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During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a popular magazine for teens, XXL Magazine, ran a video interview with hip-hop artist Too $hort where he encouraged teenage boys to “turn girls out” by pushing them "up against the

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wall.” The recording artist continued, graphically urging his audience to put their hands inside the underwear of middle school-aged girls in order to achieve what he called “mind manipulation.” The magazine packaged the disturbing monologue with "upbeat child-themed music" under the headline “Fatherly Advice From Too $hort.” [1]

Unbelievable!

Sexual assault in middle school and high school is real. And, encouraging young boys to assault young girls is irresponsible and dangerous. A recent study by the Association of American University Women shows that 1 in 4 adolescent girls are victims of sexual harassment or assault in the 7-12th grades. [2]

Well, we have some motherly advice for XXL Magazine and its distributor, Harris Publications: Fire Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten and develop steps to make sure that sexual violence directed at girls and women is not tolerated in your magazines or on your websites. Click here: http://action.momsrising.org/letter/XXLmotherlyadvice/

When we send this message to XXL Magazine we are also sending a message to the entertainment media industry as a whole that we won’t be silent while one of its companies demeans and endangers our children.

It seems like just yesterday that my oldest daughter was learning to walk. Now that she is 13, walking is easy but life’s hard lessons have just begun. As moms and dads, at every minute of every day, we worry about the health and safety of our children. We work hard to keep them out of harm's way and to build a community around them that nurtures their growth and well-being. All children need that same guidance and protection. When publications are irresponsible, they put all children in danger.

Moms and dads know that rhetoric like this has real effects. The same AAUW study reported that sexual harassment has a negative effect on girls with many reporting that they had trouble sleeping and did not want to go to school. [3] Another recent study by Black Women’s Blueprint reveals that a staggering three out of five Black girls experience sexual assault by the time they turn 18.[4]

By allowing this video to appear on its site, XXL Magazine staff, led by Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten, put thousands of their young vulnerable viewers in harm's way.

Moms to XXL Magazine: Fire Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten and develop steps to make sure that sexual violence directed at girls and women is not tolerated in your magazines or on your websites. Click here: http://action.momsrising.org/letter/XXLmotherlyadvice/

This blatant objectification of women and girls is nothing new. But, this latest incident — XXL Magazine publishing a video of an adult recording artist talking through an aggressive encounter with an underage girl to an imagined audience of boys  — goes too far. Too $hort’s rhetoric implies that hypersexuality and manhood are one and the same, and implies that consent isn’t required for sexual contact.

When boys believe this, it helps create a culture that is dangerous for both girls and boys.

We must act now!

Join the chorus of smart and courageous women and men in urging Harris Publications to fire Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten and develop steps to make sure that sexual violence directed at girls and women is not tolerated in their magazines or on their websites.

Click here and ask your family and friends to do the same. http://action.momsrising.org/letter/XXLmotherlyadvice/

 

P.S. Check out a blogpost on this from our friends at Color of Change: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/magazine-tells-male-audience-how-to-turn-girls-out/

P.P.S. Read this public statement from WeAreThe44%: https://www.facebook.com/notes/wearethe44/public-statement-we-are-the-44-coalition-challenges-sexual-violence-against-blac/159855520800028

1 - http://www.thegrio.com/entertainment/too-short-gives-boys-advice-to-turn-girls-out-xxl.php

2 - http://www.aauw.org/learn/research/crossingtheline.cfm

3 - Ibid

4 - http://newsone.com/nation/tjstarr/half-of-black-girls-sexually-assaulted/


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