I’m continually amazed at the wild ride that is freelance writing! Picture it: I was supposed to be on spring break a couple weeks ago. But when I heard that Walmart was pulling Cosmopolitan magazine from checkout lines, I knew I had to write about it. Grateful that CNN Opinion accepted it!! Guess I just can’t quit this writing thing!
Seriously, though, the idea that Cosmo belongs in the back of the store was just alarming to me. And sexist. And misogynistic. And, basically, it sends the message that women shouldn’t be seen or heard and “need to be put in their place,” which is incredibly scary to think of in 2018. So, I suppose, leave it to me to speak out — did you really expect I’d do anything else?
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I take both Walmart AND the National Center on Sexual Exploitation for their insensitive and misguided co-opting of the #MeToo movement…
In other words, Cosmo is much more than the supposedly smutty sex bible this move by Walmart implies. It’s a teaching tool and fully embraces the needs of its readers. And it asks and swiftly answers the question: What does it mean to be a woman in 2018? The 2018 woman is empowered. She’s emboldened to go for what she wants — both in her work and in her relationships — so why can’t that be celebrated instead of demonized?
Meanwhile, magazines geared toward men, such as Esquire and Sports Illustrated, remain in full view, oftentimes, in those very same checkout lines. What are young women supposed to think when they see magazine covers of women in bikinis front and center and see Cosmo secluded to the back of the store? That women’s bodies should be regarded as shameful instead of celebrated?
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo