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February 09, 2007

Women's Mags, Men's Mags

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Back in 2004, the smart and funny Cathy Seipp wrote a piece for NRO about working as a freelancer for men's magazines. I just caught up with it and found it informative and entertaining. What made me laugh loudest, though, was a description not of working for Penthouse but of what it's like to write for women's magazines:

To proper feminists who ask how I can work for a magazine that exploits women, my answer is always, go write for a women's magazine before you talk to me about exploited women.

Lured by the prospect of what, ludicrously, always seems like easy money, I have occasionally over the years done just that. But after endless, snippy, sorority slambook-style negotiations-- "And FYI, the editor said, why does she think she should get that much?" -- and torturous rewriting until the correct women's mag tone (perky, smarmy, know-it-all, generic) is achieved, that fatally tempting $2 a word shrinks to something like $2 an hour.

I've known many women who have published pieces in glossy women's magazines, and their descriptions of the experience match and confirm Seipp's. "There's always one more meeting to be had about your piece," one of them said to me. "Women editors will just committee you into exhaustion."

Cathy Seipp herself is currently slogging through a rough round of chemo. Go here and send her best wishes.



posted by Michael at February 9, 2007


But Hildie was a woman of few words. Was she just the creation of (male) wishful thinking?

Posted by: ricpic on February 10, 2007 5:05 PM

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