I Work For A Ladies Magazine


Expectations, stereotypes, and relationships at Tango magazine.

I once worked for a ladies magazine called Tango. And I only call it a ladies magazine because it was founded by a lady. And it was about love and relationships (not something most dudes read voluntarily, I suppose). And it was mostly staffed by ladies. I learned a lot about changing water cooler bottles, moving furniture, computer networking, you know, guy sh*t. It’s not to say that women can’t be really, really good at lifting stuff or making computers talk to each other, but I have a feeling that it was a kindness to me. Working for a ladies magazine, in their estimation, had to be emasculating enough for a young rascal from the dirty dirty living in New York.

I can picture them getting together and saying things like, "Hey, do we have anything that needs to be constructed, hoisted, or killed? Let’s pretend that we absolutely just can’t do it and he’ll feel so good when he saves the day. Someone has to jump on the grenade and comment on his biceps. Donna*, I think it's your turn." Hook, line, and sinker. As I dictate this to my stenographer I'm actually doing the reeling-‘em-in 2 person dance move to myself in the mirror. Lovely.

I was excited about starting at a ladies magazine, especially one about love and relationships and sex. How metropolitan. I needed tips. I'd dated one girl exactly two months at that point and was (am) hopelessly under-prepared for anything as substantial as grownup, human feelings (sorry, I was only 26, not all of us get mustaches when we're 15). Going into this thing I knew 6 things about romantic relationships; 1) men forget but never forgive, women forgive but never forget; 2) women love compliments, "women are ravenous blood-sucking monsters always wanting more"-yeah, Homer Simpson; 3) men would rather overpay for the specific thing they're looking for and women would rather get a good deal on something that they’re not sure if they even want; 4) the girls have the buns and the boys have the hotdogs; 5) men talk to women to get them to have sex with them, women have sex with men to get them to talk to them**; and 6) some women may, for their own reasons, like to see me naked, underneath them.

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