Oppositions and Overlaps in Views of Women and
Men: The Content of the Journal and the Post
The "Journal" and the Post were by the first decade of the TWENTIETH CENTURY established and influential social institutions in American popular culture. The Journal took a twenty-fifth "birthday bow" in 1908, and both magazines ran photographs in this decade of the Curtis Publishing Company building, which was completed in 1910. The Post had become a widely known institution by this time as well, Curtis having developed a network of hundreds of " Post boys" who sold and delivered the magazines in towns and cities all over the United States. These boys were urged in the Post to greater and greater heights of selling success. One inspiring model was Willie Fugate of New Mexico, who lived on the Santa Fe Railroad line: "We have more coyotes than people here," Willie reported, "but I think I can jump that order [from 125] to 200 copies a week when the travel gets a little heavier." 1
Both the Journal and the Post had found their niche in American culture, and they were decidedly different cultural texts, featuring different rhetoric, different tones, and some different focuses. But the two magazines agreed on the cultural and economic equation that would give substance and durability to the union between gender and commerce in the twentieth century. Women should consume, and men should earn to support that consumption, the Curtis magazines declared. The agreement on this equation in the midst of the two periodicals' many disagreements is striking. The women should consume, men should earn equation set the tone for these two magazines in subsequent years, and it helped to shape both commerce and gender norms in American culture for years.
Despite the fact that the Post evolved into a gender-inclusive magazine, it remained sufficiently dominated by a male oriented style and interests to provide a clear contrast with the Journal. Both magazines continued to comment explicitly on women's role during these years, giving special attention to the question of the New Woman. In 1904, fifteen years after Knapp had virtually dismissed the separate spheres metaphor, Bok was still invoking it emphatically: