Why the Mail Online’s ‘Femail’ is Actually Detrimental to Women

May 28, 2013 9:16 pm

With its cotton candy colouring and its equally fluffy journalism, the ‘Femail’ section of Mail Online – The Daily Mail’s online platform – is, quite simply, an abomination. A place where feminism comes to die, where a woman’s lady-parts miraculously smell like roses, and where body hair and period pains cease to exist.

Femail prides itself on reporting ‘news’ specifically for all those with vag*nas rosie_the_riveter(that’s why it’s pink, duh?!). So what is it, then, that the predominantly male sexist pigs – or their lonely, bitter female equivalents, yes you, Liz Jones- that run Mail Online think is appropriate ‘news’ for the fairer sex? Or, in other words, why is Femail actually a modern day den of misogyny, thinly veiled as something that benefits women?

In a category wholly separate to ‘News’, ‘Science’, and ‘Money’ – because women couldn’t possibly understand, be interested in, or even relate to these masculine-defined pursuits (Who cares about third world countries when you can lose 2 pounds in 2 weeks by nibbling on tissues?!) – women can learn about all sorts of things that the modern woman should be learning: how to look good for your man, what things to cook for him without getting fat in the process, how to look after his spawn (see ‘Baby Blog’), and how to please him in bed. Indeed, there is no bra burning here, no ‘the perils of under-wiring: how dressing for my fat shit of a husband gave me cancer’ articles, but ones on how to dress, how to cook, how to maintain the illusion that women don’t fart, burp or poop. And with that, after 100s of years of marginalisation, women are pushed back into the pink-coloured-rose-scented realm of repression, a place where women are the lesser sex, with their only purpose in life being to support and enhance the experience of men. But hey! At least we get a section in a daily newspaper dedicated specifically to us. Right?

On top of the patronising pink aesthetics, the dumbed down language and the vacuous ‘how to’ guides (‘how to update blue eyeliner’ – really?!), the more ‘serious’ Femail articles are also pretty shambolic. Take, for instance, ‘Do Genetics Play a Role in Obesity?’, an article whose message is essentially: Good news! It’s not your fault you’re fat, it’s yo’ mama’s. Bad news: you’ll probably never find a man. Looks like it’s a life of per una and Häagen-Dazs for you my round friends.

Indeed, the poor women who don’t fit the proscribed masculine-defined/society-enforced norms of beauty – skinny legs, big tits, 8 toes – are objectified and ridiculed, set as harrowing examples for the Femail reader to avoid. But the subjugation of women doesn’t stop there. Even the ‘beautiful’ ones – normally celebrities – are reduced to mere objects, as models to emulate. Want to look like Rihanna? All you need is a bit of lippy, lipo, and lashes, maybe even a facelift while you’re at it, all of which you can get for a discounted price on wowcher.co.uk. But even if you do look like RiRi (naturally or otherwise), you can still get dumped. Not to worry – cue ‘The rise of ‘revenge surgery’: A growing number of divorcees are going under the knife in a bid to make their ex jealous’ – because when a man leaves you, the whole world ends.

stereotype

And then there’s the adverts which flash up at the sides of your screen. Whether promoting Stepford Wife favourite Pure Comfort, the newest chocolate Magnum ice-cream, or upcoming film ‘The Wedding’ – because all women do is wash clothes and eat chocolate while we wait for Prince Charming to propose – the adverts on Femail are as detrimental to women as the moronic articles they frame. Because, through the ideological construction of woman as a pink loving, chocolate craving, man obsessed, shopping addict, the last 100 or so years of campaigning for women’s rights or, in other words, feminism (a term which needs to be rehabilitated from the image of a bunch of short haired, man-hating, bra-burning lesbians/P.E teachers) are basically going to waste. And it is this image of woman as existing only to serve man, one that Femail discursively produces and proscribes, which, for the good of all those with vaginas, needs to be seriously revised.

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