Tuesday, June 5

Only boys want go outside

During a recent layover in Atlanta, I decided to while away the hours by browsing magazine racks.

Maybe I had too much time on my hands between flights, or maybe I've been teaching Sociology too long, but I was taken aback by what I saw in the "boy" and "girl" sections.

Now I could rant about segregating reading material by gender. (Really, why can't we group health/fitness or sports/recreation together for all genders, the way business magazines are paired? Boys do yoga. Why should they have to get "yoga journal" from the girl section?) But that's another discussion for another time.

Today I'll just admit that I know Maxim is going to be grouped in with "boy" magazines, and Cosmo will be in the "girl" section. Similarly, if we're going to divide print material along gender lines, I expect to see "Men's Health" and "Women's Health" on opposite walls.

But when did Runner's World become a dude's domain?
"Men's Interest"
And, according to this selection, men get "Outside" and "Bicycling," too. (See bottom row in photo, above.)

"Woman's Interest"
Women get (cough) "beauty" and home decoration magazines. (And I've already noted how I feel about the glossy images of beauty and perfection in those pages.)

Now, to be fair, I've read plenty of Oprah's magazines. But I've also had a subscription to Runner's World for more years than I can count. And in an airport, I'm just as likely to pick up Outside magazine as I am to grab Fine Cooking or Real Simple.

Plus, no matter where you put 'em, I'm not going to read "Traditional Home" or "House Beautiful." I'm a nomadic renter who moves every couple of years. The pile of dirty shoes by my front door is proof that my home is merely a staging ground for outdoor adventures.

I walked out without a purchase.

What magazine do you look for when you're traveling? And would you be miffed if your favorite magazine was stocked for the opposite gender?


  1. Yeah, that's lame. Although, something that drives me nuts is that Outside IS a men's magazine. Not officially, but their annual gear issue is seriously about 90% men's. It's one of the reasons I canceled my subscription after years and years and years.

  2. I'm amazed they can get away with *having* "men's interest" and "women's interest" sections officially labeled these days; I rarely look at the official labels, so it's something I hadn't noticed. Must look more closely next time! That's incredible- so aggravating!


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