Recently, Teenage magazine from Singapore got into hot water when the advice columnist Kelly Chopard indicated that a rape victim deserved it and told her to “be grateful he wore a condom”.
Sara Janelle shared pictures of the ‘advice’ column on her Facebook which of course went viral. Many netizens expressed their anger and disgust towards the magazine. You would too after reading what they wrote.
A teenager has sent in her story where she described that she has gone over to a boy’s home thinking it was an innocent dinner. He also offered her wine which she accepted and ended up drunk.
Unfortunately, that was when the boy took advantage of her and started undressing her. As she was drunk, she couldn’t stop him or fight back. She woke up naked next to him in bed with no recollection of what had happened after. He even had the audacity to say,
“Wow! I didn’t know you were a virgin, honey!”
The teen girl recounted her appalling incident and even said she felt like dying.
You would have thought a so-called professional and ‘mature’ adult like Kelly would have given an appropriate advice. However, not only did she indicated that the poor teen she deserved it, Kelly even blamed the rape victim for everything that happened. As if the boy wasn’t wrong at all for raping someone!
“You can’t blame him for thinking a sexual connection was all right with you.”
After this outrageous article spread like wildfire in the internet, netizens have flocked to Teenage magazine’s Facebook page with very angry comments towards Kelly and the whole editorial team.
Later, Teenage magazine released a statement on Facebook trying to reiterate that Kelly Chopard is a professional in this field.
“For those who aren’t too familiar with Teenage, the Dear Kelly advice column has always been an open space for troubled teenagers to share their stories and in turn, receive Kelly’s tough love, and no-nonsense advice. She is a qualified professional who has many years of experience counselling youths.”
Then, the magazine defended themselves by saying they do not condone rape nor do they blame victims.
“We did not have the intention of playing a role in victim-blaming or to lead to the impression that we think that rape is acceptable.”
“Kelly’s reply was largely focused on helping vulnerable girls understand the need to not place themselves in risky situations despite knowing the possible consequences. In no way does this mean that they deserve to be blamed.”
“It simply means that they have to know how to protect themselves in a society where the definition of consent is still unclear to many.”
After that, they continued to highlight points on consent and wanted people to discuss about it.
When netizens read this Facebook post, they were even more angry than ever as they felt that it wasn’t an apology at all.
“This is not an unreserved apology. No part of it says that Kelly’s response was wrong because objectively, she did blame the victim, and that is wrong.”
Teenage magazine has yet to come out with anymore statements or response to this controversy.
What did you think? Is Kelly’s ‘tough love’ valid or should it had been phrased more properly for vulnerable teens who write in for advice?
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