Three Guesses Why Young Women Have It Tough, And The First Two Don’t Count


Saw this while limping through the grocery line. I never truly considered myself a “feminist”, even during my most liberal days at university, and I’ve certainly wandered away from the sacred literature of Dworkin et al since then. But this stuff here makes me want to burn some bras and start using the word “cisgender” non-ironically.

Why is crap like this problematic? Well, there’s the obvious parts of it — the deliberate decision to make Ariana Grande look twelve years old and yet highly sexualized at the same time, the you’re-only-good-for-one-thing text to the left of the photo. Worse than the specifics, however, is something that’s bothered me for a long time.

“Men’s magazines” are typically considered to be magazines about mens’ interests. Road&Track is part of the “Hearst Men’s Network”. It says so in every issue. Even Esquire and GQ have five buy-this-shit articles for every fuck-this-bitch article. As men, we’re continually exposed to a variety of marketing for products, for adventure, for image, for consumption.

Women, on the other, are continually exposed to a single message: it’s time to have sex. Don’t women deserve adventures of their own, ones that have nothing to do with sex or sexuality? Shouldn’t their magazines celebrate that stuff first, put that stuff ahead of the bedroom agenda? Why does every magazine aimed at women in the supermarket have sex as its primary topic?

Don’t get me wrong: the day I can’t have sex with women I’m going to stare at the wall in the nursing home and cry. I’m all about it. But I don’t think it should be the primary focus of every woman’s life. Go out and have an adventure, ladies. It’s okay to have your mind on something besides sex, and to keep your legs closed, while you’re doing it. Cosmo be damned.

7 Replies to “Three Guesses Why Young Women Have It Tough, And The First Two Don’t Count”

  1. Tre Deuce

    LMAofff! Tilting at windmills again?… Sorry

    There are a lot of magazines for women that sell adventure and fitness, but Cosmo sells to a demographic of women interested in Sex to entrap a man, or at least slow one down enough to keep him around for a while.

    The ruse/scam is, they sell the fantasy of the ideal man, and life style and ‘if’ there is a valid complaint against Cosmo and the like, there it is. But even Cosmo is not responsible for peoples fantasies. Just like TTAC, Road & Track, and others, they are about making money, and are not playing the roll social do gooders.

    Jack, what are you really up to with this post… col!

    • disinterested-observer

      Not sure what magazines you see in the checkout line, but the ones I see are either “50 ways to please your man” Redbook articles or “fun cookies to make for your offspring” Ladies’ home journal articles. I am aware that “Self” exists and that “Outdoor” occasionally has women on the cover, but I don’t think there are many magazines that trade on selling adventures to women.

      Not that it matters as all of them are deader than fried chicken.

  2. jz78817

    “Print is dead.”

    – Dr. Egon Spengler

    online, however, there is a very real growing pushback against misogynistic attitudes and pigeonholing women into specific or subservient roles. The blatant stuff tends to stand out and get slapped down by even the least “PC,” but i can see how hearing a “get back in the kitchen” joke for the millionth time can wear you down.

    I guess a big part of it is that- at least in our culture- men interact with each other in a starkly different way than women interact with each other, and tend to be clueless enough not to understand the difference. I can’t find my Dave Barry books, but I remember a part of one where he wrote (paraphrasing from memory:)

    “Let’s say Alice, Brenda, Carol, and Deb get together for lunch. throughout the meal, they call each other ‘Alice, Brenda, Carol, and Deb.’ When the check comes, they all put in for their share of the total.

    Now let’s say Art, Brian, Chuck, and Dave get together for lunch. Throughout the meal, they call each other ‘Numbnuts, Diphsit, Useless, and Jackhole.’ When the check comes, they each throw in a $20 and none of them admit they want change back.”

    Men (in general) have no problems treating each other in insulting and (even personally) demeaning ways as long as the intent is clearly in jest. Then it becomes a competition to see who can come up with the best zinger or put-down. That backfires horribly when we expect women to work the same way.

    it’s like the notorious quality of comments on Youtube videos. I watched on video of a girl singing a vocal cover of one of the bands I really like (a female-fronted symphonic metal band.) I thought she did a great job at it, and posted a comment saying so. Unfortunately, the other comments that followed were a vile sewer as a bunch of 12 year olds (either chronologically or mentally) spewed hatred from every orifice. Maybe they thought they were being funny, or were clueless, or something. Maybe a few of them truly did hate women for some reason, but I can’t believe so *many* people do.

    Then again, most cultures in human history have been patriarchal to some extent. Some of the more fundie Muslim countries treat women as little more than property, and even in the prosperous Japan I would challenge you to find many women in the workforce above the level of a secretary or receptionist.

    • jz78817

      I’m not sure that’s fair. “Feminism” is supposed to advocate for equality. the term “feminist” has become a “dirty word” because it’s been co-opted by a small but noisy group of feminine supremacists.

      Equality is never a bad thing. Extremism usually is.

  3. Tom KlockauTom Klockau

    These magazines all look the same. They remind me of a Dave Barry article where he observed that half the articles in womens’ magazines were “why men are worthless” while the other half were on “how to attract men.” In all the times I’ve been in line at the grocery store, I’ve never seen someone buy one of these magazines. Yet, they apparently sell.

    I miss Dave Barry.


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