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Women Praise, Men Boo 7-Eleven Magazine Ban

Times Staff Writer

Linda Dixon, three small children in tow, rolled through the double glass doors of the 7-Eleven store in Costa Mesa and answered the question almost before it was asked: What do you think of 7-Eleven stores announcing they no longer will sell magazines like Playboy?

“I think it’s wonderful! Three stars for 7-Eleven,” said Dixon, 37, of Costa Mesa. “I’m going to write them a letter. I have three small children, and I just don’t think we need that kind of thing next to the video games and bubble gum.

“They infringe on our rights as women,” she added. “I don’t think they should be outlawed entirely, but you can go to adult bookstores to get them.”

Dixon’s delighted reaction to the news that the stores no longer will sell Playboy, Penthouse and Forum magazines was echoed by other women interviewed at 7-Eleven stores in Orange County Thursday night.

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Men generally saw the decision as an inconvenience and an infringement on their rights.

Earlier in the day, Jere W. Thompson, president of Southland Corp. of Dallas, the parent company of 7-Eleven stores, cited growing public concern over what he called a possible link between adult magazines and crime in his company’s decision to discontinue the sales at its 4,500 company-operated stores.

“I think it’s a good idea to keep them away from kids--they learn soon enough,” said Cypress resident Donna Thorpe, 34, squirting mustard on a hot dog and clamping a lid on a Coke. “Even if they’re behind the counter, the kids still know they’re there.”

But Janice White, 31, who had stopped at a Fountain Valley 7-Eleven to buy a magazine about Halley’s comet, said she disagreed with the company’s decision. “I don’t read the magazines, but it would be nice to have the choice if I did,” White said.

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Think It’s ‘Lousy’

“I think it’s lousy,” said disabled veteran Donald Bryant, 36, of Santa Ana. “I don’t buy the books--I mean, they turn me on, but I like to have the real thing--but if I did, I would want to get them here.”

Bryan said he lived across the street and shopped at the store two or three times a day “for bread, milk, mostly beer. They keep them behind the counter, out of the public eye--they’re not doing no harm.”

Calum McBean, 26, also doubted that the magazines actually led anyone to commit sexual crimes.

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“They’re really quite mild, and being able to get them easily might even help the situation,” he said. “I don’t think it makes a whole lot of difference.”

McBean, a BMW salesman in Costa Mesa, said the only magazines he buys at 7-Eleven are Gentleman’s Quarterly and M, a sort of Cosmo for men.

Santa Ana resident Charles Cardello, 33, also did not think the magazines’ disappearance from the stores would make much of a difference.

“I never buy them, frankly,” said Cardello, a sign painter. “But I rented some porno movies the other night from the video store.”

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