Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about. freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

my actual writing, if you're curious

So Cosmo’s editor thinks her magazine does more for feminism than “left-wing academics”…

First of all, feminism IS left-wing. There is nothing conservative or even centrist or moderate about feminism. It’s a movement that, at its roots, wants to upend the entire way we think about gender and other social categories, expand underprivileged people’s access to cultural and material resources, and challenge traditional hierarchies of all kinds. If that’s not left-wing, I don’t know what is.

Second, printing articles about reproductive health and rape on college campuses is important, but it doesn’t make up for helping tear down people’s self-esteem and teaching them shit about sex that’s so dumb it often leaves me speechless. Guess who does the work of helping people not hate their bodies and sexuality? Yup, feminists. Not Cosmo editors.

Third, I’m a little doubtful that an authentic feminism can ever emerge from an outlet whose primary purpose is to make money and sell stuff so that other people make even more money. There’s nothing inherently bad or evil about making money or selling stuff, but if that’s your PRIMARY mission, your feminism is only going to go as far as it can without challenging the people who pull your strings. That is, not too far.

Fourth, while you can be a feminist without being in the least bit intersectional (I’m not going to no-true-feminist all those feminists who think trans people are icky and women of color just need to stop being so angry, no matter how much I despise these views), you can’t claim that you’re more important to feminism than those who ARE intersectional. Where’s your coverage of issues that primarily affect women who aren’t white, rich, straight, able-bodied, thin, and conventionally attractive, Cosmo? Why the “he” in all your articles about pleasing your partner? That’s right, all those “left-wing academics” are taking care of that. Along with all the left-wing non-academics who also get far more done for equality than Cosmo ever has.

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