Are women more gullible than men?

It is just me or is there a pattern in place in online women's forums? I have lately taken to exploring ivenus.com's forums whilst working night shifts and am sooo depressed at what I read. My sister used to moan that working in an airline reservations department was like working in a hairdressers - it was all "holidays, makeup and boyfriends." Well meet the real thing.

Since I've started working shifts, I've entirely gone off tv. Daytime schedules (especially on TV3, which is pure drivel from about 10am until dusk) is riddled with bad UK and Aussie soaps, old (and crap) US soaps, "real life" courtroom drama and constant advertising for ringtones, dial-a-psychic and food-advertising. Which is a shame, as their breakfast show is good, the news comparable to RTE and they do show "Footballers Wives" and "Bad Girls" as well as repeats of the truly excellent "Cracker." However, the daytime schedule is nothing but drivel.

Being on a diet I do like reading the forum on ivenus. But its the hairdressers again. Its all personal angst about appearance, naive belief in "quick-fix" solutions, diet pills, liposuction and worst of all - the awful Weightwatchers. Now believe me, I have no problem with WW per se. However I have to say that I'm supremely suspicious of ANY diet system that has its name on branded "diet" foods (which are often nothing more than reduced fat versions of very fattening foods, rather than genuinely fat free). I feel the same about unislim, jenny craig, rosemary whoever-she-is and anything with the Aktins logo printed on it. But WW seems to have one special thing - most people I know who've done the WW thing lose a lot of weight, then put it all back on, and incredibly, instead of questioning the reasons for failure, go straight back to WW again! Whatever it is about WW, it seems to be able to draw its failures back without them questioning what it was about the programme that caused them to let go in the first place. Which is why I say - avoid like the plague.

Anyway, the dieting forum on ivenus is a particular gem. Not only are about 85% of all contributors blinkered WW-addicts, obsessed not only with points, but by budgeting in those high fat, high sugar foods they still feel a craving for, but they seem to be particularly stupid. (My best friend last week offered me a cookie, telling me it was "only" 1 point - probably about 70 calories, and huge amounts of carbs, but who cares only 1 point!) There are more than a few posts from incredulously naive WW first-timers, who complete their WW initiation with a trip to the local Tesco, and, instead of purchasing a nice range of raw fruit/veg and lean meat/fish, line their shopping baskets with WW-branded shite. For example there is the example of one newbie to WW who goes to a meeting, gets all excited, and then goes straight down to the supermarket to clear the shelves of WW produce - nice marketing ploy, WW! Next there are the armchair dieters. You find these on irishhealth.com also. Loads of questions about diet pills - Xenical, Trim Right Peak Performance, Herbalife, etc. Big reluctance to actually look at the kind of foods they are eating (and unfortunately the "points" system in WW allows people to basically eat crap as long as it doesn't go over their allocated points) or practice portion control (which really is critical). Worst of all are the quick fix devotees - liposuction, lipodissolve, gastric bypasses - these are the true suckers - and if you read my previous post on this, a particularly dangerous place to learn about such a thing is a discussion forum.

But most annoying of all women's forums is the superstition department. Yes you guessed it, the astrology, the psychics and the fortune-tellers. Now anybody with half an ounce of common sense will realise that while its sometimes fun if a horoscope actually matches something, but its actually dangerous to believe that somebody else who knows nothing about you can predict your future. Self-belief is really important and this kind of shite is for the truly gullible. Avoid, avoid and avoid. Yet incredibly, this is becoming an increasingly "accepted" industry. Some of you may recall the excellent debate stirred up by highly intelligent David Moore (Astronomy Ireland & Irish Skeptics Society) when he tackled the massive cash-generating industry that surrounds astrology - which of course has neither scientific basis or any hard evidence. Likewise your bog standard fortune teller - I find them incredibly devious, quick to pick up on personality traits and coments. They are making massive money these days - especially in an Ireland devoid of spirituality.

But why is it that men's magazines aren't full of shit like this? I mean as gay women, we do buy the occasional mainstream mens magazine for the erm, eye candy. And to bo honest, they give the womens crap a ton. Any health related stuff is very factual, no fad diets or vast pages of commercials disguised as fact. Maybe its because the industry is still relatively young and not yet festered with parasitic advertising. Or are women just thick? Please explain to me if you do understand.

PS I have found one women's magazine (aside from the charming read from my granny, who passed away in 1979 - the Peoples Friend) that is not bad. Zest. It seems to have far less celebrities - which seems to be worst aspect of womens magazines - helpless celebrity worship.

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