Cosmo wants you to stop emasculating your boyfriend
Every now and then I liked to read from a blog entitled Sociological Images. As I visited it today I read a post that discusses a recent article from Cosmo Magazine.
Nikki L. sent in images of an article to Sociological Images called, “Are You Turning Your Boyfriend into a Girlie Man?”. The article is from from the February 2010 issue of Cosmo Magazine.
According to Nikki, the article apparently discusses "how many women are treating their boyfriends like their girlfriends, making them go shopping, do yoga, and eat vegan food. It says the gender roles are being blurred, and that’s a good thing up to a point. The article says that eventually your man will push you away and resent you for making him girlie. It gives a list of things your man shouldnt be doing, as it might damage his masculinity."
The read text reads, "FIRST, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO ACT LIKE YOUR BF OR HUSBAND IS ONE OF THE GIRLS ANYWAY?"
Above is a list that describes what Cosmo thinks a woman should not allow or influence a boyfriend or husband to do.
What Cosmo doesn't realize (or ignores) is that (even if this list is partially tongue and cheek) this list promotes sexism and standard gender roles.
I have known plenty of women in my life time who have complained that there aren't enough sensitive men out there. But if a man were to be comfortable enough with himself to "dance to Enya" or "workout to a tae bo dvd and do a high kick" (by the way the Tae Bo instructor Billy Blanks is male) that would be going against all that is manliness
This list is telling us hetero women that "girlie" (whatever that really means) is wrong, and that men cannot partake in activities or behaviors that we deem appropriate for ourselves.
Above is a list of "manly dates." Some suggestions include, "Have Him Teach You How To Play His Favorite Video Game. Sex It Up By Making The Loser Strip" and "Cook A Steak Dinner Together." I see nothing wrong with engaging in either of these activities however, why are these designed to be "manly?"
Cosmo is putting pressure on women and basically accusing us ladies of emasculating our boyfriends or husbands. It is not our job to make certain that a man is maintaining a stereotypical standard of masculinity. Not only is that exhausting but it is a submission to patriarchy.
There are so many men in the world that place the pressure on themselves to reach or maintain a level of machismo. It is these men that I run from. It is when I meet men like this either at work, withing my family, at a social gathering, etc. that I find my energy depleted and I simply wish to turn away.
Cosmo is doing harm rather than good, however, their tips and suggestions are highly marketed and consumed.
I found an image of the February 2010 issue of Cosmo and felt saddened yet not surprised at the headings all across the magazine front. I'm sure most of us have seen similar headings that have exclaimed promises of "essential" advice.
A few of these headlines really brought up some frustration.
"How To Deal With A Jealous Bitch...When That Jealous Bitch Is You"
How many women recognize that this headline is blatantly sexist? It is no secret that the word "bitch" has been embraced by men and women alike.
Rather than attempting to be allies, so many women rather take on the role of competitor. Rather than erase the word "bitch" from our lips, from our lexicon, so many choose to maintain its aim at reducing a woman to not an angry or unreasonable person, but a "bitch". A phenomenon that equates to something that is less than a human being but rather a thing, an object.
Attempting to embrace the word as a positive was a failed endeavor. It seems that so many women have just decided to go along with the men that have thrown the word onto them and have turned around and thrown it onto other women.
It is so common place to refer to someone as a bitch now a days I'm sure many who are reading my sentiments will find me to be "uptight." But let me pose this question. Just what is it that you feel when you hear someone utter the word "bitch" in your direction?
"Unclench Your Cheeks! Why Guys Stopped Loving The Thong"
Another headline that frustrates me. This statement is telling us women that we can finally stop suffering because guys are no longer interested in thongs. What happens if men start admiring the thong again? We need to strap them back on again apparently.
I own thongs but not once have I worn them for the sake of men. To my knowledge the main purpose of a thong is to avoid underwear lines showing up through clothing. But for those who wear them for the purpose of impressing men you are in luck as Cosmo - the media's bible to female self enhancement deems thongs no longer worthy.
My point is that Cosmo is a magazine that does not offer suggestions for women to experiment with different looks and ideas to please themselves but it offers suggestions in order to please men. The magazine is not really a "womens interest" magazine but really a "mens interest" magazine.
And of course Cosmo wants to start gals off on the right foot at a young age so they invented Cosmo Girl magazine.
It seems that many women feel they need to catch up to the latest trend. I envision the women who purchase this magazine to be women who do not want to be left out or left behind. Women who want to know what is "in" and what they "should" be doing to keep their man and to keep themselves looking a certain way.
We all want to be aesthetically pleasing but at what cost? I'm sure that it is difficult to escape vanity completely. I am guilty of it as well. But in my life I have purposefully attempted to focus on improvement for my own sake.
I can honestly say that if I want to purchase a new facial scrub, or a new dress it is for the sake of pleasing myself and not some man walking down the street whom I will never see again, or a boyfriend whom I know is attracted to me.
I am not shaming women who worship Cosmo, I feel a great deal of empathy and sympathy. I encourage women to enhance themselves physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, for the sake of themselves and not to impress others or obtain other's affection, appreciation and
acceptance. It's an exhausting and painful existence. I think one's OWN piece of mind is something that is definately worth fighting for.