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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Gender and the Media

I'm still ploughing my way through Rosalind Gill's fascinating book Gender and the Media. I was reading last night about magazines especially the ones which have sprung up over the last 15 to 20 years aimed at men. Some of the quotes are really awful - just so sexist and derogatory. As the author says it is almost impossible to complain about them or criticise because they are billed as ironical or humorous and forestall criticism by saying what follows is not meant seriously. In other words they are using the get out which some men have always used when you complain about an unpleasant remark - only joking, you must have lost your sense of humour.

I was also interested to read about women's magazines and how the majority spend all their time telling you how to have better sex, how to attract a man, how to make yourself more attractive. These were the reasons I stopped bothering with women's magazines. They never had any thought provoking articles in them it was all aimed at finding a man. Cosmopolitan was never like that when it first came out as it had hardly any fashion and make up stuff in it and was all about social issues of the day, relationships - other than with men - practical things, books, music, theatre travel etc. I stopped buying it because it became far more traditional.

For a while I bought one called - I think - Red which came out every fortnight and had really interesting articles about politics, problems in this country and elsewhere and sort of up market true confessions. But even that got boring after a while. Marie Claire was quite good as well at one time. Now I just don't bother with magazines except ones about writing.

Am I the only one who thinks clothes, make up, appearance, weight, doing the right thing to attract men and keep them interested is just soooo boring? These days it is so in your face it is difficult to avoid - it seems to be my duty as a woman to be always dressed up and made up and worrying about what people think of me. This 21st century woman wants more interest in life than that. Where have all the feminists gone?

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