In an interview she just wrapped up with the Christian Broadcasting Network, “Activist Mommy” Elizabeth Johnston continued to rail against Teen Vogue for daring to publish an article explaining what anal sex is, how to have it safely (if that’s something you want to do), and that it’s okay to say no.
It’s not surprising that Pat Robertson‘s CBN would find common cause with Johnston, but the points she raises as to why the article is a problem are far more absurd that any reasonable critic would ever suggest.
If Johnston’s only concern was that anal sex can be harmful in certain situations, maybe she’d have a point. That’s not what she said.
Let’s talk about her four main complaints with the piece.
1) She condemns the article’s author.
Johnston said Gigi Engle wasn’t qualified to write about anal sex because she’s not qualified to talk about it.
… First of all, Gigi, who is giving this dangerous information about anal sex, which is a very dangerous type of sexual activity, she’s not even a certified sex therapist, an educated sex counselor, nothing like that. She’s a journalist. And she’s giving 12-year-olds extremely dangerous information. She’s not a medical doctor. She is a journalist. This is so reckless what Teen Vogue has printed…
Attacking the author’s credentials rather than the substance of her article is a common tactic of people who have no good argument. If the information is accurate, it shouldn’t matter who wrote it. For what it’s worth, Engle’s bio says she has taught “a variety of classes centered around pleasure, sexual health, and confidence.”
It should also be noted that Johnston, who has no sex education training whatsoever, feels completely justified in telling people what’s wrong with the article… while condemning the person who researched it as unworthy of writing about the subject.
Ask yourself this: If a “qualified” or “certified” sex educator wrote the article, would anything be different? Would Johnston be okay with it? We never hear an answer to that first question, and I highly doubt Johnston would be satisfied no matter who the author was.
Her righteous indignation isn’t going away anytime soon. She has too much riding on it.
2) She’s angry that Teen Vogue‘s digital media producer is a gay man.
Phillip Picardi has received a lot of positive press for his tweetstorm defending the article in which he said things like “EDUCATION doesn’t equal ENCOURAGEMENT” and that it’s irresponsible to “expect teenagers to practice safe sex if they don’t know what’s at risk.”
But Johnston can’t believe a gay man is allowed to work for a magazine aimed at young girls. He’s GAY, YOU GUYS!
… Why is a magazine, that the target audience is teen girls, why in the world is the digital editor a homosexual man?… He has posted some pretty foul stuff and personal testimony… of his homosexual activity and why he is passionate about sharing this terrible information with the youth of America.
Who knew gay men weren’t allowed to work at magazines unless they were themselves the target audience? In Johnston’s world, only 12-year-old girls are allowed to run Teen Vogue. (Is she aware that men also help run Focus on the Family’s teen girl magazine Brio?)
Picardi’s tweetstorm also mentions how he received no sex education at his Catholic high school and how he doesn’t want other teenagers to go through that same experience. Johnston never mentions that.
The mother of 10 would prefer teenagers remain in the dark about sex. At least until the ripe old age of whenever they need to start knocking out the first of their dozen children.
3) She argues that the article broke U.S. laws against obscenity.
Johnston pointed to Article 1470 of the U.S. Federal Child Exploitation And Obscenity Laws. That law “prohibits any individual from knowingly transferring or attempting to transfer obscene matter using the U.S. mail or any means or facility of interstate or foreign commerce to a minor under 16 years of age.”
The article, she says, was obscene and aimed at girls under the age of 16, therefore LAWS WERE BROKEN!
The law, as usual, is on the side of decency. The challenge is getting cowardly law enforcement to actually do something about this and to enforce the law. The law must be enforced, and I’m asking people to call the Department of Justice and explain that Teen Vogue is pandering obscenity to minors.
Johnston doesn’t understand — because her faith-based anger requires her not to understand it — that the law wouldn’t apply in this case. The law says you can’t send pornographic material to children. You obviously can’t transfer material involving children.
However, exempt from these laws are things that have “literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.” An article like this one educating minors about sex would never be a violation of the law.
If Johnston really believes what she’s saying, of course, then she’s going to be furious when she finds out what kids learn about in Sunday School.
The Bible is full of rape scenes and gruesome murders. If educating children about sex is a crime, then surely a book that has no shortage of sex acts must be condemned. Right?
4) She claims that Teen Vogue is grooming children for pedophilia.
Johnston points out that Teen Vogue published an article back in May explaining how even toddlers know how to consent.
Wait a minute. Toddlers can’t consent… [The legal definition says] minors can’t consent until they’re 16 to 18 years old… and so what in the world, what kind of message is Teen Vogue trying to get out by saying that a toddler can consent?… This is outrageous! It appears that Teen Vogue is trying to prepare American youth for the practice of pedophilia.
That sounds really awful… until you realize that the article she’s referring to ISN’T ABOUT KIDS AND SEX.
It’s about toys. Not sex toys. Just toys.
Author Brittney McNamara is referring to a video by Lindsay Amer in which she talks about how consent is key when it comes to sexual activity. If you want to have sex with someone, you absolutely need to have their permission, and it can’t be ambiguous. As we’ve seen on college campuses across the country, not everyone understands what consent means. So her video was all about how we all need to get consent from our sexual partners.
And to make the point about how everyone fundamentally understands the idea of consent, Amer points out that even toddlers get this concept because “When someone asks you to share your toy with them, you can always say yes or no… you always have that choice to give or not give consent.”
If we understand consent at that age, surely we can understand the concept when we’re older and talking about sex.
That’s what Amer’s video — and McNamara’s subsequent article — was all about.
Yet Johnston spins that to say Teen Vogue is encouraging pedophilia.
It’s not enough that Johnston doesn’t want her kids reading the Teen Vogue article. She has to make things up — to the point of accusing the publication of criminal activity — to get her gullible followers to hate the magazine, too.
She is lying.
She is a Christian who lies.
She doesn’t do research on the things she complains about.
She just turns on the camera and spouts her ignorance.
When will her followers ever realize this?