Monday, May 24th, 2010
When I go to the gym for my pilates class, I often grab a couple of the free magazines they have sitting around and pretend to read them to disguise the fact that I’m actually perving on the hot muscle men in the lounge. Last week I picked up a women’s mag and a men’s mag. I didn’t realise until I got home. I’ve read men’s magazines before of course, but never while simultaneously skimming through a women’s mag. It’s only then that you truly realise how the other half live. The men’s one may as well have come with a free penis and a sense of direction and the women’s with a whiny bitch and free make up.
So I browse through the women’s one and here’s what I see: a ‘wish list’ type double page spread informing me of things I should want, which really covered all the bases, from deck chairs to cupcakes. Make up advert. Little bit of news about quirky thing happening in other parts of the world. Make up advert. An article telling me how to model my holiday on the Sex and the City 2 movie (I needed more eyes to give my intense eye roll more impact). Make up advert. A crazy spread on how to mix and match clothes which I’m sure has only led to more mismatched outfits. How to wear the right eye shadow for my eye colour (I was struggling to stay awake at this point). An article on how to start your own business (by God, apparently, women have brains and can like, actually do that). An article on curing blindness (my my, we’re really stepping it up a notch). An advert for Nurofen (which was fitting, ’cause I was considering overdosing on that). And of course, no women’s magazine is complete without a recipe.
Then I turned my attention to the men’s mag.
Within the first two pages, there was money and cars. A short piece about some computer game where you get to blow shit up (complete with picture of an army looking dude with a machine gun and a blast going off behind him). An article about the world’s greenest mobile home (legitimately very interesting). An opportunity to win an Apple iPad (err, no fair – what? ‘Cause I’ve got breasts you think I wouldn’t want an iPad? Bitch please!). Advert for mobile phone. An article about some sexy new type of plane. A technology section (‘Cause you know, only fellas know how to work those computer and mobile phone thingies). An ad for razors. An article about the hunt for a mafia member in Sicily (erm, hello?! I’m officially switching to this mag). DVD reviews. Poker tips. A crossword (a goddamn crossword?!). Ad for mobile phones. A whole section of ‘instructions for men’ including how to tie a bow tie, how to not feel bloated after a working lunch and how to untie yourself from a chair when held hostage (seriously!). More chances to win more ridiculously cool stuff.
So basically, men’s and women’s mags are both guilty of reinforcing ridiculous stereotypes about the sexes. But the men’s mag is gonna teach me how to play better poker (or you know, just to play poker), win a bunch of cool stuff and give me instructions on how to get out of a hostage situation? Yeah, that gets my vote.
Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
TV aimed at women sucks giant donkey balls. It is absolutely shambolic. An embarrassment. It’s bad enough that there are individual shows aimed at us, but now there are whole channels dedicated to female programming that plays on a continuous loop, reducing your IQ drastically every second.
The worst of these shows is The Real Housewives of [insert city here]. I’ll admit, I’ve watched a couple of episodes of the New York one, more in morbid fascination than anything else. The women in these shows are always from wealthy backgrounds (or married into one) and inevitably have more money than sense. They don’t have jobs, but they fill their days pretending to give a crap about a charity/organising corny events/meeting an interior designer or some such nonsense. Is this the American Dream? Marry rich and faff around doing nothing all day?
When these women get together, it’s nothing short of cringeworthy. Although they’re all well into their 40s, it appears they’ve never actually left high school. Petty cat fights, gossiping, arguments, bitching – my God! Make it stop! It’s embarrassing. Perhaps if these women actually did something with their lives, they might have more to focus on than the petty bullshit they argue about with their fake friends. Get a job, bitch! Spend some time with your kid! Something! You’re embarrassing those of us who do more with our lives than get our nails done and tap the hubby’s bank account.
But if it’s not these idiots on the screen then it’s Oprah, or Rachel Ray, the Bold and the Beautiful or Makeover Wish – that’s just one network. That’s all they show. Repeatedly. All day. So, let me get this straight: I can aspire to be a completely vapid money grabbing bitch, cry about my feelings, cook, watch a soap opera or look at people getting makeovers? I just drowned in a sea of stereotypes.
Believe it or not, not all of us women are the same. We’re not all that one dimensional. It’s for this very reason that I refuse to read women’s magazines. Considering I’m happy with the way I look, more than happy with my weight, not that concerned about having a relationship and could really give a crap what this season’s six key trends are, there’s really not much a women’s glossy can give me.
NEWSFLASH: It’s not the 50s anymore! Jesus Christ, we’re supposed to be a bit more evolved now. I’m guessing it’s men who come up with the programming ideas for these networks. Men who are either unmarried or completely out of touch with women. Then again, if it’s women running them, heaven help us all. We get into positions of power and all we can do is regurgitate the same crap. It’s a damn shame.
We can blame these execs as much as we want, but as long as we’re willing to watch any flickering image , they’ll keep force feeding us this donkey balls. Don’t be scared to switch off!