Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Stylist magazine, weighty issues but no dieting?

There is an interview with Stylist magazine’s editor Lisa Smoraski in the Guardian and the free, printed publication is described as having hard-hitting features such as the gender pay gap and women in politics. There are no diets and it wants to talk intelligently to women.

To me, having a magazine suggest that they want to talk to women / about women intelligently when that same magazine has a title which is shallow enough to try to appeal to women by reference to their appearance, is not only an oxymoron but an insulting one at that.

I have never picked up one of these free magazines even though it is distributed in Bristol, mainly because I find it insulting that there is a female and a male set of magazines in the first place. I am surprised they don’t just make one pink and the other blue (sometimes they do). There is also the fact that I have no interest in fashion so the title Stylist does not appeal to me.

The interviewer, Emine Saner, describes some of the content as follows:

As a reader, what I like are features on often weighty issues – it has tackled the gender pay gap and the lack of women in politics – that are given enough space, alongside about the right number of pages (that is, enough but not too many) of fashion and beauty.

Smoraski, for some context on where her penchant for hard hitting and weighty features comes from, worked for Bliss straight after her Journalism degree and was also editor of Smash Hits at 25. She went on to be editor of More as well.

Check out the Stylist website now for such hard-hitting features and ‘weighty issues’ as Kate Middleton’s first public speech. I am not being entirely mean, the Middleton speech is given top banner status while some interesting writing such as ’25 kick ass female heroines’ is much further down the page.

I may start being nicer because there is also a competition for crime writing and I am working on something that fits that description. Let’s see what Stylist is all about then.

Let me know your thoughts if you have read it. Or even if you haven’t read it.

Conflict resolution

There is a scene in Tyrannosaur where the main character gets really drunk and escapes from her abusive husband. Through some unfortunate circumstances she ends up back with him and musters all her strength to hit back at his abuse. At the end of it She runs up the stairs with him staring at her shocked. Mouth open wide.

I think that you would have to be very naive to think that this is the end of that and that she walks away victorious.

He follows her and brutalises her even worse.

I have been thinking about this in terms of conflict resolution. I also think it’s relevant in terms of how children react to conflict.

1. Physically they have such little power over their parents. This holds true for a lot of us, of course. They can’t impose their will physically.

2. Communication – They can’t express themselves very well so they have to rely on other people trying to understand them. For me, this part about being misunderstood and how you react to it, is huge.

Misunderstanding is something we all go through and resolving conflict, based around it, is very important.

3. Knowing what outcome we want to achieve is also important. Is it personal integrity? Smooth relationships? Or maybe cooperation?

Conclusion: I want to be able to model the behaviour I want to teach my daughter because conflict can be such a huge burden; emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

I want her to be happy, expressive and feel that she is efficacious. I don’t want to give her a false sense that she can control life, because no one can, but I want her to know that if she puts her mind and energy to something, she can achieve change.

Sometimes you have to confront things and other times walk away; the whole thing of knowing what to accept and what to change.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts about what I find important and I am now trying to find skills and techniques to learn and to teach her as well.

Any suggestions? How do you deal with conflict?

Maybe journalists should just talk to themselves

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/mar/04/learn-programming-software-app-java

Woman journalist goes on a one-day course to find out whether she can learn to code. By the end of the day she thinks she can. Mostly because she knows nothing about programming.

Software developers and others who program for a living point out in the comments that she actually does not now know how to code. She also did not create an app.

Male Tech journalists yells at the commenters for picking on the woman journalist who may not know that she cannot code but who did gain satisfaction at producing something that worked.

Note that without the comments, readers who were ignorant of programming would not have been aware that what the writer was doing was shallow and quite poor in terms of learning.

I was alerted to the article by a Tweet from @mjrobbins:

Guardian Tech writer (@currybet) loses patience with “smug know-it-all patronising killjoys” – bravo, sir. http://bit.ly/A74uxp

@mjrobbins applauds the Guardian Tech writer @currybet. I am on the side of the people who know programming and realise that the article is misleading.

Update: As Martin Belam points out in the comments, he is not a writer at the Guardian. Apologies.