You recently featured a story about me in your June issue. At first, when you asked me to share my story and my advocacy work against sexual assault, I (of course) said yes. Since your magazine heavily influences the way women act and perceive relationships, I thought through sharing my story I would have the opportunity to shed light on an important issue. When I went to the grocery store to pick up the issue, I have to admit I was nervous. This was the second time I had ever purchased your magazine, and when I saw the front cover of the issue, I was reminded as to why I have refused to give you my business.
“Wild Sex Stories: Eek! You’ll die when you read what these “normal” guys wanted once their pants hit the floor.” (Let me guess, they were “freaks” in the sheets and needed shamed.)
“50 ways to be Sexy This Summer.” (You can give only 50 tips, Cosmo?)
“Where to Meet a Guy in June.” (I’m guessing in the next issue you’ll be telling us where to meet a guy in July.)
“Are you an ‘Almost Girlfriend’? What to do Now.” (I read that article, and the advice was useless.)
“When Your Period Makes You Cra-a-zy.” (So, not just sort of crazy, but realllllly crazy.)
I get it, you want to sell your magazine. And apparently a lot of women like reading your magazine enough to keep you in business. However, the two pages dedicated to preventing sexual assault got lost in the many pages dedicated to “Make a Hot First Impression,” and “Touch His Butt Like This,” and my personal favorite, “8 Ways to Send Him Away Screaming.”
I suppose what startled me in your “Cosmo Fights Campus Rape” section, was that there were no statistics given in how often sexual assault takes place on campus. Not even a single tip was given in how to protect oneself from sexual assault on campus, such as not walking alone at night. Instead, you encouraged your readers to download Stay-Safe Apps. What happens if some of your readers don’t have have smart phones?
You couldn’t even keep the steamy sex talk out of my own interview and wrote, “Once there, it was clear our first hookup would happen...My mind at ease, I was able to enjoy the action.” (Which, by the way, I never said anything remotely like that in our interview.)
Then, just a few short page turns after my article, a fashion spread titled Set the Night on Fire featured a model playing hard to get with a male. Each photo had enthralling captions such, “He was trouble, but she didn’t come to Cartagena to play it safe,” or “If he wants her, he can come find her.”
Your magazine reflects just how out of touch you are with the daily lives of women. Sure, you put a couple of pages in about sexual assault. Good for you. Perhaps you met your yearly quota for that. However, your over sexualization of women in your magazine and the continuous amounts of tips you continue to give women on how to please the men in their lives continues to put women in a place that is subservient to men.
Instead of instructing women on how to keep a man, how about encouraging women to love themselves without one? Instead of articles that teach us how to “Meet a Guy by the 4th of July,” how about an article on how to find better self-fulfillment by then. And instead of dressing for the “Summer Look He Loves,” how about dressing in a way that makes me feel good?
In the meantime, I hope when I see your next issue that you’ll have other advice such as, “How Not to Not Look Hot” or “Make Him Whistle While Cleaning the Floor with a Bissell.”
Another woman making her way (without a man) in the world
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