Newell: "Demented" Teen Vogue shouldn't be affirming prostitution as career choice

Popular magazine telling readers "sex work is real work"

Newell Normand
June 24, 2019 - 4:57 pm

"The characterization of prostitution as a mere career choice as valid as any other, in my view, is a little demented - a little out there!" Newell says, reacting to a recent op-piece in Teen Vogue magazine titled "Why Sex Work is Real Work."

An excerpt from the piece: "So, what exactly is sex work? Not all sex workers engage in penetrative sex, though, undeniably, that is a big part of sex work. Sex-worker services between consenting adults may include companionship, intimacy, nonsexual role playing, dancing, escorting, and stripping. These roles are often pre-determined, and all parties should be comfortable with them. Many workers take on multiple roles with their clients, and some may get more physical while other interactions that may have started off as sexual could evolve into emotional and psychological bonding."

The article's author, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, continues: "I find it interesting that as a medical doctor, I exchange payment in the form of money with people to provide them with advice and treatment for sex-related problems; therapy for sexual performance, counseling and therapy for relationship problems, and treatment of sexually transmitted infection. Isn't this basically sex work?"

Predictably, many are shocked and asking - is this really appropriate content for a magazine who's readership is girls as young as 12?

Declan Leary is an editorial intern for National Review, and he joined Newell Monday morning to discuss his own article that he wrote in response to Teen Vogue. He says this article is not only delusional - its dangerous.

"We see in states and nations that legalize sex work, that the abuse we see in criminalized sex work doesn't go away, it's just normalized and allowed to flourish in a legal framework. So to encourage legalization in the United States, especially in a publication intended for teenage girls who are about to enter the work force and will now see this as a legitimate option for employment when they become adults, is absolutely dangerous, because it encourges the kind of normalization of abuse that we see in legalized states like Germany." 

Newell, like Declan, pushed back on the idea that Teen Vogue should be giving intellectual heft to the idea that wanting to be a prostitute for a living is acceptable, while at the same time failing to color in any of the frailties of said industry. 

"It's some of the most manipulative writing," Newell said. "I'm socially moderate, and I read these articles and it's such a one-sided dimension of this industry. I used to be the Sheriff in this area, I've been in law enforcement for 40 years... I've seen the underbelly of this industry day in and day out, and its not anything like what they're talking about. It's just shocking!"  

Listen to Declan's full interview below.

Jay in Slidell is a frequent caller to WWL and called near the end of the hour to agree with Newell in one regard; but disagree in another, and it got, well, just a little testy.

"I do think it's wrong for them to promote this in Teen Vogue," Jay began, "but prostitution in general has been around forever, you're never going to stop it, and it's a matter of personal freedom and liberty... what's moral to you isn't moral to someone else. Some rules, to me, invade on personal liberty and choice. If the government is going to be involved, they should regulate it so it's safer, so that disease isn't being spread. If you keep a black market for this, this is how a lot of women end up getting killed."

"Have you talked to the police in Reno and Las Vegas?" Newell retorted. "Well I have! I've sat next to the Sheriff in Vegas and it has not done away with the black market there. The demand far outweighs the supply... the demand is gonna be there, it's the question of the risk. Whether or not you're willing to take the risk, knowing that there's the sanction because of the violation of the law."

"I don't agree with that," Jay replied.

"Then you don't agree with deterrence, the fear of apprehension and detetion... what else should two consenting adults be able to engage in? If it's good for them, it's gotta be good for the community at large? The balance of the interests just goes right out the window, the individuals interest outweighs the community?" 

"That's where you start to have a breakdown of a structured society," Newell finished.

Listen to Jay and Newell's conversation below.

Comments ()