More thoughts on male objectification, body sculpting and those adverts


Since this topic has been keeping you all interested this week, thought I’d point you towards a piece that’s just gone up at IB Times. I guess it captures some of my thoughts about the debate that has been going on, as well as spelling out where I stand on broader issues of our cultural obsession (?) with the male body beautiful.

Full piece is here, with a taster below. There’s no commenting at IB Times so if you want to call me rude names I’m happy to accommodate here.

—-

 

The academic literature is sparse and inconclusive, but there is evidence that ever-greater numbers of young men and boys are struggling with self-esteem issues and eating disorders, anecdotal evidence suggests use of dangerous anabolic steroids and / or fat-stripping stimulants might be on the rise.

There is an obvious temptation to place the blame for such problems firmly at the door of the asorted magazine editors, the film directors and the advertising executives who have conspired to make the six-pack and the V-shaped torso every young man’s must-have accessory. Such an equation is simple and straightforward – and it is also profoundly wrong.

It is no coincidence that male body-sculpting culture emerged in the rubble of the post-industrial economy and took hold among the first generations of working class man to grow-up in the aftermath of Thatcherism and Reagonomics. For centuries, young men had quietly asserted and performed their masculinity through their work, through providing for families at a young age, through military service or even a carefully carved position within cultures of casual violence.

But the muscles which once wrought steel and hauled coal in Sheffield and Newcastle now pump iron and pull reps. The willpower and courage that once crafted mighty ships on the Clyde or in Philadelphia or churned out cars in Dagenham and Flint, Michigan is now instead turned inwards, nothing left to build but bulk. The journey to bodily perfection can be seen quite profoundly in the journey from The Full Monty to Magic Mike – self-objectification travelling from desperation to a kind of proud, if sad, fulfilment.

Forty years earlier, another generation – my generation – of young men reacted to a similar sense of alienation and disengagement with a safety pin piercing, a mohawk and a cheap electric guitar. The record labels, the management teams and the fashion houses quickly grasped punk, exploited it and sold it back to its creators, in the words of Joe Strummer, turning rebellion into money. The distance from nihilism to narcissism is a very, very short hop.

The precise same process has now overtaken body-sculpting culture and, as is the way with consumer culture, is simultaneously feeding it. The associated harms to young men’s physical and mental health will not be addressed or contained by protesting a protein shake advert, picketing the Magic Mike sequel or demanding that Cristiano Ronaldo puts his shorts back on. Those are mere symptoms. Boys do not need to be shielded from aspirational or sexualised images, they need to be secure that they have a meaningful role in society beyond zero hours contracts, the call-centre and brief respite in the gym. They need to feel like they have more to offer the world than a perfect set of abs.

Achieving all that will take more than removing a poster from the Underground.

Comments

  1. 123454321 says

    So what you’re saying is that if men and boys have solid roles in their work life, it’s ok for society to accept and carry on with the double standard objectification of men everywhere they look in the public space?

    No rude names for you, Ally, but that’s bull shit, and you’ll know it is bull shit once a proportion of male depression and suicide is linked to body image inferiority disorders amongst young males – it’s coming through in this generation – next 10 years.

    Should that apply to women? You’re all for equality and fair and equal treatment, aren’t you?

  2. StillGjenganger says

    Boys do not need to be shielded from aspirational or sexualised images, they need to be secure that they have a meaningful role in society beyond zero hours contracts, the call-centre and brief respite in the gym. They need to feel like they have more to offer the world than a perfect set of abs.

    True, and well put. And part of it is that they need a meaningful role in the world as men. Something that makes them useful and different from women, rather than being not-quite-equal replacements for women, equivalent in production (if they can keep up with the studying), and inferior in reproduction where they lack the biological equipment that gives women their crucial role.

  3. Ally Fogg says

    So what you’re saying is that if men and boys have solid roles in their work life, it’s ok for society to accept and carry on with the double standard objectification of men everywhere they look in the public space?

    No, what I am saying is that so-called objectification of men or women is not in itself a problem.

    I am entirely relaxed about beautiful bodies decorating our cultural environment.

    I am less relaxed about some of the cultural and socio-economic conditions that help to drive such representations and our reactions to them, for both women and men in different ways.

  4. doublereed says

    It always seemed to me that objectification is often just a problem of advertising. Sure, we see fanservice in media all the time, but that at least is meant to cater to us as sexual beings. In advertising, it’s not so much catering to our sexuality as it is exploiting it.

  5. says

    I’d agree if it wasn’t for the fact that the two 20 something men in my wider social circle whom I suspect are using steroids ie: they have both seriously bulked up and gone all triangular in less than 2 years have…

    1:manual labouring jobs, one on sites and the other for network rail.
    2: Young families, both had kids by the time they were 20 and don’t seem to understand contraception.
    3:The usual time I bump into them is when they pop into my local on a Saturday night to see their fathers, before heading into the night for a binge, a fight and/or a fuck. I sometimes get to see the aftermath, when they bring the wife and kids to the pub for a Sunday afternoon day out.

    These aren’t the sensitive thoughtful youth who became punks in the late ’70, or even have the imagination to become new lads in the very early ’90s, if they had joined any culture it would have been the Teds, Rockers or Townies who were attacking them (me). Although in reality, they probably would have just joined in with whatever main stream culture that was being sold.

  6. 123454321 says

    “No, what I am saying is that so-called objectification of men or women is not in itself a problem.

    I am entirely relaxed about beautiful bodies decorating our cultural environment.”

    Same here. But are you happy with the double-standards. i.e. show a half naked women and bomb threats emerge. Show a naked man and women are allowed to go hysterical with sexually smug adoration, and with zero consequences? Not the same for men who are stigmatised as perverse or even evil.

    It’s all about jealousy, control and who shouts loudest.

  7. David S says

    The trouble with the term “objectification” is that it has cannot be given any definition that is both coherent and which matches its use in ordinary discourse. I know Martha Nussbaum has had a good crack at it, but no one really has a long conversation about fungibility before deciding whether it is OK to ogle Aidan Turner. In practice the term is used to indicate a vague concern about the amount of attention that is paid to physical appearance. The result is that it lends itself to the fallacy of equivocation, and in particular to arguments where a term is used in one sense when arguing that is a bad thing, and in another when arguing that it has actually occurred.

    When attempting to demonstrate the negative effects of objectification people tend to suggest that it is an attempt to reduce people to merely the sum of their physical attributes. In practice it is rather difficult for anyone to be as completely reductive as this, and even harder to prove that they are doing so. This means that when demonstrating that objectification is actually occurring, people tend to forget about all the “reducing” and “merely” bits and simply point out that attention has been directed to someone’s physical appearance.

    A sensible definition of the term, as used in practice, would be that people are objectified when an inappropriate amount of attention that is paid to their physical appearance. However to do that, you would have to decide what an appropriate amount of attention was. It would seem to me inappropriate not to remark on the fact that Aidan Turner is a bit fit. After all he is, and I doubt that it would be possible for women to pretend that they hadn’t noticed that without being hypocritical (in the proper sense of pretending to be better than they are). A certain amount of what gets described as objectification of women is probably defensible along similar lines, but not all of it.

  8. David S says

    Damn, “it cannot be given” in that last post should have been “it is hard to give it”. How about an edit button?

  9. Ally Fogg says

    Danny [6]

    I’m talking very much in terms of sociology here, not individual psychology. Of course some of those involved in gym lifestyle do also have manual jobs, but they are very much a minority.

  10. Ally Fogg says

    123…

    Same here. But are you happy with the double-standards. i.e. show a half naked women and bomb threats emerge. Show a naked man and women are allowed to go hysterical with sexually smug adoration, and with zero consequences? Not the same for men who are stigmatised as perverse or even evil.

    Of course I am not happy with bomb threats under any circumstances, but as we’ve been over several times before, double standards in gender politics are absolutely inescapable when we live in a society that is heavily gendered in all sorts of ways, so I see double standards as consequences of problems, not necessarily problems in themselves, depending on how they are being applied and to what ends.

  11. redpesto says

    1 – Charles Atlas?
    2 – Very ‘Stiffed’-era Susan Faludi
    3 – The Teddy Boys didn’t have much apart from their style either
    4 – The irony of men having to ‘work till you’re musclebound’ and look like something out of Tom of Finland gay porn
    5 – Magic Mike and The Full Monty also indicate the point where heterosexual men end up in the commercial sex industry as sellers rather than clients.

  12. johngreg says

    Ally said:

    Forty years earlier, another generation – my generation – of young men reacted to a similar sense of alienation and disengagement with a safety pin piercing, a mohawk and a cheap electric guitar. The record labels, the management teams and the fashion houses quickly grasped punk, exploited it and sold it back to its creators, in the words of Joe Strummer, turning rebellion into money. The distance from nihilism to narcissism is a very, very short hop.

    Quoted for truth.

    And in my generation, we wore party-coloured clothes, endless beads, and long hair, and we smoked pot, had casual sex by the truckload (Richard, Doctor-Love, Carrier stlyee), and preached an anti-war, anti-corporate, kind of a thing, only to watch most of the more leaderly type hippy folks later don their greasy grey cloaks of corporatism, plutocracy, and social control. Most sad; most sad.

  13. Jacob Schmidt says

    The academic literature is sparse and inconclusive, but there is evidence that ever-greater numbers of young men and boys are struggling with self-esteem issues and eating disorders, anecdotal evidence suggests use of dangerous anabolic steroids and / or fat-stripping stimulants might be on the rise.[1]

    It is no coincidence that male body-sculpting culture emerged in the rubble of the post-industrial economy and took hold among the first generations of working class man to grow-up in the aftermath of Thatcherism and Reagonomics.[2]

    1) Is it possible that steroids are just more accessible, now? I suspect the apparent increase in steroid use is due (at least in part) to steroids being more available, and information on how to use them being a google search away.

    2) No? I always thought the slow crumbling of gender roles explained the rise in “male body-sculpting culture.” It became more and more acceptable for men to sculpt their bodies because there was a slow shift away from the idea that focus on one’s physical image was a woman thing.

  14. Marduk says

    A similar but more polite version of this thesis.
    http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/anatomy-of-a-new-modern-douchebag

    A strange thing I noticed while flicking around TV channels is that every young man in Bollywood is now roided to the point they can’t see straight with classic ‘disco muscles’ physiques (huge arms, big chest, normal/skinny legs) that don’t exactly suggest a deep devotion to strength training if they can’t even follow a basic gym routine. Whatever we are seeing in our culture, it seems profound there.

    We still aren’t having anything like a grown up discussion of steroids. Its a massive epidemic we have no idea the scale of. And as for professional sport, LOL. People don’t look like that, they just don’t. The NFL is complete bullshit, humans aren’t made that way and no amount of nutrition or working out causes that either. The norm isn’t normal. Compare natural bodybuilders with sportsmen who allegedly train for things other than bulk, its ridiculous, the bodybuilders are relying on huge weight cuts to have any real definition and they look tiny by comparison. I don’t believe any of it. The problem is so widespread we can’t even see it.

    DavidS. I recommend and have recommended this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ways_of_Seeing
    I find it very coherent and clear. I disagree with your working definition because as I said on the prior thread, concentration on someone’s physicality has almost entirely different outcomes than sexual objectification. E.g., http://www.yale.edu/minddevlab/papers/body.pdf

  15. AnarchCassius says

    Fair points but it’s hard to overlook the narratives that the men doing this to themselves are simply getting what they deserve for being foolish while women are victims of internalized misogyny who need help to even see how oppressed they are.

    When the media takes advantages of men to sell them things society shakes its finger at the men. When the media takes advantages of women to sell them things society shakes its finger at the media.

  16. seriouslynow says

    Something struck me as a bit off about this too, Ally. I’m a middle-aged woman, an engineering student with a professional background in IT, and I have friends in the younger generation who have all sorts of ideas about their gender roles. It’s freedom and self-definition, and I think society should be a safe place for young people to examine their individuality, gender-role-based and otherwise. What you are describing as a world in which men need to be secure and free from abusive and dehumanizing work conditions and granted access to enrichment is a world in which everyone needs to be secure and free and enriched. I’ve felt it myself all my life. When my father asked me what I intended to study in college, I told him, “I want to be like you. I want to go to work and make something that has my name on it, some machine or process or product.” Never mind what he answered and why I had to wait till my late 40s to actually do that; every individual who wants to have a meaningful and prosperous life should be supported in the realization of their ambitions. The word “virtue” has its root in the Latin word “vir” because “manliness” is the old word for something that corresponds to our modern ideas of “self-actualization” and “self-esteem”. I’m trying to be careful here not to be like “women and men can do the same things”. It’s not that at all. Selfhood and personal ambition transcend gender and speak to who we all are as human beings in full.

  17. avern says

    “Of course I am not happy with bomb threats under any circumstances, but as we’ve been over several times before, double standards in gender politics are absolutely inescapable when we live in a society that is heavily gendered in all sorts of ways, so I see double standards as consequences of problems, not necessarily problems in themselves, depending on how they are being applied and to what ends.”

    I find it very bizarre that you can only offer the mildest of admonitions for BOMB THREATS.

    If MRA agitators were vandalizing that poster of the naked man holding the protein drink and calling in bomb threats, how would you judge those actions morally? If that judgement is harsher than the actual vandalism and bomb threats that are being committed by feminist thugs as we speak, please explain how the current cultural and socio-economic conditions (the “problems”) justify that disparity. And then outline the moral framework that you use to determine how the effects of socio-economic and cultural conditions change the moral nature of identical acts.

    That would be awesome, thanks.

  18. Lucy says

    AnarchCassius

    “Fair points but it’s hard to overlook the narratives that the men doing this to themselves are simply getting what they deserve for being foolish while women are victims of internalized misogyny who need help to even see how oppressed they are.
    When the media takes advantages of men to sell them things society shakes its finger at the men. When the media takes advantages of women to sell them things society shakes its finger at the media.”

    Probably because men do the media and women have the media done to them.

  19. Lucy says

    Don’t know where this idea of working class men all being proud manual labourers building ships comes from.

    I remember the East End as a young child, most of the men did odd jobs or worked in shops or light industrial work in printing shops and factories, drove taxis or public transport. There was a rag and bone man, a milk man, a grocer, a butcher, a premium bonds man, a jeweller, a travelling painter. Pretty much as they do now except the factory has been replaced by the call centre and the printing shop by online marketing. The shipyards and mines have mostly gone, but there weren’t any ship yards or mines in Essex.

    Other than a burly ex-sailor, who had a reputation for groping schoolgirls, many were thin and ravaged by poor food and 80 a day smoking habits and they died decades before their stocky Bread and Dripping, non-smoking wives.

    Quite a few were obvious feckless bounders and boozers. More than once I heard of men who’d pretended to their wives that they’d died in WW2 so they could shack up with a new woman when they got back.

    I don’t remember women seeing men as the providers for their families, I think women saw themselves in that role. It was the women who were tough matriarchs and had a real role in society which has now all but disappeared.

    The biggest cultural changes between then and now are the media, the car and demographics: in that area, the houses have been turned into bedsits, communities turned itinerant and fragmented, doctors unknown, trust eroded, the churches have been boarded up, the pubs have closed, independent shops replaced by chains. If you can’t turn outwards, you turn inwards.

  20. Bugmaster says

    Somewhat surprisingly, Lucy is probably not entirely wrong on this one (comment #20). According to this source, during the British Industrial Revolution, women made up around 50%..60% of the factory workforce (which is lower than what Lucy is implying, but still higher than even the 50% we would naively expect).

    That entire article is fascinating, and I highly recommend reading it; but the overall pattern is that women occupied professions that a). did not require great physical strength, and b). did not require extensive social connections or education (since these were, sadly, unavailable to women). As far as I can tell, one of the major advances of the Industrial Revolution was powered machinery (water power at first, followed by steam power). This made it possible for women to successfully compete with men for factory laborer positions, since they no longer needed to rely solely on their own muscle power — and since the industry was so new, and in such demand of workers, that no one bothered keeping them out.

    I couldn’t find the demographic statistics for modern-day Britain; but, according to this census data, in the US women make up something like 10%..30% of the industrial workforce (construction and manufacturing).

  21. Jacob Schmidt says

    … and since the industry was so new, and in such demand of workers, that no one bothered keeping them out.

    That seems to be the way of things: arbitrary morality, gender roles, and the like only last to the extent they are convenient.

    One of my favourite examples is about dry counties in the states, with really strict regulations regarding alcohol sales. Those laws last for quite a while, up until a neighbouring county changes its regulations. Faced with the terrible choice of lost business or allowing restaurants to serve alcohol with dinner, the county regulations quickly change.

  22. Lucy says

    “When attempting to demonstrate the negative effects of objectification people tend to suggest that it is an attempt to reduce people to merely the sum of their physical attributes. In practice it is rather difficult for anyone to be as completely reductive as this, and even harder to prove that they are doing so. This means that when demonstrating that objectification is actually occurring, people tend to forget about all the “reducing” and “merely” bits and simply point out that attention has been directed to someone’s physical appearance.
    A sensible definition of the term, as used in practice, would be that people are objectified when an inappropriate amount of attention that is paid to their physical appearance. ”

    No. The important attribute of an object is not its physical appearance, it’s its usefulness and its replacability. The interchangable, identikit, nameless, often headless sexualised women who wallpaper our lives are objects in a way Poldar definitely isn’t.

  23. Lucy says

    Bugmaster

    “Somewhat surprisingly, Lucy is probably not entirely wrong on this one”

    Rude. And ironically half wrong.

  24. says

    Probably because men do the media and women have the media done to them.

    Right, all men do the media and Anna Wintour doesn’t exist.

  25. That Guy says

    I’m not so certain about your remark about people ‘enjoying’ the attention to the male body- I think the ones who are enjoying it most are the ones who manage to fulfil the high expectations of a sculpted body shape.

    I should not be surprised if the worst damage is yet to be seen, thinking back to highschool times (which were pretty shitty already) I think that being bombarded with images of the ideal male body which requires an investment of time and money which I cannot now fifteen years later achieve would not be doing wonders for my self worth. THIS BEING SAID, women have been experiencing this pressure (as you said) for quite some time now, but I take exception to the idea that it’s that the ‘novelty has worn off’ that is the prime cause for chargrin.

    tl:dr, the ‘normalisation’ of the exceptional only benefits those with the time and money to achieve it, and depresses the worth of all others. This is damaging to anyone’s self worth, regardless of gender. The key point is that it is not just the existence of pretty people that is harmful- it’s the idea that everyone has to live up to the expectation of being pretty.

    is there any net effect of class or who is generating these expectations on the end result? As Lucy pointed out- it seems to primarily be men who are putting the pressure on men to be more buff. I’d be interested to hear other people’s thoughts.

  26. 123454321 says

    “Probably because men do the media and women have the media done to them.”

    Lucy drops a big fucking dinosaur turd again. Watch where you’re stepping, folks!

  27. 123454321 says

    “….so I see double standards as consequences of problems, not necessarily problems in themselves,…”

    Seriously, Ally, talk about wriggle factor expertise! If we have a double standard, which is the consequence of a problem, then the double standard can be classed as evidence of a problem. So we still have a problem.

    The fact that women in our society today are smugly enjoying the ubiquitous, ripped male torso without a single hint of recognition that the effects of imposing such images in the mainstream media could be damaging to men and boys who are under pressure to look like that…..while in the same society we hear of BOMB THREATS as a consequence of showing some female flesh (because women are under pressure to look like that), this is enough in terms of consequential evidence to suggest that we have a problem.

    Once again, men will get the shitty end of the stick with no recognition and no help. Typical and completely unsurprising! This subject , I guarantee, will be another nail in the coffin of feminism. The double standards are unsustainable in the long-term. Feminism and it’s supposed affiliation with equality is fucking joke, no matter what subject we talk about!

  28. Ally Fogg says

    If we have a double standard, which is the consequence of a problem, then the double standard can be classed as evidence of a problem. So we still have a problem.

    Well yes. Precisely. But what you write doesn’t actually take us anywhere closer to understanding what the problem is.

    Some feminists might argue that the harm done by objectified images of women is much, much worse than the harm done by objectified images of men, therefore it is entirely understandable that people get much, much angrier about them. That would be a perfectly rational alternative reading of the situation.

    Now, I don’t agree with that, primarily because I’m not convinced that such images of either women or men are especially harmful so I don’t really see how one can be much more not-harmful than the other. I agree there is a problem, and tend to think it is more about the underlying commercial exploitation of human anxiety, alienation etc.

    You may agree there is a problem and think that it is boys and men are being horribly oppressed by the feminazi oligarchy. Or whatever.

    But the point is that everyone here agrees there is a problem, it is just that we can’t agree what the problem actually is.

  29. Ally Fogg says

    I’m catching up here, so working backwards, sorry.

    Lucy [20] & Bugmaster [21]

    I also think this was a really good comment and historically very accurate. It has always been true that in practice people’s behaviour has varied wildly from gender archetype in all sorts of ways. It is about matching up to our own perception of what is expected from people like us!

    Much of our gender identification is tied up in an image or ideal, rather than reality, but it is no less influential on our behaviour for that.

  30. Ally Fogg says

    avern [18]

    I find it very bizarre that you can only offer the mildest of admonitions for BOMB THREATS.
    If MRA agitators were vandalizing that poster of the naked man holding the protein drink and calling in bomb threats, how would you judge those actions morally?

    I’d probably say something like “Some MRAs are complete fuckwits”

    What do you want me to do? Anyone who sends a bomb threat is a complete fuckwit, whoever they are, whatever their reasons. In this particular case I haven’t seen any of the details or charges, so I don’t know if it was an IRA-Codeword type bombthreat or a “Robin Hood airport better get their shit together” type bob threat, so I don’t exactly know how appalled to be. Do you? Exact same goes for threatening to attack people’s workplaces, threatening people, etc etc. I condemn it unreservedly in all circumstances irrespective of who is doing it.

    Clear enough for you?

  31. 123454321 says

    “But the point is that everyone here agrees there is a problem, it is just that we can’t agree what the problem actually is.”

    Ok, At least that’s a start.

    I was watching the TV last night and out of the 20 or so shirtless men I saw during the viewing period, switching channels (adverts/dramas etc.) not one single one of them had any particular reason to be shirtless, other than someone must have said “hey, let’s shoot this with your shirt removed because…”.

    I mean WTF is going on? What’s driving this? Very strange, boring and almost tediously cliche at best.

  32. Ally Fogg says

    You know what, 12345…. serious request, one night when you are watching TV, could you have a pad & pen beside you, and make a note of every moment of male nudity you see? Because I had the telly on all night last night and I’m pretty sure I didn’t see a single topless man.

    But hyperbole aside, I’ll agree that there is a “WTF is going on?” question worth answering.

    I think there is one really interesting example you could have, and I’ll give it to you for free.

    If you ever watch the show 8/10 Cats Does Countdown, it has a running joke involving a near-naked male model they call Fabio. He comes on at the beginning and the end with joke prizes and so on. He is always the butt of a joke. He never says anything.

    Now, you might legitimately ask, WTF is going on there?

    It looks to me like the producers / writers are making a show that is a kind of postmodern parody of a very old-fashioned game show. Fabio does the precise job that used to be done by bikini clad girls on 1970s shows like Sale of the Century and the Golden Shot. Using a man is an obvious inversion of that. The humour usually depends upon it being completely unremarkable and mundane to have a beautiful (almost) naked man around the place.

    The gender balance on 8/10 CDC is really interesting. You have the panellists who are usually 3/4 male. Host is male. Then you have the two experts who are both women, both very, very clever and very beautiful. Even though I think every one of the regulars is straight, there’s a blatant homoeroticism to Fabio which sort of balances out and breaks the heterosexual tension in the room and maybe counter-balances the fact that the male comedians (especially Jimmy Carr) make quite a lot of nudge-nudge-irony sexist jokes.

    Is the show misandrist? Is the Fabio character exploitative or offensive? I don’t see it myself. I think so much of this kind of thing is only really understood within layers of context, and if you ignore those depths you will misrepresent what is actually being said and done and understood by audiences.

  33. Lucy says

    12345

    ““Probably because men do the media and women have the media done to them.”
    Lucy drops a big fucking dinosaur turd again. Watch where you’re stepping, folks!”

    You have a bit of a scatalogical thing going on. Any thoughts on that?

  34. Lucy says

    Tamen

    “Right, all men do the media and Anna Wintour doesn’t exist.”

    No, all media is done by men. Almost.

    All media is done to a male template. Almost.

    Name me the media conglomerate CEOs and board members of the female sex.

  35. Carnation says

    @ Lucy #34

    Lots of MRAs do – most prominently via their nicknames. I remember thinking this when pursuing the exhortations of “Scatmaster”

    @ Ally Fogg

    For some reason, your description of Fabio makes me think of the sublimely brilliant, and arguably misogynistic and/or misandric, question asked to Debbie McGee – “what attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?”

  36. Holms says

    #24 Lucy
    “Somewhat surprisingly, Lucy is probably not entirely wrong on this one”
    Rude. And ironically half wrong.

    You say that almost as if you had forgotten your stated enjoyment of saying ridiculous shit just to garner outraged squawks, i.e. trolling.

  37. 123454321 says

    Good example, Ally. 8 / 10 cats is typically exactly what I men. Loose Women also have a ripped, half naked male deliver items to the panel, for what reason? Female audience? Because women like it? Because they can get away with it? All of the above?

    This phenomena has to be a result of something. Take a peek at these links. There are hundreds of links like this and they all directly relate to what is being seen on daytime TV through the mainstream media. What is this saying to our kids?
    “Hey, kids, don’t be seen to objectify women because they deserve respect and dignity and it’s perceived as potentially offensive – they might even send you a freaking bomb threat. They are special and require special treatment to protect their emotions. Also, you could be labelled as a dirty pervert. These rights are explicitly reserved for women and girls who can ogle and enjoy male objectification to their heart’s content without fear of reprisal. We only need to concern ourselves with any potential consequences that might affect women. It doesn’t matter about guys, they are put on this earth for the benefit of women and whatever women want, we must bend over backwards for in order to accommodate their needs. Women like to see pointless, naked men on daytime TV because it makes them feel accomplished. We need to recognise that women were once objectified, and despite the vast majority of those women are now dead, we must feel obliged to satisfy the ‘two wrongs make a right’ philosophy and continue to ignore any feminist agenda to childishly relish in playing the tit-for-tat game of trying to make men these days pay for what went on decades ago. Despite civilisation moving on, we must put the tit-for-tat game up there on the list of priorities. And if thousands of men become ill due to bulking up their bodies in a vain attempt to follow what the media is chucking at them based around social acceptability double standards, then who gives a shit – it’s their fault, it’s always men’s fault, they’re the ones taking off their shirts! Remember, there are two sets of rules applied to men and women and it’s never women’s fault, it’s always the fault of the patriarchy. So there you go, Son, go and enjoy your life and don’t fucking come to me moaning about anything in society that affects you as a male – shut up and learn to live with it. You might get depressed but remember to man-up and take it on the chin!”

    http://www.alternet.org/culture/should-we-be-talking-about-objectification-hot-men-daytime-tv

    http://www.tvfanatic.com/2015/01/sexy-saturday-21-of-the-steamiest-shirtless-men-on-television/

    http://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/1017565/best-places-to-find-shirtless-men-on-tv

    http://www.queerty.com/photos-do-ads-with-shirtless-tv-hunks-get-you-to-watch-their-shows-20130918

    Lucy – with respect to women in media and broadcasting:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17287275

    Now go drop your turds elsewhere.

  38. David S says

    The important attribute of an object is not its physical appearance, it’s its usefulness and its replacability. The interchangable, identikit, nameless, often headless sexualised women who wallpaper our lives are objects in a way Poldar definitely isn’t.

    Your definition of objectification is close to what Nussbaum calls “fungibility”. However if you define objectification that way, then a lot of what gets called objectification is not objectification. For example Renee Somerfield, the model in the Protein World ad, is highly paid precisely because she is not easily interchangeable with anyone else. In fact the major problem with the ad is that virtually no one looks like she does. For that matter she isn’t headless either. If you were looking for interchangeable identikit models then you would be better off turning your attention to the stock photos used to set the tone for newspaper articles (anonymous sad people, possibly clutching their heads, for articles on depression, and so on).

  39. David S says

    Incidentally Renee Somerfield is supposed to be vegan, so I guess someone ought to have pointed out to her that the Protein World gunk is made out of whey powder, which I am pretty sure ain’t vegan.

  40. Ally Fogg says

    12345…

    I think your post is an almost perfect inversion / parody of comments from feminists that I have been arguing against for (literally) decades. And I think you are as wrong as they are.

    You are basically projecting the most cataclysmic and paranoid interpretation you can imagine onto a cultural phenomenon which, in truth, pulls in lots of different and complex directions simultaneously.

    But in short no, that’s not what any of that is saying, in my opinion.

  41. Bugmaster says

    @Ally #43:
    I don’t disagree with you, exactly, but I think 123454321 demonstrates a good point (if only via reductio ad absurdum). If “objectification” is a real phenomenon that causes grievous harm to people, then we absolutely need to take meticulous care to avoid triggering it, for men as well as for women. We should also study objectification as extensively as we can, so that we can learn more about it.

    Of course, it is entirely possible that men have some special property that makes them immune to being objectified; but this makes our task only harder, since now we need to know what this property is and how it works. Feminists typically have a one-word answer to this question — “patriarchy” — but relabeling your ignorance is not the same thing as providing an explanation.

    The problem is that objectification has proven to be somewhat resilient to research. There’s just not a lot of evidence for it, and it’s not clear how it works, or whether it works at all. It’s kind of like phlogiston this way. At some point, we should probably move on to a model of human behavior with a bit more predictive power…

  42. 123454321 says

    Ally, I am fully aware that I’m using extended forms of hyperbole and Bugmaster puts my point in a form that is much more succinct and tolerable. But there is a problem looming here and it requires significant thought, outside the box of orthodoxy, as it were. I appreciate your tolerance but believe me this subject is worthy of thought as it surrounds the most basic of concepts such as respect, self worth, decency, dignity etc. I remain tight with the notion that double standards are not good and the polarisation effects are equally bad in the long-term for men AND women. I have no issue with women ogling men’s bodies or vice vice versa, but where one gender being able to ogle the other using an open, public stage, whilst the other is dealt with as a censored taboo – that is not quite right. I honestly believe that screaming, hysterical women openly applying the “phooar, give me a bit of him” tactic is pathetic, childish and damaging to the very fabric of feminism. It’s hypocritical, everyone knows it, and they’re sealing their own fate in this respect. It can’t go on for ever without being challenged head on. It’s just a matter of time. I know you don’t agree with me but that’s fine.

  43. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    Are you equally incensed and fearful for the future when female children are referred to as beautiful or when it’s said they are going to be heartbreakers when they’re older?

  44. says

    The ten largest media conglomerates by size (ascending):

    Comcast: CEO: Brian L. Roberts (32 of 126 executives are women), Female board member: Dr. Judith Rodin

    The Disney Company: CEO: Robert A. Iger (3 out of 10 corporate executives are women), Female board members: Susan Arnolds, Monica C. Lozano, Sheryl Sandberg

    Time Warner Inc: CEO: Jeff Bewkes (2 out of 7 corporate executives are women), Female board members: Jessica P. Einhorn, Deborah C. Wright

    Viacom: CEO: Philippe Dauman (3 out of 14 corporate executives are women), Female board members: Shari Redstone, Blythe J. McGarvine, Christina Falcone Sorrell, Deborah Norville

    News Corporation: CEO: Robert Thomson (3 out of 7 on their executive leadership team are women), Female board members: Natalie Bancroft, Ana Paula Pessoa, Elaine L. Chao

    Liberty Media: CEO: Gregory B. Maffei (0 women on the management team), Female board members: Andrea L. Wong

    British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc: CEO: Jeremy Darroch (2 out of 12 on the executive team are women), Female board members: Tracy Clarke, Adine Grate

    CBS Corporation: CEO: Leslie Moonves (man) (1 of 11 excutives is a woman), Female board members: Shari Redstone, Linda M. Griego

    Gannett Company Inc.: CEO; Gracia C. Martore (woman) (2 out of 10 on the leadership team are women), Female board members: Marjorie Magner, Gracie C. Martore, Lidia Fonseca, Susan Ness

    Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA: CEO: Dr. Thomas Rabe (1 of the 5 on the executive board is a woman – 5 of the 14 members of the Group Management Commitee are women), Female board members: Dr. Brigitte Mohn, Liz Mohn, Christiane Sussieck

    Lucy, are you saying that these women influence and accomplish almost nothing?

  45. 123454321 says

    “Are you equally incensed and fearful for the future when female children are referred to as beautiful or when it’s said they are going to be heartbreakers when they’re older?”

    No, because the same is often said as an equivalence aimed at male children. Stop scraping.

  46. Jacob Schmidt says

    Feminists typically have a one-word answer to this question — “patriarchy” — but relabeling your ignorance is not the same thing as providing an explanation.

    Eh?

    “Patriarchy” is hardly a stand in for “I don’t know.” There’s a fair amount of theorizing behind the term. In this case, I suspect most feminists would argue that women have a long history of being objectified, primarily around their looks, and that further objectification adds to and supports that pattern; that the difference between men and women in this case has nothing to do with an inherent property of either gender, but of what sort of cultural pressures they are already dealing with.

    Disagree all you want, but the specifics of this topic are hardly un-broached in feminist spaces.

  47. 123454321 says

    Take a look across the entire animal kingdom and I’d say that the male species is under just as much pressure (if not more) to exceed the standards required to successfully reproduce as the female species.
    Men are chastised for comparing women but women are permitted to celebrate and enjoy public male nudity without fear of the social stigmas.

    When you think about it, it’s quite natural for men to be drawn to women who are generally fit, with slim waste (less food required), long legs (good for running from predators) proportionally wider hips (child-bearing benefits), larger breasts (to support infant nutritional requirements). When times were tough many thousands of years ago, these were key decisions in the evolutionary process.

    But then, women are drawn to men for very similar reasons – tall, strong, muscular, fit & competitive, an element of aggression to support the protection of the family, bravery. When times were tough many thousands of years ago, these were key decisions in the evolutionary process.

    Women have always judged men on their looks and attributes. Men have, too. But men are now prohibited from doing so to the same extent as women are these days.

  48. sheaf29 says

    There’s a fair amount of theorizing behind the term. In this case, I suspect most feminists would argue that women have a long history of being objectified, primarily around their looks, and that further objectification adds to and supports that pattern; that the difference between men and women in this case has nothing to do with an inherent property of either gender, but of what sort of cultural pressures they are already dealing with.

    Objectification is a notoriously fuzzy term in itself. I do not see how this markedly reduces ignorance. Though other feminist explanations are probably more informative.

  49. Whiney says

    Yeah, I dunno, Ally, I’ve read quite a few of these ‘wouldn’t it be nice if’ pieces from yourself by now (wouldn’t it be nice if the world was made out of marshmallows), but what you’re hoping for – that government should seriously and thoughtfully re-examine men’s experience in relation to work, ain’t ever going to happen as long as the gender feminists (and their ideas in relation to gender in policy) hold such a complete monopoly over the exploration of gender issues within government. That is surely the sad and unavoidable truth of the matter.

    I’ve mentioned before the way there have been government commissions into women’s experience and needs with regard to work this parliamentary session, and no corresponding investigations on the behalf of men.

    Can we really be surprised by this? Two out of the three main party leaders keenly donned the infamous F******t Society T-shirts, which bore testament to how incredibly dominant that way of thinking is in our political culture.
    Having only Women and Work Commissions mirrors all those key Fawcett beliefs, that women are always the disadvantaged sex, and that they are always in constant competition with men (as expressed through the cobbled together concept of the ‘gender pay gap’). Indeed, since the ‘gender pay gap’ is like a sort of secular religion as far as they are concerned, and as long as the party leaders are followers of their faith (Cameron is in spirit, though he didn’t quite put the T-shirt on), nothing significant will be done to boost poorer men’s prospects and income, since logically that would present the danger of the gender pay gap statistics being ‘adversely’ affected.

    So basically as long as you cover for feminism (or this feminist way of thinking about gender in our society) by saying that its presence has no involvement in men’s problems and it’s all completely irrelevant, I’m afraid nothing will change.
    You seem to reckon that challenging a minor statistic or two on this blog will somehow cause a major revolution, because the impact of this is apparently measured by how much abuse you get from ultra-hardcore SJW’s on Twitter. The truth is, however, that
    appeasement is no longer an option, and so gender feminism (an gender-feminist thinking) have to be weeded out at root
    from our culture by serious and radical political change; (or at least robustly confronted and challenged within the political sphere.)

  50. Carnation says

    @ Whiney

    I’m not familar with your work, but this line led to an increase of laughter induced endorphin’s for which my hangover and I are grateful: “The truth is, however, that appeasement is no longer an option, and so gender feminism (an gender-feminist thinking) have to be weeded out at root from our culture by serious and radical political change; (or at least robustly confronted and challenged within the political sphere.)”

    @ 123454321

    If in doubt, get the crackpot evo-psych theroy out!

  51. Whiney says

    Well one thing’s for sure, there’s only one kind of equality that the establishment are interested in promoting and that’s women’s equality. (Witness for instance the sycophantic coverage given to the Women’s Equality Party in the mainstream press http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/sandi-toksvigs-womens-equality-party-is-a-movement-for-which-time-has-come-10221200.html and contrast it with the widespread monstering of Mr Buchanan’s party.
    Doesn’t surprise me also that the I.B. Times prefer Ally’s ‘men are privileged patriarchs’ form of equality to Mike Buchanan’s plain speaking. Yes, economic empowerment and a serious attempt to deal with men’s issues in society may happen in other countries, but not Britain at the moment, it is so highly and unapologetically gynocentric. Ally was once floating the idea of government commission into boy’s education (similar to the one I have also suggested should happen into employment as well). Sheer pie in the sky right now, I’ve seen none of the major parties indicate they’re the slightest bit interested in such things at all.

  52. Lucy says

    Holms

    “You say that almost as if you had forgotten your stated enjoyment of saying ridiculous shit just to garner outraged squawks, i.e. trolling.”

    I never said that at all. I never mentioned the words ridiculous or shit. I don’t think I said outraged squawks either, though it’s a good description so perhaps I did.

    I’ve never written anything here that wasn’t one of my genuine opinions.

  53. Lucy says

    Tamen

    So you’ve named me 6 female board members out of a total of 201.

    0 female executive board members.

  54. Lucy says

    David S

    “For example Renee Somerfield, the model in the Protein World ad, is highly paid precisely because she is not easily interchangeable with anyone else. ”

    Yes, blonde white models who are a stone and a half underweight and who survives on nuts and berries are thin on the ground.

    The only reason you know her name is because of the controversy surrounding this advert.

  55. Lucy says

    666

    “I honestly believe that screaming, hysterical women openly applying the “phooar, give me a bit of him” tactic is pathetic, childish and damaging to the very fabric of feminism. ”

    Yes, I know you do.

    But that’s because you get all your information about women off late night channel 5 documentaries about Maguluf.

    And all your information about feminism from your subsequent insomniac nightmares.

    —-

    “It’s hypocritical,”

    What is?


    “everyone knows it, ”

    How do you know?


    “and they’re sealing their own fate in this respect. ”

    Who’s sealing who’s fate? What fate? What respect?


    “It can’t go on for ever without being challenged head on. It’s just a matter of time. I know you don’t agree with me but that’s fine.”

    You really think that there is or will ever be a groundswell of rising rebellion against Poldark while the porn industry exists?

    I’ll tell you what’s more likely to happen:

    Porn actresses will gradually be replaced by more realistic animations. Porn will become increasingly cheaper to produce, slicker, more focussed in fewer hands, more homogenous, more commercially lucrative.

    Men will find real sex with real women less satisfying and appealing, therefore vice versa.

    People will stop having sex.

    In parallel there will be a growth in home working and virtual socialising.

    There will be a growth in IVF.

    Small resistance groups will spring up in the Forest of Deen.

    While men are indoors plugged into machines, women will emerge and start building a giant space ship. They will paper it with pictures of Poldark, fill it with two of every kind of animal and set off to a new world.

    Behind them the sun turns into a supernova and millions of men in cubicle apartments with google glasses organically fused with their heads will obliviously masturbate until the earth is swallowed.

  56. Lucy says

    1234567654321

    “women are permitted to celebrate and enjoy public male nudity without fear of the social stigmas.”

    I know things were tough in the 80s, but things are different now, come back out and celebrate.

  57. Lucy says

    Whiney

    “Well one thing’s for sure, there’s only one kind of equality that the establishment are interested in promoting and that’s women’s equality.”

    What gives you that idea? Financial and social inequality get far more attention than gender inequality. One of the three/four main political parties’ entire raison d’être is eradicating social inequality, or used to be before it became about supporting struggling PR agencies. There’s no equivalent feminist party political force – all feminists can do is lobby the men in charge for greater recognition of their campaign. And there’s a lot of talk and not much action. 80% of our parliament is still male, the parliamentary feeder school is still male only, most of the resources and power are still concentrated in male hands and passed down male lines, women are still less able to exercise their civil liberties than men are.

    As for the pay gap – it exists, the economic gap between men and women exists; you can argue about its cause if you like (whether that’s because you’re interested in solving it or for more nepharious reasons), whether it’s direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, subconscious discrimination, institutional discrimination, valid discrimination, but you can’t deny it exists.

  58. Ally Fogg says

    Bugmaster (44)

    If “objectification” is a real phenomenon that causes grievous harm to people, then we absolutely need to take meticulous care to avoid triggering it, for men as well as for women. We should also study objectification as extensively as we can, so that we can learn more about it.

    But in years of reading and researching this stuff, I have yet to see any convincing evidence that objectification does cause grievous harm to anyone, male or female.

    Which is why I am not going to get into a line of thinking that says “this phenomenon which doesn’t cause anyone any grievous harm is not causing grievous harm less grievously than that phenomenon which doesn’t cause anyone any grievous harm.”

  59. Ally Fogg says

    12345432 [45]

    I remain tight with the notion that double standards are not good and the polarisation effects are equally bad in the long-term for men AND women. I have no issue with women ogling men’s bodies or vice vice versa, but where one gender being able to ogle the other using an open, public stage, whilst the other is dealt with as a censored taboo – that is not quite right.

    the idea that men ogling women is now “a censored taboo” is laughable. We do not live in Saudi Arabia any more than we live in some kind of 2nd Wave Feminazi dictatorship.

    There is both male and female flesh splashed all over our culture. The massed ranks of feminism cannot even succeed in getting Page 3 out of the best selling tabloid in the country, far less do anything about the parade of dollybirds in bikinis flogging everything from cars to cosmetics. There is a bottomless pit of pornography within a buttonclick of everyone’s phone, computer, TV set or whatever.

    Yes, there are some feminists who are (IMO) disproportionately concerned with sexualised images of women in culture who apparently show no such concern about sexualised images of men. They are a tiny and relatively powerless minority of the population as demonstrated when Rupert Murdoch trolled them brutally over Page 3 a few months ago.

  60. Ally Fogg says

    and again…. [50]

    Women have always judged men on their looks and attributes. Men have, too. But men are now prohibited from doing so to the same extent as women are these days.

    I ogle women on a daily if not hourly basis and nobody’s locked me up yet.

    When you write this stuff you come across as entirely, wildly deluded.

  61. Ally Fogg says

    Whiney [53]

    So basically as long as you cover for feminism (or this feminist way of thinking about gender in our society) by saying that its presence has no involvement in men’s problems and it’s all completely irrelevant, I’m afraid nothing will change.
    You seem to reckon that challenging a minor statistic or two on this blog will somehow cause a major revolution, because the impact of this is apparently measured by how much abuse you get from ultra-hardcore SJW’s on Twitter. The truth is, however, that appeasement is no longer an option, and so gender feminism (an gender-feminist thinking) have to be weeded out at root from our culture by serious and radical political change; (or at least robustly confronted and challenged within the political sphere.)

    I’ve never said feminism has “no involvement” in men’s problems.

    On a few specifics it plays quite a large role but most of the time I argue that the role played by feminism in men’s problems barely scrapes at the significance of the role of capitalist economics, hegemonic gender scripts and the alienation wrought by the neoliberal consensus.

    The problem in this debate is not so much that I ignore feminism (I refer to it a lot in various ways) the problem is that you, and those who think like you, completely and utterly ignore those behemothic mammoths in the room.

  62. Lucy says

    99

    “When you think about it,”

    I love it when you start your paragraphs like this.


    ” it’s quite natural for men to be drawn to women who are generally fit,”

    Yes

    ” with slim waste (less food required),”

    No.


    “long legs (good for running from predators)”

    What’s the main predator women have to run away from?

    —-
    “proportionally wider hips (child-bearing benefits),”

    Yes


    “larger breasts (to support infant nutritional requirements). ”

    No

    —-
    “When times were tough many thousands of years ago, these were key decisions in the evolutionary process.”

    No they weren’t. There wouldn’t have been any fertile women who weren’t regularly impregnated for anything as trivial as their appearance.

    —-
    “But then, women are drawn to men for very similar reasons – tall, strong, muscular, fit & competitive, an element of aggression to support the protection of the family, bravery. ”

    Yes


    “When times were tough many thousands of years ago, these were key decisions in the evolutionary process.”

    No. Otherwise men would all be strong, tall and fit now.

    —-
    “Women have always judged men on their looks and attributes. ”

    Women have always judged men on their looks and their non-looks?


    “Men have, too.”

    I think it’s the attributes part they’re falling down on.

    ” But men are now prohibited from doing so to the same extent as women are these days.”

    No they aren’t. Men have a multimillion pound print, digital and analogue industry catering for their penchant for judging women by their looks and “attributes”. In other parts of the world women are traded as literal commodities on the basis of their looks and attributes. The internet is a hive of men comparing women based on their looks and attributes. Tinder.

    You may be confusing social stigma attached to being attracted to people with the social stigma attached to behaving like arses.

  63. Lucy says

    “If “objectification” is a real phenomenon that causes grievous harm to people, then we absolutely need to take meticulous care to avoid triggering it, for men as well as for women. ”

    Who said it causes grievous harm to people?

    It’s been said it causes harm to women (media) and to black people (human zoos), disfigured people (freak shows), not to people more widely.


    “Of course, it is entirely possible that men have some special property that makes them immune to being objectified; but this makes our task only harder, since now we need to know what this property is and how it works. Feminists typically have a one-word answer to this question — “patriarchy” — but relabeling your ignorance is not the same thing as providing an explanation.”

    I’d call it innate and structural lack of vulnerability to its effects. Not sure patriarchy covers that.

    —-
    “The problem is that objectification has proven to be somewhat resilient to research. There’s just not a lot of evidence for it, and it’s not clear how it works, or whether it works at all. ”

    For two reasons:
    It’s extremely difficult to create a control group, and it wouldn’t get past an ethics committee in case it did cause the predicted harm.

    —-
    “It’s kind of like phlogiston this way. At some point, we should probably move on to a model of human behavior with a bit more predictive power…”

    Or just stop dehumanising weaker people because it entertains the strong.

  64. Whiney says

    Y’know, Ally, your problem here, it seems to me, is that you are one of the most skilled and brilliant debaters on the whole of the internet. So much so, that I would trust you to win any argument on any subject probably 9 times out of 10. While this may sound like a good thing (and who knows, quite often is) it does, in my opinion, lead to this ever so minor flaw. For having become accustomed to your debating style over the years, I think it is fair to say that you are basically a classic counterpuncher: first you make these grandiose and controversial assertions, and then when dummkopf like me reminds you, ‘hey Ally, do remember when you said such and such’, the whole matter will then be ‘spun’ in such a way to make it sound like you did not say these things at all! Where this falls down, however, is when overwhelming and incontrovertible evidence is produced that you did indeed say these things, and then you tend to get rather angry about being corned in the ring and metaphorically bopped on the nose!

    In this particular case, can I just quote this passage here, paying particular attention to the bit highlighted in bold:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/hetpat/2013/06/18/malestrom-pt-1-the-rights-and-wrongs-of-anger/

    “I’m not one who argues that just because a men’s rights activist says something, it must be wrong. That is a logical fallacy of the first degree. I try to be open to ideas whatever their origin, and when I disagree with MRAs (which is often) I’ll still look for strands of common ground that we can build upon. However there is one fundamental tenet of the movement which is so grotesquely, monumentally wrong that I can barely even begin to express it. It holds that those who are angry about the injustices and problems facing men should target their anger upon feminism.

    This idea is so mind-shrivelingly stupid I rarely bother to engage with it, but this seems an appropriate opportunity. Not a single one of the real male problems I identify above originates with feminism, is supported by feminism or even significantly added to by feminism. There. I said it.”

    The ‘real male problems’ listed above, just happen to be basically all the major problems faced by men and boys in society today: the belief that male victims of violence and abuse are less deserving of sympathy; the workings of the family courts (especially their inability to enforce contact arrangements for fathers; enforced conformity of gender performance; provision of physical and mental health services and so on and so forth.

    Jesus, Ally, yer great big wally! 🙂

  65. Carnation says

    @ Ally Fogg #65

    “I ogle women on a daily if not hourly basis and nobody’s locked me up yet.”

    Yes, me too. Serious question, do you similarly size men up, obviously without the added “would I/wouldn’t I” Tinder-esque mental selection, but do you apply a gaze (a patriarchal misandrist one?) to men that you meet or see them, scrutinise their physique, accessories, hairstyle etc? I do this, too, probably far more brutally than I do with women.

    This is a case of me “what-about-teh-menz”, it’s saying that I people watch and people judge, with slightly different criteria. I met a man in a business meeting recently, beautiful suit, well presented and a Ben Sherman watch that didn’t fit properly. I almost said something to him.

    I realise that this is my problem more than his.

  66. Carnation says

    @ Whiney

    “The ‘real male problems’ listed above, just happen to be basically all the major problems faced by men and boys in society today: the belief that male victims of violence and abuse are less deserving of sympathy; the workings of the family courts (especially their inability to enforce contact arrangements for fathers; enforced conformity of gender performance; provision of physical and mental health services and so on and so forth.”

    “the belief that male victims of violence and abuse are less deserving of sympathy”

    I’m letting slide the egregious blaming of many female victims of violence and abuse (too many to get involved with), so will instead ask you, like I’ve asked many MRAs (none of whom dare answer honestly) the following:

    The most well known MRA has stated categorically that he would “vote to acquit” any individual accused of rape regardless of how convincing the evidence was. Another very well known MRA stated categorically that he “didn’t give a fuck” about victims of rape.” Other MRAs state that they want victims of rape to be “held to account” for their “part” in being the victim of a crime, whilst others claim that 80% of those reporting rape are just making it up. With all of this in mind, can you explain to me what MRAs are doing to support male victims of rape?

    Still on the subject of male victims of violence and abuse, was it feminists who coined the phases “man up, “be a man”, “take it like a man”, “boys don’t cry”? Before feminists, was there a huge amount of sympathy for male victims? Or were the phrases I just listed commonly used?

    “the workings of the family courts (especially their inability to enforce contact arrangements for fathers”

    Are you saying that it’s only mothers who stick to contact arrangements? Where are you getting these statistics from? Can you cite credible evidence showing that comparatively, fathers are treated worse than mothers in the family court? (I’ll give you a clue, you won’t be able to – there is simply no evidence to support this common MRA myth). Oh, and whilst you’re at it, provide some proof that the all powerful feminists operate the “workings of the family court”? Guess what? There is none.

    “enforced conformity of gender performance”

    You do realise that there is an entire vocal and academic branch of feminism that is literally devoted to non-conformity of gender performance? You don’t? Well, then you know nothing about feminism. Can you prove that it’s feminists enforcing this conformity? And what about before feminism was even a thing? When gender performance *was* actually rigorously enforced through a variety of means, including legal.

    “provision of physical and mental health services”

    This is getting boring… Right, again, some evidence that feminists have anything to do with said provision, let alone control it?

    I look forward to seeing you trying to explain this away.

  67. Bugmaster says

    @Ally #63, Lucy #68:
    Yes, Ally, I agree with you, hence my comment about “phlogiston” in my later paragraph. But, AFAICT, the opinion that objectification is basically all hype is held by a small minority of feminists (at best); witness Lucy comment #68 for an example (which is rather extreme as usual, but still).

    I actually think that Lucy illustrates one of the main points of disagreement I have with the social justice movement in general, and feminism specifically. I say, “if we think that something is a problem, let’s figure out how we can detect it, measure it, and estimate its severity; then, we can devise actionable solutions to it”. Lucy (though she is by no means alone in this, I don’t want to single her out unfairly) says, “measuring social problems is impossible in practice (if not a priori), if we feel that something is a problem then we need to solve it by any means available to us”. Under Lucy’s worldview, the way we know if something is a problem is if we ourselves experience it, or if we know someone who does.

    This is why social justice activists often claim that people like myself are oppressors (well, besides our gender and skin color, of course). When I say, “hold on, let’s figure out how we can spend our resources effectively before we fully commit to an action”, they hear, “you are denying my personal experience and by extension the experiences of all women/minorities/etc., clearly you are evil”. The more I read their writing, the more I am convinced that this perception is due to an irreconcilable contradiction in our very core values; and that finding common ground with radical feminists such as Lucy (or, at least, her persona on this blog; again, I don’t want to be unfair to her) is as impossible as finding common ground with fundamentalist Christians, and pretty much for the same reason.

  68. Ally Fogg says

    So, Whiney, today I said:

    I’ve never said feminism has “no involvement” in men’s problems.
    On a few specifics it plays quite a large role

    Not one of the “few specifics” I could think of are included in the other section you quote from another blog.

    I then go on to say:

    “but most of the time I argue that the role played by feminism in men’s problems barely scrapes at the significance of the role of capitalist economics, hegemonic gender scripts and the alienation wrought by the neoliberal consensus.”

    Pretty much everything you do mention (taken from that post) are described by that list, one way or another.

    Now what were you saying?

  69. WhineyM. says

    Ally, ‘above’ means ‘above’ in normal parlance (to a competent word-smith). It does not mean, ‘the section I’d like to choose especially so I can retrospectively apply a certain kind of interpretation to what I’ve said to suit my agenda’ 😉

    And as for the influence of capitalism, yes sure it plays a role, but as a lefty like me you also (necessarily) see a role for government in creating opportunities for people and for taming capitalism’s red in tooth and claw nature. It is this failure of the role of government where the whole F*****tt influence and mentality distorts priorities and prevents male specific matters being examined and acted upon in a creative and positive way.

  70. says

    Lucy:

    So you’ve named me 6 female board members out of a total of 201.
    0 female executive board members.

    You’ll have to explain how you came to these numbers as I am unsure whether you have a problem reading or a problem counting.

  71. Holms says

    #57 Lucy
    I never said that at all. I never mentioned the words ridiculous or shit. I don’t think I said outraged squawks either, though it’s a good description so perhaps I did.

    Pointing out that you have not used the exact wording of my summation of your position does not refute the summation.

    ___
    Lucy
    I’ve never written anything here that wasn’t one of my genuine opinions.

    I am reminded of the time you attributed “benign intentions” to female-against-male rapists.

    ___
    #58 Lucy
    So you’ve named me 6 female board members out of a total of 201.

    0 female executive board members.

    Strange, I got 49 out of 202 executives going by the numbers in parenthesis, or 25 out of unknown board members going by names listed after parentheses. Oh, and one CEO out of ten was female. The baffling thing for me is that you chose to exaggerate / lie at so needlesly; there is still a heavy disparity against women without fudging anything.

  72. Lucy says

    Taken

    “You’ll have to explain how you came to these numbers as I am unsure whether you have a problem reading or a problem counting.”

    Sure.

    You have a problem knowing the difference between an “executive”, a board member and an executive board member. Which is odd seeing as you’ve said which is which.

    You’re looking for Executive Board Members, Tamen. They are the people who meet at least three times a year to decide on the direction of the company.

    When there are more than 40% of them who are female in any one board, they sometimes can have enough of a critical mass to effect the direction to being something other than the male template.

  73. Lucy says

    Holms

    “Pointing out that you have not used the exact wording of my summation of your position does not refute the summation.”

    Glad we’ve agreed that I never said I made up ridiculous shit to troll people and that you just made that up.

    Refuting your made up ridiculous shit, will I think you’ll agree, go some way towards refuting your made up ridiculously shit summation of my position.

  74. Lucy says

    Holme

    “I am reminded of the time you attributed “benign intentions” to female-against-male rapists.”

    Actually I attributed agenda-filled hyperbole and cultural appropriation to men who equate male on female forcible penetration with female on male forcible penetration.

  75. says

    Lucy:

    Taken

    “You’ll have to explain how you came to these numbers as I am unsure whether you have a problem reading or a problem counting.”

    It’s Tamen. Which is kind of funny considering this was a reply to me wondering whether you had a problem reading.

    You have a problem knowing the difference between an “executive”, a board member and an executive board member. Which is odd seeing as you’ve said which is which.
    You’re looking for Executive Board Members, Tamen. They are the people who meet at least three times a year to decide on the direction of the company.

    Here’s what you asked:

    Name me the media conglomerate CEOs and board members of the female sex.

    I see no reference to “executive board”.

    I’ve named the CEO’s of the 10 largest media conglomerates as well as all female board members of the 10 largest media conglomerates. In addition I included the number of female executives for the companies which listed their executive team.

    There were 1 female CEO, 25 female board of directors members and 49 female executives (including the 1 female CEO).

    You responded with:

    So you’ve named me 6 female board members out of a total of 201.
    0 female executive board members.

    Which frankly make no sense. Your explanation that I don’t understand the difference between “Executive Board Members” and “board members” is moot, not correct nor does it in any way explain how you came to write that I only named 6 female board members and 0 female executive board members.

    The group deciding the overall strategy and direction of the company is called the Board of Directors:

    A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors. It is often simply referred to as “the board”.

    The individual companies bylaws states when the board of directors are to meet. Typically it’s a few times a year.
    The number of female board members I named are from the respective conglomerates board of directors. Since you asked for the names of female board members. I listed 49 names (although a couple of the women sits on two boards) – you said ” 6 female board members” and you still haven’t explained how you arrived at that number.

    In some European and Asian countries there is a executive board handling the day-to-day business. This ensures a distinction between management by the executive board and governance by the supervisory board and allows for clear lines of authority.
    These have different names and in USA these are typically called executive committees. Some of the conglomerates had these, some did not and only had a board of directors.

    All investor relations pages for the conglomerates had a page for management as well as a page for the board of directors. I listed the number of women found on the “management” page of the conglomerates: 25 in total. You said: “0 female executive board members.”. Claiming that you asked for female members of executive boards when you did not does not explain how you arrived at the number 0.

    All that aside:

    When there are more than 40% of them who are female in any one board, they sometimes can have enough of a critical mass to effect the direction to being something other than the male template.

    First off I’ll have to ask you define the rather fuzzy term “male template” in this context.

    Second: This make the assumption that women wants to affect the direction away from the “male template”, it makes the assumption that men don’t want to affect the direction away from the “male template”. Otherwise it would be possible to affect such a change with fewer than 40% of women on any one board (what happened to the critical difference between “executive board” and “board”?).

    Thirdly: I think it’s undermining the accomplishment of these women who most likely have worked hard to get a management or board position to say that they basically doesn’t have any influence on the direction of the company they are tasked with either managing or governing.

    In Norway the law mandated that publicly owned or publicly listed companies must have 40% or more women on their boards. I’d be interested in seeing the definition of “male template” and “female template” to see if any of these boards with 40% or more women on their boards have succeeded in affecting a direction away from the “male template”.

  76. says

    Actually I attributed agenda-filled hyperbole and cultural appropriation to men who equate male on female forcible penetration with female on male forcible penetration.

    Here’s what you wrote:

    Being forced to penetrate and being forcibly penetrated are not the same thing. Never has been, never will be. Being forced to do something by somebody weaker than yourself is not the same as being forced to do something by somebody stronger than yourself. Being forced to do something by somebody with malevolent intentions is not the same as being forced to do something by somebody with benign intentions.

    The first sentence is the assertion: “Being forced to penetrate and being forcibly penetrated are not the same thing.”

    The next statements are supposed to back up the assertion by appealing to the fact that on average men (who force someone to be penetrated) are stronger than women (forcing someone to penetrate):

    “Being forced to do something by somebody weaker than yourself is not the same as being forced to do something by somebody stronger than yourself.”

    The final statement

    ” Being forced to do something by somebody with malevolent intentions is not the same as being forced to do something by somebody with benign intentions.”

    is supposed to back up the first assertion by implying that women who force men to penetrate them does so with benign intentions while men who force women to be penetrated do so with malevolent intentions and that being the victim of someone with benign intentions are better than being a victim of someone with malevolent intentions.

  77. 123454321 says

    Ally:
    “the idea that men ogling women is now “a censored taboo” is laughable.”

    Oh yeah? Is that right? So why do zillions of mainstream websites (not porn), such as “Digital Spy” specifically have a gay section with endless pictures of topless, near-naked men, a website section which has a huge male AND female following, but no similar section catering for lesbians or straight males, huh? What prevents them from doing that, I wonder? I’m sure they’d get plenty of clicks if they set up a similar section aimed at the other half of the audience? Also, why do we have shows such as “Take Me Out” where 30 women are encouraged and permitted to judge and comment on a guy’s body, sometimes completely humiliating him, where the reverse would absolutely not be tolerated? A strange set of equalities, we’re working to here!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAw06JrTSAI

    Reminds me of that despicable “Man O Man” show many years ago where guys were judged and ridiculed based on their bodies, and then subsequently thrown in a pool? I know this show was on many years ago but nothing has changed since with respect to attitude and there’s still the same old male humiliation going on today, in fact worse. The reversed sex scenarios are simply not permitted on ‘daytime/family’ TV. It would be absolutely taboo to show, for example, men ogling and judging women’s bodies on a family game show.

  78. David S says

    @Lucy (59)
    Your objection to the Protein World ad appears to be different to that of other objectors. Most of the objections to the ad have suggested it projects an unachievable or unrealistic body image. You seem to be suggesting that women who look like Somerfield are quite common, and that she could easily be replaced by someone else. That is difficult to square with the idea that an unachievable image is being projected (unless you somehow think that Sommerfield has looks that are both unachievable and fairly often seen). Do you not share the objections that have been raised by feminists? If so, what is your personal objection to the advert.

  79. Holms says

    #78 Lucy
    Glad we’ve agreed that I never said I made up ridiculous shit to troll people and that you just made that up.

    Is that your ‘honest opinion’? It should be quite clear to both of us that we agree on no such thing, on account of the fact that we have not, you know, agreed to that.

    ___
    #79 Lucy
    Actually I attributed agenda-filled hyperbole and cultural appropriation to men who equate male on female forcible penetration with female on male forcible penetration.

    Well then, you should have said so in that post I linked to, but you didn’t. Instead, you said “… Being forced to do something by somebody with malevolent intentions is not the same as being forced to do something by somebody with benign intentions.” But apparently now you didn’t mean to say the words that you actually said? Even though you’ve also specifically stated that you don’t say anything unless it is an honest opinion of yours, weird.

  80. Anton Mates says

    123454321,

    Oh yeah? Is that right? So why do zillions of mainstream websites (not porn), such as “Digital Spy” specifically have a gay section with endless pictures of topless, near-naked men, a website section which has a huge male AND female following, but no similar section catering for lesbians or straight males, huh?

    Well, I just skimmed “Digital Spy” for a few minutes, and it doesn’t look like straight males need their own section, because they have the whole website. There’s tons of sexylady content–images and links to nude/swimsuited photoshoots, paparazzi photos, stolen private nudes like the “Fappening” stuff. You know where all that is? Under “Celebrity News.”

    See, ogling women is normal. It’s assumed that if you care about female celebrities at all, you probably want to see their tits, so that stuff is mainstream news. Men, on the other hand, are only ogled by gay men, so you need a special Gay Section to store all the beefcake where it won’t bother the normals.

    And by the way, the current headliner picture on Digital Spy’s Celebrity page is this. Two men, two women. Which ones are fully clothed and which ones are near-naked?

    Also, why do we have shows such as “Take Me Out” where 30 women are encouraged and permitted to judge and comment on a guy’s body, sometimes completely humiliating him, where the reverse would absolutely not be tolerated?

    AFAIK “Take Me Out” is based on the Australian show “Taken Out,” which had both male and female contestants being judged by 20-30 members of the opposite sex. “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire” had a swimsuit competition. So did the “The Bachelor,” except it classed things up by having bikini tractor races and drunk contestants talking about how hairy each other’s butts were. Back in the day, there was “The $1.98 Beauty Show,” which put assorted women and the occasional cross-dressing man in swimsuits and then made fun of them. See also: every reality show ever.

    It would be absolutely taboo to show, for example, men ogling and judging women’s bodies on a family game show.

    That’s right! That’s what beauty pageants are for.

  81. Holms says

    #86 Anton
    And by the way, the current headliner picture on Digital Spy’s Celebrity page is this. Two men, two women. Which ones are fully clothed and which ones are near-naked?

    Not to mention every red carpet event ever.

  82. avern says

    @Anton Mates

    Well, I just skimmed ‘Digital Spy’ for a few minutes, and it doesn’t look like straight males need their own section, because they have the whole website. There’s tons of sexylady content–images and links to nude/swimsuited photoshoots, paparazzi photos, stolen private nudes like the “Fappening” stuff. You know where all that is? Under ‘Celebrity News.’”

    That’s funny, cause I decided to scan the “Digital Spy” homepage and the “Celebrity News” section myself, and guess what I saw? Three pairs of male nipples and zero female nipples. I only saw male nudity–no female nudity at all. How about we compile links to instances of “Digital Spy” nudity and see if the lists for male nudity or female nudity are larger, hmmm?

    “See, ogling women is normal. It’s assumed that if you care about female celebrities at all, you probably want to see their tits, so that stuff is mainstream news. Men, on the other hand, are only ogled by gay men, so you need a special Gay Section to store all the beefcake where it won’t bother the normals.”

    What a predictably homophobic response. Why pure innocent women would never objectify men! It’s just those dirty homosexuals!

    Sorry, but it’s ogling men that’s normal. The whole Protein World controversy completely proves you wrong. Male nudity is so utterly prevalent and accepted that a tube ad showing a completely nude man resulted in zero complaints and zero controversy, while a family friendly Protein World ad showing a fit woman in a bikini results in feminist agitators vandalizing property and calling in bomb threats.

    Go read “Let’s Have an It’s Not-Even-Friday” open thread. The feminists have already lost the “women are more objectified” argument. Male nudity is far more prevalent in the media.

    “And by the way, the current headliner picture on Digital Spy’s Celebrity page is this. Two men, two women. Which ones are fully clothed and which ones are near-naked?”

    No one is even close to being near naked in that picture. Um, in case you didn’t notice there are TOPLESS men on the main page as we speak.

  83. Holms says

    Sure, if you ignore everything other than the sole criterion of nipples, men are in the lead. But that would be stupid.

    Also, homophobic? Nice try.

  84. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    You linking to that ridiculous blog is humiliating. Nobody with any self-respect takes it seriously.

  85. WhineyM. says

    Oh look Ally, I see that all your girly feminist friends on Twitter have favourited your Tweet about J4MB not getting that many votes in the general election. Yet if you had ever followed the campaign, Mike had made plain in his mission statement that electoral success was not actually the main goal this time around, but rather to use the party as a vehicle for creating discussion around male inequality in the media, something which with all his interviews etc he has surely done very effectively indeed. And, what do you know, turns out he’s got more Facebook shares for one of his IB Times pieces than for any one of yours. So who knows, perhaps an approach to men’s equality which is seen to be consistently on their side may still have more resonance for some people in this country, especially in the context of a liberal media which claims to be sympathetic to men’s issues, and yet has taken every opportunity to trash them, put them down and cast them as privileged oppressors (particularly in using SJW memes such as ‘the great white male’.)

    Many of the problems about male identity touched upon with regards to body image could be resolved by a more positive and constructive engagement by government and the press, in recognising they need specific, targeted initiatives as well as women. But currently that is not the way of our political class, and it is definitely not the way of our liberal media, who, in the ultimate spirit of corruption, are always goading politicians to be even more gynocentric, instead of fulfilling the proper role of the ‘fourth estate’ to hold the executive to account.

  86. WhineyM. says

    Case in point:-

    https://twitter.com/AllyFogg/status/596764735833579520

    Ally, you yourself have told us on this blog, as a matter of fact – as a matter of record – that ‘straight, white males’
    are in reality victims of serious, deliberate, instituionalised discrimination (as when describing the adult learning fund in your area which was apparently available to everyone except those with such qualities). Or perhaps that’s just miraculously in your area that this is happening? It would stupid to argue that this group ‘has it worse’ than others, but that they are subject to discrimination is absolutely inescapable and undeniable, and to suggest otherwise doesn’t help anyone at all.

  87. Anton Mates says

    @avern,

    That’s funny, cause I decided to scan the “Digital Spy” homepage and the “Celebrity News” section myself, and guess what I saw? Three pairs of male nipples and zero female nipples.

    Right, because an image of a woman can’t be sexualized unless her nipples are exposed. That’s why Maxim doesn’t exist and Sports Illustrated went bankrupt on its first swimsuit issue.

    I only saw male nudity–no female nudity at all.

    As I’m looking at the main page now, I see one picture of the guy-who-plays-Daredevil lying topless on a bed, getting his wounds stitched up, and one picture of Tina Fey in her underwear on the Tonight Show.

    How about we compile links to instances of “Digital Spy” nudity and see if the lists for male nudity or female nudity are larger, hmmm?

    You’re welcome to do that if you want to change the subject. Doesn’t really address whether the site caters more to man-ogling than to woman-ogling, though.

    What a predictably homophobic response. Why pure innocent women would never objectify men! It’s just those dirty homosexuals!

    Of course it’s homophobic; we still live in a heteronormative society. Things are changing, but the attitude persists that normal men ogle women, weird gay men ogle other men, and women are too passive and receptive to ogle anybody. It’s not remotely surprising that a mainstream entertainment site would be designed to match this norm.

    Male nudity is so utterly prevalent and accepted that a tube ad showing a completely nude man resulted in zero complaints and zero controversy, while a family friendly Protein World ad showing a fit woman in a bikini results in feminist agitators vandalizing property and calling in bomb threats.

    Do you really think that most of the complaints about the Protein World ad are about the woman being too naked?

    And if you want to vandalize comparable ads featuring a man, feel free. That said, if you’re talking about the ad I think you’re talking about, the messages weren’t the same. “Are you beach body ready?” is much more about social expectations and much less about personal agency than “Reveal yourself.”

    Go read “Let’s Have an It’s Not-Even-Friday” open thread. The feminists have already lost the “women are more objectified” argument.

    As I recall, you insisted in that thread that pictures of women’s crotches don’t count as “nudity” so long as they’ve got hair on them. At that point most posters, understandably, seemed to reconsider the usefulness of continued discussion.

    No one is even close to being near naked in that picture.

    If your standards of modesty are based on World of Warcraft, I suppose.

    Um, in case you didn’t notice there are TOPLESS men on the main page as we speak.

    There are topless men playing frisbee in the park outside my house, next to the children’s playground. No one cares because male toplessness is not considered inherently sexual. If you’re remotely familiar with Western culture, you must be aware of this.

    Digital Spy is a mainstream entertainment site, not a porn site. There can be topless men on the main page precisely because it’s assumed that the general public won’t find such images unacceptably erotic. Shots of topless women are considered much more sexually charged.

    This is not a new thing, of course. For most of the history of Western art, it was more acceptable to depict male genitals in detail than female ones. And not because the target audience was porn-crazed women.

  88. avern says

    @Anton Mates

    “Right, because an image of a woman can’t be sexualized unless her nipples are exposed. That’s why Maxim doesn’t exist and Sports Illustrated went bankrupt on its first swimsuit issue.”

    The issue that 123454321 brought up with DigitalSpy that YOU quoted was about sexualized NUDITY. There’s no actual female nudity on the pages you pointed out. Try to keep up, or just give up.

    “As I’m looking at the main page now, I see one picture of the guy-who-plays-Daredevil lying topless on a bed, getting his wounds stitched up, and one picture of Tina Fey in her underwear on the Tonight Show.”

    Right now there are two sultry pictures with topless males next to the headlines “Top Celebrity Pranks from April Fools’ Day” and “Stephen Amell Bids to Save Constantine.” Before there was the picture you mentioned and a picture with Hugh Jackman as Wolverine lounging topless on a bed. Apparently they always need at least two topless males on their site at all times. And Tina Fey was wearing full length spanx with a black one-piece swimsuit over that and was showing no nudity whatsoever.

    “You’re welcome to do that if you want to change the subject. Doesn’t really address whether the site caters more to man-ogling than to woman-ogling, though.”

    It stays right on the subject and does address whether the site caters to man or woman ogling, but you clearly want to avoid that cause it will prove your argument wrong.

    “Things are changing, but the attitude persists that normal men ogle women, weird gay men ogle other men, and women are too passive and receptive to ogle anybody. It’s not remotely surprising that a mainstream entertainment site would be designed to match this norm.”

    “Weird” gay men? Your blatant homophobia just keeps coming. And DigitalSpy is obviously designed to cater to women’s ogling tendencies probably since endless, unapologetic ogling of men by women is the cultural norm now.

    “That said, if you’re talking about the ad I think you’re talking about, the messages weren’t the same. “Are you beach body ready?” is much more about social expectations and much less about personal agency than ‘Reveal yourself.’”

    This is bunk and you know it. Fitness ads only ever show the same kind of lean, muscular male body type. They’re saying to men: reveal yourself, but only if you fit this narrow expectation that takes perfect genes and years of weightlifting to achieve. That doesn’t allow for any personal agency.

    “As I recall, you insisted in that thread that pictures of women’s crotches don’t count as ‘nudity’ so long as they’ve got hair on them.”

    Well, you either have bad recall or poor reading comprehension because I said that female pubic hair is not equivalent nudity to a man’s genitals. I didn’t say it wasn’t nudity at all.

    “There are topless men playing frisbee in the park outside my house, next to the children’s playground. No one cares because male toplessness is not considered inherently sexual.”

    You destroy your own argument. No non-genital nudity is considered inherently sexual which is why nudity taboos are more lax in certain contexts (educational media, breastfeeding, the elderly, etc.). A topless, fit man however is considered sexual which is why women and gay men are constantly ogling them. Using topless men in a sexual fashion however is not controversial. It’s completely mainstream. Actually mainstream as opposed to the controversy generating sexy females that you claim are mainstream.

    “There can be topless men on the main page precisely because it’s assumed that the general public won’t find such images unacceptably erotic. Shots of topless women are considered much more sexually charged.”

    You’re confusing “sexually charged” with taboo. Women’s bodies are far more taboo, not more sexual. Watching how women react to male strippers and Christian Grey taking his shirt off proves that.

  89. avern says

    “Sure, if you ignore everything other than the sole criterion of nipples, men are in the lead. But that would be stupid.”

    Are you just desperate for attention, or something? Cause you’re not even trying. The ONLY nudity on those pages was male nipples so there wasn’t any other nudity to ignore. Try to keep up.

  90. Holms says

    The issue that 123454321 brought up with DigitalSpy that YOU quoted was about sexualized NUDITY. There’s no actual female nudity on the pages you pointed out. Try to keep up, or just give up.

    That just means 1234 was the one to change the topic rather than you; it’s still a change of topic. This thread is about objectification, and ‘visible nipples on digitalspy’ is a clear distraction, as well as being a stupid criterion. Hence, I continue to scoff at your obsession with counting nipples as the sole metric for objectification.

    It stays right on the subject and does address whether the site caters to man or woman ogling, …

    No it doesn’t because it immediately discounts the possibility of ogling without bare nipples.

    “Weird” gay men? Your blatant homophobia just keeps coming.

    It is exceedingly clear from the context that Anton was not calling gay men weird, but rather attributing that attitude to society at large. Whether you agree with his summation or not, it remains that you are being very dishonest in your parsing of his comment.

    No non-genital nudity is considered inherently sexual…

    No it isn’t. A man can go topless at a beach without raising any comment, a woman could not unless it was at a nudist / naturalist beach. The obvious conclusion being that toplessness in men is not automatically sexualised (even if it might be in some contexts), while it is considered inherently sexual in women. It’s that simple.

  91. Anton Mates says

    @avern,

    The issue that 123454321 brought up with DigitalSpy that YOU quoted was about sexualized NUDITY.

    Nope. 123454321 quoted Ally saying, “the idea that men ogling women is now “a censored taboo” is laughable,” and responded by saying that Digital Spy hosted ” endless pictures of topless, near-naked men”. (My emphasis). He went on to give other examples of women ogling and judging the bodies of underwear- or swimwear-clad men, and claimed that men are not allowed to do the same to women in public.

    The only one who turned this into a competition about actual nudity, let alone nipple-counting, was you. Which is fine, ride your hobby-horse with my blessing, but I’m more interested in the original topic.

    Right now there are two sultry pictures with topless males next to the headlines “Top Celebrity Pranks from April Fools’ Day” and “Stephen Amell Bids to Save Constantine.”

    I believe you, but they’re not on my version of the page. Either it’s an IP/timezone thing or they’ve got some sort of individualized content algorithm going.

    It stays right on the subject and does address whether the site caters to man or woman ogling

    I wish you hadn’t completely ignored my examples of men’s magazines that rely on non- nude photography of sexy ladies, but let’s try again.

    Here is a picture of a woman. Her nipples are not visible. But it’s still intended primarily to titillate a male audience.

    Here is a picture of a man. His nipples are visible. But it is not intended primarily to titillate a female audience. Conan was aimed at men, most of whom do not report lusting after Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Ergo: counting nipples is not a great way to determine whether a site caters more to man-ogling or woman-ogling.

    “Weird” gay men? Your blatant homophobia just keeps coming.

    Yeah, yeah, and people who point out racism are the REAL racists.

    Sorry, but gay people are still othered, and many men are still very concerned with not revealing any hints of homosexuality. And that’s a big part of why content aimed at gay men is separated off into a Gay Section, instead of being on the main page where it might accidentally taint the eyeballs of some red-blooded male looking for bikini shots.

    Fitness ads only ever show the same kind of lean, muscular male body type. They’re saying to men: reveal yourself, but only if you fit this narrow expectation that takes perfect genes and years of weightlifting to achieve. That doesn’t allow for any personal agency.

    That’s not what they’re saying, even though it’s the factual truth. They’re saying, “Forget about genes and years of effort! The real you is already an amazingly ripped Adonis, and you just have to take our magic fitness powder to reveal him unto the world.”

    Which is total bullshit, but it’s a different kind of bullshit from the Protein World message.

    Well, you either have bad recall or poor reading comprehension because I said that female pubic hair is not equivalent nudity to a man’s genitals. I didn’t say it wasn’t nudity at all.

    My apologies, you’re correct. You said that “full frontal male and female nudity ARE NOT THE SAME. A man going bottomless is more exposed than a woman going bottomless and that should be accounted for.”

    You destroy your own argument. No non-genital nudity is considered inherently sexual which is why nudity taboos are more lax in certain contexts (educational media, breastfeeding, the elderly, etc.).

    Er, no–the whole reason why there are special exemptions for female nudity in certain contexts is that, in general, it’s considered inherently sexual. You wouldn’t need the exemptions otherwise. Women had to push for the right to breastfeed in public because baring their breasts for any old reason was considered indecent.

    A topless, fit man however is considered sexual which is why women and gay men are constantly ogling them.

    If a topless, fit man was considered sexual, the dudes playing frisbee outside my house would be arrested for indecent exposure in front of children. Such a man is considered attractive, in the same way a pretty woman in a nice dress is considered attractive. They may be admired by onlookers, but they themselves aren’t considered to be doing anything sexual just by walking around at the park. Unlike a topless woman, in mainstream Anglo culture.

    You’re confusing “sexually charged” with taboo. Women’s bodies are far more taboo, not more sexual.

    They’re both, in the eyes of society, and the two statuses reinforce each other. The traditional taboo on public display of female bodies further sexualizes that display, because when you look at a nude or skimpily-clad woman, you’re seeing something that’s “supposed” to be reserved for her romantic partners. That’s why people get off on stolen celebrity sex tapes and private nudes. Conversely, the sexualization of the female body strengthens the taboo against publicly displaying it, because sexual acts in the public sphere are generally frowned upon.

    Why do you think one of Hustler’s porn magazines is named “Taboo?”

    Watching how women react to male strippers and Christian Grey taking his shirt off proves that.

    Of course many straight/bi women enjoy seeing hot guys half naked; no one on here is disputing that. But our society generally assumes that straight/bi men enjoy seeing hot girls half naked a lot more. I don’t know what it’s like in the UK, but in the US, strippers are about 90% female.

  92. Anton Mates says

    @Holms,

    That just means 1234 was the one to change the topic rather than you; it’s still a change of topic.

    I think 123454321 was on-topic there; I disagreed with lots of stuff in his response to Ally, but it was a pertinent response. It’s avern who went off in a new direction. (Again, I’m not complaining about that and anyone who wants to count nipples is welcome to do so. I’m just not terribly interested in participating.)

  93. 123454321 says

    “No it isn’t. A man can go topless at a beach without raising any comment, a woman could not unless it was at a nudist / naturalist beach.”

    Interesting comment, but bullshit nonetheless. Having been on many Spanish beaches and sunbathed alongside hundreds of topless women (and men), I can categorically say that after the first two minutes of “looking” (with vague interest) at the various topless women, they very quickly all roll into one, totally nonsexual and fast becomes a very normal way of life for the rest of the holiday. But come home and you soon witness, once again, the media resorting to censorship of the female nipple whilst going out of the way to make the numbers up with male toplessness inc. nipples. Totally agree with avern. It’s the rest of you who are screwed up because you’ve succumb to the brainwashing that only the female body shall receive protective censorship for public viewing. A clear case of the more people are told the same thing, they will believe it. And guess who keeps telling the same stories….and complaining…thus setting the levels of acceptability for male and female nudity at different levels….? Comes down to female jealousy and control relating to how much female nudity men are ‘allowed’ to see. Whining, jealous, controlling feminists who can’t stand men looking at female flesh in the public space while at the same time openly and visibly ogling men and even promoting the material in the family/children space. DOUBLE STANDARD!

  94. Anton Mates says

    123454321,

    Having been on many Spanish beaches

    But come home and you soon witness, once again, the media resorting to censorship of the female nipple

    Is it really surprising that standards of decency are different for Spanish topless beaches vs. the British mainstream media?

  95. Anton Mates says

    And just to clarify, I’m not endorsing the censorship policies of the British (or American) mainstream media. I’m all for having gender-neutral standards of decency. I just don’t think it makes sense to blame feminists and horny/jealous women for the fact that we don’t have them yet.

    I mean, you’ll see very little bare female flesh in the public space if you visit, say, Saudi Arabia. Is that feminists’ fault too?

  96. avern says

    @Anton Mates

    “My apologies, you’re correct. You said that ‘full frontal male and female nudity ARE NOT THE SAME. A man going bottomless is more exposed than a woman going bottomless and that should be accounted for.’”

    Thank you for being honest.

    “Nope. 123454321 quoted Ally saying, ‘the idea that men ogling women is now ‘a censored taboo” is laughable,’ and responded by saying that Digital Spy hosted ‘endless pictures of topless, near-naked men’.”

    Near-naked does not definitionally exclude nudity. To be naked means to not be wearing clothing. A picture of a woman wearing bikini bottoms and no top is both near-naked and containing nudity. So bringing up nudity is absolutely on topic.

    “I wish you hadn’t completely ignored my examples of men’s magazines that rely on non- nude photography of sexy ladies, but let’s try again.”

    No offense, but I really don’t need you explaining to me how to interpret the intents and messages behind media. For one thing, your readings, especially with regards to gender representation, are stereotypical and superficial to the point of misleading and ignore how far-reaching the gay male sensibility has not only influenced the content of media, but also its interpretation by the masses. I would recommend reading a lot of Mark Simpson. That poster of Conan, for starters, is intending far more titillation than you’re giving it credit for. Bodybuilding (Conan the Barbarian is basically a bodybuilding pageant disguised as an action movie) prioritizes a form of hetero-male gaze that complete upends what we expect are mainstream social norms.

    “‘Forget about genes and years of effort! The real you is already an amazingly ripped Adonis, and you just have to take our magic fitness powder to reveal him unto the world.’”

    Only someone who believes men in general are idiots (which I of course do not) would read it this way. But even if I accepted it, it still contains the exact same kind of body shaming: unless you look like this hot person, you’re not worthy to be seen in public.

    “Er, no–the whole reason why there are special exemptions for female nudity in certain contexts is that, in general, it’s considered inherently sexual. You wouldn’t need the exemptions otherwise.”

    This makes no sense. Finding breasts sexual is the exemption to human culture as a whole, not the other way around. Cultures where toplessness is the norm, such as in Africa, do not view breasts as inherently sexual. Also, the fact that we view breasts to be more erotic in artificial contexts such as strip clubs and burlesque shows rather than in naturalistic contexts like breast feeding and public baths proves that breasts are fetishized due to culture, not biology.

    “If a topless, fit man was considered sexual, the dudes playing frisbee outside my house would be arrested for indecent exposure in front of children.”

    You contradicted yourself by previously writing this bit of sarcasm:

    “Right, because an image of a woman can’t be sexualized unless her nipples are exposed. That’s why Maxim doesn’t exist and Sports Illustrated went bankrupt on its first swimsuit issue.”

    You clearly believe that someone can be sexualized without being “indecent.” A woman dressed like a SI pinup can walk around without being arrested, obviously.

    “They’re both, in the eyes of society, and the two statuses reinforce each other.”

    They are not necessarily reciprocal/causal which is why you shouldn’t confuse them. Taboos over male sexuality do not operate in the same way as taboos over female sexuality because for females the taboo is tied to the perception that her sexuality is under threat of male predation. It does not work the other way around which is why men’s bodies can be seen as sexual without also being seen as taboo.

    “I don’t know what it’s like in the UK, but in the US, strippers are about 90% female.”

    Men and women are prompted to ogle by different prompts/contexts. People are less aware of the prompts/contexts of female ogling so they just assume it happens less.

  97. avern says

    “Sorry, but gay people are still othered, and many men are still very concerned with not revealing any hints of homosexuality. And that’s a big part of why content aimed at gay men is separated off into a Gay Section, instead of being on the main page where it might accidentally taint the eyeballs of some red-blooded male looking for bikini shots.”

    I feel like you are othering (though not maliciously) gay men cause you’re refusing to see how they are integrated into and influence culture as a whole.

    For one thing DS shows nude men in their regular, non-gay sections. For instance:

    http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/news/a619728/see-bradley-cooper-as-youve-never-seen-him-before-naked-and-chalky.html#~pcltwy9M2ubJC1

    http://www.digitalspy.com/bollywood/news/a615851/aamir-khan-it-was-natural-to-go-nude-on-screen-for-pk.html#~pcltNjbvFhQIQr

    So DS is clearly not tiptoeing around the sensibilities of red-blooded hetero-men by hiding all the naked men in the gay section. And I finally checked out the GaySpy section and was STUNNED by the the fact that it was literally ~99% about male skin.

    So my guess is that the analytics run by the webmasters a DS saw that the women and (much rarer) straight men that visit the site come for the celebrity news and stay for the eye-candy. However, gay men are primarily going to DS to find nude celebrities, so DS decided to create GaySpy to more efficiently direct traffic. Rather than being some sort of digital apartheid, GaySpy is evidence of them trying to accommodate their gay fans.

  98. Holms says

    #98 Anton
    I think 123454321 was on-topic there; I disagreed with lots of stuff in his response to Ally, but it was a pertinent response. It’s avern who went off in a new direction.

    To my reading of his response, 1234, completely ignored the idea that ogling does not require nudity, choosing to narrow the focus instead on the question of catered topless sections. This struck me as being the start of the nipple tangent that avern ran with.

  99. 123454321 says

    Well of course people can ogle other people with clothes firmly buttoned up.

    But women are openly encouraged and permitted – based around feminised cultural values – to ogle virtually naked men (completely naked (talking genitals) on TV and films) in family-friendly public space, while men are not. It’s really very obvious to see the outcome even if you are too lazy to do the analysis and unravel the reasons. How very convenient and satisfying for women.
    Mind you, where girls get to compare and ogle men in the open space, and enjoy seeing cocks on TV, I suppose the lads who have had ‘Nuts’ and page 3 removed and remain perplexed by pixelated female labia…I guess they can always turn to internet porn to see the other side of the coin. There’s always a way when people are forced underground. But is it a healthy solution? That’s why I don’t agree with double standards.

  100. 123454321 says

    Either stop promoting the objectification/exploitation of men, or restrict the censorship surrounding the objectification/exploitation of women to an equal extent in similar spaces. You can’t have your cake and eat it unless you want to be accused of being a selfish, bigoted cunt!

  101. Carnation says

    @ 123454321 #105 & #106

    A muddled and bizarre couple of comments. Where to start…

    “But women are openly encouraged and permitted – based around feminised cultural values – to ogle virtually naked men (completely naked (talking genitals) on TV and films) in family-friendly public space, while men are not.”

    Openly encouraged and permitted – based around feminised cultural values. Who is encouraging and permitting? And what are the feminised cultural values? That’s just a load of meaningless froth.

    “It’s really very obvious to see the outcome even if you are too lazy to do the analysis and unravel the reasons. How very convenient and satisfying for women.”

    Why don’t you explain exactly what the outcome is? Reference credible sources in your explanation (don’t humiliate yourself by referencing a pathetic MRA blog).

    “where girls get to … enjoy seeing cocks on TV”

    Do you know any women? Just a quick bit of human sexuality 101, Deepthroat (the movie, not the COINDELPRO source) was massively popular with men. Lots of cock in that. Did the men enjoy it for that? 50 Shades (the book) was massively popular with women. It is a book. No ogling. Can you see what I’m getting at here, buddy?

    In #106, you really get a bit carried away:

    “Either stop promoting the objectification/exploitation of men, or restrict the censorship surrounding the objectification/exploitation of women to an equal extent in similar spaces.”

    Who’s promoting the objectification and exploitation of men? Actual names. And are they the same people (allegedly) restricting the same for women? Clarify.

  102. 123454321 says

    “Openly encouraged and permitted – based around feminised cultural values. Who is encouraging and permitting?

    Ever heard the phrase “silence is consent”? I’ve explained plenty of times how women (particularly feminists) react to public female flesh based on their emotional tendencies to be jealous and controlling over what they believe men and boys should be permitted to see. Yet those same women have zero recognition and stay completely silent when it comes to male objectification – funny that! Fortunately, for them, they get no backlash or complaints from men who have clearly been desensitised over such matters to the point that they now have no idea how to react without making them look less macho and have no clue how male objectification and pornography could be affecting their young Sons as they mature in a feminised society, which clearly pulls no punches when it comes to double standards that see men on the shitty end of the stick. Stop trolling, Carnation, you know very well what the double standards are.

    “And what are the feminised cultural values?”

    See link from lela above for a vague idea. Stop trolling.

    “That’s just a load of meaningless froth.”

    Stop trolling. Just because a particular facet of our current culture, as we stand today, isn’t recognised as potentially having consequential negative side effects across society, doesn’t mean to say that these issues won’t get teased out and addressed in the future. The World is continuously evolving, Carnation, and nothing stays the same (it’s called progress). I’m expecting the world to wake up and start looking at men and boys for once, and it’s well overdue, even if it doesn’t suit you, well, tough, it’s coming! Feminism has a really, really bad name for not addressing the needs of EVERYONE, and more and more people are latching on to that notion.

    “Why don’t you explain exactly what the outcome is?”

    Carnation, I’ve persistently engaged with you and tried to show you plenty of examples of double standards and outcomes covering a range scope of topics from suicide, Father’s rights, decency and respect, censorship, fair treatment, genital mutilation, domestic abuse, education, cocks on tv, homelessness, rape anonymity, divorce law etc. and it’s quite obvious that you don’t give a fucking shit about men. All you ever do is act as a blocker and shout everyone down as being an MRA and continuously undermine any notion attributed to how men are treated in today’s society. You obviously have no interest in straightening up double standards unless they explicitly affect any group other than straight, white male. Typical feminist!

    “Reference credible sources in your explanation (don’t humiliate yourself by referencing a pathetic MRA blog).”

    There you go again, putting MRAs down whilst at the same time attacking anyone who challenges feminists. Hypocrite.

    “Do you know any women?”

    Of course I do, geez. And I have a lot of respect and admiration for a lot of women. Collectively, though, women help themselves and their children, but not men. Where as men help women and children but not themselves. Who’s taking fucking advantage, carnation?

    “Who’s promoting the objectification and exploitation of men?”

    Plenty of women who clearly object to the objectification of women are either in favour, or stay suspiciously silent whilst they smugly enjoy the ride. Men will eventually wake up to the associated problems, but it will take time and require direct evidence and support from prominent figureheads. It’s more likely that women will start to feel like pathetic little children acting out their tit for tat tactics and put an end to this way before men get out of their nappies and speak up for themselves.

    Let me give you an example of how women (often feminists) operate using our influential media channels and manipulate the readers thoughts. In the Daily Mail on Saturday there was an article by Amanda Platell titled “Groping around for ratings”, in which she criticises Phillip Schofield for a ratings stunt by showing a male doctor examining a topless model for breast cancer. She goes on to suggest that Phillip should volunteer to be checked for prostate or testicular cancer while the cameras roll. So she’s obviously put out by the fact that women’s breasts (not genitals – we’ve never seen those!) are shown on daytime TV and what’s more she can’t bare the thought of a QUALIFIED MALE doctor performing the examination. I don’t recall Amanda ever whining about the full, graphical examination of men’s genitals on daytime TV as part of “This Morning” and “Lorraine”, as well as plenty of others in the past. How strange. So, once again, she spouts her feminist opinion to millions of people that women’s bodies should receive more protective censorship, even when it comes to breasts, but men should be encouraged to reveal their genitals or arseholes, and nobody need complain or worry about it because they’re just men.

    This is the exact, typical level of feminist-driven hypocrisy and self-entitlement that I am referring to – a double standard hypocrisy which pervades our society literally everywhere, and although it’s often subtle, it’s relentless, meaningful to those sheep-like people who soak it all up, and it NEVER seems to favour men.

  103. Carnation says

    @ lelapaletute

    Zimbardo (any relation??) makes a few interesting points, but he seems a bit too quick to make crass generalisations and hyperbolic conclusions. Internet porn is a worry, but let’s credit boys (and girls) with a bit of sense. Let’s face it, sex isn’t ever going to go out of fashion, and cultural artifacts have enough sway to ensure that neither will relationships.

    The simply fact remains, however, that men should make up considerably more of the teaching and caring professions, and I would wholeheartedly support initiatives to encourage this. I’d say when it comes to primary school teaching, it is simply crucial that there are more male teachers than there are at present, and if it means enticements like student loan write-offs to encourage that, then let’s get that done. That proposition will cause the average libertarian to implode…

    @ 123454321

    Mate, you didn’t answer one of the questions that I asked, you just went off on yet another rant, centered around television, and featuring the latest episode of Evil Feminists Mistreat Men on TV and only 123454321 notices.

    In all seriousness, learn how to do media and textual analysis, it would serve you well.

    Try to avoid ridiculous (and obviously unsubstantiated) proclamations such as “Collectively, though, women help themselves and their children, but not men. Where as men help women and children but not themselves.” This is obviously nonsense and literally can’t be taken seriously.

    “Plenty of women who clearly object to the objectification of women are either in favour, or stay suspiciously silent whilst they smugly enjoy the ride. Men will eventually wake up to the associated problems, but it will take time and require direct evidence and support from prominent figureheads. It’s more likely that women will start to feel like pathetic little children acting out their tit for tat tactics and put an end to this way before men get out of their nappies and speak up for themselves.”

    There is a difference between what you would *like* to happen, and what will actually happen. What I quoted above is clearly a fantasy that you have, but it’s in your head, and doesn’t reflect reality.

    It did, however, make me think of one of my favourite scenes from the office. You’re fantasising, emoting, you think that men will rise up against what you see as oppression, but it simply won’t happen. Meanwhile, some drunks accost a female news anchor, she challenges them, they act boorishly, she gets international support.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NKK8psN9_8
    [Brent is drunk in his hotel room]
    David Brent: “But, you know, Neil will make one too many mistakes. Head Office will see what I already knew, and they go in there, they will march in there. They go, Right, yeah, David was right. You’ve pissed off him and you’ve pissed off him. You’re not the manager you thought you were. Okay. So get out, we made the mistake. Then they drag him out by his hair and that’s when the begging starts. They’ll come to me and say, Ooh, David you were right all along, you were the right man for this job, you’re the best man for this job. Will you come back? I’ll be like, yeah sure how much money have you got? Because this is going to cost you, this is going to cost you.”

  104. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    I had already seen that. If doesn’t relate to what you have been talking about on this thread.

    For a far more shocking double standard, compare the media profile of Boy George with, say, Mike Tyson.

  105. 123454321 says

    Yes it does. Several years ago, Jeremy would never have had the guts to call out a female audience for their insensitivities towards men because they are men. Things are changing as men latch on to the double standards, discrimination and hypocrisies surrounding the taboo nature of men being able to stick up for men over domestic violence, belittling etc. I’ve been saying that all along so the vid I posted is perfectly representative of my point that things are slowly changing – unlike luddites like you! And for what it’s worth, I’d rather spend the day with Boy George than Mike Tyson. I don’t understand the point your trying to make.

  106. Marduk says

    @Carnation

    It is interesting that the board of a Coca Cola are supposed to represent society at large. But the NHS and the education system are free not to bother even trying, there is apparently no reason front line service providers should represent their clients at all. Male suicides are going through the roof, boys are more and more routinely drugged because of behavioural problems, there is a clear and obvious social problem here that is getting worse under the watch of an NHS that isn’t interested and will take no steps to address it, not even tweaking the admissions processes to clinical and counselling courses which reject men at higher rates than women. But of course, you’ve never seen this mentioned in the Guardian. You don’t have to be an MRA to think there is something shameful going on here:

    https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-27/edition-6/are-mental-health-services-inherently-feminised

    This is really just a magazine article but it is written by experts in the field and look at their analysis; services completely unfit for men or boys which fail to offer appropriate treatment in which men are barely represented and in some cases, actively excluded. This does make me very angry indeed.

    123454321

    Perhaps this will help: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/dec/24/boy-george-crime-big-brother

  107. Carnation says

    @ 123454321

    “Several years ago, Jeremy would never have had the guts to call out a female audience for their insensitivities towards men because they are men.”

    Where’s your proof? A quick Google search shows that Channel 4 Dispatches screened a documentary about male victims of DV in 1999, Channel 5 a few years later and here’s a selection of articles highlighting the problem:

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/12/domestic-violence-male-victims-embarrassment

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2009/02/men_who_face_domestic_abuse.html

    Seriously man, you emote ferociously about day time TV and a simple Google search contradicts everything that you say.

    When you write that a few years ago Jeremy Kyle wouldn’t have called out an audience for laughing at a male victim, you’re saying that Jeremy Kyle *would* have allowed it to happen – that’s potentially defamatory. You need to prove what you claim, otherwise you look like an absolute clown.

    @ Marduk

    “Male suicides are going through the roof” – my understanding is that they are actually falling, but have fallen at a drastically lower rate than female suicides. Urgent action is required on this, obviously.

    ” … boys are more and more routinely drugged because of behavioural problems” – Any evidence of this? The trope of evil feminist teachers and nurses drugging boys is an attractively lurid one for excitable MRAs, but is pretty much devoid of fact and ignores the wider societal and medical tendency to medicalise and medicate rather than cognitively challenge (see also depression, and its knock on effect on suicide).

    ” … not even tweaking the admissions processes to clinical and counselling courses which reject men at higher rates than women.” Again, is there any evidence of this?

    But I’ll say it again, teaching and caring professions should reform their recruiting policies to ensure a substantial male presence. And, I’ll say it again, what a tragedy that there isn’t an effective, credible men’s movement lobbying for such measures.

  108. Marduk says

    @Carnation

    Male suicides at the highest rate since 2001
    http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2015/feb/19/rise-in-middle-aged-men-committing-suicide-all-the-uk-data

    What you have to keep in mind about that is that the previously higher baseline reflects what now seem like very primitive social understandings, structures and pharmacological approaches. So with all that on our side, its STILL getting worse again.

    If you read the article they point out that they don’t believe the approaches commonly used in the NHS work for men even if they could access them. It seems reasonable to believe the NHS would tend to use the only tools left to them at that point.

    The thing about access to courses is well known within the trade but little discussed because they don’t publish data. What it really needs is a round of FoI requests.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20140407134913/http://mindfull.spc.org/vaughan/BeyondBoundariesNov09.html

    I’ve personally known a 22 year old female graduate with no experience of any kind and an English degree be accepted to the same programme as reject at the same time a 33 year old male former Army psychiatric nurse with counselling qualifications and five years working with mentally disabled children full time. I know that is an anecdote but its the truth, clinical psychology applications are not transparent, completely control access to the profession and strictly for middle class women who ideally were privately educated. You absolutely have to be One Of Us.

  109. Marduk says

    And then think about it. You’re a young black man with problems, you get angry and you want to hurt yourself. How is that service going to offer anything to you even if you manage to access it (which probably won’t happen anyway). It isn’t for you and doesn’t pretend otherwise.

    Its the shamelessness that angers me, I’d love to say “something should be done” but it won’t happen and they don’t care.

  110. Carnation says

    @ Marduk

    I accept your points, but I also think that the NHS is somewhat limited, at present anyway, and that the govt should be funding third sector organisations. Suicide prevention is not my forte, but other mental conditions and related treatments are something I know a bit about. It seem to me that the prevalence and disproportionate levels of male suicide get plenty of press, but it hasn’t been given proper attention. It has to change. In terms of how best to do that, I think the Lib Dem’s pledge to treat mental illness as seriously as physical illness would have been a good start.

    You acknowledged your evidence was anecdotal. I have trouble accepting it’s common practise. I know of at least one funded initiative to get unemployed men into a caring role that was disbanded – literally three men enrolled, in an area of extreme unemployment. The reasons? Machismo/toxic masculinity/patriarchal misandry, the same bullshit that causes upset and harm to so many people, the overwhelming majority of them, men.

  111. Marduk says

    Well obviously we’re talking about people getting onto paid doctoral training courses leading to a job for life (they’ll cut training places if there is ever a risk your pay rises will stop coming). I don’t think most men are too macho to want that!

    The author in the other article does have some data because he is an insider.

    And look, to have a gender imbalance might be carelessness. But when men are under-represented not just over all, but under-represented even in terms of the small number of men applying, you have to ask questions but nobody does. Why is it a priority that women are represented 50% in comic book writing and cannabis growing (to pick two examples from today’s Graun) but not a priority for men to be represented more than 15% in an NHS profession manifestly failing half its clients?

    I’m not saying there is a conspiracy or anything but I find it remarkable this issue isn’t on anyone’s radar. Surely you can accept that there is something up with this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *