Mookychick Banned For Adult Content
Three years ago, I founded Mookychick.co.uk as an alternative online finishing school. I believed that, hey, all alternative girls are linked by curiousity, intelligence and a tiny feeling of 'the outsider' - somone who watches, and doesn't always want to leap into whatever the crowd's doing.
Alternative girls and women have more in common with each other than the various separationist labels give them credit for. By labels, I mean 'goth', 'emo', 'burlesque', 'geek', 'kinderwhore' and of course 'shy girl who always sits at the back and never gets picked for the team and wishes she could figure out a way to get people to talk to her about stuff she's actually interested in'. A feminist site? Well... I'm more than happy to classify myself as a feminist. I think developing girls and experienced women looking out for each other is pretty feminist.
Two days ago, one of our mooky messageboard members told me that Mooks had been banned at her school. For 'adult content'.
Really? Was Mookychick truly adult content in the accepted sense of the phrase? Were we dirty and impure, like grotesque porn star Ron Jeremy? Were we, in the immortal words of renegade funnyman Chris Morris, no better than paedophiles dressed as schools to lure in the unsuspecting children?
I did a quick article search. Well, okay - we've got "The Good Girl's Guide to porn for women", a one-off jewel of an article and very useful, especially if you're living at home.
A quick scout around also revealed that we have occasionally used scatalogical slang in print, though not too often, because it's not that big or clever. For some odd reason, we've always believed that good grammar, a love of language and having something pro-active to say has been more important than a scattering of smut.
Are we thrusting sexuality on kids in a country (the UK) where teenage pregnancy is on the rise? Hell, no. If our readers happily tell us of their pregnancy when they're still at school, we congratulate them, because who wants to assume they have the right to judge a stranger who's happy about their choice? We frequently get queries from girls worried about the first kiss or first sexual encounter and always tell them why there's no need to rush. We've also had interesting articles exploring the potential benefits of chastity. Oh, okay - and scarf bondage. But that's having an open mind is all about.
And we're not just about the sex. We have a wealth, an attic of articles on how to survive art college, how to start your own country, how to go on a protest march, how to engage in the world of alternative ballet, how to cope with bi-polar disorder, how to eat fruit, and, of course, how to survive both a possible earthquake and a hugely unlikely but nevertheless terrifying zombie apocalypse...
I would rather retain our site's eclectic personality than whittle away some of our lovely content just so that we'll be taken off the educational system's 'adult content' list. I'd rather have one letter from a girl who's felt less lonely through reading Mookychick on her isolated farm deep in Arkansas than have a school deem us fit for purpose - but only if we sacrifice our content - and therefore our ideals.
I sincerely hope not.
Maturing content. For maturing people.
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