Teen Vogue has apparently managed to trigger a veritable storm on social media after the magazine, which targets a female teen audience, published an op ed which presents adult entertainment as “real work”.
The article's author, Tlaleng Mofokeng, MD, the founder of the South African abortion rights advocacy group Nalane for Reproductive Justice, argued that sex work should be decriminalised around the world, and that continued criminalization of sex work and sex workers is a form of violence by governments and contributes to the high level of stigma and discrimination.
"I do not believe it is right or just that people who exchange sexual services for money are criminalised and I am not for what I do", she wrote.
"Isn't this basically sex work?" she inquired. "Is a medical degree really the right measure of who is deserving of dignity, autonomy, safety in the work place, fair trade and freedom of employment? No. This should not be so. Those who engage in sex work deserve those things, too".
The doctor also noted that "not all sex workers engage in penetrative sex" - which, she conceded, is still "a big part of sex work" - and that "the idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support".
The article elicited a mixed response online, as many social media users criticised the media outlet, and some even accusing it of "promoting prostitution” even “grooming young kids".
Why is a teen magazine promoting prostitution to their 13-year-old readers?— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) 17 июня 2019 г.
Teen Vogue. Teen. Vogue. Teenager. Teen. Promoting sex work? Are you grooming young kids now? Don’t you think you could have maybe published this in adult Vogue since your demographic is probably 15 year olds or is that too much to ask from you psychos?— An0maly (@LegendaryEnergy) 17 июня 2019 г.
Hello yes @FBI @Twitter please remove this content promoting prostitution, an illegal activity, to minors. Teen Vogue is violating multiple statutes involving the corruption of minors. To any teenagers reading this, prostitution ends in sex slavery for women and children, always— Tiffany FitzHenry (@Tiff_FitzHenry) 17 июня 2019 г.
I am a super open-minded and liberal person but this is TEEN Vogue?!? Shouldn't this article be in the grownup version of Vogue? I live in Nevada so sex work is legal here and that is fine...but those workers are ADULTS! This article has no place in a teen magazine! #FYI— PositivePyramids (@PositivePyrami1) 17 июня 2019 г.
A number of people, however, insisted that the article's critics apparently based their assumptions on the headline alone.
The amount of people mad about this, Bc y’all read the headline and not the article— dr. phoenix calida is bearly black (@uppittynegress) 17 июня 2019 г.
How is not wanting sex workers in prison a bad thing? That’s the crux of the article. take away penalties Workers face. Bc sex sex work is a job, not a crime
Do y’all want more women in prison?
destigmatizing and decriminalizing are not the same thing as encouraging underage people to get into sex work. literally no one is pushing for the latter— möther of kittens (@CarterCruise) 17 июня 2019 г.
As Breitbart points out, in 2017 Teen Vogue also published an article titled "Anal Sex: What You Need to Know", described as "anal 101, for teens, beginners, and all inquisitive folk" by its author.