|Type||Feminist satirical magazine|
|Headquarters||Flatiron District, Manhattan, New York, US|
Reductress is an American satire website that parodies the style, tone, and perspective of media targeted towards women, especially women's magazines. Founded in 2013 by comedians Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, the site has received praise from reviewers for its satirical pieces including advice columns, news stories, and listicles.
Beth Newell began taking classes and performing at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) in 2005, later teaching at New York's Magnet Theater. Sarah Pappalardo was a comedy performer and writer while attending college in Chicago and worked as a freelance writer. The two founded Reductress in April 2013 after a conversation between Newell and Pappalardo about tropes they observed in popular media targeted towards women. By August 2016, the site reached 1.7 million monthly global visits, with a record monthly readership of 2.4 million hits in November 2014. In 2016, in response to a comedian being banned from the UCB after being accused of rape and sexual assault by multiple women, Reductress dedicated its entire landing page to stories satirizing the tactics of rapists and rape culture. The website has an office in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, New York.
In October 2016, Reductress released a book, How To Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide To Having It All—And Then Some! Written by Newell, Pappalardo, and Anna Drezen, the book was published by HarperOne.
Style and content
Reductress is a feminist news satire site. Conceived as a parody of women's magazines and the clickbait headlines they often employ, the site gradually expanded its focus to satirizing the ways women's media attempt to capitalize on feminism while still espousing values "that make [women] feel inadequate." The site has also parodied aspects of feminism, such as white feminism or feminism that lacks awareness of privilege.
Reductress publishes satirical advice columns, news stories, confessionals, listicles, and profiles, paired with a stock photo. The style of its articles has been compared to that of The Onion. Newell and Pappalardo have expressed interest in creating more video content for the site.
Gaby Dunn of The Daily Dot described Reductress as "not only biting, 'goes-there' hilarious, [but] a fantastic, sad, and much-needed look at the way the media talks down to women". Writing for The Guardian, Morwenna Ferrier said that the site's "headlines are cutting, but the comedy is sometimes subtle enough to dupe readers", citing the headline "We're Piercing My Baby's Tongue" as an example. Brian Raftery opined in Wired that Reductress "quickly became one of the funniest and most focused humor outlets on the web" with articles like "Actually, I'm an Intersectional Men's Rights Activist" and "How To Friendzone Ethan While He's Still Inside You". Particular praise was levied for Reductress's August 2016 series of articles regarding rape which were viewed as a powerful reaction to a national pattern of sexual violence and a strong example of the power of humor to "confront even the most seemingly unseemly topics, so long as it's done with honesty, empathy, and a shit-ton of sagacious fury."
- Dunn, Gaby (May 2, 2013). "Meet the women behind Reductress, the feminist Onion". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Crocker, Lizzie (May 2, 2015). "Inside the Feminist 'Onion': The Satirical Bite of 'Reductress'". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on January 30, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Ferrier, Morwenna (August 3, 2015). "How to be a Sexier Woman By Clicking On This Article (and other top tips)". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 21, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- "Reductress.com". Quantcast. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
- Davies, Madeleine (August 17, 2016). "Reductress Is Devoting Its Entire Site to Rape Jokes That Punch Up". Jezebel. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- Hinchliffe, Emma (August 18, 2016). "Reductress devoted its whole website to dismantling rape culture". Mashable. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- PenzeyMoog, Caitlin (October 24, 2016). "Reductress' clever, funny book teaches women How To Win At Feminism". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on November 7, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- Raftery, Brian (August 19, 2016). "How Reductress Became the Most Brutally Truthful Comedy Site Out There". Wired. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved August 28, 2016.