Saturday, March 30, 2019
Media Essays Magazines Men Women
Media Essays Magazines Men Wo handsMagazines Men Wo man supplyLiterature Re facetMany scholars birth argued the media gambol an increasingly central role inwardly con maverick society, and the shaping of identities (Holmes, 2007 McRobbie, 2000). Kellner (1994, cited in Durham, 1995, p.2) argues the media provide some whizzs with the materials to forge their identity and sense of egohood including our nonions of antheral and effeminate and what it substance to be good or bad.As a medium, magazines stool not been studied in as often depth as newspapers, boob tube and radio. However they argon still an important cultural tool and a valuable medium to hire, with a unique function to bring high-value informative information to specificall(a)y defined, yet national audiences (Abrahamson, 1996, cited in Holmes, 2007, p.511).The analysis of ikons indoors magazines is a valid guidance of schoolinging gender drill roles and relations agree to Butler and Paisley (1980, p .49). They argue images formed from mediated precepts become part of a viewers conception of themselves. Vigorito and Curry (1998, p. 136) point out that fashionable culture is increasingly opthalmic, and that magazine pictures carry significant piths intimately cultural norms and values, including the norms of gender relations.In a take apart of the intense images featured in Playboy and Cosmopolitan, Krassas et al (2001, p.752) argue that images in spite of appearance magazines shake up a demonstrable effect on how we think about ourselves, and that they explicitly advise the reader about how to look and act. The following study that is pre plethoricly image-based analysis is thusly a legitimate and valid way of studying the sample material.Research into masculinity and manly depiction at heart wo custodys magazines has been scarce according to many scholars (Holmes, 2007 Farvid and Braun, 2006 Vigorito and Curry, 1998), with most research cogitate on the social constru ction of femininity (Vigorito and Curry, 1998, p.135). However, with an established theory that identifies gender as a social construct that defines masculinity as historically reactive to changing definitions of femininity (Kimmel, 1995, p.14), the study of the representation of custody and their roles within womens magazines has become increasingly significant. As Farvid and Braun (2006) explainThe center on men is particularly relevant because, in a heteronormative world, male and womanish k instantaneouslyledgeableities ar constructed simultaneously. Therefore, although previous examination of femininity/ effeminate gender in magazines dumbfound been useful, they atomic number 18 nevertheless partially complete, as female (hetero) familiarity is to a fault constructed through the magazines account of male (hetero) switch onuality (p.298).The following study relate with the cozy representation of men in contemporary womens magazines is therefore pertinent to existing theory. As the majority of studies ar too American and at least five years old, there is justification for a contemporary, English study on the grammatical genderual presentation of men in womens magazines.In his observation of womens magazines, Gauntlett (2002, p.51) notes that the assortments in content hold with societal changes in gender relations. The forties and 1950s saw the stress was centred on a domesticated simpering housewife, that saw education and c atomic number 18rs as the masculinisation of women. The 1960s saw the cozy revolution that marked the seeds of change within society and womens magazines. From this time the sexual longings of all women including the practiced and the unmarried, could openly be acknowledged and discussed (Wouters 1998, p.188). In the 1970s and 1980s magazines move to change, to account for women and their changing positions within society (Gauntlett 2002, p.52).Attwood (2004, p.15) argues since the 1990s popular media has depic ted new sexualities, which break existing norms of feminine behaviour by addressing women as knowing and relishful. McNair (2002, p.88) has also noted that we increasingly live in a striptease culture that is focused on sexual acknowledgment and self-revelation, that manifests itself within print media. On a broad level, the following study is touch with how this emerging sexual discourse within the media and society is manifested within womens magazines.Alongside changing societal values and incorrupts, there ar untroubled arguments suggesting the content of womens magazines can be directly influenced by the interests of advertisers. In the relentless search for new markets by advertisers, erotic images of men are designed to appeal to some(prenominal) liberated women as surface as the new male consumer (Rohlinger, 2002, p.61). In the 1990s, rumours circulated that womens magazine Company, had found a sales formula relating to circulation figures with the number of times the word sex appeared on the cover lines (Gough-Yates, 2003, p.139). Consumers that buy young womens magazines also have the most desirable demographic to advertisers young, single, employed, well educated and urban and are the most likely to buy a magazine for its musical compositioning of sex (Rohlinger, 2002, p.61).There is a general agreement that the content of womens magazines has reached a sexual peak in todays society. fire sets the tone, defines the pace, and shapes the whole environment of womens magazines (McRobbie, 1996, p.177). There is currently a lust revival, an acceleration in the emancipation of sexuality (Wouters, 1998, p.200). Winship (2000, p.43) argues sexual discourse, which was once a offstage dialogue, has been re-positioned in a public space, moving it from a private to a public discourse. Attwood (2004, p.15) supports this head, public debate that sexy images have become the gold of the day.Not only has the sheer volume of sexual reportage increas ed dramatically, Scott (1985, p. 387) points out that there has also been a complete ease of the treatment of sex within womens magazines. Sexuality has replaced romance as the ideologic focus with a more than pronounced emphasis on strong, frank, and explicitly sexual representations (McRobbie, 1996, p.192).With sexuality replacing romance as the ideological focus of womens magazines, Giddens (1992, p.1-2) argues sexuality has been released from the confines of a heterosexual, monogamous, procreative hegemony and has been replaced with sexual pluralism, a sexual identity defined and structured by individual choice. This individual choice and sexual pluralism can be seen within the pages of womens magazines as young women are actively encouraged to be sexual actors, even predators in their search for sex (Gauntlett, 2002, p.206).Gauntlett (2002, p.97) supports Giddens arguments for a post-traditional society, referring to the increased levels of disjoin and separation as indivi duals move from one relationship to another. Furthermore, Wouters (1998, p.208) argues there is now a sexualisation of love and an eroticisation of sex.With the liberalisation of womens magazines in spare of a more sexually confident standpoint, debates surround the change in attitude and treatment towards men in favour of an goalified, sexist sexual climax. Men, it has been argued, are no longer treated with respect but could be seen as inadequate, or the butt of jokes (Gauntlett, 2002, p.53). As Wolf (1994) explainsMale sexuality, once clothed in prohibitions that kept women from making comparisons, is under scrutiny, and the secrets of male virility are on display (p.24).After years of women complaining about the objectification of their bodies, the male body was on display cut up, close up and oh so tastefully lit (Moore, 1988, p.45). As womens magazines became more sexual, the availability of mens bodies as sex objects became central to this sudden discourse (Ticknell et a l, 2003, p.54). reappearance to the argument of womens magazines as a stage for demeaning and objectifying men, is the admission price this it is some matter mens magazines have been doing for decades, and since both sexes chooses to do so it likely doesnt matter in sexism terms (Gauntlett, 2002, p.174).Womens magazines also do not treat men as just bodies or sex machines all the time they are also presented as thoughtful, emotional beings (Gauntlett, 2002, p.188).Additionally, it could be argued that far from being an emergent discourse, the male appearance has been available for the view pleasure of women for centuries. In the nineteenth century, a mans tangible appearance was taken as a sign of intelligence and morality, and women were invited to view mens bodies as a sign of their superiority and amity (Stern, 2003, p.220).Despite evidence to suggest it is not a valid criticism that womens magazines objectify men the viewing of mens bodies in todays society is done so in a mainstream context, using mechanisms historically associated purely with men and how they look at women, signalling that, for the premier time, erotic spectacles had crossed gender boundaries (Moore, 1988, p. 47).Laura Mulvey, in her essay optical Pleasure and Narrative Cinema (1975), first introduced the conception of the male esteem Mulvey argued that mainstream Hollywood cinema primarily sets out to satisfy the unconscious desires of men. She argued that male characters do most of the looking within films, making them the (active) subjects, and female characters are looked at, making them the ( static) objects.Male spectators identify with the male protagonist, and female spectators, Mulvey says, are also compelled to take the viewpoint of the central male character, denying women of their own perspective. A temporary masculinisation is the only way Mulvey can offer pleasure for the women viewer. And era the male hero in the film cannot be viewed as a sexual object, accordin g to the principles of the ruling ideology, he can be admired by men narcissistically as an ideal version of the self (1975, p.14).Perhaps the biggest problem with Mulveys argument is the denial of a female see (Gauntlett, 2002, p.39). As Moore points out,To suggest that women actually look at mens bodies is apparently to stumble into a theoretical minefield which holds sacred the idea that in the dominant media the look is always already structured as male. (Moore, 1988, p.45).Support for Mulveys masculinised female viewing is found in Krassas et als (2001) comparative study of gender roles in Cosmopolitan and Playboy. The study concluded that both magazines reflected the male gaze, regardless of audience, because both portrayed women as sex objects and the main concept within both was the idea of women attracting and sexually satisfying men.Additionally, if gaze behaviour is characterised by the viewing of a passive object, Schauer (2005, p.57) argues men are often pictured in t raditional roles with power tools, hammers, army uniforms and so on, to show a engagement in an activity as a strategy to offset the passivity of being looked at. If this is the mooring, Mulveys framework of the gaze cannot be applied to women.However, since their earliest days, movies have included and celebrated attractive men whose sexual magnetism has no doubt drawn women into cinemas (Gauntlett, 2002, p.39). Since Mulveys argument, various writers have argued for the inclusion of the female spectator within the framework of the gaze and Gauntlett describes Mulveys argument as untenable (2002, p.39).Van Zoonen (1994, p.97) argues Mulveys analysis of senile cinema is bleached and suffocating, which has lost ground to an alternative more confident and empowering approach to female spectatorship that allows a subversive way of viewing the texts. Moore (1988, p.59) also makes the case for a female gaze, arguing that it does not simply replicate a monolithic and masculinised stare , but instead involves a whole variety of looks and glances an interplay of possibilities.Attwood (2004, p.15) argues that in todays society, objectification is a necessary precondiction for erotic gazing in a narcissistic culture where the body is widely represented as an object for display. In this climate, there is a strong encouragement for a female gaze and the creation of a space for male narcissism (MacKinnon, 1997, p.190). Therefore, securing the gaze of others implys desirability and self-importance for both women and men (Attwood, 2004, p.15). It could be argued therefore, that womens magazines may provide a stage for the objectification of men which in a narcissistic culture is both inevitable and desirable.The following study is concerned with whether there is evidence of a female gaze within womens magazines that fits within Mulveys framework of gaze. Thus, whether men are actively viewed by women as passive objects. Furthermore, Mulvey points out that the appearance of women are often coded for strong visual and erotic impact, so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness (1989, p.10). This element give be analysed in the examination of the images of men within the three chosen magazines to discover if men display the same visual codes and therefore imply they are receiving a female gaze.The growing absorption with sex and male bodies within womens magazines has come under much debate by theorists, with one of the most passionately critical arguing they are morally reprehensible, offering a depressing portrait of the new British woman (Anderrson and Mosbacher, 1997, p.18). Women were described as dishonest and crude, with no moral standard at all (p.56).Women can be, once corrupted, both more disgusting and degraded than men. As Shakespeare said, Lilies that fester smell far worsened than weeds. (Burrows in Anderrson and Mosbacher, 1997, p.57)Despite the passionate and dramatic way the report denounced the content of womens magaz ines and their sexual content, the arguments put forward were branded as outdated and rigid, with the overwhelming consensus agreeing that the liberalisation and sexualisation of magazines were, although not perfect, a good and liberating thing nonetheless.Magazines borrow from libber discourse, which imply to their readership a genuine commitment to the comparability of men and women in their sexual worth (Tyler, 2004, p.96). The depictions of female sexuality are an empowered one, as there are representations of young women as sexually active and independent with the business to desire sex and receive sexual pleasure. The magazines can therefore be seen as sexually liberating and offering an image of sexual agency for women (Farvid and Braun, 2006, p.299).The main elements and issues covered by womens magazines all figure high in the libber agenda, and confirm that womens magazines strive to provide an image of equality (McRobbie, 1999, p.57).Others argue however, that regardl ess of the emergent sexual discourse which implies womens magazines provide a feminist message for readers the obsession with men in the magazines reinforce an ahead notion that believes men are the way to happiness, and in reinforcing this attitude, they are legitimising and naturalising patriarchal domination (Farvid and Braun, 2006, p.296).The ideological underpinnings conform to rigid and traditional norms. These constructions position women as objects of male desire and underscore womens subordinate position in contemporary society (Durham, 1995, p.18).Furthermore, it has been argued that womens magazines use sex as a faade to represent women as dangerous and daring through sex when in fact, the sexual acts represented are only mildly transgressive, and are actually based on traditional gender roles (Machin and Thornborrow, 2003, p.455).The theory of womens magazines presenting traditional and stereotypical gender roles in the subtle undertones of the magazines, mirrors the panorama theorists felt about womens magazines in the 1940s and 1950s that they projected the image of a simpering housewife. Admittedly the captivate roles for men and women were referred to more explicitly in those times, however it still implies that both present essentially the same message that men are the route to happiness (Klassen et al, 1993).Goffmans (1979) study into gender stereotypes within advertisements commented on how antithetical poses portray messages about masculinity and femininity. He found that women were often portrayed in very stereotypical ways, such as in groveling or family roles and in lower physical and social positions than men (Baker, 2005, p.14). A number of theorists adopted his methods for analysing magazine images, all of which supported his findings that gender is sterile within images with women portrayed as submissive and passive, and men as dominant and superior (Kang, 1997 Klassen et al, 1993 Krassas et al, 2001 Vigorito and Curry, 1998). Similarly, Kim and Ward (2004, p.48-49) argue that womens magazines skew the portrayal of males and females to their object lens audience so that editors, writers and advertisers can take advantage of gender myths and fears.In contrast to this traditional view of gender is McRobbies (1999, p.50) argument that it is incorrectly assumed the ideology of the magazines will be draped in a direct way by readers. Hermes (1995, p.148) supports this argument suggesting that readers only connect with part of what a magazine is saying, and cultural studies makes the mistake of anticipate that texts are always significant.Additionally Gauntlett (2002, p.207) points out that the encouragement of women to be active in their search for sex is a rejection of passive femininity, and is feminist progress. He adds that while womens magazines may have a large proportion of content concerned with finding the right man, women are aggressively seeking out partners rather than waiting for a nice husband to come along (p.191). He therefore rejects the idea of women being presented as passive, subservient beings which is a traditional notion of femininity.The heraldic bearing of men as objects to be viewed by women is in itself also a way in which traditional gender ideologies is subverted within the magazines. This approach to men is traditionally only associated with the way men have treated women (Gauntlett, 1999, p.188).though there are convincing arguments for both sides of the argument that womens magazines all present a feminist message, or a traditional ideological message, most scholars agree womens magazines do not construct a single mythic meaning of feminine identity, or present one ideological position for their readers. Instead, the discourses of womens magazines are mixed, somewhat contradictory (Bignell, 1997, p.56-57).The oppositional arguments ring the tip to which gender is presented within womens magazines leads McRobbie (1994, p.163) to believe there are spa ces for negotiation within womens magazines, and that they bring half a feminist message to women that would not otherwise receive it.In support of this, Hollows (2000, p.195) argues the feminist messages that are within womens magazines produce spaces where meanings can be contested, with results that susceptibility not be free of contradictions, but which do signify shifts in regimes of representation.Within the following study I wish to identify to what extent gender is portrayed as stereotypical and traditional, and how this is negotiated within the emergent sexual discourse of the magazines, specifically in the objectification of men. Alongside this aim, I also wish to identify whether there is evidence of a female gaze in which men are presented in a way that implies they will receive an active sexual objectifying gaze.