If I were a man, I wouldn’t read elephant.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Feb 12, 2013
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Source: Angela Luckey via Eleni Athanasopoulos via Pinterest.

10 Reasons I wouldn’t read elephant if I were a Man.

Oh, wait: I am a man.

waylon sturman

I shave my face. I have a penis (I checked). I throw like a girl…with my left hand. I’m slow emotionally, but quick to wake up and apologize when I’ve blundered into a wall in the dark.

10 Reasons I wouldn’t read elephant, lately?

Fuck Top 10 Lists, that’s number one. Top 10 lists are click-bait for speedy folks who like to walk while texting, or drive while instagramming. I want those readers…but I want them to slow down, and read elephant when they’re sitting down in their home, drinking loose leaf tea, and listening to Miles. I want to slow down our readers, and myself, instead of contributing to the noise and hype this world is so full of. Why’s it so full of noise and hype? Because everyone’s selling something. elephant’s not selling anything but the present moment, and that’s one present that’s freely given.

I’m fine with accessible articles with sexy or cute photos and catchy headlines but…enough’s, enough. Numbers to rival a cover of Cosmo, and Relationship articles with arty photos of happy couples frolicking in stockphotoland? Stuff a pillow over my face and finish me. Yoga articles? A few, sure. But how much can you read, before we remember to, you know, get on the mat and shut up?

I’d like more articles on bicycling, and art, and poetry, and adventure…on travel, on how to be eco-responsible, on meditation, on calling out bullshit in business, more interviews with thought leaders, more articles by and about on heroes who shine through integrity, not arrogance.

There’s plenty of worthwhile stuff, on elephant. But you have to dig. Luckily, as a man, I like digging. It’s good exercise, and let’s me drink Kind Ale without getting a pot.

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So while our readership may be 75% female, our readership is, I’d say, also 75% anti-spiritual materialism. Sure, many of us like to “like” Happy-Happy Quotes, whether or not Hafiz or Rumi or the Dalai Lama or Ghandi, misspelled, actually said them.

But most of us want truth. Plain, simple, hard, raw, naked, tender truth.

And that‘s what elephant offers, that so many others do not, often. That’s our market opportunity.

So, gents, and ladies un-interested in stirring your drama cauldron and then drinking your own flatulence, send your personal, raw, tender, true stories to:


Now. Send your coverage in of things that actually matter, like tiger farms. Don’t want to share? Then go on a reading diet. Less is more. Read our best, quality content (featured in our daily and weekly newsletters), and skip the candy.

Our editors hunt candy, but some of it gets through and rots the world’s teeth. We’re working on it.




About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


15 Responses to “If I were a man, I wouldn’t read elephant.”

  1. JBS says:

    Haha, great article! I was kinda thinking the same thing but didn't want to say anything…and couldn't have said it as well as you just did! I like the purpose of EJ and think it's great that you've made it so accessible (with a predictable impact on quality)…sounds like you and the staff are motivated to do some QC work and tighten up on the fluff factor 🙂 Still love some of the content though, and I appreciate all the thought and work that goes into this site!

  2. Vision_Quest2 says:

    If I were a man, I would never read elephant – simply because I am too old for yoga chic – even if the yoga chic is not clad in Lululemon …

    But since I am not a man – though not particularly cisgender as a woman – keep it coming (for now, at least)

  3. […] a recent rant by our Fearless Editor and Big Dog Buddhist, I thought it might be a great time to post what pisses off Waylon Lewis the most in […]

  4. Jayleigh says:

    Well, I agree. (I also wonder about how welcome non-white people feel at elephant, given how many photos feature white people. I'm guilty of perpetuating this, and have noted it even as I have continued to find "the perfect photo" that "just happens" to feature a person with light skin. I have never been sure if this is a problem of photo availability or personal blinders. I'm still noting it.)

  5. karlsaliter says:

    Great article. I especially like the links. 🙂

  6. LLabon says:

    Le swoon. I must have died and gone to writer heaven. Are you for real? I just got the chills.

  7. ivanteach says:

    Okay you are one mad crazy mf, and that’s fun, and hey thanks for publishing some of my stories, and numerous other good ones besides (the world isn't all about me, I'm beginning to realize). But I’m confused – selling nothing but the present moment? What about all the ads on all pages? And also, there doesn’t seem to be a sort of coherent pov to your stuff here, Waylon, which you kinda imply — it’s a big soup, with plenty of non-pc quasi exploitative stuff, am I missing something? I like the soupiness, don’t get me wrong. Lastly, please don’t conflate being left-handed with “throwing like a girl.” I pitched a no-hitter in little league, dude. And come to think of it, I think we’ve evolved past that phrase anyway, right?… Cheers! And no apologies!

  8. elephantjournal says:

    We have many readers, and writers, who are not Anglo women, certainly…but, yes, I agree, many of the Pinteresty images, while lovely, are very upper-middle-class First World Problems kinda images.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    Yay! We highlighted some articles lately that we appreciated.

  10. elephantjournal says:

    I should have said opposite handed. If you threw with your right hand, if you're left handed, you'd throw like a girl, too. And that was all tongue-in-cheek–one of my best friends, a softball player, can outthrow me (easily)–and she's a girl (and a yoga teacher, ftw).

    I have no problem making money, or supporting other mindful, indie businesses with integrity making money. In fact, I want to do both. I have a problem with the sort of unspoken selling or hustling and marketing that obviates straight-up truth and thoughtfulness and compassion.

    We make literally 1/40th (literally) of other sites our size because we don't sell our ads to alcohol and car companies, enough. Our ads are all sold by us, directly, to real, generally small companies. So: this isn't about starving and going out of business being virtuous. This is about walking our talk.

  11. howard says:

    ummm, wait a sec. That Sara Underwood nude yoga video… that was for women? Or what was that? If anything, it's keeping me from my yoga practice, not adding to it :))

    I do expect some of what I read here at Elephant Journal to take me out of myself. I also hope to find something to meet me where I am… that has been a bit harder to find lately.

  12. ivanteach says:

    Love it, and I'm glad you clarified that you do have a reasonable point of view. More power to you!

    I knew you were tongue-in-cheek about the throwing, I was just takin the piss myself. And continuing in that vein, I'm actually what they call mixed-handed (a step shy of ambidextrous), so I don't quite understand not throwing with form, but it's all good!

    Carry on!

  13. As a columnist here, and elephant love editor/new talent recruiter, I find myself continually pondering the quality vs. popularity dilemma and realizing quite often that this is a false dichotomy. That quality and popular can and do go hand in hand. What happens however, that does need to be addressed, is that this publication began with Buddhist philosophical roots, then morphed to yoga (practical, technical and philosphical) and then multiplied into sections, from wellness to work and money to love and relationships (& even a grey tab called SEXY.). With this much going on, a soup is inevitable, and yes, quality can suffer as well.

    It gets tiring however fending off the knee-jerk reactions from some "yoga" readers who feel sexuality should not even been in the soup mix. It also gets frustrating when a piece I adore, and want to see do well, is not noticed because yes, the featured photo is not pinteresty, or sexy; or the title of the piece is sex-deprived for the sake of polical correctness (and it's really about sex!).

    With the momemtum of the love and relationships section, too, the pieces often over populate the "popular" lately, making EJ seem more like a woman's magazine. Likely, longer term, there needs to be a spin off here.

    Finally, yes to this, Waylon. "more interviews with thought leaders, more articles by and about on heroes who shine through integrity, not arrogance." Edie Weinstein has started down that path nicely as one of elephant love's new recruits, on the interview trail.

    Lori Ann

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