Magazines for the Millions: Gender and Commerce in the Ladies' Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post, 1880-1910

By Helen Damon-Moore | Go to book overview

2
From Gendered Lives to a Gendered Magazine: The
Content of the Journal, 1883-1889

The fact that Louisa Knapp's Ladies' Home Journal was a commercial product affected the magazine's mission from the start. It was critical that Knapp's magazine entertain as well as edify, and the Journal sought to engage its readers as well as to give them practical information. Knapp's Journal was a feminine text, produced primarily by women for women. Knapp and her staff viewed their readers as peers and they spoke to them and heard from them in what they considered to be a two-way exchange. Images of women in Knapp's Journal were varied, and flexibility was the magazine's general orientation with regard to women's roles.

Louisa Knapp commented freely in the Journal on the state of American women's lives as she perceived them in the 1880s. Her magazine sought to empower and free women, and Knapp and her contributors were not afraid to note obstacles blocking women's progress and to suggest a variety of solutions. However, one of the major solutions they recommended—increased consuming by women—was entirely compatible with and supportive of patriarchal capitalism. And readers responded positively to Louisa's and her staffs consumer-centered solutions. Together, then, Journal staffers and readers helped to lay the groundwork for an increasingly commercial gender discourse.

Gender construction was a thoughtful, relatively conscious process in the Ladies' Home Journal during Knapp's tenure. This construction took various forms. At one level the magazine simply embodied middle-class womanhood: its various features and departments corresponded to perceived interests in women's lives, and its overall tone bespoke middle-class femininity. But gender was represented more concretely in images of women that the magazine presented in fiction and feature articles, and in its direct reflection on gender matters in editorials.

We see evidence of active gender construction in Louisa's own life as well. Louisa Knapp needed to resolve the contradiction between the domestic orientation of her magazine and the fact of its thoroughly commercial nature and its success as a product on the market. How could a woman who espoused domesticity and touted its importance edit what was fast becoming a national, mass-circulation magazine? The way in which Louisa resolved this contradiction helps to illuminate the process of gender construction for women.

-29-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Magazines for the Millions: Gender and Commerce in the Ladies' Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post, 1880-1910
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 263

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.