The right wing media, along with a couple of the Very Serious People, are very upset that Cosmo–yes, that Cosmo–has been providing excellent political coverage, especially regarding women’s health and economic issues. Yes, you really did just read that sentence (I’ll return to this in a bit). Anyway, for the full details, you should read Jill Filipovic and Amanda Marcotte, but I just want to add two things here.
First, Cosmo scares the shit out of the right wing. Why? Because one of their favorite tactics is to paint feminists, or even just those who wouldn’t be described as misogynist, as fashionless, anti-sex man-haters. Well, that just won’t work against Cosmo: between the, erm, fashion articles, and the ‘better sex’ articles, it’s an absurd charge (though that does mean conservatives at some point probably will try this line of attack…). Why respond to arguments when you can go tribal? Except when you can’t. Consider this culture war schadenfreude.
Second, to the extent the mainstream media denigrate their political reporting, that’s really a shame, since, if you care about women’s issues (not just abortion and contraception, but workplace discrimination, spousal abuse, and the low earnings reality of women), Cosmo is doing just as well (perhaps better than) the major media. If you want to read political coverage that could actually give you useful information on how to vote, for instance, most political coverage in the mainstream media is either completely useless or very difficult to parse, largely due to all of the political horse race bullshit, along with the uncritical ‘he-said/she-said’ stenography. In addition, Cosmo, unlike the ‘majors’, assumes that their readers are reasonably intelligent, but not focused on politics, while the mainstream media foolishly assumes their readers are keeping track of all the political ins-and-outs (guess what? They’re not), but are dumber than a sack of hammers (how else do you explain Tom Friedman and Maureen Dowd?). In other words, if you’re a putative news organization getting your ass kicked by Cosmo, your business model has problems.
Here’s a bonus point (considering you didn’t have to pay for the first two, might as well throw this one in for free!). Major ‘serious’ media devote an inordinate amount of time and space to relatively uncritical attention (with some exceptions) to traditionally ‘male’ activities that can result in life-long physical trauma, including brain injures. I’m referring, of course, to the sports section. But they’re very serious! Fashion, however, is not serious at all, and is a mark against you. This really doesn’t make sense to me either (and I’m a sportsball fan).
Keep up the good work Cosmo, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re not fabulous….