My Voice- Silenced | Teen Ink

My Voice- Silenced

September 7, 2019
By starfeather PLATINUM, Olathe, Kansas
starfeather PLATINUM, Olathe, Kansas
21 articles 0 photos 62 comments

Favorite Quote:
AD ASTRA PER ASPERA- to the stars, through difficulties.

Dear TeenInk,

I used to pour my heart out on this site. Story after story, I submitted it to you in the hopes that I would get published in print someday. I was never good enough, but I’m not writing to whine and complain about that. There will always be better writers than me.

I’m writing because I want my voice to be heard. When I first came to you guys almost two years ago, I had this vision of the perfect teen site that would publish all opinions and views, because teens’ voices need to be heard and their opinions matter too. I didn’t actually start to write opinionated pieces until 9th grade when I actually started to care a little bit about what was going on in the world.

I submitted pieces about stereotypes, marriage, bad language, and the Holocaust- but what users don’t know is that there are 3 pieces I wrote that TeenInk would not let onto the site.

The first was about abortion. A very controversial topic, right? But I’d looked it up on the site, and I’d seen a few pro-choice articles about using birth control and contraceptives and whatnot. I actually just looked it up now and I see one or two pro-life articles as well. I love that teens were able to express their opinions on this site on both sides.

So why wasn’t I?

This is my question to you, TeenInk: why was my opinion silenced? I spent hours doing research and writing a Christian-based view on abortion, trying to be respectful but firm in my opinion. I had my dad read it before I submitted it, and he said it was very well said. Abortion is one of the only ‘political’ things I care about, and I wanted people to know my thoughts whether they agreed or disagreed.

I was on edge for weeks as I wondered what had happened and why it was taking so long to get approved. I actually thought it might have been being considered for printing in the magazine. But nope, finally I get an email from TeenInk that says, “Sorry!” and a list of possible reasons why my article was denied. I was stunned. This was my first rejection from TeenInk, and my views of the site were shattered.

What I don’t understand now is how TeenInk used to publish both sides of the story. The pro-life article I found was written in 2012. A pro-choice article I just read was written in May of this year. Maybe there is some flaw with the searching system or something, but in my opinion, I think it has to do with the people at TeenInk changing. Somehow, I only see one side of the story these days.

I mentioned two other pieces I wrote that were rejected. The first was a short response that I wrote in a small amount of time to an article about LGBT education in sex ed that TeenInk retweeted. This one, I understand why they might’ve not approved it, because it was written quickly and maybe wasn’t thought out well enough. The reason I’m annoyed about this, though, is that in the retweet TeenInk said something like, “What do you think about this?” I said what I thought about it and apparently it wasn’t what they wanted me to think about it. So it got denied.

The last one was an in-the-moment piece I wrote about abortion. At this point, I submitted it knowing full well it would be denied. I don’t have much to say about it.

What I would like TeenInk to know is that I feel like I can’t speak. I feel like I’ve been silenced. And the world does enough of that to me already. I thought you guys were awesome, letting teens speak their minds. Now… this might be the last ‘opinionated’ article I’m able to submit. And who knows if you’ll like it enough to publish it anyway.

The author's comments:

I hope this article will inspire the people at TeenInk to allow more teens to express their opinions freely.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Oct. 9 2019 at 10:00 am
Jordi2112 PLATINUM, Gardner, Kansas
29 articles 6 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
― Marilyn Monroe

Hahaha awesome. I love how you are expressing your opinions and it's now an editor's choice article.