I Read Stylist, I Got Angry

by everydayheartbreak

In response to this.

The editorial team at Stylist magazine should stick to reviewing handbags and make up – whenever they try and tackle feminist issues they always manage to go about it in the most heavy handed way. This week’s piece on female sexuality is a case in point, written by “controversial” author Alissa Nutting the articles gender stereotyping, about men mostly, is staggering.

Her main argument, that men are the ones pulling all the strings in the bedroom (and society – but mainly the bedroom) and women are subordinate to this appears to take as its main piece of evidence Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines – now I’m no scholar but I don’t think you should be basing a good part of your argument on a bit of throw away pop music – equally I could cite any number of Rhianna’s songs as counter argument to this.

I think the majority of men are a little more complex than those portrayed by Nutting and Thicke, “It (patriarchal society) says that female sexuality depends on men for activation, that women need men to show them how to express their sexuality and that the best way for women to gain sexual satisfaction is by doing what men want them to do”. I’m not sure it does, and I don’t believe the majority of men would go along with this – I’ve never felt that way at any rate, if you read a men’s magazine – even the less salubrious ones, there are plenty of men asking for tips on how to pleasure their current squeeze. I’d say it’s 50/50 on the sexual expression front (we need women to feel sexy – my missus certainly makes me feel sexy), plus the real turn on is learning what your partner likes in the bedroom – equally she ignores the physiological and psychological difference in the male and female orgasm.

I’d argue against Nutting’s simplistic view that little girls are fed the princess myth; told to wait for prince charming and marriage – I think somewhere along that line things go a bit askew, the sexualisation of culture, especially youth culture, as exemplified by Rhianna et al and fed to girls, teenagers and young women is in fact more of an issue than Nutting’s fight for sexual equality – Nutting might also not have seen one of our provincial high streets on a Saturday night – I’d say there were plenty of women getting what they want out there! And if she thinks that women have to sexually repress themselves then a book like 50 Shades (abhorrent in every way – more damage done to female sexuality than any ‘patriarchal society’) is not really helping matters much.

Nutting fails to see that perhaps it isn’t just society, but women’s genetic make-up that is telling them that motherhood is their ‘highest calling’. I hate to break it to you but as animals it is wired into us to procreate, bring up and nurture children – there is no getting around that. Equally I don’t think anyone is asking women to “sit around and twiddle their thumbs”. Dare I say it there may even be some women out there who want to get married and want to have children.

Lastly I’d also say that the majority of men do not want to play away or have affairs – I for one would love to get married – painting us all as misogynists is base and pathetic and just cements gender stereotypes.

Stylist tells us in the introduction that it wants to fight for women’s sexual rights – 1500 words later there is still no clear idea of what it intends to do about this, apart from rip off Stonewalls sloganeering and rather debase their important work on homophobic bullying – in light of what is currently happening in Russia (and many other places) I think to compare women’s ‘struggle’ for sexual equality, however tenuously, with gay rights is crass and unhelpful.

PS. It is i hope clear that the opening line “The editorial team at Stylist magazine should stick to reviewing handbags and make up” is ironic – a stereotype that i’d not use, but in light of what has been written about myself as a man in this article, is i hope, appropriate.