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.