Despite increasing concerns over censorship, the issue of super injunctions and the ‘dumbing down’ of reportage by some publishing outlets, one thing that the media industry has going for it in the UK is the freedom with which regular Joes can publish their own rags. From photocopied gag sheets to smartly presented what’s on guides, the country’s regions are awash with free magazines. Some, of course, are better quality than others.
And falling with a heavy thud into that ‘others’ category comes Cheers magazine. Now, just take a minute to soak up the design of that front cover. Of course, I could make a scathing remark about the terrible stock photo (which has got what to do with Barking?), the clashing font colours (and indeed the fonts themselves) and the clip-art BLOB in the top right corner, sitting awkwardly on the cover like a fat spot on an already unfortunate nose. But I won’t, because I’m all for local magazines and what’s to say that the quality of journalism inside the publication isn’t actually rather good? However, I think we all know where this is going.
I came across this dog’s breakfast after someone tweeted about a particular article’s misogynistic sway. The article in question, which can be found here, is titled ‘What men really want from women’, complete with poor text alignment and generous use of drop shadow. Fair enough, an article of this nature isn’t really that different to the kind of relationship blurb you’d get in Cosmo and indeed, the first few ‘hints’ are fairly uninspiring: men want honesty, men want fidelity, etc. No surprises there then. But then, ‘Men do not want your leadership’, swiftly followed by ‘Be family orientated. Endeavour to cook. Wear feminine clothes like knee length skirts and slingbacks.’ And then, unbelievably, ‘Ensure he gets you regularly. Lack of intimacy at home is the major cause of infidelity’. Er, pardon me?
I had hoped this might just be a poorly-executed satirical piece, but then I found a post by Hannah Mudge, which details a response written by Cheers‘ moronic editor, in response to criticism of the article. Behold:
“Sorry you feel that way. However, we stick by our article. Our focus is building back our community, which sadly has been destroyed by weird ideas from within and outside government.
The home is the basis of society, and it’s broken in lots of our communities.
We will also be doing an article on men’s responsiblities to which you may choose to contribute.
Also, the article is titled “What men want in women”. As you are not a man, I do not think you are in a position to know what men want or determine what they should want.
Also, our article is geared to helping many women who have marital issues caused by ignoring to do basic things.
I will touch on a couple:
Whether you like it or not some women hold back on intimacy, thinking it is a hold on the man or a reward. Quite often, it drives them to other women and the divorce court. What you fail to realise is that for a man to be with you at all, he saw something in you. So, why on earth should he play? It’s not because he does not love you, it’s because sex and love are NOT linked in men, unlike women.
Some do not think cooking is important. Well, to most men, food is more important than anything else. Many men go into stone walls without any obvious reason. Deep down, it’s because he’s hungry. “I’m going home. My wife is cooking” is the only thing that makes most men leave the pub. Not “I’m going home, my wife needs me.” Tough but true.
As Hannah notes in her post:
“A quick bit of investigative work by other people who were just as horrified by the magazine’s content threw up links to a bizarre publishing company called Paul Books, interestingly listed on one directory as a ‘religious organisation’. And someone else quickly found out that Dapo Sijuwola stood in this year’s general election as a candidate for The Restoration Party, a party which calls for ‘a return to the values that made Britain great’. Apparently rampant misogyny is one of these values.”
So yes. A liberal and accessible media is indeed a brilliant thing, but when rubbish like this is being distributed freely throughout an area in the guise of a ‘community magazine’? Not so much.
Sijuwola’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps you’d like to offer him some feedback? I certainly do.