Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues and Knowledge - Vol. 3

By Cheris Kramarae; Dale Spender | Go to book overview

M

MADNESS

See MENTAL HEALTH I and MENTAL HEALTH II.

MAGAZINES

For two centuries or more, women's magazines have brought their predominantly female audiences issues that concern them. They cover a vast range of topics of interest to women from many socioeconomic classes, races, ethnicities, ages, and geographical regions: fashion and feminism, cooking and sports, romance and finance. No matter what a woman's interests are, she can probably find a magazine that addresses them.

This popular and inexpensive medium has attracted millions of readers around the world. In Japan, the magazines With and Mrs. are popular with adult women, while Puchisebun, Olive, Seventeen, and MC Sisters appeal to younger ones. In Germany, Bravo Girl! attracts a teenage audience, and Jackie is popular with young women in Great Britain.

Some of the most successful women's magazines today focus on fashion. The fashion magazine has a long history. An American, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, started editing the Ladies' Magazine in 1828. Renamed Godey's Lady's Book in 1837, it became one of the most successful fashion magazines of the nineteenth century. Godeys was also the first women's magazine to last longer than five years. Hale's magazine succeeded because she was an astute analyzer of middle-class tastes. Another successful early fashion magazine, Frank Leslies Lady's Journal, began in 1871 and was edited by Miriam Folline Leslie, one of the most important women journalists of her era. Hale and Leslie were two early pioneers in the field of women's fashion magazines who recognized how popular and lucrative they could be. Hundreds of publishers have since followed in these women's footsteps, producing fashion magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair-which emphasize elite styles-and the more middle-class Redbook, Essence, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Elle, and Cosmopolitan. Seventeen, Sassy, Teen, and YM are popular fashion magazines targeted at younger women.

Fiction, especially that directed to a female audience, has also been a staple in women's magazines. The popular Peterson's Ladies' Magazine, which began publication in 1842, based its success mainly on the fiction it featured. Gloria Steinem found the magazine a useful medium for spreading feminist and political messages when she founded Ms. Growing interest among women in physical well-being, sports, and fitness has motivated the creation in recent decades of women's magazines like SELF. There are also more specialized women's health, fitness, and sports magazines-for example, American Cheerleader.

Despite their popularity, women's magazines that focus on politics (Ms.) or physical fitness (SELF) have not attracted the large readership of some women's magazines that concentrate on home and lifestyle. Such magazines as Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, and Woman's Day are fixtures in magazine racks across the United States-perennial best-sellers, read by generations of American women. Their editorial focus on middle-class tastes in fashion, food, crafts, and home decor has attracted an audience of millions. This success has stimulated many new ventures-for example, Martha Stewart's upscale Living-but none has achieved the success of its early predecessors.

Despite their great popularity, magazines aimed at women and girls are not always viewed positively by the mainstream press. Often, women's magazines are depicted

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Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues and Knowledge - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Alphabetical List of Articles vii
  • Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women 1095
  • I 1097
  • References and Further Reading 1099
  • References and Further Reading 1120
  • References and Further Reading 1156
  • J 1163
  • K 1179
  • L 1187
  • References and Further Reading 1202
  • References and Further Reading 1226
  • References and Further Reading 1267
  • References and Further Reading 1295
  • M 1297
  • References and Further Reading 1313
  • References and Further Reading 1387
  • N 1429
  • O 1473
  • P 1485
  • References and Further Reading 1536
  • References and Further Reading 1573
  • References 1577
  • References and Further Reading 1629
  • References and Further Reading 1663
  • References and Further Reading 1682
  • References and Further Reading 1711
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