We Bet Bill’s List Would Look WAY Different: Which Magazines’ Readers Are Most Pro-Hillary

Sep 22, 2016 | Insights

Hillary, on the right, is pictured with Ms. Magazine co-founder and perhaps the activist most closely associated with the 60s and 70s so-called “Women’s Lib” movement, Ms. Gloria Steinem.

As we pointed out the other day, as sort of a foreshadowing of this list, Secretary Clinton’s social media fanbase is slightly more female than male. As we also pointed out, it is to a degree that is consistent with the breakdown of the species across the planet. The treatment of women throughout the world — and I know we’re not a political blog, but I also know somewhere in the neighborhood of 51% of our potential readers would agree — is shocking when you recognize which sex makes up the majority.

And it also explains how your bum friends get dates.

Kidding aside, let’s look at the list of Hillary Clinton’s Top 10 Magazines (in terms of social media audience affinity) first, and then we’ll proceed from there.

Donald’s list of magazines was a not entirely unflattering or unsympathetic road map to the mind of the Trump voter, and we believe the same is very much true of this list. Particularly the top half.

Here is the sex breakdown of Hillary’s social media fanbase.

(A few notes about the below, as we often do. First, the top percentage in the blue bar is the number most immediately relevant here, and it represents the social audience in question — in this case, Secretary Clinton’s fanbase. The percentage beneath it in the grey bar represents the average social media audience.

Second, as with most graphics of this type in these entries, this is taken from the StatSocial web platform. It has, however, been edited for the purposes of this blog entry. To see our site in its full glory, we encourage you start by checking out the links at the bottom of this entry, and reaching out to us on Twitter or Facebook.)

A very slight majority, and one that is actually smaller than the average social medial audience, is female. But the list of magazines don’t just reflect a progressive point of view, conspicuously the first two titles on the list reflect two different generations’ take on a decidedly progressive, feminist point of view.

An additional observation emerges, (specifically relevant to this series of entries) first made evident on the Secretary’s top musicians’ list. And, we’re happy to say, this hunch has been confirmed statistically by who else? Thats right, StatSocial!


Boomers make up a minimum of nearly 17% of the Secretary’s audience, and as they also account for the latter half of the 45 to 54 demo, can likely be said to account for at least a quarter of the Secretary’s audience. But that “lost generation” — not quite Gen X, and not quite Millennials, the 25–44 set, make up half the secretary’s supporters.

This makes sense as many of them were children or teens during the 90s, when Hillary’s husband presided over a time of prosperity and relative peace (tumultuous though his actual presidency was). And then that same generation came of age during his successor’s tenure, which was largely a time of economic turmoil and war.

We’ll again leave it to the political blogs to expound and opine on that subject, but it is nonetheless true.

But, Bill completely aside, something much more fundamental is revealed as well. And this is, I think, where the Boomers come in as significant. Especially to the second entry on this list.

The top three magazines — which we’ll dissect a bit below — are very different from one another, spanning generations and lifestyles. But crucially of specifically women.

That is not a small thing. Some are naturally cynical when it comes to career politicians, particularly one who so meticulously followed a game plan to wind up precisely where she is. But no other woman — not once in the 90 years that it’s been possible in this country — has even gotten close to the Oval Office (two female VP noms aren’t the same).

This is not a political endorsement of Secretary Clinton, in any way, shape, or form. Merely an observation of what the stats are announcing loud and clear, and an acknowledgement of the reasons behind the results.

The top three magazines on this list are spelling something out very explicitly.

Let’s start, though, with the first two. In academic terms “feminism” both as a political / philosophical stance and a field of study is often spoken of in waves. To do this right, we’ll start with our number two title and move on to number one.

Above, Hillary is seen chatting with Ms. Magazine’s co-founder, and perhaps “second-wave feminism”’s most famous activist, Gloria Steinem (unabashed in her support of Hillary’s candidacy, to the degree where she openly criticized women who were supporting Bernie Sanders).

Ms. Magazine, was co-founded during the height of the so-called “women’s lib” movement of the late-60s/early-70s (it was founded in 1970), by one of that movement’s most high profile proponents, Gloria Steinem. She, along with co-founder Dorothy Pitman Hughes set the publishing world on its ear at the time.

In those days, even women’s publications were largely written by, and surely owned and published by men. The exceptions — such as Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief, Helen Gurley Brown — did not, to be diplomatic, even for their female leadership, adopt an eclectic and broad view of what roles women could ably fill in our society.

Ms. was initially in some ways the journal of record for what has come to be called — in academic circles — “second-wave-feminism.”

The first-wave occurred during the first half of the 20th century. Its activists were chiefly concerned with suffrage, and the passage of the 19th Amendment. Also, matters of property rights, and really just having American women, in the most fundamental ways, be treated equally as citizens, at least under the law.

Second-wave feminism was largely focused on reproductive rights, systemic inequalities not necessarily written into the law, but perceived to be engrained into the society, issues such as domestic abuse, marital rape, (i.e., that a wife was not her husband’s property, and he could indeed rape her; there was even an episode of the very smart and very funny Barney Miller from the late-70s that tackles that issue, as though it were a brand-new, radical concept), objectification of women in popular culture, and so forth.

All issues near and dear to every feminist’s heart to this day, of course.

But — skipping quite a lot — what came to be the journal of third-wave feminism, the form feminism took in the 90s, was Bust. And — while much more mainstream than its 90s incarnation — it still occupies a similar space.

The third-wave of feminism, to whatever degrees you take these designations seriously, had its academic architects and spokespeople — such as Susan Faludi and Naomi Wolf, and more controversially (within feminist circles), Camille Pagila, and various crucial others — but it spread virally, and more viscerally into the subsequent decades, due in no small part to a few loud raucous records by a band who during their existence probably never headlined to more than a few hundred people at a time. Olympia, Washington’s Bikini Kill.

Bikini Kill, and their outspoken lead singer and spokesperson Kathleen Hanna, spearheaded the so-called Riot Grrrl movement. While at the time it was very much about girls with an interest in rock and roll staking out their territory and asserting — as silly as it sounds — their right to rock, without being harassed or shut out, it proved to represent something bigger and its implications reverberated and resonated well into the subsequent generations.

That’s an over-simplification of course, but that spark first ignited by Kathleen Hanna did — more than the work of any college professor, or political leader — come to define how a generation of self-actualized women came to be.

I bring this up for a reason, as the age of the Riot Grrrl is the precise climate from which Bust — the title topping the list — was born.

Hang in there with me…

Bust was by no means initially influenced by Riot Grrl — as their births were nearly simultaneous — but they shared that same do it yourself spirit, and the same attitude of “this is not your mommy’s feminism.”

Hillary, demonstrating her third-wave feminist bona fides before she even knew what those words meant. Truthfully, she still might have no clue as to all that. But she loves to rock, and here she is seen sitting with with the now legendary Bikini Kill doing just that.

I bring Hanna and Bikini Kill into this as I believe their ongoing legacy, and — like so many bands before them — their becoming much more popular since breaking up than they ever were when they were together, has carried the torch for this so-called third-wave, of which Bust is in many ways the most mainstream journal.

It’s difficult to think of a career politician such as Hillary being regarded as any sort of heroic figure to a crowd you’d imagine would be craving iconoclasm. But to so many women, this glass ceiling simply must be broken. And Hillary, well, she’s the best chance they’ve got.

We say this NOT to suggest that we’re in the tank for Hillary. We are not for either candidate, nor any other candidates whatsoever. But we’re writing about a list that insists these issues be addressed.

(NOTE: This is in no way even a half-competent summary of the extraordinarily rich and complex history of feminism in America. We’re just trying trying to contextualize the top results in this survey, and the greater implications of their presence and its strength. For a history of feminism — whatever the wave, or no wave at all, or Riot Grrrl, or anything else discussed here, start with Google or consult your local library.)

We’re used to the fact that a former First Lady has been methodically laying the groundwork for her presidency since the day her husband left office — which is not said as a criticism, as she’d be the first to acknowledge it — but 15 years ago, this Ms. cover from September of 2000 — when Hillary was running for a seat in the U.S. Senate — revealed just how radical it seemed at the time. (Also, please note Kathleen Hanna’s name in the cover’s top banner, to illustrate how significant the singer for a punk band had become in the world of modern feminism, even 15 years ago.)

But to finish the Bust matter…

Bust started as a mimeographed zine, showing its punk rock roots, but soon became so popular that its founders quit their dayjobs — while taking a rather substantial pay cut I believe — and dedicated themselves to putting out four issues a year (they still only do 6).

By that time, it looked and read like a proper magazine, only one with an utterly unique voice. Irreverent, satirical, pro-sex where appropriate, it enjoyed clothes and makeup and didn’t see that as some kind of anti-woman weakness, and it was by no means anti-male so long as the male in question wasn’t an idiot. It presented a feminism to which the women of that era, as well as presumably this one given its vaunted position on this list, could relate.

While the magazine is vastly more high profile than it was during the above described days, it is still very much a niche magazine (circulation apparently about 90k, and sold in select and specific locations).

Here we see The Donald, crestfallen, having just purchased an issue of Bust Magazine. It was not the kind of magazine he was expecting.

From feminism’s second and third waves, we move into more traditional women’s publication territory. Women’s Day. A magazine that caters to the concerns of the homemaker, suggesting that women of all stripes are on board with Hillary’s candidacy.

Women’s Day is the only of the Seven Sisters publications to make the list, but it made the list in a decisive and confident way.

Seven Sisters Publications’ other titles are Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, and Redbook.

Like the Agatha Christie story, the sixth sister, Ladies’ Home Journal, bit the dust in 2014. Found in the parlor with a dagger in her back. Sister seven was McCall’s, and she shook off this mortal coil — mysteriously electrocuted in the bath — in 2002.

Kidding aside, and to reiterate and punctuate our point, and this is where the StatSocial aspect of things really applies. The top three results in this survey speak loudly to just how much Hillary’s candidacy means to women.

So now, we’ll move on…

While The Donald simply has to be the most progressive GOP presidential nominee ever when it comes to gay issues (something seldom, if ever, mentioned), it’s unsurprising that liberal gays — and Out is, whether it admits it or not, rather unapologetic in its liberal-slant — are rooting for Hillary.

(Bonus: Here Out shares their 10 favorite quotes from Cher, when she appeared at a Hillary fundraiser in gay stronghold, Provincetown, MA.)

Next we have Playbill, which we’re counting as it’s a real publication. And before you more ignorant readers speak of it being indicative of this or that, keep some things in mind. Butch plays like Glengarry Glen Ross — written by self-proclaimed Neocon, David Mamet — and Sam Shepard’s True West had Playbills every bit as much as La Cage aux Folles or Mamma Mia. Hillary’s crowd are theater-goers. Nothing wrong with that.

Even though I’m not a fan of the band, I’d hoped YES! Magazine was dedicated solely to the dissection of Rick Wakeman keyboard solos, and articles about just how high John Anderson’s voice can go. But instead it’s an ad free, non-profit mag concerned with environmental issues, sustainability, and the like. All matters somewhere in the Democrat platform. Unsurprising that any Democrat nominee would find her or his supporters among their readership in large numbers.

As the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the country, and one of the most prominent and unambiguously liberal magazines in the country, it goes without saying that The Nation is the oldest liberal rag we’ve got. It’s presence on this list was as much of a given as their support of Hillary. Also unsurprising, that their readership also consists of Hillary supporters.

Now The Observer is British, but read, same as its parent publications — the Guardian Weekly and Guardian Daily — by a vast many Americans. It is written with this knowledge, so in a way it’s a shared publication. And again, one that it’s unsurprising to find has an audience containing a significant number of Hillary fans.

The Atlantic was originally founded in the mid-19th century by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. While there is a continuity there, the magazine it is today likely has little to do with its original incarnation. That said, it’s read by conservatives and liberals alike to some degree, although much more so the latter. So, again, it’s inclusion here is unsurprising.

But only half as unsurprising as good ol’ number 10. Mother Jones. The über liberal publication was founded in 1976 in San Francisco, and is published by an organization called Foundation For National Progress. Even when Bernie Sanders was a zeitgeisty name among the super left leaning set, Mother Jones seemed to be for Hillary. Really, the greatest surprise is that they’re not higher on the list.

We’re out for now. Next is schools. Probably starting with The Donald, and then Hillary. How do they do with their alma maters? Have colleges been infiltrated by inflexible liberalism to the degree some claim? Bookmark this page and find out.

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To learn much more about StatSocial, the curious are encouraged to visit the StatSocial site itself, where you’ll find all sorts of stuff including sample reports.

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If you like what you’ve read, please take a few minutes to watch this overview of StatSocial’s data: