Does your city suck for you?

Posted at 10:00 AM Dec 30, 2009

The classic "sweater and bikini" look.

By Andrea Grimes

Finally, the day has come: the day when you find out where diet-, exercise- and crappy sex tips-obsessed magazines Men's Health and Women's Health think you should be living based on your gender. Like the Austin American-Statesman's Pat LeBlanc, I am having a bit of a WTF moment. I mean, she's not having a WTF moment because she works for a family newspaper, but this bitch right here is having a what-the-fuck moment. Apparently my fair city of Austin is better to live in for men than for women. Writes LeBlanc:

The editors factored in 35 criteria when making their lists. Among them? Air quality, employment, life expectancy and commute times. They also looked at death rates from more than a half dozen causes, obesity rates and the ratio of single women to single men (and vice versa).

The best part about these lists is arguing about why they're wrong.

While it's #7 on the best cities for men list, Austin didn't make the cut for best cities for women. This is my sad face.

LeBlanc notes Austin's wonderful weather, plethora of health-related activities (hiking, biking, running, what-have-you), to which I would add that this city is a fine location in which to be vegan or vegetarian, has a thriving gay scene, and is populated with liberal-minded folks who generally believe in a woman's right to do whatever the hell she pleases.

And if you're into that kind of thing, we do have an insane amount of hot, talented musicians, artists, geeks, students, writers and other culturally aware people who are always happy to imbibe with you at any number of our myriad bars and maybe have the fun sex. Not to mention the fact that, twice a year, Austin City Limits and South by Southwest bring us bus- and plane-loads of out-of-town eye candy. Yes, truly, Austin is a terrible place to live for us ladies.

Okay, I'll get off my Austin soapbox.

Online, Men's Health gets straight to the top 10 lists. Women's Health compares cities based on cancer rates, gyno offices, etc. Unfortunately, Women's Health also wants you to sign up for their e-mail bullshit to see their top 10 rankings, so please give me 2 seconds in which I can conjure up a fake address to give to that body-shaming monstrosity.


The top 10 cities for women are:

  1. San Jose, Calif.
  2. Madison, Wis.
  3. Seattle, Wash.
  4. Aurora, Colo.
  5. Minneapolis, Minn.
  6. Fargo, N.D.
  7. San Francisco, Calif.
  8. Lincoln, Neb.
  9. Salt Lake City, Utah
  10. Colorado Springs, Colo.
Dolls in these domains, does this news ring true for you?

Also, if you really want to feel shitty about yourself for a few hours, seriously sign up for the Women's Health member center thing. On the homepage alone, you can:

  • Find out if you're an office gossip (Because you're a gossipy woman, after all.)
  • Find out if you are bad at dealing with drama (Again, the drama queen thing.)
  • Find out if you are wasting your money (Spendy spendy woman, with your furs and jewels.)
  • Find out if you are an orgasm expert (Oh, you're not? Bad woman!)
  • Find out how old you look (Too old.)
  • Find out if birth control is "fact or fiction" (Wait, you don't want to have babies?)
  • Find out if spirituality is "in your genes" (ohmygod.)
  • Learn what to do if you arch your back during downward dog. (Uh, stop doing that?)
I feel so empowered.


BorgQueen said:

Err... Denverite here and I am surprised our lovely (sarcasm) suburb of Aurora made the list. Anyone who lives here can probably understand my confusion. I do actually love living here in Colorado... it is a good place for anyone regardless of gender. Oooh, sorry Women's Health, I failed to generalize based on an inane set of gender-specific criteria. We are the drunkest state though but I blame that on the breweries.

LOL on the "sweater- and bikini look" by the way.

Susan said:

Madison is a pretty fun city. I'm not quite sure why some cities would be better for women than for men, but whatever.

Maybe Austin didn't make the list for women because a woman is secretly behind the list and wants to keep the numbers game good for us Austin ladies. As my friend Lily once said, it's like shooting fish in a barrel down here. Let's not mess that up.

Andrea said:

That's true, Susan.

Go away, everyone!

Katy said:

Well, I go to school In Lincoln (not at UNL, but at a small, private college) and I'm pretty shocked that it made the list. Lincoln's not a place that I intend to spend any time in after graduation and I know that I am not alone in that.
Granted, I don't know much about cancer rates or number of gyno offices, but the city itself is nothing to write home about. We've got a ton of crappy chain restaurants and stores and the only good local stuff is centered in one small area.
I'm from Omaha, and it seems to be essentially an improvement of everything that sucks about Lincoln, save the public transportation (Omaha has next to nothing, Lincoln has a decent bus system)

Kat said:

I've travelled the U.S. a fair bit; please observe my biased opinions.
Madison = fun, if humid.
Seattle = fun, if too depressing to live in for much of the year. rain much? The suicide rate in Seattle is consistently through the roof, if I'm not mistaken.
Aurora = wtf? I haven't spent a lot of time there, but the suburbs of Denver tend to be homogeneous, boring, and potentially full of cowboys/ rednecks/ repubs. No offense to dolls from Colorado; just speakin from my own personal experience of Colorado. Additionally: Colorado Springs hates women, and aside from the beautiful landscape I find Colorado Springs terrifying. The neighbouring town of Manitou however, is charming and had a plethora of people wonderful enough to make up for the creeps in Co.Spngs.
San Fran = fun, but too expensive to live in.

Additionally, what's supposed to be so bad about Philly??

Perhaps the magazine should broaden it's criteria...

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