I’m not sure how I first got a subscription to Redbook magazine. I think it had something to do with extra frequent flyer miles. Frankly, I prefer news sources and fashion monthlies. But once Redbook appeared in my mailbox, I started reading and quickly realized this isn’t my mother’s magazine, anymore.
My mother used to subscribe to Redbook, and, as a child, I remember flipping through pages filled with recipes, beauty tips, and home health remedies. So you can imagine my shock when I came across a two-page article titled, “Inside the Life of a Mom Who Strips,” in my March 2012 issue.
The article attempts to glamorize the life of Leah, a Brooklyn housewife and former Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent who works as a stripper so she can afford to send her four-year-old daughter to private school in Manhattan. (The family, according to the article, is currently applying to schools.)
Shockingly, the author tries to normalize Leah's and other mothers’ decision to strip in order to “better the life of her family.”
Worse, the author encourages husbands to act as strong “support systems women need,” especially after a tough night of being called “every name in the book by drunk men.”
I wouldn’t call that a glamorous career choice, would you?
Is Redbook seriously suggesting that stripping is a legitimate answer to an American family’s economic hardships?
Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse, Senior Fellow of Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) Beverly LaHaye Institute, rightly notes, “Cultural acceptance of pornography, stripping, and prostitution is growing day by day. There is no escaping the fact that obscenity and pornography produced in the United States damages, demeans, and degrades people — including innocent children — around the world.”
Had the staff at Redbook done their research, they would know that the strip club industry has painful ramifications on society and leads to pornography addiction, gangs, drug use and sex trafficking — just to name a few.
Besides public health concerns, stripping places the woman in grave danger. According to the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, women who work in the sex industry are 60-100 times more likely to be murdered than women who do not.
I think Redbook would agree, extra cash is never worth risking a woman’s life.
Here is a better idea. Instead of irresponsibly promoting the acceptance of stripping, Redbook should highlight the work of strong, compassionate women who counsel, support, and shelter strippers trapped in that dangerous life. It is these inspirational women who deserve two-page tributes in major magazines.
As I continued to read, it was sickeningly sad to find dozens of smutty topics objectifying the status of mothers and wives. Redbook has completely lost touch with its audience.
And where are the liberal feminists? Shouldn’t they be outraged by Redbook’s blatant disrespect for the status of women? You would think so, but unfortunately, feminists have flip-flopped on the sex industry/prostitution topic for years.
Previously, feminists condemned strip clubs for displaying women as sexual objects and vehemently believed prostitution was a form of violence against women. Sadly, “modern” feminists are choosing to ignore the safety of women by condoning legal, money-making sexual activity to be a women’s right of free expression.
Redbook has apparently bought into the ridiculous notion that this is simply “sex work” and not dehumanizing. They have now joined the ranks of other liberal rags masquerading as women’s magazines.
In fact, Redbook is owned by the self-described “game-changing” Hearst Corporation, one of the world’s largest and most influential publishers of monthly magazines including Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Women’s Day, Good Housekeeping, and Marie Claire.
This means each of these women’s magazines shares the same left-leaning editors, agents, producers, and advertisers who, in their 2011 Annual Review, admit they seek to cross every conventional boundary and challenge every notion of what a magazine company can be.
Apparently, this means insulting the intelligence and dignity of women.
The last time I checked, most women still preferred articles on current events, food, exercise, and fashion trends over strip clubbing and pot smoking.
I’m calling on Redbook to undergo a reality check and find out what American women really want in their magazines.
Until then, I’m cancelling my subscription — immediately.
Penny Nance is CEO and president of Concerned Women for America.
Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest women’s public policy organization. She is the author of the forthcoming book "Feisty and Feminine: A Rallying Cry for Conservative Women" (Zondervan 2016).