For decades, Cosmopolitan magazine has been enthusiastically converting the mainstream, feel-bad-about-yourself mythology of girl-meets-guy into a mainstream, monthly infection. You’re supposed to only want guys (duh), and be validated through men (it’s so exciting!), and make yourself pretty so he’ll like you (eat a smaller lunch and tone those glutes!) and taking this matter into your own hands is empowering (and here are some bonus sex tips to help make him moan, because the sex is about the pleasure, or at least his).
Telling women that male-dominated workplaces are great places to score a date is taking this yuck to a whole new level.
From The Best Places to Meet a Guy (emphases mine):
Hot spot: A Fortune 500 or tech company
The draw: How’s this for a fab job perk? Twenty-two percent of people met their spouses or long-term significant others on the job, according to a survey by Vault.com. But all careers are not created equal, guy-wise. If you’re searching for a new position, consider working for either a Fortune 500 company (75 percent of incoming full-time associates at top banks, many of which are in the Fortune 500, are guys) or a tech company (men make up 75 percent of the technology workforce, according to the National Science Foundation). Hint: Once you’re in, join the office Super Bowl pool.
Find it near you: Visit hoovers.com for a list of companies. The following Fortune 500 companies have an impressive guy-to-girl ratio:
- California: 75 percent of new hires, as of their latest report, at Cisco Systems, an Internet networking business, are male; cisco.com.
Hot spot: A political rally or campaign
The draw: The hottest political organization these days is the Save Darfur Coalition, which is dedicated to ending the genocide in Darfur, the western region of Sudan in Africa. Stars like George Clooney are getting involved in the movement, and the number of members (read: smart, passionate guys) is rapidly increasing. If you feel fired up for the cause too, check out upcoming rallies, vigils, roundtables, and concerts. Or join a political campaign. The best part: Many senatorial and gubernatorial campaign teams are male-dominated. The atmosphere is intense (you’re all working hard toward a goal: the candidate winning), and there’s a set end point (the election), which lends itself to a live-for-the-moment attitude that’s conducive to love connections.
Yes! This is real! ZOMFG. Cosmopolitan is proudly presenting the glass ceiling as an aphrodisiac. Why rage against the machine when you can run your leg alongside it? You are being encouraged to research companies run by dudes not so you can demand answers or take away your business (which would be totally valid ways to seek empowerment), but so you can seek a job for the purpose of finding someone to bang you. Not once is it suggested that seeking a job in one of these boys clubs might be about advancing your career or the status of women (which would also be totally valid ways to seek empowerment). Nor is it suggested there is something wrong with these ratios.
But wait! Not only are men doing it pretty much by themselves in the big companies for the big salaries, they are also doing it in politics. It’s even “the best part” that “many senatorial and gubernatorial campaigns are male-dominated.”
While holding individual women and their sexual choices responsible for the second-class status of women is not a feminist activity, we have every right to be concerned that Cosmopolitan is suggesting that women should go into male-dominated workspaces on the prowl for mating partners. This kind of sludge serves to reinforce sexist ideas about women in the workplace and suggests that we might be working hard and showing enthusiasm not because we care or want to get promoted, but because we want to get laid. All while managing to simultaneously avoid addressing and also celebrate the skirts off the power differential of a man pursuing a more junior woman in the male-dominated workspace.
Cosmopolitan calls itself a “cheerleader for millions of fun, fearless females who want to be the best they can be in every area of their lives.” In 2014 it’s hard to believe the best we can be is holding fewer than one in 10 of the top-earner slots in Fortune 500 companies and maybe also taking it on the copy machine.
If you would like to see Cosmopolitan stop turning “Lean In” into “Sleaze In,” drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.