We already have enough men who source their information about the world through publications such as Maxim. Do we really need to be catering more to this psychographic?
I can see the headlines now:
“Why women love shopping”
“What men really think about sex”
“The best exercises to tighten your glutes”
“How to dress appropriately for work”
“Can I date a friend’s ex?”
“Purple is the new pink”
“Reader poll: Do you even know what Cosmopolitan even means? Can you use it in a sentence?”
I don’t know why more people aren’t insulted by these magazines.
If readers want to know what publications really think of them, look at the advertising. Marketers are very deliberate about where they invest their money. Their decisions about reaching the right demographic are well-researched and informed. If they didn’t think that something would appeal to the audience, they wouldn’t waste their efforts.
In saying that, Cosmo, through their advertising, tells women that they are objects to be gazed at and they should enjoy being admired; that their appearance is to be compared against perfect beauty (as outlined in photos); that women should be active (but only in independent, noncompetitive sports); that happiness means finding a man to love; and that women should compete with each other for a man’s attention (often using physicality).
As for men, they only think about sex; they are more invested in sports or video games than any sort of relationship; they are incapable of doing any indoor household chore-they only know how to mow the lawn and barbeque; and they are unintelligent in general.
It doesn’t matter whether or not the words in a column offer modern feminist rhetoric. As long as the article is placed next to ad of shampoo pitting blondes against brunettes, you’re viewed as a simpleton who accepts the above statements. Moreover, nothing changes. With the money you spend on the magazine, you grant consent to the crap that’s in it.