It’s not hard to publish material on gender these days. The subject is undoubtedly trendy. Mainstream audiences enjoy a steady diet of pseudo-science designed to justify what everyone already knows about the subject, a constant refrain of Mars and Venus mythologies. The allegedly more radical front also depends on puff-pieces for its own sense of identity. Nothing is more exciting than the written-embodiment of a drag show, exhuming supposed curiosities like a Leftist equivalent of a PT Barnum. These sob stories trafficked by pimps of pain are less about transforming sexual politics and more about imagining oneself outside the realm of bourgeois sensibility; or more importantly, responsibility.
So long as one sticks to obvious critiques of obvious targets (Republicans, religious fundamentalists, et al.) on the political level, and remains cute and coy about it on the personal, gender certainly is a popular subject in progressive circles, provided certain loyalties are paid to it. Gender as a concept begins to matter for its own sake, as if it has some sort of intrinsic value in and of itself that is worthy of interest—not because of what is done to people on a pandemic level because of its continued construction by patriarchy. “Gender Oppression” has thus become subordinate in importance to “Gender Expression,” shifting political focus from the voiceless to media exhibitionists.
Focus on that dynamic and things change. Literally. But because too much change is a bad thing, publishing opportunities quickly begin to dry up. The truth doesn’t please advertisers trying to sell everything from gun-shaped vibrators in feminist magazines to the permanent enslavement of girls and women; sex tourism commercials that are still allowed or even encouraged by some of the most powerful and influential of liberal-male publications, all under the aegis of “free speech.” The truth doesn’t please editors who often feel that they’ve outgrown their own progressive-minded journals, which they begin to see as merely a stepping stone to lucrative mainstream markets, and being able to annually resell the same article on pornography, the wage-gap, or whatever issue is made momentarily relevant by some bigger-league pundit isn’t conducive to moving the debate forward. And the truth certainly doesn’t please readers who are desperate to believe that their own lives, thoughts, and actions are generally on the level: from us males (whether we personally believe ourselves to be men or women) who are given every entitlement to focus on our own pain, to females whose mental and physical survival often requires them to put others first, necessitating the imagining of some other body being more marginal or peripheral than their own.
Adonis Mirror is envisioned as an antidote to liberal vanity, a journal devoted to pro-feminist activism, that endeavors to talk about the hard truths and above all, to name names—especially when doing otherwise would be easier.