The former editor of Ladies’ Home Journal has written a book excoriating women’s magazines:
In the book Ms. Blyth indicts a whole category of magazines as politically tendentious and editorially alarmist. “Deep down, most of our Spin Sisters are just good old-fashioned left-wingers, wired for a liberal response to every issue,” she writes. Ms. Blyth suggests that this reflexively liberal bent stems from the conceit that women are victims. “Do we spend our days worrying whether antiperspirants cause breast cancer or wondering if a long airline ride will cause a fatal blood clot?” she writes. “Or are we just observing today’s favorite media technique to paint women’s lives to women audiences as a picture of accumulated woes?”
It is the most sustained attack on women’s magazines since Gloria Steinem started Ms. in 1972 and suggested that the typical women’s magazine was just a “survival kit” for the unliberated and edited for advertisers, not readers. But Ms. Blyth’s book is all the more powerful because it comes from someone who until recently reigned as one of the queens of women’s magazines, selling millions of copies with the same practices she now finds so distasteful.