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I hate women’s mags like more! but Vagenda d...

I hate women’s mags like more! but Vagenda did feminism no favours today

 more! magazine folded this morning. Amidst Twitter’s outpouring of sadness for the journalists who won’t have a job next week, Vagenda celebrated the loss of a publication they believe ‘insidiously influence[d] the minds of young women.’

They maintain they’re sad for the job losses, but not for the loss of the magazine. But the thing is Vagenda – the magazine has gone. So why did you need to celebrate it? Surely a touch of decorum in the current economic climate wouldn’t have been too much to ask?

I happen to agree wholeheartedly with their sentiments. I have a deep and passionate hatred for women’s magazines. They encourage bitchiness and insecurity and exist at a level of superficiality that should shame us all.

But what I don’t feel the need to do is shout this for all my Twitter followers to hear. The magazine has folded. It isn’t going to print anything ever again. Telling its writers  their work was terrible for women everywhere doesn’t change that. It just smacks of rubbing salt into the wounds.

In fairness to the ladies at Vagenda, they have subsequently apologized and said their tweet was ‘ill-judged.’ So perhaps it is churlish of me to criticize them for it. But the thing is, if you want the moral high ground, you need to be beyond reproach.

Because I don’t want to exchange a fascination with cellulite for a bashing of the sisterhood.

I personally don’t like women’s magazines. But absolutely no one has the right to tell me what makes ‘good’ or ‘enjoyable’ reading. Let’s have the debate about the role magazines play in our self awareness. Let’s think about what we consider to be entertaining reading. But do not sit and preach and pretend that there isn’t a market for ‘bikini diets’ and ‘best-dressed’ lists. There is. And one magazine folding does not show that demand has fallen and radical feminism has emerged victorious.

Twitter seems to inspire us to believe we have a ‘right’ to voice our opinions on everything that flits across our timeline. We don’t. Silence is your friend. No matter how sincere (or not) the apology, I will forever judge the people at Vagenda as crass and celebratory in the face of other’s losses.

When you communicate instantly, the retraction is meaningless. Whilst the sentiment behind their tweet is full of merit, their timing and their initial smugness makes me think of them as devoid of empathy. I don’t think it’s wrong to be pleased more! is no more (sorry…), but I do think it’s was wrong to choose this morning to speak out. Sensitivity in the face of adversity can never be a bad thing.

So lets all be terribly English about this, and say nothing – at least until tomorrow.


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