Okay, so I hate Cosmo but it hasn’t always been that way. I used to read it almost every month (this was when I was like 16 until 20). Then I started noticing that, well, Cosmo is just a big junky magazine that prints practically the same articles almost every month. Not just every other month. Every. Single. Freakin. Month.
- How to have your hair just right for the perfect date
- How to have your clothing just right for the perfect date
- How to wear the perfect scent for the perfect date
- How to get the perfect date
- How to please your perfect date
- How to keep pleasing your perfect date
- How to know if your perfect date is the one (even if he doesn’t think you are the one)
- How to be great at everything you do — but you have to make sure you follow the above steps otherwise you are not great
But the repetitious articles are not the main reason why I hate Cosmo.
I noticed something in the last issue I bought (yes I bought Cosmo–but only for who was on the cover: Khloe Kardashian! Yes, I love Khloe. No shame). I remember when this magazine used to have a section that was dedicated to men (it appears they have taken it out either of this issue or all issues … I am not really sure). I also remember when I did a research report on this magazine and analyzed current issues in comparison with another issue from the 80s (I found the 80s issue in a doctor’s office). The 80s issue was very different from the current issues and that was: they never told women how to act or behave in accordance to men’s needs, wants, or desires.
In this issue, Cosmo had a section titled “Need to Know: Cosmo Fights Campus Rape.” In this section it talked about what they accomplished, why girls should join, and why “his party habits put you at risk”.
I kind of shook my head at the last bit because it read, “If he’s drunk, he’s more likely to commit rape.”
In 1993, an extreme drunkenness defence was actually accepted by the Supreme Court in Canada in R. v. Daviault. However, in 1995, Bill C-72 amended the Criminal Code to disallow the extreme drunkenness defence for a number of violent offences, including sexual assault. This defence was disallowed because of the increase in “extreme drunkenness” defence after this ruling.
Cosmo then went on to write “…so he may not back off when a woman says no and is more prone to cross the line….It’s just something to keep in mind as you hit the rounds of prefinals parties.” (p. 202, May 2012).
This is counterintuitive to their whole “Cosmo Fights Campus Rape” campaign. It was started out in support of the “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” campaign which “aims to empower victims, improve campus sexual assault prevention programs, and encourage bystander intervention.” (Cosmo Mag).
I am sure that they meant no harm in writing their other articles on how women can make themselves appear better or look better or even feel better so that they can meet the needs, desires, and wants of every man out there. Yet, writing that a man is more likely to rape you if he is drunk removes the fact that the perpetrator had been a part in any wrong doing. He didn’t force himself upon you because he made the decision to rape you. What they write instead is: he did it because he was drunk, and well you said, “No thank you.”
So much for empowering the victims.