Tuesday, September 1, 2009
As much as I hate to repost this image and further perpetuate its existence on the internet, doing so is necessary to illustrate my frustration. The original or perhaps just other planned cover for the first issue of this new "fixed" mag was completely relevant and interesting but I guess it's been dismissed in favor of this more offensive and less universally enjoyed photo. I'm not much for participating on the internet but in the comments on Tracko you can see I could hardly help myself. It's really encouraging to get some validation, especially considering the comments that came before mine, but it's unfortunate that my comment also prompted this direct response from user CrittRawk:
"Please. Just because there's a naked girl on the cover means it's mysoginistic trash? She's got an incredible body, and was probably paid well for the shot- besides that it's a beautiful image, and by no means was it meant to disregard women. Unfortunately, charming lads such as the ones leaving comments are turning it into something seedy a la "I'm going to bury my Tongue in that light." Dudes, get off the net and meet some real girls, and girls, don't let your personal insecurities deprive you of what is content wise and artistically probably a really good magazine- I've read cream and it's on point- stop being such prudes and sleazebags, meet eachother in the middle and welcome to the good life!
How do I get a subscription!? "
Just because I'm a jerk, let me begin by pointing out that this person wouldn't know misogyny if it sucked his dick and I'm basing that first of all on the fact that he misspelled it. It's really amazing to me that marginalization and exploitation is easily dismissed by the fact that someone was "probably paid well." Well, thank you for reminding me that I am indeed worth as much as someone will pay for me. Why is it that I am unable to critique the cover of this magazine without admitting some amount of "insecurity"? Why must I hate my own body to ever have an issue with something like this? Please, I hardly think I'll be "deprived" of what is probably "content wise and artistically" a "really good magazine" since the cover makes it clear that they're not interested in a female audience anyway. What spectacular article could possibly be behind that cover that will redeem the offense taken at first glance? I'll keep my ear to the streets.
If the image wasn't meant to disregard women, then it was definitely made in the interest of men. There's a reason why things are put on the cover of a magazine. It is completely absurd to say that things only become "seedy" or offensive once people respond to them as such; the readers are not the creators of these images and placing blame is irrelevant. It comes down to a sad cyclical nature of things where exploitation is commonplace and the public is more than accepting of it. If this photo was meant only to be beautiful and artistic, than why is it not of a man? Is the nude male figure not as elegant as the female's? Is it impossible to see any one other than a woman in a photo such as this? In either case, it is not about equal exploitation, it is about creating images a community can respond to. It's also not about the fact that I am heterosexual and am not sexually provoked or convinced by a nude photograph of a woman, it's about the fact that I see one in a context such as this and am alienated and marginalized.
The point is, as a female, I'm definitely a minority as far as riding bikes goes and even more so when you're talking about the "track bike scene". Riding bikes is a boys club, at least in my experience. I have been lucky enough to know and associate with some really strong, talented and dedicated ladies but it's the truth that they're few and far between. As if it isn't hard enough to walk into a bike shop and be taken seriously, there's the added element of garbage like this being shoved in my face. I even remember in an edition of COG magazine an advertisement featuring a Japanese adult film star dressed in a bikini standing over a bike being the backside of the first page of an article about all girl alleycats. How is it possible to literally in the same breath disrespect and then commend women? It makes no sense. For a scene that's supposed to be so fucking progressive, young and open-minded, it's really disappointing to continue to see the same patriarchal bullshit perpetuated on the pages of a magazine.
If the "good life" is a life where I can rationalize the sexualization and objectification of my gender and let the boys have their fun, I'd prefer to be a bummer.
Posted by eva at 15:27