Rinehart: Ban on Cosmopolitan could lead to too much reliance on government

Emma Rinehart

Recently, I read an article about a woman petitioning to ban the popular magazine Cosmopolitan from magazine stands. Her reasoning? She believes her younger brother will be “severely damaged” by the material. I was outraged by the fact that this woman and 11,000 other people feel it’s society’s responsibility to raise today’s children.

Nearly every day I hear in the news about some concerned parent getting upset about something they see in the pop culture scene, from Miley Cyrus’ current bad-girl behavior to a magazine that’s been around since the ’70s. Every time I read or hear about these complaints, I am dumbfounded by the parent’s thinking that it’s Miley Cyrus or Cosmopolitan’s job to raise their kids. If a person raises their kid’s right, they would not have to worry about what their children view in pop culture.

Our generation was raised with just as much influence by drugs and sex as today’s generation, but our parent’s didn’t complain about the media. They informed us that if we ever did anything that was wrong we would be severely punished, which in our day, meant something. So why are people trying to protect kids more today?

As an avid reader of the magazine in question, I don’t believe it to be as explicit as the cover makes it out to be. The fact of the matter is, sex sells, so why not put it on the cover of a magazine? Anyone who reads the magazine knows that only about 20 percent of the magazine consists of sex articles. The rest is about fashion, celebrities, makeup, hair and self-confidence — everything a girly magazine should consist of. So why would this woman feel her teenage brother would want to be seen buying this magazine? There are plenty of magazines that are the male version of Cosmo on the stands as well.

The fact of the matter remains that this woman, a former reader of the magazine, feels it is society’s responsibility to raise her brother. If this kid has any sort of relationship with the outside world, he is going to be influenced by sex and drugs. It’s the cold, hard truth. These petitioners should know this.

No matter how much parents try to protect kids, they are still going to make regretful decisions. As college students, we’ve made them, and continue to make them. Isn’t it a given that between the ages of 13 and 30, your whole life is going to be full of fun and of questionable behavior? Wouldn’t it be better to expose the youth of today so they can make informed decisions? Chances are her brother has already been exposed to content of this magazine. It’s 2012 after all.

Maybe this woman doesn’t realize that forbidden things are always more tempting purely because of the fact that they are forbidden. This is something that all organizations run by concerned parents should realize. Take the Parent’s Television Council, for example. They can’t just be watching TV all day looking for cuss words and explicit behavior and then expect to send in complaints about the content. Parental controls, anyone?

And does anybody remember their complaint about Dianna Agron’s “scandalous” photo shoot with GQ? What kind of 11-year-old is reading GQ? Maybe instead of being concerned about what your child sees in the media, you should be more concerned about the fact that your child is reading GQ and Cosmopolitan, and watching “Sex in the City” and “Jersey Shore.”

Maybe this is all a sign that people are relying too much on government. If we expect bureaucracies and society to monitor what children watch and are exposed to, maybe we have too much reliance on them. Expecting government to monitor media is the same as expecting them to monitor the free markets. It’s ridiculous and shouldn’t be done. Our money, our jobs and our youth are the responsibility of the individual involved, and expecting for society and government to take control is only going to lead to disaster and socialism.

History has made it clear time and time again that people need to take responsibility for themselves and learn to take care of their own desires and needs in order to maintain contentment for everyone involved. People everywhere need to realize that trying to protect children from simple things like a magazine or a TV show is only going to lead to a society of individuals who lack independent thoughts and are not able to function on their own, and when that happens, I am in fear for the future.