Wednesday, October 01, 2003

BOB'S GOB: We're sure that when he condemns teenage girl's magazines, Bob Geldof is genuine - just as genuine as he is when he believes that George Bush is solving Africa's Aids problem. It's just that besides being genuine, he's also wrong and hypocritical.

See, if you suddenly stripped out the J17/Sugar segment of the market, where would girls go to get sexual advice? Instead of the 'yes, there is sex - but don't do it' messages which - if he'd bothered to read the contents rather than the coverlines - Bob would have discovered is the older teen mag's usual response, they'd be more likely to gravitate towards the adult titles. A sixteen year old girl isn't going to buy Go, Girl; with no J17, she'll go for the full Cosmo, whose message is more obviously "grab him, squeeze it in, and enjoy it." Or, perhaps, they'll turn to books, like 1987's Sex With Paula (Yates), the companion book to the TV series which saw Paula asking teen favourites about their sexlives in intimate detail - filmed when she was still Mrs. Geldof, of course. The trouble with Bob, of course, is that he's assuming that the magazines make young people interested in sex, whereas, of course, that's more down to biology. All the teen girl magazines do is try and channel the urges into a responsible direction.

But it's the biology that's the problem, isn't it, Bob? And this is where the odd smell starts to rise from his argument.

"There is something predatory because they are made by adult men and women. Is it because of my age that makes me feel they are wrong? I don't think so. I would have objected to them when I was 20."

Really, Bob? But how does that sit with your biography? I don't have a copy of Is That It? by my side (although I could try any charity shop, where it's a bit of staple) but I recall rather a lot about your early teenage masturbation experiments, and chatting with your mates about it. I also don't recall much in the way of condemnation of the actions of that older lady who grappled with you in her front room. (I must have been about fourteen when I read that, funnily enough). Ah, but that's different, isn't it? That's boys.

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