A Biology graduate from Leeds University, who recently accused supermarket Morrisons of sexism after finding copies of New Scientist stocked under a section marked as ‘Men and Motors’, has seen her complaint receive national attention.
Sophia Anam, a 21-year-old member of LUU’s FemSoc, took to social media to voice her complaint, which was soon met by outrage not only from fellow students, but also a national audience.
The issue caught the interest of the national media, with both The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail covering the story, albeit in contrasting lights.
Daily Telegraph writer Martin Daubney directly challenged the complaint, arguing that it was a “sexist non-event” and that it “denigrates the genuine issues that women face in the eyes of non-feminists.”
Speaking to The Gryphon, Anam responded, “The tabloids were quick to portray the story as angry feminists finding something new to outrage about.”
Before adding, “It was a shame that the public were directed to understand it in this way – issues like this are not shared as a means to generate controversy or conflict of interest between genders, they are shared to change the way in which society thinks.”
Anna Woolman, a fourth-year Biology student and FemSoc member also commented, “Although this magazine placement seems like a small issue, it is necessary we highlight these things wherever we can. If not for us, for the future young female and male scientists out there. This isn’t just a ‘feminist issue’ it’s a society issue.”
Morrisons initially responded to Anam’s complaint stating, “After contacting our buyer on this, the reason that this magazine has been placed under this section is that it is a generally a men’s general interest magazine.”
However, New Scientist quickly replied, saying their publication is “for everyone”.
After further complaints via Twitter, Morrisons released a public statement saying, “We’ve had a look into this further and the signage in the magazine section in this store was incorrectly displayed. The ‘Men and Motors’ sign is old signage that should be removed. This was a genuine mistake and we will strive to get the right signage out to the store and will check all others.”