so he is very calm about the idea that some people wear things he or Mama wouldn't.

What bothers us is the amount of stuff marketed to very young boys that is about killing and hurting people. My son was the only boy in his preK class who did not see the TransFormers movie! He knows that Jesus said to love our enemies, and he is instinctively horrified by all the blasting and smashing and war stuff that boys are supposed to like: "But Mama, don't they know that those are people??? God made those people! That's wrong!!! And what about that building they wasted with their bomb--they should say sorry and help fix it." So he doesn't want to wear camo or watch "fighting shows", and I'm just fine with that!

Anonymous said...

Just read this post and think you have some very valid points - especially when mentioning how the boys can read and, then ask "awkward" questions.

My grocery store puts a simple thin black board in front of "offending" magazines. It's cut so the name of the magazine still shows but covers anything that may be offensive. It's simple, cheap and effective.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Wow, Nikki, what an amazing idea. I have sometimes turned the magazine covers around as well. The store managers don't like it, but the most they can do it kick us out! Thank you for standing up for our boys. I have seven!

BrokenWithGod said...

I don't have any kids - yet, but I am constantly finding myself horrified at the magazines at check outs. Recently I was shopping with my mother, and I pointed out the covers to her and mentioned how inappropriate they were. So I went over and proceeded to turn them all around - only to find that the backs were worse. I was so disappointed in that moment. Count me in.

Nikki said...

Mom2my10-- Thanks so much for linking this post! I've been working on spreading the word.

Now I'm not shy at all to say in an audible voice that others can hear, "Move along, you don't need to read that trash," as I push my children forward past the magazines.

I'm still trying and trying to get a petition started. With all the inquiries to managers and word to neighbors, I'm not meeting people that know me as the mom trying to get the "Family Friendly Commissary line." And I'm proud of my small accomplishment-- spreading the word.

BrokenWithGod-- I'm glad to know that others are aware and concerned too. Together we can make a difference!

Nikki said...

I meant to say, "I'm now meeting people that know me as the mom trying to the "family friendly commissary line."

His Hands His Feet Today said...

Amen! Raising 7 godly boys (and 4 girls) in this s@x laden world is not easy!

Sophie said...

I have 5 boys as well as a daughter too. This is a great idea, everywhere we go our children are exposed to filth and I'm so tired of it.

One time on our way to church there was a billboard right off of the expressway advertising a nearby store and its sex toys. My youngest, who at the time was around 7 asked what kind of toys those were. I was mortified and so upset that I called the mayor's office to complain and was told that because it was in an unincorporated area there was nothing they could do, I'd need to contact the state. Yea right, like they really cared.

Thankfully that ad is no longer there.

Diane said...

I think this is a good idea, but I think it will work better if we contact Walmart corporate headquarters. A bunch of different Walmarts won't make that connection that more than one person wants something done. I suggest finding out who to contact, putting that info on your blog and facebook. I think we only have a chance of making this change if we all contact the same place.

Nikki said...

Sophie- I can't believe you had to go through that! That's hard to avoid something like a billboard.

Diane- I love it. I don't know why I haven't thought of contacting Wal-Mart corporate directly. But I'm going to now. And I will update my progress towards family friendly lines soon!

Mike and Wendy said...

Awesome idea! My son is just learning to read so I haven't experienced this.
I hate taking my kids to the mall with me and having to walk past Victoria's Secret. Needless to say I avoid it where possible, but sometimes it's not possible.

Shantelle Vye said...

Worries me that THIS is the thing you choose to worry about. I was homeschooled. I didn't have cable, and didn't have internet in my house until I was 12. Yet do you know where I learned about sex? From reading an anatomy book and the dictionary when I was 11. and my first time seeing sex was when I watched a documentary about early art on PBS. So you might want to take those away from your kids too.

It's funny, but a few of the most sheltered homeschooled people I knew growing up ended up being the most immoral people I've known. :-(

Me on the other hand? I don't drink alcohol or do drugs. I dress in tee-shirts and jeans; so modest, I guess. I have a home, my bills are paid. I graduated from college with a 3.9 GPA. I give to others. I go out of my way to help people. Yet I read teen magazines, watched MTV and other "inappropriate" television in the days of Britney Spears (once my family could afford cable), and played video games.

The difference? The VERY sheltered kids' parents rushed them away from all the bad things in the world, and made believe those things didn't exist. My parents, however, used those examples to teach me right from wrong, and to help me understand the world around me.

Learn to be better parents, or please stop having children.