"Spin Sisters: How the media sells unhappiness and liberalism to women" by Myrna Blyth
Amazing book. Totally "made me think" and reassess my prespective on life. The book tells how the women's magazines from Family Circle to O to Harper's Bazaar sell unhappiness, stress, and victim mentality to women. She often talks about and quotes the Spin Sisters known as Katie Couric, Oprah, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters and Rosie O'Donnell. I was floored when reading this especially near the end about the politics of these wretched women. The honestly think that they are the mainstream woman; just your average soccer mom who knows the everyday struggles of being a wife/mother/woman. Well Katie, you make 16 million dollars a year and I make 16 dollars an hour...you have no clue what it's like to be "average."
One analogy is when the author, Myrna Blyth, was sharing a cab with a couple of these gals. They were talking about prayer in school and the Spin Sisters were all up in arms about the cruelty to condone such a thing, don't these politicians know what separation of church and state means?? The cab driver, an African-American man, speaks up and says that prayer isn't so bad, he wouldn't mind if his kids prayed in school and Lord knows kids these days need it. The women went silent for the rest of the ride. Once out of the cab, they started squawking about how this man doesn't know what he's talking about, he didn't mean that, etc. These elitist liberal media mushheads don't understand that there is a huge difference between their mindset and the general publics. They see themselves and in the middle, mainstream, normal. Anyone who disagrees must be crazy and ultimately destroyed. (remember Joe The Plumber?) They have are so incestuously involved with such a hard-core leftist point of view that they honestly don't think others exist.
The biggest things that opened my eyes is the way they sell garbage to people. She did a three year study of 5 major magazines (don't have the book with me at the moment so I can't tell you which ones right now) to prove her point. Not only were there hundreds of examples of stories that tell women that they are stressed, but there were also hundreds of stories about weight loss (the "quick fixes" that never work) and not one average looking woman on the cover-- only skeletons and massively touched up pictures of celebrities. The stories about stress implanted the idea that you are at a disadvantage anyway by just being a woman. The add the career, husband, kids, house, car, friends and pets and you are a total disaster! And almost every time the magazine suggests taking a warm bath and lighting some candles and aromatherapy. Yeah... that'll do the trick... She also quotes a study that shows that because of modern conveniences, people have gained about 5 hours of time in the day but still feel they need more time. What are we doing with our extra time? Pissing it away on TV. The day goes by very quickly when you watch too much TV. I would know.
The selling of unhappiness struck a chord with me. I'm a natural complainer, glass if half empty kind of gal but this book showed me how wonderful we truly have it! When asked what a woman would do with free time, they were dumbfounded. What would we do? Probably watch TV. Most woman say they rather be busy and "stressed" than bored. So why are we complaining when we have a full day?? Blyth also talks about how stress was a term added as an adjective of daily life in the 50s. Advertisers use that as a selling point. "You are stressed and need to relax. Buy my product! It's the only way to be free!" If that were true then there wouldn't be a new product or idea every month for every magazine. We'd have one cure and be done.
Although this book is about the media selling unhappiness and liberalism to women, I would strongly encourage men to read it too, especially if you have a wife or daughter. They may not know that they are a media pawn.