So I’ve been having a little online “discussion” in the comment thread for one of The Atlantic online articles. The article is called, “Women’s Magazines Objectify Women as Much as Men’s Magazines Do.” Interesting, right?
Setting aside the fact that I think the article is poorly written (who is this Noah Berlatsky?), and I think that it lacks any real evidence to prove the point (ummm…women?), I decided to hop in on the fun and discuss with strangers how I don’t buy this argument about women’s magazines written by…a man.
My point is that I think women’s magazines, i.e. Cosmo, Glamour, etc… (as a general rule, not all, and not including exceptions) exist to satisfy three types of women: 1. Women whose main goal in life is to score and keep a man. 2. Women who are very insecure in this venture. 3. Women who do not know how to communicate properly to gain the insights that recycled articles regurgitate on a rotating basis. None of these reasons include “objectifying” other women. (I must clarify that I am writing on behalf of heterosexual women, and I can’t speak to the motivations of those who may not desire men.)
Ok. Here we go.
We know that men are largely propelled by sexual desire. (Oh God, I’m really getting into this.) And women, can be sexually motivated, but the desires are very different. I appreciate a hot chick just as much as the next guy, but that does not mean that I want to have sex with her. (Difference between men and women checking out other women—men want sex, women may want to copy a wardrobe choice or hair style, or maybe they just appreciate that another woman has her shit together at 6AM.)
Women’s magazines exist largely to “instruct” women on how to please a man. They do not exist for women. (I really hope this is not a newsflash for anyone.) Please stop buying Cosmo if you really think that the magazine was written for your betterment, lady; unless you are on an airplane and are reading it for pure entertainment sake, then please, enjoy! I stopped reading women’s magazines for real at the age of 18 when I realized that Cosmo was just Seventeen’s oversexed big sister with an insecurity problem. I realized that the articles about blowjobs and “new positions” penned to “help me please my man this summer” in the June 2004 issue largely resembled those same “new” findings that could be found in the June 2003 issue. Wow, revolutionary!
Back to Mr. Noah Berlatsky’s point. He says, “One curious thing about popular culture is that men’s magazines and women’s magazines often follow the same general formula. Men’s magazines are mostly based around heavily eroticized images of women. And women’s magazines are also based around heavily eroticized images of women.”
Ok. In every man’s dream world, women are going around looking erotically at other women and dreaming about sleeping with every sexy lady in daisy dukes and lace, but men can’t get it in their heads that maybe, just maybe women are not motivated by the same primal sexual urges that they (men) are when they see another woman. However, the truth of the matter is that these magazines largely exist for women to learn how to “please” men (and that is another issue entirely), and these “erotic” photos of women touching women/women looking longingly at each other, are put in place primarily to make “average” female readers insecure and feel like they need to continue reading in order to look a certain way/act a certain way/smell a certain way, and therefore gain an advantage over other women in order to score or keep a man. What these photos are saying to women is, “Don’t you want to be the envy of other women who are competing with you for a man?”
My answer is no. I’d rather have other tricks up my sleeve that don’t include last years “new” position and this Spring’s sweet smelly lip gloss oozing from the lips of some teenage pout, which, by the way, does not turn me on.
But that’s just my opinion. What is yours?