Man vs. Cosmo: Empowering women through the stereotyping of man

When I first picked up this month’s issue of Cosmopolitan my first thought was, “Who the hell is this edgy-looking redhead on the cover?” Hayley Williams? Paramore? I consider myself pretty in tune with modern pop-culture for the most part, so I was surprised to not be able to instantly identify a Cosmo cover girl. Anyway, long story short, I did a quick Google search to try to figure out where I may have seen her face before, but unfortunately for me, that was the problem. It wasn’t just her face that I had seen. That’s right, Haley Williams is famous for accidentally texting naked pictures of herself to her Twitter rather than her boyfriend. Oh, and she sings the chorus of that catchy “Airplanes” song among others too, but that’s not really important. Lucky for Hayley, this column is a judgment-free zone and I don’t make negative assumptions about people based on their actions. OK, well that’s not entirely true, but she seems like a nice person so I’ll leave her alone. I mean, I suppose she’s an appropriate choice for a magazine that supposedly exists to empower women. Way to represent, Cosmo.

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You know, I’ve been getting the feeling that these magazines have been degrading month after month; like they’re just selling me a worse version of last month’s issue. For example, I have these 75 sex moves that men (apparently) crave for this month’s issue, right? Well, I have one from a few months ago with 150. These aren’t 75 additional ones to add to my old 150 either. Hell,  if you just look through the new 75, a lot of them are just the same thing rephrased differently. I’d love to throw some examples in this column, but they’re kind of X-rated and though I’d like to make some humorous and erotic sports euphemisms out of them, that’s probably plagiarism despite the fact that all these men who provided the tips likely don’t exist anyway. Unfortunate, I know, but lucky for me Cosmo usually has lots of ammo for my column within its 200 or so pages.

Now, I mentioned earlier that Cosmo is a magazine intended to empower women. Though I personally think that’s a ridiculous statement to make after reading several issues, I sometimes like to toy with the idea when I read through some of their articles that attempt to compare the differences between men and women. From an equal rights standpoint, empowerment is something that comes from within, right? A sort of self-actualization and realization that you can be comfortable with your individual sex, race, ethnicity and whatever. Now Cosmo seems to think this empowerment for women can only be achieved by devaluing and objectifying men, and so whenever I come across one of these “Men vs. Women” articles, it’s always portraying women as the master gender and men as a bunch of mentally disabled and testosterone driven alcoholics.

So without further ado, let’s look at the portrayal of males in “The Reason Dudes at Work Don’t Get You.” In this article, the reader is presented with five different work scenarios where a female co-worker is misunderstood by her male co-workers for various reasons. Now again, I’m not saying this stuff doesn’t happen and shouldn’t be talked about or addressed, I’m simply showing Cosmo’s idea of female empowerment. In the first scenario, a woman raises her voice and the men do not understand why she’s being so emotional. According to Cosmo, this is because, “they have difficulty processing feelings and logic at the same time” and “they don’t get that [women are] able to show both.” Since I have a word limit, I unfortunately can’t go through every single scenario, but essentially men also need extra time to process questions, don’t pay attention to the details, and are bound too tightly to their ego, whereas women are the opposite. Well, the part about having a big ego is probably true. If only there were some way for men to overcome this genetic deficiency of XY chromosome syndrome.

Well, there are plenty of other wonderful gems in this month’s issue and if this column intrigued you, I recommended you go out and spend $3.99 on a copy. You’ll get your money’s worth and as much as I loathe the magazine, it never fails to put a smile on my face, much like a clingy ex-girlfriend that you keep going back to even though you know you shouldn’t. If you’re a female looking for 25 reasons not to apologize to someone, the secret weapon to use against men in a relationship, or a crappy horoscope, then this is your magazine. If not, well, you’re probably an intelligent and moral person, so keep up the good work.


Matt Miracle can be contacted at


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