For anyone who is interested in art history gender studies. Male vs female nudes is a pretty fascinating comparison to investigate, especially concerning contemporary reactions to nudes in popular culture.
I will say about this article what I just said on Facebook:
Leave it to our shit-for-brains culture to produce an entire article about its own discomfort with male nudity without ONCE mentioning that art has been dominated by straight men (gynephiles) for thousands of years.
"Oh well the female body is more viewer-friendly because it acknowledges the gaze of the viewer"
That’s a cryptic way of saying, “everyone’s got male gaze because we’re all heterosexual men right? those of us who count anyway”
"well you see the female body is associated throughout history with beauty and sexiness and shit"
So, in case you’re a woman and you’re wondering why you’re often objectified, or in case you’re an androphile of any gender wondering why your desires are underrepresented in depictions of the human condition, here’s the explanation: for some STRANGE MYSTERIOUS NOT-WORTH-MENTIONING REASON, history has been filled with drawings of naked chicks. Haha, isn’t that silly?1! Wow how strange. Don’t start thinking about oppression! STAY IN YOUR BOX
"the male body on the other hand is always symbolizing aggression/dominance/showing your dick to people to insult them. Also men have exterior genitalia so that’s, like, more offensive"
WOW OH MY GOD THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THESE STATEMENTS WHERE DO I EVEN
Basically the biggest problem I have with this poor excuse for a discussion of art is that the meanings which straight white men have assigned to everyone’s bodies are not in fact universal. The female body does not itself represent attractiveness - a bunch of privileged gynephiles think that the female body is attractive. Acknowledging the very truly equal sexiness of the male body is dangerous, not simply because that perspective is new or different, but because it directly challenges the kyriarchy.
Of course I don’t expect the BBC to go around using cuh-razy words like “kyriarchy”, but an article that doesn’t even consider questioning history’s powerful people reinforces their oppressive ideas. We’re asked to consider accepting the male nude, and making room for it in art, but only because it has non-sexual artistic value, as per historical precedent.
The article doesn’t offer its readers anything insightful. She states obvious facts instead of actually attempting to answer the question she’s put forth. Why is the male nude shocking to us? The author’s response is, “the male nude is shocking to us and has been for a long time”. Well.
Maybe she chose not to answer that question because the answer is too scary in its implications.