Breast-feeding Is Not a Sexual Act
I'm All In Favor of Women & Orgasms...but...

Women are the Best Index of the Coming Hour - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eyes on the world Thanks go to Andrea Learned for the quote in the title of this post. I was at her blog recently, Learned On... and not only did that quote stick with me, but her commentary on Slate's XX Factor spin-off Double X, was thought-provoking.

Learned wonders what they're thinking at Slate when the publisher, John Alderman says, "We are doing what hasn't been done, which is focusing on the top of the women's market..." because, he notes, his readers are "very smart, affluent, technically savvy, and also interested in fashion and shopping - but not limited to that." [Hello, 'hasn't been done'? What planet does he live on?] 

I gather from Learned's post that fashion and shopping are not high on her list of serious content, the kind of edgy writing Slate XX provides with style. Learned's blog post title says it all, "Slate's Double X: Will Women, AND Men, Still Engage?" Women_shopping_online

Clearly, no interest in fashion and shopping. This post on Palin and feminism opens the "where are we in the greater scheme of things: are we Hillary or Sarah?" question with substantive points. Hence the decision to create a new magazine with a new approach - to encompass more women, perhaps? Women of all walks of life - of all ages and outlooks, all political persuasions, all facets (Moms, non-Moms, singles, Grandmoms, straight or gay). A magazine that offers chatter on "sexual politics, fashion, parenting, health, science..." etc (i.e. fill in the blanks; tho Alderman may think it's not been done before, I bet you can easily recite the rest of the topics Double X will cover).

From what I see, Slate is jumping on the opportunity bandwagon. If Double X can find the right writers, and not overdo any one facet of the new magazine, it may reach success. With the preponderance of new women's networks and interactive "societies" online springing up weekly, it's understandable that Slate would want to tap into that potential. Women do like to congregate in groups, and we do like to talk about life - including fashion and shopping.

The question, as Learned raises it - is: (I think) Do we really need another woman's 'magazine' that purports to court the women's market by creating an Oprah meets Ellen meets Good Morning America kind of platform? Is it necessary to recreate Ladies Home Journal with an edge? And, WILL IT attract men - or not? My question is: Should Slate care?

I have my thoughts... what are yours?  


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Mary Schmidt

According to Slate, "It will take the Slate and XX Factor sensibility and apply it to sexual politics, fashion, parenting, health, science, sex, friendship, work-life balance, and anything else you might talk about with your friends over coffee."

In other words, yet another "women's magazine." Yawn.

In any event, although I think I'm smart and some days I've even affluent - I just went shopping wearing a $5 sweatshirt and a pair of men's tube socks - so the "fashion and shopping" isn't going to attract me to the publication. (Hey, I used to be cute - spike heels, short skirts and all. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

I agree with Kate - I'd love a magazine that wasn't full of Chanel ads and "how to get a man" and "how to help little Johnnie do his homework" articles.

Kate Hutchinson

I have two opinions. The first is, why do women always comprise their own market segment? Gender is not the great determiner. Why do we need a new magazine that is essentially "Slate for Women"? I know plenty of women who already read Slate and appreciate it just as it is: gender neutral.

The second opinion is, how nice to have a magazine created for women that isn't about shopping. You can say Oprah is about empowering women, treating them with respect, but a fair portion of her magazine is about shopping and lipstick. I would love to see magazines like Slate help to crowd out outdated mags like Cosmo or Glamour. Real reporting on things that are considered more "lady's issues" (like fair pay)--rather than respected as the real mainstream issues that they are--would be welcome.

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