Alive or dead: Ms. Magazine?

Alive or dead? Ms. Magazine: I swear, I thought Ms. was no longer published. It still is but is considered by its desired readers as “a relic,” according to the headline of this article in LA Times Magazine. The market position of “relic” is not that desired, I guess.

  • Hudge

    >Today Ms., launched in 1971, is hoping to ignite some of the emotion of its early days, because somewhere along the line, feminism lost its fire. The points won by feminism’s pioneers had a Catch-22. They improved the options for subsequent generations, but also eased the frustration and sense of injustice that propelled many women to fight. Still, the women who back Ms.—both its old versions and its latest incarnation—have never shrunk from a challenge. The new Ms. has a mandate to remind American women that feminism isn’t dead, isn’t irrelevant and isn’t lame just because your mother was into it.

    My wife went to a formerly all-male law school in the mid-70s, not too long after it became co-ed. It was not unusual then for women to hear angry hisses that they had taken a man’s rightful place, or that they were usurping a man’s place only so they could find a husband. They had to prove their mettle and keep on proving it. They see young women today ceding gains – in respect, if not in actual achievements – through indifference, complacency and even fashion.

  • Rex Hammock

    even fashion? does that mean that young women wear bras now?

    Sorry, that was a weak attempt at a cheap joke. I don’t think young women are necessarily ceding gains, rather they, like younger generations of minorities, don’t recognize the barriers their elders broke down.

    There’s a lot of research displaying that teenage women are academically out-performing their male peers. They are two generations removed from the concept that guys get called on first in class or do better in math. Such notions are quaint.

    Too bad, these bright youth, both female and male, are such slaves to a pop culture media that glorifies rock and roll, sex and drugs…oh wait, that’s a relect from Ms. Magazine’s early days.

  • Hudge

    >even fashion? does that mean that young women wear bras now?
    Yes, in fact, but barely. Ms. evolved pretty quickly away from the bra-less look to the other end of the scale – that women should not and need not dress provocatively in order to secure a job, advance and be equally rewarded for their work. As you note, the pop culture today has regressed from that – folks who write dress codes must address a degree of undress that Ms. would and did condemn.

    As for academic performance, bully for them. There still are significant earning disparities.

  • lcreekmo

    Ah it’s hard to decide where to start.

    1. Ms. is irrelevant. No one reads it, as they themselves point out. Especially not young [read: important to advertisers] people. Now whether that is right or not is debatable. But it’s true.
    2. I’m a feminist. But I know very few people who aren’t liberal Democrats who’d declare themselves likewise. The media [by this I mean movies, entertainment, fashion, and peer pressure] has convinced young women that “feminist” is a negative, man-hating and probably lesbian person. I’m sure there are some of that ilk but statistics tell us there could only be about 23 in the whole country.
    3. Salary differential: It’s VERY hard to find salary numbers based on age & sex. The Clinton Labor Department apparently did a study that showed women make less than men, with age, experience and education taken into account, in 1998. However, the Labor Department now only has Bush administration stats online. However, Bill, you’ll find this interesting. And Rex will really enjoy it. Either way, the gap is definitely narrowing.
    4. Bill is so right that no one appreciates the sacrifices of the generation before them. Just like the protesting students of the late 60s didn’t appreciate the economic miracle that their parents put together after World War II….etc., etc., etc….

  • lcreekmo

    This is too good not to add. Beloit College does a survey of incoming freshmen to determine the cultural mindset of the students, as opposed to the faculty responsible for teaching them. As you might imagine, there’s a bit of a gulf. To this year’s freshmen, born in 1985, on average, Paul Newman has always been a purveyor of salad dressing, etc.

  • Rex Hammock

    Okay, Laura. I’m going to ignore that whole “Bush statistics” thing (’cause I know this rexblog reader who happens to know someone – actually, I know him too – who happens to know those stats come from the same number crunchers who crunched them when they were “Clinton statistics”) and, hey, I’m the one who said that current generations of haves don’t appreciate the sacrifices of generations of have-nots…But, you’re right, the statistics reveal that the gap has narrowed dramatically, and will continue to. Indeed, women will close the gap and take the disparity into the opposite direction. When all full-time equivalency hours of males vs. females of comparable skill, experience level and responsibilities, women will soon rule (or co-rule with equality) the world. All without reading the first issue of Ms.

    P.S. I swear, I think I first read this whole “narrowing gap” story on nfib.com.

    P.P.S. What, me gloat?

  • lcreekmo

    No no my whole point about the administrations is only that you can’t get the older information on the Labor site at this point. Sigh. Gloat away…

  • Hudge

    Thanks for pointing me to the Glass Ceiling site, which if their math holds true will soon render their organization moot. I’m all for it – I’d like to be supported in the style to which I’d like to become accustomed.

  • Hudge

    And to return the favor, Laura, I thought you might like to see this, which Rex probably won’t enjoy http://www.thebusinessrecord.com/articles/2003/04/01/news_reports/on_women_in_business/tx03frontwoglasceiling.txt

    which goes to show that almost any set of data can be made to produce different conclusions.
    http://www.foulds2000.freeserve.co.uk/economists.htm

  • Rex Hammock

    No, I do enjoy the article you point to for it proves my point (which is your’s also, I think): Never believe statistics stories issued by folks with dogs in the hunt (wait, maybe that’s not the best way to put it). These people conveniently used the statistics for women over age 35. My discussions with Laura have focused exclusively on women under 35. I am completely in agreement that women 35+ have an apples-to-apples pay gap (though quickly closing) with men. I think this thread started with a focus on the relevance of all this inequity by earlier generations to young women (i.e., early 20s and younger).