Feminist Sexism

***BIG EDIT: WATCH THIS NOW

I’m not embarrassed to admit that I’m a happy reader of Cosmopolitan magazine. I think that it broke a great deal of ground on openness about female sexuality. I have a year’s subscription that I got for just $5 off Amazon during a sale. I generally enjoy reading Cosmo, but there are certain aspects of the magazine that I just can’t stand. The fact that a great portion of it only caters to straight women is just one of them (come on Cosmo, grow a backbone like Oreo!).

At any rate, I was finishing up reading the July issue (does it irritate anyone else that magazines come out the month before the date they’re labeled for? It’s like new cars that are called the next year’s model), which had Demi Lovato (yeah I’m gonna be honest I didn’t know who she was until now) on the cover in a hideous yellow zipper dress with cutouts, her obvious hair extensions blowing in the breeze. Headlines include “SEX SUN FUN,” “Sex He Craves,” and “Cosmo’s Weird Little Love Rule (It Works!).” I have to flip through four pages of ads before I get to the contents. Let’s turn to page 108, shall we, the “Weird Little Love Rule,” or, why I’m so pissed off right now. All quotes are directly from the article.

“Why He Should Love You – This Much – More Than You Love Him” (This Much in smaller type)

What. The. Fuck.

Excuse me, what did you say? My man should love me more than I love him?

First of all, Cosmo always, and I mean always, assumes that men who are complete assholes are the most attractive to twenty-something-thirty-something women. It’s “a lot easier to fall for the guy who doesn’t acknowledge your existence.” I’m sorry, but I actually enjoy being treated like a human being as opposed to a piece of ass, so stop encouraging us by including the topic in every article. This article apparently needs to assure the readers that a man who loves you more than you love him is still attractive and totally “doable.” Strike one for double sexism.

Secondly, it assures the readers that a man loving you more than you love him is putting the woman in a position of power. It assumes that women think men who are into them are clingy and needy, instead of just falling for them. Even when the article discusses how relationships fluctuate, having less feelings for the other person is considered having “the upper hand.” Like you’re competing with your partner and whoever is more cold-hearted wins. Ever heard of equality in a relationship? Strike two for double sexism.

Also, “experts agree that picking a guy who digs you about 10 percent more than you dig him is smart.” Smart. As in, if we don’t we’re doing it wrong. It must be true because “experts[!]” say so! Strike three for sexism against women, IN A WOMEN’S MAGAZINE!

The last, and perhaps the most frustrating issue I have with this article is that it emphasizes that men who are more into you than you’re into them let you be yourself from the beginning – instead of hiding your true self weeks, months, years before you’re comfortable around him. Did it ever occur to the writer, or the editors, that you should be authentic from the get-go regardless of whether he likes you more or not? If you’re authentic and he doesn’t like you, well sucks for you but at least you didn’t have to waste your time pretending. Strike… four(?) for double sexism again!

If you’ve read the article you may agree with me, you may not. You might feel that I’m oversimplifying it. Yes, it’s true that relationships ebb and flow with time. But authenticity is the most important thing. Cosmo fails in its mission to empower women with some of its articles, like this one, and promotes treating men like cattle. Sex tips are great, health and gynecological information is also awesome in Cosmo. But they should stay away from love because…

Who cares who loves who more in the beginning, the goal is to be happy, healthy, and in-love. It’s not a game. It’s not a competition between men and women. We cannot remove sexism from our society without acknowledging that men and women are EQUAL because they are HUMAN.

Thank you for reading!

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6 Comments

  1. I hope you send some version of this to the magazine. Seriously, if you’re seeking out guys with whom you have to play these games, not only are you seeking out broken people, but you’ve got to be pretty broken yourself. Cosmo should be ashamed for printing this shallow BS instead of encouraging women to be themselves and look for men who can handle real women and real relationships. And to promote the idea that you should look for a partner, a love in life, who cares about you more than you do about him is just evil in so many ways. They’re basically saying, “Ladies, you’re not going to find an equal partner in life, so you’d better set yourself up with a puppy dog.” Gah!

    Reply
  2. Don

     /  July 22, 2012

    Muse:

    Sorry to divert, but as you suggested, watch the video. So I did. Here are my comments. I will preface this by saying I am a middle aged white person and that my cloud your interpretation of my comments, but so be it.

    The video’s premise is that the media that people are subjected to makes little girls believe they are fat and not in control and makes little boys feel they need to be in control and that is why only 16% of congress is women. Poppycock.

    Media reflects society, society does not reflect media. Yes, it is true. Should women be given every opportunity in life? Yes. But to suggest that most women are too stupid to interpret images and our entire society is wrong because of what people hear and see on TV, computers, etc is just plain wrong.

    Did you consider for a moment, that only 17% of women want to be in a position of power or elected to the senate? How about some statistics about how many women run versus men and are they defeated more than men?

    Several studies have proved that violent video games and movies DO NOT make kids more violent or cause them to go nuts. No one is suggesting that Batman movies made the guy in Aurora, CO shoot all those people. So you are suggesting that Jersey Shore keeps women out of politics? Come on.

    Women are ten times harsher about women than men are. Easily. Of course, men are men. I do it to. Every woman I meet, I consider. But I have never seen a man lay into a woman’s looks as fast as a woman does. Never. I remember a scene in Primary Colors where a woman in a restaurant remarked that she would not vote for a woman because of her hair.

    Personally, I like strong women. What I don’t like is when people blame the wrong causes for stuff that happens.

    Don

    BTW: I am not saying every woman loved the book, but if every woman wanted to be strong, then why did “50 Shades of Grey sell so well?”

    Sorry to throw that in, but I know how much the MUSE enjoyed that book. LOL

    Reply
    • “Media reflects society, society does not reflect media.” – it’s a two-way street, everyone knows that! Media reflects society AND society reflects media.

      Reply
  3. Very well written and I couldn’t agree more. I agree with the comment from Rosie – you should definitely send a version of this to Cosmo! Great post, and congrats on being freshly pressed on your most recent blog entry.

    Reply
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