It’s not often that I feel the need to write about the same controversy or topic twice in back-to-back posts. In fact, that’s usually something I try to avoid. And I guess at this point it’s going to look like I’m waging an all-out, one-man ideological war on Seventeen magazine. That’s really not the case, but I’m sure I’ll be accused of it regardless. (Maybe it’s actually their fault for giving me so much material to work with.) Either way, I just can’t let this go and move on without addressing some overarching issues that didn’t come up in my previous post. I’m sort of backtracking here, after one of my Twitter followers brought this article to my attention, which was actually published a few days before Elizabeth Denton’s rant about that prom poster. (You can read my post on that here.)
Here, Seventeen magazine “writer" (and I use that term loosely) Liz Welch sits down to “interview” (and I use that term loosely) 16-year-old Winnifred Bonjean Alpart, who goes by the nickname “Winnie.” The whole article (and I use that term loosely) isn’t as much of an interview as it is a retelling of Welch’s conversation with Winnie, most likely reworded and restructured to suit Seventeen’s horribly flawed ideology all the more. The whole thing is actually so aligned with their stance on teen sexuality that I almost wondered if the story was fake. I honestly thought it was a well-written propaganda piece. Unfortunately, there’s more here than meets the eye. Not only is this real, but Winnie is actually a teen “actress” of sorts, who was featured in a 2012 documentary called Sexy Baby, which chronicles the lives of an ex-adult film star, a 12-year-old girl (Winnie) and a 22-year old who “yearns for normal private parts.”
Sounds like a really wholesome, family flick. Popcorn and Milk Duds, anyone?
Apparently, the film dissects how pornography, social media and pop culture affect women and girls. Of course, this movie isn’t mentioned anywhere in Winnie’s conversation with Welch, but a quick search on IMDB or Google will turn up all the information you could want. In fact, the film has its own website — complete with a trailer, press resources and Winnie’s face plastered on the Characters page.
Anyway, Winnie covers a lot of ground in this conversation with Welch, primarily discussing what she perceives to be a “slut-shaming” culture, something she alleges has infected American society, particularly among young teen girls. Her entire spiel revolves around her closely-held belief that “wanting to have sex doesn’t make me a slut” — reflected in the title of the article — and that there’s really nothing wrong with the “hook-up” culture among teens, as she admits she lost her virginity as a sophomore in high school (because she was just “curious” about sex and the “idea just popped into her head.”) I won’t bother summarizing the entire interview, given that I almost stopped reading it halfway through the first time. If you’d like to read the piece in its entirety (if you can stomach it), I’ve embedded the link.
Honestly, there’s so much wrong with what Seventeen magazine is doing here that I could write up ten posts about just that and another ten posts about teenager’s misperceptions about sexuality, much of which they glean from their daily intake of unhealthy media (music, movies, progressive talk-show hosts, Seventeen magazine, etc.)
But first, let’s start with the most basic and central core issue in all of this: the parents. Where are the parents? What role are they playing here? What sort of conversations are they having with their daughters about sex, modesty, relationships, boys, dating, etc.? Am I the only one who thinks about 80 or 90 percent of this starts at home? There’s plenty of research out there supporting the theory that most girls first learn terminology like “slut” and “slut-shaming” in the home. Not at school. Not from their friends. Not in music, movies or TV.
From their parents. From mom and dad. Or just mom. Or just dad. Whatever the case may be.
And then there are stories like this one from a couple years ago, where a dad “slut-shamed” his daughter by wearing Daisy Duke-style denim shorts on a family mini-golf outing because he felt that his daughter’s shorts were too short. And he just “wanted to make a point.” Or something like that. I mean, is that really necessary? Is that the right way to go about it, dad? Embarrassing your daughter in public? Humiliating her? Not to mention that the whole thing actually started when the mom referred to the daughter’s shorts as “slutty.”
I’ll pause for a moment here and say that this whole “slut-shaming” movement is not only mentally and emotionally damaging to young girls, but potentially lethal, as there has been case after case of teen girls committing suicide because of sexual bullying. It’s real and it’s dangerous. There’s no denying that or glossing over it.
Now, what media outlets like Seventeen magazine will tell you is that parents should teach their teenagers about sex from an early age so that they can go out into the world and express their sexuality in a “healthy and natural way.” They praise girls like Winnie for embracing a sexual lifestyle at such a young age, regardless of the fact that these girls are having sex before marriage and with multiple partners, many of them idolizing porn stars and Playmates because those women engage in sexual activity so freely. (On an ironic side note: Seventeen magazine even once ran a cover story promoting the movie Spring Breakers, which was rated R for sexual content and nudity and even featured a threesome sex scene.) They grow up thinking that this is normal and that it’s actually praiseworthy and something to be celebrated. Progressive feminists put girls like Winnie up on a pedestal, trumpeting a message to other teenage girls: Hey! Look at this girl! She’s just like you and she’s expressing her sexuality freely! Huzzah! Be like her!
I couldn’t believe some of the comments left by readers on Winnie’s interview. Comments like:
“This is so wonderful. Super applause to Winnie. I wish every girl thought like that, it’s so, so important.”
“No one should be ashamed of the choices you make. As long as you respect your body then it’s cool.”
“Great article, Winnie. You’re amazing!”
Yes, those are real comments left by real readers. If this doesn’t show you where our culture, and especially our teen culture, is in regards to sex, I don’t know what will. This idea that sex is no longer reserved for marriage as the deepest form of intimacy between a husband and wife is actually being celebrated, encouraged and promoted to teens. That’s really nothing new, it’s just becoming increasingly more prevalent and it’s showing up more and more in the media that teens are consuming. But, as I mentioned in the previous post, it’s not just the marriage/sex separation that’s being taught, it’s this idea that sexual activity is separate from morality. This idea that having sex with multiple partners, outside of marriage, anytime you want, any place you want, as long as you’re “cool with it” is marketed as a good thing, not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. In fact, you should be proud of it. It’s “empowering,” they say.
It wasn’t long ago that sexual intercourse among teenagers was something to keep hidden from parents and even from friends. I’m 29-years-old and I saw a lot of this back in my high school days. Now, in this upside-down, backwards-thinking, radically progressive era in which we live, it’s the parents who are not only overlooking their teen’s sexual activity, but are supporting and even encouraging it. This is pure insanity and is absolutely terrifying.
What many teens lack, in addition to good parenting, is an understanding of the social consequences that come with having sex so freely outside of marriage and with multiple partners. They’re far too concerned about the immediate physical pleasure and gratification to stop and ponder things like teen pregnancy or STDs or years of relational drama and emotional baggage. (Winnie went through lots of drama that could have been avoided had she made better choices and avoided sex altogether.) Of course, the pregnancy issue isn’t even really a concern for most girls anymore when you have murderous organizations like Planned Parenthood filling their heads with pro-abortion propaganda. Who cares if you get pregnant? Swing by our place and we’ll wipe that baby out for you and no one will ever have to know. And you can go right back to having sex!
There goes the morality factor right out the window again.
I get nauseous just thinking about it.
I’m not sure what’s worse — the fact that Seventeen magazine is encouraging teens to have sex or that it’s actually working so well. I’d say it’s probably the latter, given that there will always be media outlets marketing sex to kids. What’s more disturbing is that it’s so successful, when parents should really be instilling the values of sexual morality, purity and self-respect in their teens.
But, I guess that’s asking too much. It’s just too old-fashioned and outdated. Everything has to be about freedom of expression and individuality. Morality be damned.
I’m not sure how to obliterate this movement, fueled by progressives and radical feminists. Honestly, it needs to be brutally destroyed. But, while we’re figuring that out, let’s tell those progressive loons, like the ones at Seventeen magazine, to stop idolizing girls like Winnie and using them as marketing ploys to encourage other teens to have sex.
It’s not just despicable. It’s downright evil.
There can be redemption, forgiveness and total life transformations for bad choices. That’s always true.
But, it’s time to stop giving misguided girls like Winnie a voice. She doesn’t need a platform. She needs help.
I think that’s a good place to start.
NOTE: If you're reading this post in your e-mail inbox and would like to comment, please feel free to reply via e-mail or click on the post title above and leave a comment on my site.