The Conversation

10 Secrets to Seduce a Politician? Et tu, Jane Pratt?

When I was in middle school and high school I adored Sassy magazine.  It was (ok, slightly) less vapid than Seventeen and other teen magazines.  It's founding editor, Jane Pratt, was a hero to a girl like me who wanted to be a writer one day.  In addition to the usual dating and fashion spreads, there were career advice columns and features on real issues.  Instead of the "101 Tips to Drive Him Wild," one cover story was "Make Colleges Want You Bad."  I was too young to know if they had a political bent (I'm sure they did given Pratt's politics).  Either way, I didn't care.  I loved it and wanted to write for a magazine one day.  After Sassy went under (after becoming more like Seventeen, incidentally), Pratt started a new magazine called Jane.  If I recall it was billed as Sassy's older, cooler sister.  I immediately got a subscription to that one, too.  There were the standard "How to Make Him Notice You" articles, but it always struck me as more substantive than magazines like Cosmo or Glamour.  Eventually, Jane went under, too. 

Now Pratt has a website called xoJane.  Admittedly, I haven't visited it until today.  Via Mediaite I shamelessly clicked on Weiner sexting partner Sydney Leathers' silly new article, "10 Secrets for Seducing a Politician."  Before I even read it I felt like my childhood dreams were shattered upon seeing that it was posted on Pratt's website.  She was my role model for being an independent, opinionated writer.  Now she's giving a forum to a woman gleefully admits to seducing a married man.  I won't even get into the contents of the article because the title is enough evidence of its ridiculousness.  I wasn't the only reader surprised to see Leathers on the website.  Among the comments:

But all of this being dragged up on one of my fav sites makes me feel cheap and dirty as a reader.

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I can't decide who I'm more embarrassed for- Sydney Leathers, Anthony Weiner or XOJane?

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UGH.  attention Jane pratt....how much did you pay this idiot for this "article".

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Wow. Disappointed this was published here... I should clarify that my main opposition to this article being published is because I feel it is insensitive to Huma.

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I had such high hopes for xojane.com when it started. I feel the same way I did when Sassy became just another teen magazine.

Glancing over xoJane's recent article titles like "The 6 Standards I Have for All Porn I View" and "My F*ck Buddy Wants to Pay Me" I don't think I'm the intended audience anymore.  I've become the independent, opinionated writer I longed to be while reading Sassy.  I'm disappointed that Pratt sees more value in publishing Sydney Leathers' secrets for seducing a married politician than in keeping the readers she used to inspire.


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