Sunday, August 3, 2008

What Women Want

I realize that my standards are pretty much my own and mine alone. I am for the most part an alien even among my friends as far as my beliefs and interests. However, every once in a while I see things targeting women that make my head hurt. Words like 'empowerment', 'feminism' and 'independent' are tossed around as if they are supposed to mean something to me--but they seem so ridiculous.

I was at the grocery store tonight and saw the cover of this month's Oprah magazine. On the cover? "You Are An Excellent Woman!" Granted, I didn't actually pick up a copy and see what was inside, but judging this magazine by its cover, I have to wonder--do women need Oprah to tell them they are Excellent? And really, are we all excellent? Sure, I think I am--but most of the time that's my ego speaking. If I were as excellent as I think I am, I don't think I'd need Oprah to tell me so from the cover of her magazine.

Of course, if Oprah isn't your cup of tea, there is the crap load of magazines like Cosmo and Glamour, promising you little known insights into his sexual desires, your sexual desires and ways to fit into your jeans without a diet or working out in less than a week. How can you resist these manuals to a better you?

Have you made it home empty handed? No worries. There is a cable channel, just for you! WE--Women's Entertainment! Lately, the only thing I see on this station are Danielle Steele movies and wedding themed shows. Platinum Weddings, Bridzilla!, Wedding Central, Puppy Weddings and a few dozen others that I have successfully missed. Now, I personally love weddings and often wonder what my own wedding would have been like had I had one. But I have other interests. I know other women have other interests. I would like a couple of programs about managing my finances, maybe something that speaks intellingently about women in other cultures, policy issues that impact women in this country. ANYTHING but women acting like they are tulle covered lunatics all night. I'll even admit that curiosity has gotten the better of me on a few sleepless nights and watching these shows. They cover the spectrum from Platinum Weddings, where rich people 'saw it, liked it and just bought it' to what seems to be Jerry Springer rejects on Bridezillas getting into fist fights with their uncooperative family members.

Yes, this is truly women's entertainment. This is the best people can come up with?


Anonymous said...

You know, I still believe that Cindi Lauper is one of the best feminists out there. Here she is, in her 50s (!), still doin' her thang.

That, and as we will always remember, she just wants girls to have fun. Is that so hard?

Now THAT is feminine empowerment.

Anonymous said...

bah i know. thats why i am a trillion times more likely to read a blog than a magazine.

lordhelmet said...

As a guy, it's nice to see a real woman's opinion on the status of female-targeted media, and see that not everyone mindlessly absorbs what to me seems to be patronising (matronising?) and insulting stereotype-perpetuating, unempowering wastes of time. I'll never understand the appeal of shows/mags like that, and thankfully, the appeal's not universal. Thanks for restoring some hope.

Anonymous said...

Lord Helmet,

I promise you, there are PLENTY of us out there that cruise right by that crap. I think the reason why networks think this is what women want is because when they call you at home for those opinion polls, us real girls are too busy doing our thing to answer them - leaving us with the morons without any real prospects yapping away and punishing us all in the end.

Great post!

Girl With Curious Hair said...

Boo: I LOVE her version of Ma Vie En Rose. She is something else.

Tex: Don't ask me how, but I actually have ended up with a subscription to Glamour. It scares me.

Lord: I assure you, we're not all unhinged and self-obsessed spend thrifts.

Caryn: Thank you!