This is a different kind of post for our blog. Not our normal and outside of our usual framework. But, I am angry. This information must be shared with parents, especially with those raising young teen girls.
When you observe the world around us, do you sometimes shake your head and ask, “Really? What are the adults thinking? How could they possibly see this as a good idea for children?” I do. More and more often. Well, if you are the parent of a young teen or pre-teen girl, read on.
I first heard of this story by reading Albert Mohler’s Daily Briefing, dated June 19, 2019. He heard it on National Public Radio. If you ever flipped through teen magazines for girls, you would notice articles about fashion with trendy models, the newest make-up, maybe the latest gossip about a teen pop star. But, a recent article in Teen Vogue went way beyond anything thoughtful parents, and others as well, could imagine.
If you search for Teen Vogue, you will see it is advertised as “fashion, beauty, and entertainment news for girls.” Then, take a look at their website and you will see much, much more.
On April 26th, Teen Vogue posted an article titled “Why Sex Work is Real Work.” Yes, that is really the title. The editors of the publication read it and approved it for this issue. This is what they want to convey to their young audience.
The author, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, is the founder of Nalane for Reproductive Justice in South Africa. Dr. Mofokeng clearly supports the decriminalization of sex work. In her words, “The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support.”
Excuse me? The thought of any young girl reading this should provoke a response from sensible adults. (How about outrage?) Not to mention the graphic sexual information included in the article. Again, this was published in a teen magazine targeted toward 12-14 year old girls, under the guise of “fashion, beauty, and entertainment.” I agree with Albert Mohler. A boundary was not simply crossed. It was crashed. To promote prostitution as an acceptable career in a mainstream teen magazine–Well, I would never believe it if I had not read the complete article with my own eyes.
This article ignores the young women who are trafficked and abused at skyrocketing rates. Between 2010 and 2015, reported child sex trafficking increased by 846%. The Department of Justice reported in 2014 that more than half of sex trafficking victims are 17 years old or younger. The unfortunate truth is that some Teen Vogue readers may become victims of this industry.
We all understand the vast majority of Teen Vogue readers will not pursue “sex work.” However, the article’s intent is to make sin look normal. It is intended to connect with the mind–the mystery of the unknown, the desire for what is on the edge, the excitement of illicit pursuits previously in the “unapproved” range of behaviors. Thus, crashing the moral barriers so carefully erected by parents to protect their children.
If you have a young teen girl who likes teen fashion magazines, I would urge you to fully read them yourself cover to cover. Mohler states,
“We are dealing with a magazine that is targeted not only to young girls about fashion. It is also entirely ideologically driven, in a way that many people might not recognize.”
Even if parents do not necessarily want to know, they need to know so they can protect their young daughters from this type of insidious influence. Sometimes subtle. Increasingly blatant. But, always damaging to our children.
Here is a link to Albert Mohler’s The Briefing.
A related post from 2016, “When Sin Looks Normal“