Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Speaking of things that are lame:


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.

10 comments:

kate b. said...

i love you eva, in the most heterosexual way possible

Prolly said...

Take all this energy and do something with it. Like make a magazine.

;-)

eva said...

does sitting down and writing my thoughts in an organized fashion not count as "doing something"?

dan said...

john its crazy for you to say that to people. its as if your saying that in order to have some kind of meaningful opinion about a magazine one must also be a magazine publisher which is bullshit.

Eeberleeber said...

Sex and content aren't mutually exclusive, and neither (necessarily) compromises the other when under the same umbrella. Cycling's no stranger to this. See Dirtrag #105's cover with Christina Begy, a 24-hour racer. BC's Muddbunnies have a nude calendar.

Does this compromise their credibility as a serious cycling mag, or as serious riders?

Maybe it has something to do with dirt. Mtb and cross are no stranger to nude dood.

eva said...

It would simply be inaccurate to assume that this magazine cover is the first convergence of cycling and nudity- that isn't the point.

What's disturbing to me is that I can't pick up a cycling magazine without feeling straight up LEFT-OUT because the only images of women I see are objectified. Why must our participation be limited to images that exploit our bodies? I took particular offense to this magazine because I guess it attempts to convey a culture I am heavily steeped in.

FIXÉ MAGAZINE said...

Hi there,

We never wanted to be misogyn by doing this cover.
Through as we felt that it could be unapropriate for kids/or certain audience, we also have a different cover for this issue. for whom do not like this one check on our weblog : http://fixemagazine.blogspot.com/.

our point with this cover is just aesthetic. the Photographer Dimitri Coste is a world renomed fashion photographer, and it doesnt imply any crude nudity. this cover issue is a keeper for collectors, it has to be seen as an art piece. all the shops /or news stand have recieved the other cover.

If you look in the mag, there is a feature about girls involved in fixed gear movment. we love to ride with girls, and we are all about seing more girls on bikes, and not for any stupid reason. If we wanted to drag beer/muchomacho anoucers we would probably run a trucker magazine

thruth is that here in France we are way more relax about nudity and to be honest we love that cover as much as the other one, because we thought this is definitively a beautiful picture. It is also a way for us to express our way of doing a magazine :
we do it the way we feel, with pride and no concession to what is considered to be "politicaly correct".

If you feel like sendding us a text about your point of view, we will feel happy to publish it in the next issue without any modification (except if it is no suitable for general audience) we are very open minded, and we do not think we hold the thruth!
send us a message over the blog or by email

Do we need to put a naked male on the next cover, to make it fair???

thanks anyway for helping us to get better!

hope to hear from you soon and sorry for the quality of my english!

best regards,

Christian Van Hanja,
& the cream team

betchka said...

I agree, fully. The culture is so steeped in sexist bullshit as is. Last week at a bike store a shop owner flat out told me that my (really awesome) track bike that I've spent the last two months working on was "too nice for a girl." Actually, that's pretty much the response I get whenever I encounter bike snob dudes. So this magazine - same bullshit. We're good enough to be naked on the cover of magazines but not good enough to be on their level (even if we have the bikes to back it up).

eva said...

wow. that's such a terrible story, but thank you for sharing and for the support.

Black Chicks Rule said...

Eva, I so agree. I think sexual expression is great; even, the use of nudity to convey a effecitve message is okay also. However, the message this imagery communicates is quite troubling. The editors are clearly misogynists. Moreover, if it were a naked male body instead of a naked woman's body there would be LOUD objections from the rooftops, at every level of management, the publisher and the public. However, the patriarchal dominant society we live in finds it quite acceptable, even invites the degradation and objectification of women. That is so disturbing.

Best, BCR from smoothfemdom.blogspot.com