Women surrender to cliches in degrading Bachelor battle
WHAT do some mainstream women’s magazines and the commercial TV hit, The Bachelor, have in common?
Apart from featuring a variety of women, it would seem, not very much. But let’s take a closer look.
For years, women’s magazines have been both much maligned and feted.
Historically, they were important for representing women’s voices and concerns. They brought the private into the public domain and imbued it with a sense of worth.
Daring to discuss women’s sexual needs and desires, highlight fears – of rape, domestic violence, cancer and other chronic and acute illnesses – as well as issues around contraception, parenting, personal, familial and professional relationships, they were often a source of comfort, recognition and information.
They united rather than divided and created a female community.
Recently, however, this sense of offering something worthy has declined meaning not only have some women’s magazines copped criticism from without, but also from within their own ranks.
Attesting to this are books such as The Body Snatchers: How the Media Shape Women by Cyndi Tebbel, former editor of New Woman; and Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America, written by Myrna Blyth, former editor-in-chief of Ladies’ Home Journal.
Far from focusing on a diverse range of women’s interests, so many mainstream women’s magazines feature nothing but celebrity pictures and unsubstantiated gossip about famous female’s lives, stories about “hook-ups” and “breakups” as well diets, sex tips to please your man, food,