The Cosmopolitan Divide, part 28

Before I move on to what Gough-Yates called for as the next stage of research, I’d like to take a moment to call attention to race. It’s likely that at some point over the past few months you read about how some (many?) black women did not feel that Hillary Clinton was a candidate who would (could) represent them and their interests.  And, yeah, I’ve overlooked this aspect so far myself. Think how many problems this brings up, though, at every point of the history of scholarly criticism of women’s magazines.  Positive/negative images? Well, they were all white for a long while there, so black must be really negative. Magazines as tools of the patriarchy? Shit, white women themselves have been tools of the patriarchy for a long time (*cough* suffragists *cough*).  Conversations about thorny social issues? I’m going to refer back to the covers to give you an indication of who we’re being told are having these conversations.

Christina Baker (2005) may have found that 11.5% of Cosmopolitan‘s readers were black, but I invite you to scroll down the page and see if the covers match that percentage.

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