OPINION: There should be no shades of grey

OPINION: I write this week's column with a complete sense of perplexity.

As most of you know, I am an author and my books contain highly explicit sexual scenes.

But when a friend gave me a Cosmo magazine the other week (as a joke about my youthful age) I was absolutely appalled by what we are feeding our young women.

This particular issue of Cosmo pointed out the best ways to venture into the 'great outdoors' to engage in sex.

This was not part of a sealed section, as I remember these types of features to be.

It was explicitly detailing the best positions given to each outdoor environment, with a graphic picture detailing the act.

This was wide open for any impressionable young girl to pick up and read.

There was even a part that encouraged young women to "seek a band member" if you were at a music festival.

As a mother of a daughter, I truly believe that this is not the type of message I want to be sending her.

Even when she reaches the adult age of 18, I still believe this is an exploitive form of sexuality.

On the other hand, I write about sexual encounters, so there is a fine line between encouraging my daughter (and son for that matter) to be confident, without encouraging them to be promiscuous.

I understand that these magazines have to move past the "take a test to find your ideal man" quizzes that they had in my teens, but I feel today's young women's magazines are simply glossing over issues that should be handled with a little more care.

Over-sexualising young women won't empower them.

In fact I believe it may evoke more feelings of rejection in their tender minds.

I am all for women of my age feeling liberated with the new adult fiction stories such as Fifty Shades of Grey, but we have to be careful that we are not sending the wrong message to our youth who are watching our behaviour very closely.

My generation was raised in a society where these topics were taboo.

But now modern society is more open than before, does it mean we are allowing our youth to develop these ideals at a much younger age?

It is about time that these magazines and novels become monitored by a body that, just like in movies and television programs, rates them in accordance to the age appropriation.

I know I have a warning at the start of each of my novels, and the last novel I wrote had a whole page dedicated to warning of the graphic nature of themes in the story.

Certain men's magazines have to be purchased with proof of age, and it's about time we do the same for our young women.

Trish Hamilton is an author based in Hervey Bay

Topics:  editors picks fifty shades of grey magazines opinion t.j. hamilton trish hamilton

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