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Cosmo Magazine Launching in Middle East

Middle East Braces For Launch of Cosmo

Not to be confused with al-Qaeda's new women's magazine dubbed the Jihad Cosmo, this is the real deal. The publisher of British Cosmopolitan is launching a Middle Eastern edition next month in Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.

Nobody's expecting a warm welcome. Muslim countries view the magazine — an instantly recognizable symbol of sexual freedom — as some kind of cultural colonialism with a mission to sell Western depravity. Meanwhile, Cosmo's publisher Hearst sees a market in the growing middle class, and as a business wants to capitalize on it.

Hearst has a point: a small, but growing number of Middle Eastern women have found a voice, demanding gender equality and fighting sexual discrimination. It's reminiscent of the United States 50 years ago, which was when Helen Gurley Brown took over Cosmo and turned it into a guide to sexual empowerment for the masses.

The magazine may not have evolved with Western women, but it was always at its best when challenging the status quo and encouraging people to talk about taboo topics. And maybe that's exactly what women in the Middle East want — and need — right now.

Join The Conversation
zeze zeze 6 years
lol Anon 8, the Armenian cosmo was just the icing on the ignorance cake.
GregS GregS 6 years
lol @ zeezee! I'm soooo with you on this! Couldn't we have picked something more appropriate than Cosmo? I mean I know it's history and all, but going for total coverage of the body to that? Surely there's something in between?
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
Cosmo only talks about how you can pleasure your man, and to me that doesn't equate to sexual freedom. articles like, " How to be the Perfect Girl", " How to Understand Men", " How to Get him to Like You" are constant in the pages of Cosmo.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
I guess I may not agree with this inanity, but I'll defend your right to it.
Colleen-Barrett Colleen-Barrett 6 years
@zeze I know Cosmo seems totally backward now to us now, but when it first came out it was a symbol of sexual freedom — and it's still perceived that way in many countries around the world. Or at least, if not free than certainly indulgent!
zeze zeze 6 years
Oh God, the last thing I view cosmo as, is a symbol of sexual freedom. It filled with "how to get a man...look/act/dance/prance this way" And if we want to achieve gender equality in the Middle East, I hardly think Cosmo is the way to go about it. The reason for the inequality in the Middle East is because women are so sexualized, to send in a magazine that promotes nothing but sex, looks and vanity for women would cause even more gender inequality. What the middle east needs is book, education, girls in schools and universities and as government official, not lessons on which bikini wax will make him propose!
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