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.