Thursday, August 5, 2010

Feature Article

Gender roles are so much a part of who we are and the way we conduct ourselves, we don't even acknowledge them as anything. We accept our roles as a part of nature. We rarely acknowledge the fact that some aspects are natural, but others are socially constructed.  Most of the things we see as a natural role for women and men are social constructs.  Women and men accept their gender role just as readily as they accept their height or eye color. While you are born into a socio-economic role, people aren't born into a trade specialty. No one tells you, You have been born an architect. Here's a list of your life duties as an architect. Yet, we readily accept our duties as men and women and we perpetuate them on a daily basis. We dress our little girls up with bows and flowers and tell them they are pretty and we tell our little boys that they are strong. Barbie Dolls vs. GI Joe. Pink vs. Blue.

People might often say that it's not that common that we buck the roles we are given. We generally just accept them as part of life, if we think about them at all.  I personally think the oversight is greater than the lack of bucking.  We are bucking all the rules, it's just not being noticed.

If asked to picture the staff of Hater Magazine, people tend to envision a crew of guys. Guys read Hater more than women and people assume this means that men must be creating the magazine. Men make Hater, because men make things men like and men like Hater.  (Did you like my bastardized .... there?)  Our style is edgy and crass. The staff writers and contributors aren't afraid to speak their minds or use the most colorful of language. Hater has devoted magazines to partying, music, food ... and now, sex.  

But, Hater was created by a woman and is run by women.  We do have men writers and men on staff, but we outnumber them, greatly.  I could go into an introduction of who we are, but you can easily flip to the credits page and find that out.  I thought it would be more interesting to introduce you to our influences.   In a way of highlighting our jump out of our gender roles, I thought it fitting to start with an introductory course.  I decided to talk to the women that make Hater and those that read Hater to find out what pop culture influences made us this badass.

We grew up wearing oversized hoodies and chillin in our brother's room with him and his homeboys.  We were influenced by the boys and girls we were friends with.  And we are still influenced by the men and women equally.  Some of us had very present attentive fathers, some of us had distant fathers and other's had no one to call by that name.  Some of our mother's were crunk and fun. Some were still filling roles, but drowning in them, becoming passive aggression in attempt to find aggression at all.
We were influenced by these people a great deal.

Outside of family and friends, we had a slew of interesting answers. So, here they go.

The Influences:

At no point, did anyone sit down and say we are making a magazine for men. There was a very distinct age and social demographic, but nothing about gender. We all liked the same things our homeboys liked. If we liked it, it was going to appeal to our demographic, which existed outside of gender roles.

So what does this say about the women that like Hater? We decided to talk to some of our female readership and see what the women who read Hater are really like. You might initially think that these women aren't the same women reading O or Glamour. The truth is. You have to dissolve that assumption. They very well might be. The same women that are reading about relationships and ab workouts could very well be counting the days until the next issue of Hater drops, waiting with baited breath to peruse the snarky articles and the photos of tatted women.

The one thing that brings the whole Hater crew, and our generation, together is that we are all assholes.  Whether male or female, black or white, rich or ... okay, none of us are rich ... you get the idea.  We aren't bound to societies rules of how we are supposed to act.  We are just Haters.  

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About Me

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I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.