"Oppression tries to defend itself by its utility."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Argument: "Mastering Your Johnson"

In the article, "Mastering Your Johnson," the authors discuss the effects of the mass media on perceptions of attractiveness, sexuality, and sexual practice. Particularly, they discuss the impact magazines like Maxim and Stuff (a new genre of "lad mags" or male service mags) have on other male targeted magazines and media. The authors contend that through the magazines' choice in sex articles or sexual pictures, they are reasserting the power of the male gaze and further influences white and heterosexual privilege.

The authors also cite a number of articles and studies on the impact of these sorts of advertising and magazines. Studies suggest that females have increased rates of anorexia or bulimia and very negative ideas about body imaged directly related to magazines on the content found within their pages. Other studies suggest the impact some advertisers have had on traditionally pro-woman magazines like Ms. Magazine. These magazines are showing limited numbers of females being objectified. And this form of objectification is how everyone is constructed into behaving.

Females are learning at early ages what being beautiful, sexy, and attractive actually means. For many females, they may use this sort of patriarchal tool as a way to attain power. And these sorts of magazines along with the news would have females believe that not actively being part of this paradigm, makes you a dull Dottie. Many magazines interchangeably use terms that encourage females to be submissive or passive because it is attractive to heterosexual, powerful men. Power is the key and it is also the problem.

Maxim and Stuff magazines send messages to males about what is masculine and what is important in being male. Some of the articles focus is on drinking, one night stands, how to undermine feminists, and how a bad boy politician should become mayor by highlighting his bad behavior. Females are taught that slender, tall, and European are beautiful. That the least said is the easiest to deal with, and every female who wants to have hot sex is interested in men in positions of power, ie their boss.

I refuse to read magazines like this and their "sister" magazines like Cosmopolitan or Glamour. They reinforce patriarchal ideas of the male gaze being an essential part of male dominance. I'm not sure of the way out. But I do know that I refuse to read it and refuse to "read the articles".



  1. this line, "And this form of objectification is how everyone is constructed into behaving." reminded me of how we learned about social discourses and how they construct our actions and thoughts.

  2. I like your blog about this article. I think that too many women are trying to make themselves look like the "perfect" body image, especially to win over the affections of men. I think everyone is beautiful and should love themselves for the way they are naturally. I think that girls should make themselves happy instead of trying to make themselves up for a boy.