And it brought out my feminist ire (if you can call it that. Mostly, I just got bugged, but “feminist ire” sounds better). Not for the reasons you might think, though. I was offended because it was funny.
Let me back up. I’m not in the habit of reading men’s magazines. I’m not even sure I could name any magazine for men, except for maybe GQ, but only because I’ve heard GQ mentioned in regards to men dressing well (i.e, “He’s SO GQ!”).
(What does GQ stand for anyway? Gentlemen’s Quarterly? Genetic Quality? Gun Quest? Going Quorting? Oh, wait, courting starts with a C. My bad.)
But I was hanging out at my son’s Tae Kwon Do lesson, and there it was, sitting next to last week’s newspaper. I had already read last week’s newspaper, and the Esquire was the only thing to read. It also smelled really good, so I picked it up. The headlines on the cover made me laugh, so I flipped it open. Then I laughed some more. I laughed so much that the lady next to me asked what I was laughing about. I shared with her the letters to the editor section, which, along with regular letters, included “Highlighted context free excerpts from letters we will never print”. And because I know you’re just as curious as I was to know what kind of letters would be so bad you couldn’t print, I offer you the following, quoted from my not so good memory:
“I strongly recommend that you interview and then photograph my two children.”
“You can’t buy the shoe, you have to be the shoe.”
“By the time I was 24, I was the most celebrated mink designer in the world.”
“If you’ve never checked out the National Federation for Pole Dancing, I suggest you might want to.”
There was also the hilarious interview with William Shatner about his new sitcom, and not once was the man asked about his search for happiness or inner fulfillment. They talked about science fiction and bad waiters.
So I sat there, reading, laughing, enjoying the surprisingly witty writing, and smelling the awesome cologne pages (wow did that magazine smell good), and I thought, ‘Why don’t WOMEN write like this?”
I know lots of funny women writers, so I know that men are not inherently funnier than women. But I can’t remember a single time I laughed out loud reading People, or OK, or any of the other supermarket tabloids/hairdresser/airplane magazines I’ve read over the years. Mostly, it’s about make-up, hair, shoes, jewelry, and Brangelina. And interviews with celebrities include asking them their inner peace or character development, with not a witty story of bad waiters in sight.
So yes, my feminist ire was rankled, because I thought, “How come nobody writes funny magazines for women?” And then I was trying to figure out what it says about us that magazines aimed towards women have almost no humor at all. We all know that magazines are all about glossy images, celebrity gossip, and marketing manipulation. This magazine was no different, but why can’t we have a laugh or two thrown in? Seriously, what’s UP with that?
If you have come across something like that out there, please let me know. Otherwise, who’s in on creating a funny magazine for women? ‘Cause I’m thinking that there’s a huge untapped market out there. Plus, we can put MEN’s cologne tester strips instead of women’s perfume. I know it sounds weird, but trust me, I guarantee that will make them fly off the shelves.