Thank you for not parenting our kids


Someone wants to ban Teen Vogue. She claims it’s because the magazine is sexually explicit, but I’m sure we all know the real reason, and it starts with T and ends with rump.

Whatever her faulty “reasoning,” her campaign is doomed to failure because:

  • Teen Vogue isn’t going to be banned; in fact, she’s only going to rally support for the publication.
  • There is absolutely no way to keep any form of media out of the hands of teens. I know this from my experience as a teen and a stepmother.

I was eight when MTV debuted. We didn’t have cable then. When we finally got cable, my mother was so appalled by the likes of Duran Duran and George Michael (miss you, George) that she actually had MTV blocked from our cable package.

I spent almost every weekend sleeping over at my best friend’s house, watching MTV and horror movies and Cinemax all night. Now I write about vampires, ghosts, and fairies (REAL fairies, not Disney fairies) while listening to 80s music. I also care for my mother, and now she watches things like Alice Cooper and Queen concerts and enjoys them. Well, actually she laughs at Alice Cooper, but she does like Queen. Our favorite band and singer will always be Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. I was in an evangelical private school during MTV’s heyday. We got regular sermons about the evils of rock and roll, and they always mentioned that Stevie Nicks would drag you to hell because she was a witch.

Mysteriously, my interest in paganism and Wicca began at the same time.

And then I repeated the silly cycle when my stepdaughter was about nine and my ex-husband and I didn’t think she should be listening to Britney Spears. I’m so embarrassed now, and I’d like to apologize for that here in writing. That did not help the delicate stepparent/stepchild relationship.

Of course, every parent has the right to set limits for their child and attempt to enforce them. THEIR CHILD. This is the problem with the book banners, who I dealt with when I worked at the library, and the magazine banners, and the album burners, and the art-censoring crowd. Whatever “it” is, they can’t just restrict it from THEIR child. They want to make the parenting value decisions for OUR kids, and even if I might not really love the thing in question (but Teen Vogue is awesome), I don’t need Susie Quiverfull taking books or magazines out of the school library. It is, quite frankly, none of her damn business.

No one is entitled to have the world baby-proofed to suit their so-called family values. Period. Do you want your child to have access to materials about safe sex, YA books with LGBT characters, The Color Purple? Susie Quiverfull has no interest in respecting your parenting decisions. She wants to make them for you.

It’s very important to tell Susie and Sam Quiverfull that your child is none of their concern. Even if what they’re trying to do is stupid, like banning Teen Vogue, they’ll eventually worm their way into your child’s school library and go after a book like The Color Purple. They will absolutely try to impose their “morals” on your child.

So please, when they show up in your town and try to censor the teen magazines at the public library or the grocery store, or they go after the 9th grade reading list, put your foot down and tell them that you are entirely capable of raising your own child and they can keep their “values” in their own home.


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