Skepchick Quickies, 3.7


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. So… the male body as repulsive. I have to wonder, and I feel horrible for using such language, this is male heteronormative bullshit, mixed with a bit of latent homophobia.

    “Manly men” are not supposed to look at other guys; we don’t acknowledge when other men are attractive, even if it’s in an intellectual way (i.e. “I recognize that man is quite attractive, even though he does absolutely nothing for me, because I like teh boobies.”). These same “manly men” tend to work in a hot-or-not mode… if she’s not hot, she’s nothing. Ergo, since HE can’t be hot, he’s obviously ugly.

    Mix that in with a bit of body insecurity (otherwise known as “Good lord, I’ve seen myself naked… how on earth could you want to?”), some good old-fashioned lust (“Fuck, I like boobs, though”), and you have a picture where women are either hot or they’re not, and all men are disgusting.

    There are likely many things wrong with this hypothesis, but I also acknowledge that I’ll prove stubbornly unwilling to release it. ‘Cause I’m a real man, and we don’t make mistakes.

  2. I’ve read the article before at Hugo’s own website. But getting to his article – both men and women are beautiful and repulsive, it’s silly to say otherwise. Of course as a young man women weren’t showering him with praise about how awesome his body was, I doubt few men get praise like that at a young age. For me it takes a level of intimacy to compliment a man’s body. If a man complimented me right off the bat I’m going to think he’s just flattering me just to get on my good side, not that he actually means it. I appreciate Hugo’s main point – that men as well as women seek physical validation, but his examples are a bit weak. Of course a sixth grade girl is going to think a naked man is icky, it would be weird if she didn’t. His earlier point that men are inherently dirty is silly, boys are referred to as being physically dirtier than girls, this isn’t some weird message to boys to hate their bodies. Crazy how both men and women want to be told they’re beautiful.

  3. @Mark Hall: Hey, some dudes have “teh boobies” in a sense!

    Scumbags welcome at this church.

    What if I’m more of a douchebag?

  4. As a woman, I have experienced the “men’s bodies are repulsive” thing from a different POV. I remember being a preteen and watching the Seinfeld episode about “good naked, bad naked”. I was told explicitly by this show that men’s bodies are not beautiful. Yet at the same time, I was really attracted to men’s bodies (more like boys at the time). I thought there was something really wrong with me. I thought I was the only one who actually liked men’s bodies.

    As I got older, of course I realized that plenty of other straight women are attracted to men’s bodies. But this attitude still affected me through the men I dated. There were several that were just outright shocked that I actually wanted to see their naked bodies as much as they wanted to see mine. There were also a few who insisted that all woman are actually bi, because of course the female body is beautiful and the male body isn’t. They considered the het male veiwpoint so completely default that they couldn’t even comprehend the concept of someone liking male bodies and being indifferent towards female bodies. I got way too much pressure to pretend I was bi and make out with other women while I was in college. I never gave into that pressure, but it was really strong from certain guys.

    I actually feel a little bit sorry for those men who could just never get it that I liked their bodies.

  5. @Mark Maybe that’s because they haven’t commodified the support garments for them yet. They could be just as lovely as women’s if you support them properly. :)

    It has always surprised me that many men have no idea how to take a physical compliment about their bodies that wasn’t directly related to het acceptable areas (muscle size, mass, specific weight changes). In particular I’ve seen men (boyfriends) basically run away from me if I dared stare at their butts and grin naughtily. No idea how to handle the fact they they look good.

  6. @Siveambrai: No, I gotta disagree. Even with support, there’s a limit to how good you can make hairy moobs look.

    I’ll agree about having no idea on how to deal with a compliment. I actually have a tendency to view the few I do get as insincere.

  7. I can’t imagine thinking of anybody’s body as repulsive unless it’s like covered with nasty tatoos, or something like that. I tend to be repulsed by other things – attitudes, personality traits, even some opinions. Most bodies I see as neutral. Sure, I have seen male bodies that have made me drool. But generally there is more than the body involved when that happens. It’s the smile, or the posture, or anything that hints that there is more to this guy than a pretty shell. I chalk that up to my own history.
    Though there was one occasion… this guy walked in, hair wet from the rain, tight jeans and a leather jacket. He had the most awesome lips, and some very nice buns too… I could literally see myself walk over to him and kiss him. Total out of body experience. I actually caught myself heading his way, right there in front of a hundred people. I couldn’t have cared less about who or what he was. I never got a look at his body, but I’d put my money on beautiful.

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