The Observer has a new supplement, aimed at women. I feel excluded, and can’t see the logic of it. If I go to WH Smith, it’s pretty obvious what constituency is being targeted by magazines with titles such as Woman, She, Woman’s Own etc. Equally, you know what you are letting yourself in for if you buy Computer Weekly or The Tibetan Yak Breeders Gazette. But if you buy a national newspaper, why would you find a section that by its very name excludes half the potential readership? You will say that it’s the same as any other section. If you aren’t interested in business, say, don’t read the business section. Fine – but, like buying a special interest magazine, that constitutes an expression of choice. I can – and will – ignore the new section, and await, though I’m not holding my breath, the new Men supplement…
In the meantime, the new supplement is distinctive, apparently, because it features “relationships, style, shopping, sex and health”. No disturbingly difficult political things for you to worry your pretty head about, then. And of course, this makes Observer Woman entirely different from the main Observer magazine, which features today a section on relationships, featuring advice from “the sex columnists”, an article about memory loss, a fashion feature, an article about shopping for purses…. Obviously very different.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Observer Woman by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.