Monday, August 20, 2012

Underselling Moms

For some reason, ever since I've moved into this house, we've been getting copies of Parenting magazine.

Could this magazine BE any more hipster? 

I find this magazine idiotic in the extreme. It has fashion spreads for your children - y'know, so you can dress them in the latest trends! (seriously!?) And the articles are obviously written for people who don't have brains; like the one "secret sugar" in your child's diet, that included children's cereals (I highly doubt anyone was looking at Lucky Charms and saying, whole grains!) and children's yogurt (that's why it's delicious).

And yet their latest issue impressed even me with its ability to be total crap. First I stumbled upon the article in the back entitled: "The New Sex Life CPR: Fifty Shades of Grey is parents' sex toy du jour!" I nearly spit out my tea. I thought I was reading a bad parenting magazine - not Cosmo.

This fake magazine cover is hysterical, albeit more than a bit racy; apparently this is courtesy of Peter Shankman. 

So the article compares what Moms/Dads have to say about 50 Shades - how it's helped their sex life. One commenter said she and her husband were intimate more than usual and added "That hasn't happened since I read Twilight." Two pages later was an article entitled "Good Vibrations: Picks for unintimidating toys to take undercover," and it begins with the sentence "Vibrators. They're nearly as common in homes now as coffeemakers." 

Look, being a parent is hard. I think even those of us who aren't there yet know that.  And undoubtedly, at some point while raising children, parents face difficulties in their sex life. But is this the way to help? Out of the four vibrators discussed in the article, only one of them makes mention of use with a partner - so it's encouraging wives to masturbate. Martial intimacy is tricksy; it involves vulnerability, communication, and self-giving on an unprecedented level. By our nature, we crave it - we crave the embrace that gives all and withholds nothing. But we are also afraid. To really be intimate with our partners, we risk rejection and pain, inconvenience and frustration. 

These articles encourage moms to take a short cut: don't bother actually loving your husband and enjoying your marital relationship. Instead, use pornography to turn you on enough to scratch that itch. And if that's even too much of a stretch, use this device that will do the trick just fine. Is this what moms really want? No. They want to be loved endlessly and have a passionate relationship with their husband, in and outside of the bedroom. And it's possible to have that; though it may ebb and flow depending on the season of their life. Instead of encouraging moms to the heights of human experience, this magazine undersells their capabilities, marriages, and mentalities by holding out a few cheap quick fixes. 

I expect this stuff from most women's magazines. I guess I just didn't realize it was creeping in everywhere, even into otherwise crappy parent magazines. 

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