Do Women Need Their Own Film Magazine?

With two new film publications debuting in the past few months, one aimed directly at women and the other simply founded by a woman (shocking, I know), there has been some discussion over whether women do indeed need their own magazines, and whether these two new publications are the answer. I’m going to be looking at one of those issues today, but I’m a man, so what do I know?

Do women need their own film magazines?


Two of the big names in film magazines are Empire and Total Film, I used to subscribe to Empire because of its exclusive features and unrivalled access to sets and the artists. This year I had a change of heart and unsubscribed, clicking on the two covers to the left will show you why.

Rather than focus on the films coming out, or a small undiscovered gem, both current issues of these two magazines are solely focusing on next year’s comic book movies. As a male of the species I don’t need this much information on upcoming superhero blockbusters and I can’t be alone. In general the magazines are quite flashy and boisterous.

I’m not saying women don’t like superheroes and can’t handle a horror film, but should there not be a little more variety? I’m not talking about promoting bad romantic comedies, but there are plenty of other genres which will never make the cover. Maybe this isn’t an appeal for film magazines for women, just more diverse film coverage in general. Though it doesn’t help when the film mags are in the men’s section at the newsagents.


Empire and Total Film could be left alone as they are hardly the only options out there. Both Sight and Sound and Little White Lies (which smells amazing) offer a wholly gender neutral coverage of the latest films, and aren’t afraid to go to print with an art house film like The Skin I Live In on the cover.

Fans of big budget movies have their own magazines and fans of smaller, artier films have theirs, it’s just a matter of seeking out what type of film journalism you want to shell out each month for. As for a film magazine just for women, would that focus on romantic comedies with the same emphasis Empire gives to action films? I don’t think anyone wants that!


With two new publications with various female slants, now is the time to find out. We’re sending out Mild Concern‘s female half to give Studio and New Empress a test drive and share her discoveries.

ETA: The review of STUDIO and New Empress is done!

5 thoughts on “Do Women Need Their Own Film Magazine?

  1. Pingback: Do Women Need Their Own Film Magazine? | | Action Films / Action Films News

  2. Is there truly such a thing as, “wholly gender neutral coverage”? I suspect that the reviews of One Day may prove that there isn’t. And is that the aspiration of a magazine such as New Empress? Perhaps what we need is a variety of magazines, looking at contemporary and past films from different viewpoints.


    • Possibly not, but in the Guardian article Helen Cox from New Empress did say, “It’s an attempt to take gender out of the equation a little bit and focus on cinema – the thing that everyone who reads our magazine has in common.”


  3. As a female writer and cinema enthusiast I enjoy action, horror and comic book adaptations, and I occasionally pour scorn on romantic comedies… but sometimes I think that gender references can actually enrich a film review. I don’t see why there shouldn’t be a film magazine for women? Or at least a film magazine with a female Editor!


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