When you think of Cosmopolitan, politics don't exactly spring to mind, unless they're the sexual kind. But the magazine's editor-in-chief is aiming to change that. With Joanna Coles at the helm, there is hope that Cosmo will become a thinking woman's magazine yet.
Coles claimed in an interview with NPR that it's not inconceivable for a woman to "handle both choosing an outfit and a suitable candidate for the Senate." With its seemingly endless orgasm-centric fare, however, the magazine hasn't exactly helped dispel reigning gender bias. In fact, you could argue that the likes of Cosmo have contributed to the problem.
Sure, girls want to have fun, yet as Coles rightly points out, they are equally "interested in mascara and the Middle East." Unfortunately in trying to make her point, she draws on the tropes of men who are able to talk about sports "relentlessly" and still be taken seriously.
Yes, it's true that we 'gals' can be frivolous and business-minded and high-brow and silly. Still, talk of any kind of feminism feels rich coming from a magazine whose remit for as long as I can remember has done nothing to reflect the deep layers of its readers, but which has instead taken us as a collective of nymphomaniacs whose only concern is ever more creative ways of pleasuring men.
If Coles has her way, the magazine deliver in-depth features on elections under its #CosmoVotes hashtag. If Coles delivers on her promise, Cosmo could well become Playboy for women, strategically balancing titillation with serious journalism.