13 July 2006 Edition

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Mála Poist

The Real Alternative?

A chara,

Did anyone else spot the deliberate mistake on the front page of 6 July edition of An Phoblacht? No? Well if your idea of "The Real Alternative" is four men in suits, it certainly isn't mine. Surely an image that included at least one of our terrific women public representatives could have been found.

It reminds me of that wonderful quote from American radical Emma Goldman, "If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution". How many women saw that front page and said that? Wake up guys!

Is mise,

Pauline Humphreys,

Kilmacthomas, Port Lairge.

Playboy products and children

A chara,

I hope by writing to you I can raise awareness about an issue which has disturbed me greatly, that is the sale of Playboy merchandise which seems to be being directed to young girls.

I first became perturbed by this when viewing a catalogue from a major store. Within the kid's bedding section there was a double playboy quilt cover advertised. I thought this totally inappropriate and emailed the company, their reply was unsatisfactory.

Ihave been in local shops and have seen, pencils, pens, pencil cases etc also with the playboy logo. I find this incredibly disturbing. I cannot see how these products are not being aimed towards children and this is why I find it disturbing. When was the last time you as an adult bought a pink pencil with a bunny on it. I have spoken to young girls and they do not know what the cute, wee bunny stands for, when they have realised it is a men's magazine, their initial reaction has been horror.

I have been in contact with agencies, advertising and children's departments but this does not seem to fall under anyone's remit.

We live in an age of sexual freedom. What happens between adults is not my concern, However, I am worried about the growing tendency of sexualising our children. Money and profit seem to be the only guiding factors without care or thought for a child's right to be a child.

I am horrified that we seem to be living in a world which on one hand is concerned about paedophilia and child sexual abuse but on the other hand hasn't raised an eyebrow when merchandise from a Men's Magazine is being sold to little girls. I find this targeting of young girls very sinister and morally wrong, and I don't believe i am the only parent to feel like this.

Is Mise,

Sonya Oldham,

Ballyshannon, Co Donegal

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1