Monday, October 02, 2006

New Moon "Breaks the Silence."

In New Moon's September/October 2006 issue of the magazine, we ran an article called "Break the Silence" by Carrie Rethlefsen. Carrie wrote about seeing the play The Vagina Monologues and how it inspired her to wear a pin that said, "I [Heart] My Vagina." This has ended up being a pretty controversial article. Two GEB members have responded to our readers about "Break the Silence."

"New Moon recently published an article called "Break the Silence." It was about a girl who had been molested who went to see "The Vagina Monologues", which is a play about women talking about their experiences. After seeing the play, the girl wore a pin that said "I [Heart] My Vagina." The school threatened to suspend her if she didn't take off the pin. So when she came back to school she wore a shirt that said the same as the pin to prove that she had a right to say what she wanted. The GEB (Girls Editorial Board) talked about this for a while and we came to the same conclusion each time: that it was OK to have this article in the magazine because it was OK to talk about, and that by talking about these things, girls can create a support system for each other.

We have recently been getting letters from subscribers, mostly adults, saying that it was inappropriate to put this article in this magazine. Some people have even unsubscribed from the magazine because of this article. Our response is: This article is a way to show what one girl did to create a kind of support system. Girls can handle this stuff--the GEB are girls 8-14 years old! If we can handle it, and we want to read about it, it's most likely that other girls out there can handle it, too. This article is about girls and women helping each other out, and not exploiting anyone.

We are sorry if we offended anyone with this article, but this is something that we think girls should know about, and are capable knowing about.

Thank You for Reading this,
GEB Member, Sage, 11"

"TO: New Moon Readers One and All
We have received some letters concerning the article 'Break the Silence.' We have mixed reviews from parents who don’t like their children reading articles containing the word 'vagina,' or talking about the word 'vagina.' We have also received letters from readers who appreciated the article and what it was about. I would like to clarify that this article was about someone trying to get the word out about molestation and sexual abuse, she was not just trying to get attention or to see what would happen if she wore a pin that said, 'I love my vagina' on it.

I am sorry to all the readers and parents out there who didn’t like the article but it was there for a reason. We liked the idea, the article and what it was about. I am not telling you to cancel your subscription or send us hate letters I would just like to know what offended you or made you angry about the article.

GEB Member, Libby, 12"

What do you think? Have you read "Break the Silence"? Do you think it was OK for New Moon to print this article? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment!


Anonymous said...

I’m saddened that the article has gotten such negative responses. I loved reading “Break the Silence,” and I’m proud that New Moon chose to publish such an empowering article! I don’t think that the article’s content is inappropriate; what is inappropriate is when adults try to deny or censor the fact that our culture associates such negativity with women and vaginas.

I hope most New Moon readers found this article as inspiring as I did. It’s time for our culture to stop downgrading girls and women for being born with vaginas—and we can start by standing up for gender equality and awareness. So, who loves their vagina?

Anonymous said...

every girl has it, so whats innapropriate about it?

New Moon said...

Good question!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed it a lot. If we can't discuss things like that in New Moon, where can we discuss it? The girl who wrote it was right! We are afraid to use the word 'vagina' !