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Ayushi Agarwal

IWB Blogger

“The Caravan” Magazine Gets First Cover Woman In 5 Years

  • IWB Post
  •  October 6, 2015

An overflowing news-stand boasts a variety of magazines and newspapers, mainly dealing in mainstream journalism. They address issues which are safe and perfect for a light perusal. ‘The Caravan’ has been praised for its articles and impactful cover stories with sophisticated and highbrow content. Featured men include Lalit Modi, Arun Jaitley, Manmohan Singh, etc.

However, it took the magazine 5 years to feature a woman on the cover. Congratulations are in order for MS Subbulakshmi, for making the cut.

Since the incorporation of the magazine in the publishing world in January 2010, the stories featured have been downright male-centric. Were women not worthy of being featured, or they just didn’t hit the mark? Or do issues relating to women considered as too marginalized for The Caravan as well?

The editors of the magazine defend themselves by saying: “In every close case, there were good reasons not to commission or pursue a potential cover story on a woman, or not to put a story on the cover—reasons that evidently didn’t have anything to do with gender.”

“Given the disproportionately low representation of women in power (and possibly even discounting that), I think our standards for who would make a good cover were unrealistically high when it came to women,”. They further added, “almost as if every potential candidate had to fulfill all the usual criteria we look for, as well as carry the additional weight of representing all women.”

“There will be more women on The Caravan’s covers when there are more women in the stories.”

So, women just didn’t qualify to meet their “unrealistically high expectations”. Interesting. And a blatant lie. India is a patriarchal society, where a plethora of diverse issues and people exist who are worthy of getting a narrative. The magazine operates in a county with the second largest population in the world, and they couldn’t find a single woman qualified to be on the cover. Well, either they didn’t look for them in the right places or they didn’t just want to.

Does The Caravan secretly preach male-chauvinism and misogyny? I don’t think it’s a secret anymore.

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