Yesterday, I finally got a chance to thumb through all the women’s magazines that’d been piling up around my coffee table. And as I flipped through one after another, I started to notice some interesting trends…
So, I’d like to ask my fellow female readers a question: Can you recall, during any other presidential election season, women’s magazines ever blatantly endorsing a political candidate?
Because I don’t.
They typically only talk about the importance of voting, right? In-between articles about perfecting your lip line or dealing with office crushes. That’s how I remember it, anyways, which was why it was so startling to see Hillary Clinton’s face splashed across every issue.
She’s everywhere. Elle included a special “elle-ection day edition” that talks about how to be sure you’re registered and all the ways to make sure nothing gets in the way of our voting, warning us about the dangers of wearing our Hillary pins to the polls.
Even their advice column included a blown-up quote saying, “To make sure that the wrong dude doesn’t end [the world] sooner by getting his short fingers on the button that fires America’s 4,571 active nuclear warheads, vote for Hillary.”
The articles that weren’t directly telling us to vote for Hillary still subtly reminded us about why we should. They talk about sexism, unequal pay, international gender oppression, and what things were actually like for women back when America was considered so “great.”
There’s an article entitled “Black Votes Matter,” discussing how critical it is for black women to be sure they vote (which would definitely help HRC, considering how black women favor her by an enormous margin). The issue finally ends on an interview with Jon Hamm, asking about his role as Don Draper in Mad Men, which was set in the 1960’s.
About Don Draper’s personal magnetism, Hamm said:
I think Don’s appeal is more to old white dudes than it is to ladies. Because he represents this mythical era of masculinity. We’re going through it in the political arena now. Old white dudes saying, “Remember when we ran sh*t?” You still do. It’s still a thing.
Even Bazaar, which is usually not so much a source of hard journalism as a glorified collection of unreasonably-priced clothing ads, talks to Siri Hustvedt, a female novelist, about accusations that her husband secretly wrote her books (since people believed they were just too good for a female author). Then they include a huge spread about the stylish juggxrnaught that is Michelle Obama.
It’s the same deal with Marie Claire, which ran an article about “The New Guard” (as opposed to the Old), featuring 50 powerful women of various ethnicities. There’s a poll about the upcoming elections detailing how women overwhelmingly support Hillary, as well as an interview with Jennifer Pierotti Lim, a lifelong GOP supporter who recently jumped ship to build support for HRC.
Lim isn’t the only one. Did you guys catch Marybeth Glenn’s Twitter rant? She’s a lifelong Republican who spent years defending the GOP against charges of sexism, only to finally lose her sh*t on Twitter with an 18-twat speech about feeling stabbed in the back.
Yeah, women are collectively pissed. Can you feel it?
I think if there’s any upside to Trump’s nasty orange face blathering on and on with its hateful rhetoric, it’s that women are at long last getting on the same page. The guys in charge are usually so much better at rationalizing their sexist belief system, using language that makes women afraid that voicing any frustrations they’re experiencing would come across as hysterical and overly sensitive… too emotional, which would only prove the ongoing point about women not having the proper rational temperament to lead.
But then Trump, who’s fat and unattractive, kept on calling women fat and unattractive, whenever he wasn’t bragging about grabbing them by the p*ssy to Billy Bush’s snarky, frat-boy laugh. As the CNN pundit Van Jones recently said, “You just can’t polish that turd.”
Women are breaking ranks and starting to mobilize. Because Trump, in all of his blind Alpha bullsh*t, forgot he needed to respect women too. If only men voted, according to all the polls, he would be winning. Especially if they were white men without college degrees, which was all Trump has apparently cared about.
Except women actually make up the voting majority, which is why he will lose.
I don’t know if the editors of women’s magazines have their own agenda, or if they’re only catering to what was already happening among their readership, but I couldn’t help noticing yet another interesting trend…
The imagery in these magazines could almost be considered regressive, if we’re going by our decades-long fears about the symbolism of women’s clothing. Instead of empowering, androgynous chic, we’ve got image after image of extremely traditional femininity: high heels instead of sneakers. Cat-eye liner and brightly-colored lipstick instead of the “natural” look.
They keep mentioning lavish jewelry and even FURS, which have been politically incorrect since the 1990’s. They’re talking France and French designers, dropping retro pictures everywhere: Bridgette Bardot pouting in black-and-white. I open Bazaar in random places to see women in leopard prints, black negligees, or floor-length fairytale gowns over pink high-heels. These are images we typically associate with the patriarchy and our ancient gripes about women looking more pretty than practical.
To make things even weirder, Women’s Health was the ONLY magazine not mentioning anything about the upcoming election. At first glance, the images in Women’s Health seemed to be the most empowering: sweaty women playing soccer, building their triceps, negotiating the world in more sensible shoes…
But when I looked closer, the actual messages were by far the most old-school. Some woman asks about how to prevent soggy piecrusts. Another worries about whether it’s “ethical” to give someone store-bought cookies instead of making your own (the answer? You can buy them only if you fess up to it). WTF, Women’s Health, is it 1957 or 2016?
Some messages were more subtle. Huge athletic shoes splash across the page with the tagline “Deny your DNA.” Then, there’s an article about how more female police officers would reduce violence since we’re so incredibly biologically different than our menfolk, being so much less aggressive and having more modest egos. It ropes us with a compliment before reminding us, again, about how we’re so biologically nonthreatening.
There’s an interview with Boyd Holbrook, who says he’d try to impress a date by taking her hiking and that it would be her “own damn fault” if she didn’t have a great time. Kind of in huge contrast to the Jon Hamm interview where he says not giving a damn about women’s feelings only still impresses white relics.
There’s even images of dentists sticking their hands in a female patient’s mouth or putting them inappropriately on her thigh as she looks scared and vulnerable.
So, what’s going on? Why is one magazine talking about soggy pie crusts as women lift weights, as the others demand the first female president while draping their women in diamond necklaces and French ballgowns?
You know what I think is happening? I think women are putting on warpaint.
Because there’s another way to look at this. Just think about the kind of women you’ve heard bragging about being tomboys: “I don’t usually get along with other women,” they constantly say, “because I’m so different, more like a guy.”
It’s like they’re begging for honorary membership to the boy’s club, as though being unlike typical women clearly represents a huge improvement.
I have no beef with women genuinely expressing whenever they fall on the traditionally masculine/feminine spectrum, but openly hating all things feminine brings problems of its own. There’s power in being a woman. There’s something electrifying about becoming the Goddess.
Think of Carrie Underwood, with her blue eyeshadow and giant hoop earrings beneath a lioness mane of wavy blonde hair. Her red bra-straps peek out of her skin-tight, sleeveless black shirt as she glides toward her cheating boyfriend’s souped-up truck with a baseball bat, preparing to knock out its headlights and carve her name into leather seats.
Or Beyonce, getting her hair and makeup ready as she tells her lying, cheating boyfriend that everything he owns is to the left. She IS the goddess, who seductively slinks her arms around a traitor’s neck to remove all the expensive jewelry she bought him…
Leopard prints and stilettos are as dangerous as they are sexy, and women seem to be currently tapping into this fact. Angela Rye already channeled Beyonce when saying “Boybye” to an obnoxious Trump supporter.
I think if anything could be more devastating to Trump’s fragile ego than having his narcissistic dreams crushed by a bunch of women, it would be defeat at the hands of women wearing glittery pink lipstick and heels. Feminine AF, yet wielding the vote.
It’s an exciting time to be female. After centuries of feeling powerless, we’re finally realizing we have the numbers to slap the smug off any bigoted white Alpha-male face. And we can do it in heels.
Maybe once it happens, we’ll realize we’ve have this power all along. There’s so much more we could do with it.
But beyond all these overtly pro-Hillary messages, I’ve been noticing something else: