In the Blog
On magazines and Masculinity
A friend of mine is working on a really exciting project: starting a magazine for young men that deals with issues of masculinity, or exploring and challenging dominant conceptions of what it means to be a guy. Discussions of gender and popular culture so often revolve around the ways women and girls are portrayed that I think we often forget that men and boys are also constantly negotiating gender.
Paul over at the CitizenShift blog accompanied Tuval to check out magazines marketed to young men. They found that most mags geared for men are exactly what you’d expect: filled with “shameful images of super-models, super-men and all the plugged in/out gear one can pile into a military-style Hummer,” he writes.
When we launched Shameless almost three years ago, people kept asking why we didn’t do a similar magazine for young men. There’s a real thirst for something that counters mainstream, macho accounts of what it means to be a guy, something that challenges the pressures young men increasingly feel to measure up to these stereotypical images, something more than lad mags such as Maxim and FHM can offer.
As Paul writes, “rather than solidifying stereotypes, is there a magazine to crack open manhood’s complexities and contradictions? …being sexual without being a pervert or player …having the strength to express weakness …being playful without put-downs or power-trips.”
I’m really excited about this project and think a lot of young men (and women) will be, too. Here’s a link to Tuval talking about magazines and masculinity (an often under-explored topic). He’s looking for feedback on men’s magazines, and the new magazine still needs a name, any ideas?