I have my works Christmas party today and I know I have been very lazy on here. I have to do a meme thing to thank Libby for pointing people towards my blog and I need to do several things that I’ve half written for here. But am a bit flat out at the moment.
Anyway this study on quotes from Lad mags (Loaded, FHM, Nuts et al) and rapists is quite interesting.
Basically looking at those quotes I could work out quite easily which were rapists and which were lad mags so I am unsure if the men being surveyed were particularly stupid or that a culture of accepting aspects of rape (If you are wearing a short skirt you want it etc.) means that they didn’t notice the more rape-y quotes as problematic. I’d have to read the whole paper to get a real feel for what they are trying to claim. I am not sure I entirely agree with what Jezebel are trying to say it proves.
The problem with magazines for men and women is that they are the worst best friend you’ve ever had. The friend who appeals to your insecurities (you look fat in that, never make the first move, everyone is secretly judging you etc etc etc etc) and gives terrible advice. The friend that pretty much appeals to all the worst fears you’ve ever had about your relationships, how you look and the things you like. They set their goal as the unattainable Platonic form of Female and Male. And when you think you are nearing the goal they change the goalposts and leave you feeling confused and even more worried.
Men’s magazine advice columns are terrible: “Problems in bed with your partner? Why not try and spice things up with anal sex?” Whatever you do, do not try and talk to your partner. Do not try and understand their point of view or work with them for a solution. Of course the answer to your relationship problem might be anal sex but the issue is you’ll never know unless you ask. Men’s (and women’s) magazines perpetuate the idea of a gulf between the sexes.
I know a lot of people don’t feel the media strongly influence people’s opinions but I think they affected me. As sex education is very hit and miss in our schools I learnt about sex and relationships (before I was having them.) from those magazines. The only place I could freely read about women loving women was in Loaded. The only place I could see sexy pictures of women I fancied was in lads mags. (I still remember the Alyson Hannigan photoshoot Loaded did fondly but now with lots of reservations.) It took a while to stop looking at women in a very male orientated way and find my own way as a bisexual woman. Of course this isn’t everyone’s experience but the problem with a surfeit of badly written magazines aimed at the lowest common denominator is that it brings everyone down to that level whether they like it or not.
Anyway if you had a friend who talked to you the way men’s and women’s mags do you’d probably friend dump them.
Or kick them.