Sex Sells — To Women?
Last month’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition featured bikinied women and women whose nude bodies were painted to look like they were wearing bikinis. (Swimsuits are related to sports, get it?). The scantily clad ladies sell a lot of magazines.
Now SI wants to appeal to its female audience of 18 million. The ladies will get makeup tips. And after all the lovely swimsuit models, women readers may feel badly enough about themselves to want them – a common advertising trick.
But why no Beckham in the buff for us? We aren’t supposed to enjoy ogling sexy men? Instead, we are supposed to be sexy ourselves, so that men can enjoy ogling us?
But SI is hardly alone.
Cosmo, Glamour, Elle, et al., highlight sexy ladies, and at best, lowlight sexy men. In fact, Cosmo and Maxim look an awful lot alike.
But it’s not just magazines. Nearly nude women, but rarely men, draw our eyes to billboards peddling products. The camera hones in on women’s boobs and butts on TV and film. You don’t see much focus on men’s buns and chests.
Why are sexy women marketed to both men and women?
And why aren’t sexy men marketed to women?
Historically, men have controlled media and they put out what they find attractive. Then, flooded with pretty women, we all drink them in. They sink into our minds, and we unconsciously develop notions that that’s the way the world is and the only way things could be.
But the unsaid message is that women’s sexual needs aren’t primary. Men’s are. We are meant to be beautiful decorations for men. We are there to turn men on. Men need sexual pleasure, and we are the one’s to give it to them.
Not the reverse.
As a result, when men look at nearly-nude women, they love it. But when women look at nearly-nude men they can feel uncomfortable.
Shouldn’t women’s sexual pleasure be as important as men’s? And wouldn’t men and women both enjoy sex more if it were?
Posted on March 15, 2013, in feminism, gender, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged feminism, gender, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women. Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.