Women’s Magazines As Scholarly Source

If we decide we need to know how women really think, feel and act, as opposed to what they say, we have three options.

First, we may listen to the nearest exemplar of that kind of feminist who begins all of her sentences with the word “Women”, followed by a verb and predicate, but is in fact talking solely about herself. These attribute their own tastes and values in men and sex to ‘women’ in general, and if a man cites women he knows who have the opposite taste or value, they simply call him a liar. For example, I used to know a woman who asserted that “women” never fancied bearded men. If a different woman happens to like beards, however, she too will claim that “women” as such like them; and, rather than debate their individual preferences with one another, these two imperial dogmatists will happily join forces to abuse the man who dares to suggest that neither can in fact speak for everybody. Everyone knows at least one woman of this type, and in some milieus no other kind is tolerated; for anyone claiming the right to be different is run out of town on a rail.

Our second option is to question the greatest seducer among our male friends. For how could this Don Juan succeed in getting so many women into bed unless he knew what they really wanted? In the light of Leporello’s documentation, all protestations that ‘women’ do not want to sleep with such an awful fellow ring very hollow and are obviously either wishful thinking or a desperate lunge at recovering the moral high ground.

Our third option is to read women’s magazines. Here we will encounter some of the same divergent solipsisms as under the first option, but also a degree of consensus. For example, women’s magazines all seem to agree that what women most want in a man is not height, or pecs, or abs, or even money, but a sense of humour. We may naïvely stop here with the feeling that we have been vouchsafed a solid truth. After all, for every feminist ideologue making narcissistic over-generalisations from her holy Self, there are surely a hundred readers of women’s magazines.

Or we may take a further step and ask ourselves the question whether a consensus in women’s magazines means a consensus among women as to what they want, or only a consensus among women about which stories are best to tell? Not to men, as no one expects them to read these magazines, but to one another. Or more truly still, a consensus among magazine publishers and editors as to which stories will sell the most magazines. Women being turned on by a sense of humour in men is by no means the same thing as a profit being turned from having journalists tell other women that women are turned on by a sense of humour in men.

If this really were a truth about all women, then women would know it already, and so not need to be told it all the time, much less need to part with folding money to be told it. The very fact that the female readers are repeatedly paying other people to tell them this story suggests that it is by no means the truth, but rather a great and thumping lie that they desire desperately to believe. So much so, in fact, that they cheerfully support a whole industry – largely owned by cynical men. And so too for all other assertions to be found in lifestyle magazines: everything that women (or men) pay to be told about themselves must necessarily be a lie, because if it were true they could both perceive it for themselves and keep their money.

The next question is why the female readers desire to believe that particular lie? It must be because it makes them feel better about themselves. After all, making the readers feel better about themselves is what the rest of the magazine purports to be about. What the magazine is really about is making them feel bad about themselves, so that they will purchase more of the products it advertises; which only goes to show how little resistance to manipulation these readers have. So, then, when women pay money to be told that female favours are conferred on men who have a sense of humour, they are doing so because they wish to feel that such favours are being conferred on a worthy cause; this makes them better people than men, who (as we all know) only want T&A. The magazine narrative therefore exists to disguise the real qualities or behaviours that turn women on, truths that would not afford them nearly so much self-admiration.

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 08:17 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: WHAT WOMEN WANT, The Copernican Revolution

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