In a new piece, Teen Vogue wants its readers to know that patriarchy has contributed to the climate crisis. There’s even the claim that homophobia, racism and xenophobia (“and beyond,” which is nice touch) have contributed.
The problem here is that the places firmly in the grip of the capitalist patriarchy – for that’s what “social justice” means these days, “non-capitalist” — full as they are of racists, xenophobic and homophobic folk like we’re all told we are, are the clean places. The environment in Malibu, where the rich folks live, is immensely cleaner and better protected than the slums of Mumbai for example. The obvious reason is that richer folk like to live in cleaner places and richer people are willing to divert some of their income to a better environment. Poor people don’t and can’t because if they do, they starve.
The rest of the Teen Vogue piece is a book extract about intersectional ecofeminism which never does address this basic problem mentioned above. There are many statements about this and that and no looks ups or out the window at reality. Which is something of a pity for one of the jobs of journalism is to test statements, not just swallow them. Are these assertions true or not? Not, are they being stated, but are they true?
That skepticism sorta goes with that speaking truth to power territory really.
Teen Vogue claims that it “educates the influencers of tomorrow”. It gains close to 5 million visits a month as it does so. While it may be at around 500 on the listing of media outlets it’s much more important than that in the landscape aimed at teen girls.
That someone claims that it’s all the patriarchy killing off the environment is an interesting statement and one worth examining. Journalism is the process of doing that examining – exactly the thing that is not done here at Teen Vogue. Something of a pity as the young today are going to hear these platitudes endlessly – educating tomorrow’s influencers might best be done by testing what they hear rather than merely repeating it.