Saturday, August 9, 2014

Subtlety or Subterfuge?

While I admire subtlety and diplomacy in people, when possible, I view it more as trickery when it comes to a media publication.  What am I on about?  Well, I recently discovered a magazine (it will remain unnamed only because I have no intention of giving them free advertising) which I believe to be a bit deceptive.  And I find that deception downright creepy.

Darling: the popular form of address used in speaking to a member of the opposite sex whose name you cannot at the moment remember. - Oliver Herford

I may not ever decide to pick up a copy of, say, Garden and Gun, but I am glad to know quickly what they're about.  Then there are magazines like Lucky Peach - you may not know by the title that it's a foodie magazine written by some well-known chefs, but you don't need to look past the cover of any issue to understand its basic premise.

The first things that bothers me is the idea of creating a magazine that claims to be a lot of things, but buries a major part of its own agenda.  I do not know if the intention is to deceive, but when a magazine is created to target young women and nothing said or shown on the cover hints at one of its most basic aims...well, it feels a bit like luring people in under false pretenses.

Modesty: the gentle art of enhancing your charm by pretending not to be aware of it. - Oliver Herford

The discovery of this magazine, for me, comes at a time when I am first hearing all about the "anti-feminist movement."  Really disheartening.  Even disturbing.  And I'll be writing about that in a separate post - but I realize that I may be more sensitive to this type of possible deviousness put into print because I'm realizing just how many women think that feminism isn't necessary.  Or, worse, some sort of evil.

I fear a magazine that hides the agenda of bringing women back into an age when virtue and modesty were their most important attributes is likely to be poisonous to the generation of girls in this country who are now entering into womanhood.  I would prefer they learn Caitlin Moran's version of how to be a woman over someone else's idea of it being an art that one must  not only learn, but practice in order to be accepted/loved/whatnot.  I fear this.  I am actually frightened for this generation.

So if you're looking for a magazine to pass the time and you aren't interested in a feminist publication, let me start you out with a few recommendations:

Mental Floss will trick you into learning things by being hilarious and downright interesting.

Lucky Peach will broaden your understanding of food culture and the writing is excellent.

Psychology Today is another cerebral gem and not as fuddy-duddy as it might sound.

I have mixed feelings about the alternative women's magazine Bust, but not about editor Debbie Stoller (the creator of Stitch 'n Bitch).

And if you're looking for high fashion and exceptional interviews, the UK's Lula may be pricey, but is said to be well worth it.