For all its posing and posturing over the decades about “Women’s Lib” and emancipating women, you’d think Cosmopolitan magazine would try to put women on equal footing with men.
Sadly, it does just the opposite on all too many topics, particularly gun ownership.
In its latest foray into faux feminism, in a story headlined “It’s Time to Talk About What Guns Have to Do with Dating,” Cosmo asks, “Does the person you’re dating own a firearm? Have you ever talked about gun safety?” Cosmo fiction: Men who own guns are suspect and scary, women who own guns do so at their peril.
The magazine then goes on to parrot various so-called “studies” that say things like 100 percent of all gun murders are committed with guns—and from there jumps off into lecturing readers. Mike Weisser, Huffington Post’s self-proclaimed “Gun Guy,” tells women in the story that if a boyfriend admits (gasp!) that he owns a gun for self-protection, “That means that he considers violence as a reasonable response” to violence. Well, as opposed to ... what, exactly, Mike? Lying down and dying? Taking your rape “like a man”?
To hammer the point home, Cosmo provides videos with couples supposedly discussing gun ownership, with clueless actresses calling guns “death machines” (gag me with a spoon!), and suggestions that a man who owns a gun might be a domestic abuser (But wait, that’s already been banned by your laws!).
In other words, it’s the usual nonsensical hash of anti-gun platitudes and propaganda passed off as “common sense,” when in fact there’s nothing about it that makes any sense. The truth isn’t on their side, so they resort to the old standbys: Lies, rhetoric, ridicule and the rest. Surprisingly, Cosmo made no overt references to gun ownership as a predictor of penis size, maybe because Cosmo assumes its readers would know there’s no link.
For its part, the magazine’s editors proclaim, “Cosmopolitan and Everytown”—billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun, gun-ban astroturf organization—“are partnering for a campaign called Singled Out, to raise awareness among unmarried women of the risk for gun violence and the gaps in the law.”
The gist of the screed is that:
Guns cause crime and men who own them should be treated as suspect;
People who own guns for protection are in more danger than those who don’t (a new formulation of the old “since criminals use guns, guns make us criminals” swindle);
Therefore, women shouldn’t own a gun, and “Hey, we don’t need to!”; and
The Second Amendment protecting the right to arms is so, like, totally 200 years ago.
In other words, it’s the same kind of condescending down-talking.
But it also all goes back to the Cosmo ethos where life revolves around “Finding A Man” and “Ten Sex Tricks He Needs You To Know”—in other words, the very kind of paternalist husbandry that Cosmo has railed against for generations, even while promoting the idea in every one of its issues.
It’s one thing for Cosmo to profiteer by telling women to look outside themselves for their validation and care and fulfillment. Apparently it’s a profitable enterprise. But for them to try to dictate a lifestyle of deference, defenselessness and dependence upon all of us through government—whether or not we buy into the Cosmo mystique—that’s where Americans draw the line.
A “keeper” is not what we want in our government. That’s not the proper role of government, and for that matter, it’s not even possible. So Cosmo and other gun-banners shouldn’t be trying to impose it upon us by force.
Think about it: Could anything be more ridiculous and self-contradicting than the spectacle of Shannon Watts, head of Michael Bloomberg’s Moms Demand Action, flanked by a phalanx of armed bodyguards ... even as she lectures women that they don’t need firearms, and that the police, or the government, or, like, whoever, will always be there to protect them?
What that all means is that in effect, and especially in this month’s special “gun-control” issue, Cosmo reads a lot less like some manifesto for equality and freedom—than like a 19th-century tractagainst women’s suffrage, or some crackpot broadside arguing that “female hysteria” makes women unfit to run motor vehicles.
In other words, it’s not forward thinking, but regressive. It’s liberation through dictates. It’s not caring and familial, it’s mechanical and deterministic, reptilian and ultimately tyrannical.
And so it descends into the same evil in the time-honored way, and with the same deadly consequences: Less freedom means less safety means more attacks on the freedoms that remain, means more and more terror for good people.
Helen Gurley Brown, who led Cosmo for 32 years beginning in the middle of the “Mad Men” era, told advertisers that the magazine was “in the forefront of the Women’s Liberation Movement and supports that movement totally.”
Today, Cosmo tells young women that the smart money is on those who say, “I don’t need your scary freedom. It puts me at risk, that’s why I let them decide what’s right.”
It’s the creed of the slave, the comfort of the powerless, the cry of those who surrender.
To promote that kind of backward, brainless, condescending thinking as “cosmopolitan” is a joke.