Bin the Bunny is an initiative run by Anti-Porn London. The campaign aims to draw attention to the fact that Playboy Enterprises, while marketing itself as a stylish and sophisticated brand, is a pornography company. Playboy Enterprises draws its income from the exploitation and degradation of women and girls.
In response to Playboy Enterprises opening a store in London, September 2007, protesters are raising awareness about the true nature of the company through regular pickets of the store, a series of short films and lobbying.
The campaign is opposed to the continuing expansion of the Playboy brand as the acceptable face of porn, its increasing cross-over into everyday culture under the guise of ‘cute’ products – often targeted to appeal to young girls – and the continuing attempt to promote the message to young women and girls that being a Playboy ‘bunny’ or playmate is something to aspire to.
For more information about Anti-Porn London and future protests visit their website.
Only two days after its official launch, the Playboy store in Oxford Street, London, was subject to the first in a series of monthly demonstrations by the Bin The Bunny campaign. The demonstration drew a lot of attention from passers-by who crossed the road or stopped to chat or collect literature about the demonstration.
‘It felt really good to be part of the anti-Playboy protest – to take a stand with other women against the relentless tide of objectification and sexualisation of women and girls in our society. I was really heartened by the support we received from other women – i lost count of how many thanked us for taking a stand – but i was also struck by the support expressed by quite a number of men. I think there are a lot of people out there who aren’t happy with the way the porn industry exploits and objectifies women, and particularly the cynical way in which Playboy is deliberately targeting young girls as consumers.’
– Maria (42, public sector manager)
Women’s rights campaigners picketed the store from 12 to 18 on Saturday 29th September and handed out hundreds of leaflets, postcards, stickers and Playboy quizzes with information about Playboy Enterprises. The main aim for the day was to raise awareness amongst the public about the pornography behind the Playboy brand and bunny logo.
‘It was great to see how many passersby agreed with and supported what we were doing. Porn isn’t something you normally chat about to work colleagues so until I stood on Oxford Street demonstrating against porn I was unsure what other people, what the general public, think about it all.’
– Joy (Legal Secretary)
The demonstration was hugely successful in terms of the overwhelmingly positive response it received from shoppers on Oxford Street. Campaigners also noted that the new Playboy store did not attract much custom. Whether this was due to the protest or simply down to shoppers not taking an interest in the store and its merchandise remains to be seen.
‘This was the first protest of this kind I’ve been on, so I didn’t really know what to expect. While there were a few negative responses, I was heartened by the number of people who stopped to talk to us and show their support, especially the number of men, many of whom spoke about their concerns for their daughters. I think we were representing the silent majority that day, those who object to pornography and the objectification and exploitation of women and girls (and men) encroaching into the mainstream.’
– Sarah (28, Laboratory Technican)
Rabbit, the maskot, joined the protest.