The new image of Tearaway Magazine

Some of you cats will have no idea what on earth Tearaway Magazine is. Hell, I’m not sure that I even know what Tearaway is anymore…

For 6 years, from when I was 8 until I was 14ish, I collected Tearaway religiously. It was a free magazine that covered youth issues, admittedly aimed at teens but well suited to my intellectual needs. It was my connection with other people that thought how I did. It was the one form of semi-intelligent media that was relevant to my needs.

I believed in it so much that I applied to write for them when I was 13. I wanted to offer balanced political commentary on issues that were going to affect kids my age and give them ideas for forms of action they could take. Unfortunately they didn’t think that there was a place for that in the magazine at the time so I ended up writing short articles about all sorts of stuff, along with sporadic movie and CD reviews.

One of the biggest things I loved about Tearaway over conventional media was that it tended to show a balanced view towards a lot of issues. They would show you all the options, which was a huge thing when you’re a 12 year old that’s starting to think about different contraceptive options and what the hell you’d do if something went wrong.

Well today I had a flick through Tearaway online after a friend said that they’d spotted something disturbing within its pages. Something that really demonstrates how far the magazine has come from its roots as “the voice of New Zealand Youth” and, really, how easily someones principles can be brought.

What am I talking about?
Check out page 5 of the latest issue here.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for people being informed of their choices and having support readily available. I’m all for abortion not being the only option for unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.

What I’m not for is full page advertisements from the pro-life movement taking a dominant position in one of the most influential magazines of my youth. I am not for propaganda disguised as an article. I am not in any way in favour of carrying a baby to term being presented as the only viable option to anyone, let alone youth who are trying to figure out what the hell they think about everything and anything.

Maybe I’m taking this harshly because of my feminist pro-choice principles. Maybe it’s because Tearaway was such a huge part of my youth and I’m vexed that it isn’t what I remember it as. Maybe it’s just because I really dislike the pro-life movement as a whole… but that one’s a post for another day.

What I do know for certain, though, is that I am not in favour of our youth being sold out for a quick buck by adults who have long since forgotten what they used to stand for.



Filed under Politically Inclined, Writing and Querk

17 responses to “The new image of Tearaway Magazine

  1. Ann

    Why the big uproar over the “forgotten children” page in the latest Tearaway?
    I think it is very well presented and sensitively written. And what is wrong with pictures and descriptions of fetal development? I’m going to use it in my classroom!
    Several months ago there was a full-page article on the Family Planning Association, pushing their contraceptive and abortive way of thinking. Didn’t hear negative comments then!
    It is really good that Tearaway is prepared to show both sides of an issue!

    • Hi Ann,

      I’ll have to apologise for missing the article from Family Planning, I haven’t read Tearaway in a few years bar what other people have linked to me.

      If I had then I would have had a variation of this rant a few months ago.

      What I am angry about can be boiled down to three things:
      1) That it is an advertisement that looks like an article, it’s misleading.
      2) That they accepted a paid advertisement from either side, really they should have investigated both options and presented them in a non-biased manner.
      3) That this means Tearaway has evolved away from the magazine I grew up with, seemingly for the worse.

      On the upside, as a result of the extensive feedback they’ve had from both sides on the issue, Tearaway is running a spread in the next issue on the options that are available to young people who have unplanned pregnancies.

      It’s great to see that they’re working back towards presenting unbiased views to the youth community. as one of the most widely read youth magazines should.

      • Ann

        I am surprised you are a female because you seem to be like Hugh Hefner (Playboy mag) who totally agrees with you! You also remind me of a young man who said: ” abortion is the best thing since sliced bread”, with a big grin and then drove away, smiling in his BMW, leaving his crying partner .
        69% of USA women are coerced into an abortion.
        According to Auckland’s “Epsom Day Clinic” unit at least 1/3 of the women have a history of physical abuse!

  2. Pingback: Panic at the pro-choice disco « The Culture Vulture

  3. Ann

    I am surprised you are a female because you seem to be like Hugh Hefner (Playboy mag) who totally agrees with you! You also remind me of a young man who said: ” abortion is the best thing since sliced bread”, with a big grin and then drove away, smiling in his BMW, leaving his crying partner .
    69% of USA women are coerced into an abortion.
    According to Auckland’s “Epsom Day Clinic” unit at least 1/3 of the women has a history of physical abuse!

    • 69% of USA women are coerced into an abortion
      I’m going to guess that you’re meaning 69% of women who get abortions in the USA say that they’ve felt societal pressure to get rid of the zygote/foetus that they are carrying.

      Realistically everyone who gets an abortion will be doing it due to some form of societal pressure, be it directly or indirectly.

      In reply to your stats, I’d love to see how many women are coerced into marriage as a result of getting pregnant. I’d like to see how many kids drop out of school to have babies that they are not ready to provide for, let alone able to, because their parents beliefs mean that they don’t have any options available to them.

      I’ll bet they’re not available because it’s not something that tends to get asked when people are getting married these days. But really, it’s something to think about.

    • You have a perfectly valid stance. “Pro-Life” (as it is called) is a valid stance on the issue of abortion. And most people will agree that abortion is a complicated and ethically tricky issue.

      However, comparing the author to Hugh Hefner because Hugh Hefner agrees that abortions should be the choice of the mother is just silly. Likewise comparing her to the “young man” in the BMW is absurd, and highly insulting. You are making the fatal assumption that people who are not pro-life must be anti-life (I thought about pro-death, but death doesn’t listen to politics), this is a false dichotomy and is horrible. I am (if the name didn’t give it away) a man, a young man to be more accurate, I turn 20 this year. I am in no position to raise a child, I honestly think I would do a disservice to a child if I brought one into this world now. That said, I have almost no say in whether or not my hypothetical partner should get an abortion or not. I am pro-CHOICE.

      Now I am going to through some statistics at you: 1.92% of women (aged 15-44) in 2009 had abortions, of them, women aged 20-24 had the highest rate of abortion at 3.6%. The median age of women having an abortion was 24, that means that half of the 17,550 abortions performed in 2009 were performed on women 24 or younger. For 63% of the women it was their first abortion.
      For reference, you should cite your sources, like this: Abortion Statistics – Stat NZ
      Quoted straight from the site:

      In any year, 98–99 percent of all abortions are performed because of serious danger to the mental health of the woman.

      So a generous 2% of all abortion performed, (thats 351 for 2009) are not because of health concerns. This can include: A child by incest, a child that would be seriously mentally or physically handicapped, the pregnancy is the result of sexual violation, or the girl is considered subnormal (for this case, unable to understand the nature of sexual conduct) this information was obtained from the “Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion Act 1977” and the “Crimes Act 1961”.

      This is freely obtained information, found from a couple google searches. If you honestly think that girls are being forced into abortion, then you are mistaken. It is, in fact, illegal to get “lifestyle abortions” in New Zealand, a situation that I am undecided on. I suggest you read up on the laws surrounding abortion in New Zealand before you come trolling people’s blogs.

      Also cite your goddamn sources in the future, it helps to have credible numbers to back up your statements and conclusions.

  4. Kyhwana

    The thing that Ann and other anti-choice people don’t seem to realise that “pro-choice” is being able to choose wether to have the baby or abort it. Why do you want to take away peoples free will?

  5. Ann

    So you are saying it is the choice of the mother to either kill her baby or to give it life? Since when do we have the choice to “dispose” of people who are “inconvenient”?

    • Kyhwana

      Since when do we kill people who kill people? Ohyeah, various US states and other countries do that.

      Also, when do we “put down” pets. Oh, since ever.

      • Ann

        Eh? Sorry, you lost me!

        • Ann

          You still didn’t answer my 1st question: a mother shoud have the choice to euther kill their babies or to give them life?

          • Kyhwana

            Yes. A baby is basically a parasite. A woman should have the choice if she wants to bring it to term or not. If she can’t provide for it (in monetary/time terms) then it’ll have a crap life.

  6. Ann

    And also, you apparently haven’t read my other posts which state that about 69% of women are coerced into an abortion! So where is the choice you’re talking of!

    • Kyhwana

      Do you know how much money it takes to raise a kid to 18? It’s a lot!

      “You’re screwed for the next 18 years” or “you can undergo this uncomfortable procedure”. Yeah, at least they GET A CHOICE, whicy ou seem to want to deny them.

  7. Ann

    Oh, get real! you are putting a price in a child’s LIFE! That’s sick!

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