The 'Lad's Mag' Debate Is Uncovering Some Ugly Behaviour

First there was the campaign to ban topless girls on page 3 of the Sun newspaper and now the Co-Op have aligned themselves with a similar crusade – by insisting that 'lad's mags' come in opaque bags or they will stop selling them. The opaque bags are already used, most people will recognise them from top shelves in newsagents, covering the full-blown porn titles. By extending this to include mainstream men's titles (FHM, Zoo, Nuts et al), there would no longer be sexualised women on the shelves and the supporters of this cause claim this is protecting their children from objectifying women. They don't even mention the arguably more dangerous message from women's magazines – that you're either fat or thin, and surgery is a luxury afforded to the rich and famous. God forbid a civilian try cosmetic surgery – the horror stories are there in plain view to underline the dangers of trying to emulate these figures that we have shoved down our throats.

 But that's not what I want to talk about here, there are plenty of viewpoints and mine is constructed from several of these.

 What I am disturbed by is some of the viewpoints that seem to cloud the waters of what modern feminism is as well as dispelling the myth that 'sisters should stick to the #girlcode'.

 If a woman has a negative opinion of another, it's jealousy

Ah, the green eyed monster. I associate envy with wanting a pair of Louboutin shoes that Kylie's been wearing, but I cannot afford them. Take a look across a wide range of social media though and you'll find a pocket of men and women that take a hard line of criticism aimed at females that criticise other females. I'm not talking about vicious verbal attacks here because that's a completely different situation, but in the case of the lad's mag, if a woman happens to pipe up and say they don't like seeing flawless half naked bodies on the magazine racks they are often accused of being jealous. I've seen women of all ages torn down for having a negative opinion of another woman. Well-known columnists have been all but lynched for saying they don't like the hair colour of a young celebrity; clearly they are just envious old hacks that are bitter.

When did this happen? When did it become such a cut and dry thing – if a woman dislikes another woman then she must be jealous of her. If a woman dislikes a man however, it's somehow empowering. How do you even begin to fit that into the picture of modern feminism? I'm not saying that jealousy doesn't exist or play its part, because it does. I'm just concerned that women are seemingly encouraged to put apathy towards their own sex down to envy, rather than asking them to understand that it's quite normal for people to not like each other.

Angry women just need to get laid

This is just ridiculous and I hope most people would agree. Funnily enough though, I've seen this kind of comment coming more from women than men; especially on Twitter where sharing your snap judgements is quick and easy. Tell me ladies, what exactly is empowering about telling another woman that her anger and distaste is down to biology?

 Men can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality

Now hang on just a minute, isn't it just as offensive to label men as sex-obsessed beasts as presenting women as sex objects? There are always going to be, for lack of a better phrase, very bad men out there. For the most part though, I think the average Joe would be quite offended if I was to meet them and automatically assume they were thinking about sex. The rise of female empowerment is often punctuated with articles/reviews of sex toys that are designed, quite clearly, for women. The message is that women enjoy sex as much as men, and that's a perfectly reasonable assumption. We're told that it's ok for us to grab some alone time for self-indulgent pleasure while our partner isn't with us, but then it's threatening to a relationship if a man picks up a magazine and simply flicks through it?

 I find myself more and more agreeing with the view that the only people genuinely damaged by ANY mainstream magazine are women. The men's mags apparently tell our potential mates that there is only one body type that is sexy and the women's mags tell us that the perfect body doesn't exist; you're either too fat or too thin and you have to fruitlessly try and fix yourself by buying into the diets/exercise plans/hyperbole that they continually sell

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