BACKBITE

It’s official. I’m sex-obsessed, self-indulgent, immoral and hate gardening. Basically, it all stems from a nasty and embarrassing habit of mine. I should be ashamed and humiliated by my vile addiction and slink off into darkened corners to indulge my desires.

It’s official. I’m sex-obsessed, self-indulgent, immoral and hate

gardening. Basically, it all stems from a nasty and embarrassing habit

of mine. I should be ashamed and humiliated by my vile addiction and

slink off into darkened corners to indulge my desires.



There are at least seven-and-a-half million women like me, and we’ve all

being exposed to public vilification this week thanks to that touchstone

of modern morality, the Social Affairs Unit. According to the SAU, I am

Magazine Woman - Loaded Man with tits (though in my case they’re my

own), a woman who reads, shock, horror, women’s magazines.



Magazine Woman has escaped from the kitchen only to get as far as the

bedroom and once there is interested only in more foreplay, more sex,

answers to 101 questions you never dared ask, and nary a thought for

literature, art, learning and civic responsibility. ’In short,’ the SAU

concludes, ’Magazine Woman is as crude, offensive and unpleasant as the

most obnoxious of men.’ And there was me thinking we women were such

sweet, fluffy things.



Actually, I can quite happily live with the fact that for an hour a

month, my thoughts concern no higher matters than whether I recognise my

partner’s genitalia in a line-up. What is more worrying is that the SAU

somehow thinks magazine editors are underestimating their readership,

and that instead of empowering women with a positive image of themselves

they are creating a demeaning picture.



What seems to have got lost in the argument is the fact that women shell

out around pounds 2.50 a month for their favourite magazine, and most of

us buy two or three.



While magazines continue to sell, it’s obvious they’re getting the

editorial right enough. I can’t think of many women who are happy to be

predatory in the bedroom but would shell out hard earned cash for a mag

they didn’t like. To suggest that would be demeaning.



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