Mike decided to do a dramatic reading of this goofy article while I was cooking dinner, and I went from laughing to rage face in about 5 minutes flat. Find the whole piece in the April 2014 Men’s Health, titled She Wants You To Watch by Anna Davies, if you’re so inclined. The premise is that women are turned on by voyeurism, which is true….for some women….just like most things are true for some but not all people. Sweeping generalizations are my favorite*. Moving on, I sincerely hope that “Anna Davies” is actually a misinformed male college intern because the women’s perspective here is pretty bleak, assuming, and frankly embarrassing. Let me fill you in on my favorites from Section 1 of the article alone:
- “The female body, unlike yours, naturally holds a suggestion of sex.”
So women’s bodies naturally hold the suggestion of sex but men’s don’t. Even when we’re not trying…sex. Obviously. Hillary God damn Clinton performing Secretary of State duties? Sex. (Good thing she’s moved on, I don’t know how we got ANYTHING done with a woman in a position of power!**) A teenaged girl who is uncomfortable with her body and would like nothing more than to hide under baggy clothing forever? Sorry…sex *** . Men? Sorry, never sex****. Women in the military? Thanks for your sacrifice, but sex *****. All of the above? Bullshit. Bull. Shitty. Shit.
- “And through what we wear - a shapeless hoodie or a tight tank top - we calibrate its suggestiveness.”
This is just offensive on so many levels. First, I wear tank tops because they’re comfortable, and can’t think of a time that I chose one because I was trying to “calibrate” my suggestiveness. Also, this completely ignores women of different cultures, religions, and beliefs, AND it assumes that all men find the same things attractive. This article implies that a tank top is inherently sexy, while a sweat shirt is not. What does that imply about a hijab? A sari? Women choose what they wear for a variety of reasons. Men find things attractive for a variety of reasons. My hate reading continues….
- ” Ogas assessed the online behavior of more than 100 million people and found that while male fantasies focus on orgasm, female fantasies center on the feeling of being desired.”
This data may be true, but what kind of sad message does that spread about our culture? Men fantasize about pleasure. Women fantasize about being wanted. First of all…really? I’m not sure that I’m entirely buying this. Second of all, look at any grocery store newsstand in the country. Women’s headlines scream “10 hot new tricks to please him!”, “Lose those pesky pounds fast!” and “Prettiest dresses of Spring!”. The very magazine for men that I’m quoting from shouts: “Get Big Fast!”, “Win Free Steak For a Year!”, “Strength Secrets From America’s Top Gym” and “Your #1 Health Threat, Beat It!”. See the difference? Women’s magazines tout being pleasing, being small, and being pretty. Men’s magazines support eating, getting stronger, and being healthy. We ask the young girls in our society to be more, to be mathematicians and scientists, to change things for the better, but they’re struggling against a broken system. We are all struggling against a broken system.
There is more in this article, but I’m not going to go into it. I can’t. I’m too mad. Too sad. Too sick of getting loud and quiet messages from all over society telling me that my sole purpose in life is to be pleasing to men. I love men. Don’t get me wrong…I think they get a bad rap out of this whole deal too. What about the messages articles like this send to men and boys? This is what women like and how they want to be treated. Except not.
You may be thinking “what do you expect from Men’s Health?” More. I expect more from men’s and women’s publications. We’ve got to change. This has got to be different. Call me a feminist if you will. I will happily accept a title that implies standing up for the rights of others.
* except not
** except I do because she is a brilliant politician and also a human being. Love me some Hillz
*** Except not. Being a teenaged boy or girl is hard and no one needs more difficulty on top of just existing at that point in their lives
**** Except not. Men are fo sho sexy too. But that is not all they are. Just like women.
***** Absolutely thank you for your sacrifice. Just like men in your position. Doing your same job. You are more than your body parts.