Let’s Play a Fun Game: Lad’s Mag or Rapist?
Can you tell the difference between a lads’ mag and a rapist?!
XWHY’s James Barton weighs into the lads mag debate. An investigation into a study that beggars belief…and a bit of spleen venting too, obvs.
When I was first asked to write for XWHY, it was pitched to me as an antidote to lads’ mag culture and I was sold pretty much straight away.
I had read enough tit-based publications as a teenager to know that they’re pretty fucking dumb, describing nagging girlfriends and saucy glamour models in terms so stark that they resemble Cro-Magnon gruntings. In hindsight, it’s ironic that I associated them with maturity.
Their hunter-gatherer shtick is, of course, all part of the act – they’re all about encouraging primal instincts and base urges. You can probably guess how I feel about writing that encourages men to shut off their brains and let their balls do the thinking, but if you’re not convinced that an antidotes to the lads’ mag attitude is as necessary to today’s society as the ability to remember that iPhones aren’t, then allow me to show you what’s being fed to the bollock-brained.
The results of a study by Middlesex University have unearthed fairly compelling evidence that men can’t distinguish between quotes from lads’ mags and quotes from convicted rapists. Quotes like this:
Filthy talk can be such a turn on for a girl . . . no one wants to be shagged by a mouse . . . A few compliments won’t do any harm either . . .
‘I bet you want it from behind you dirty whore’ . . .
Here’s a fun experiment, if you enjoy being maced – ask the next woman you see if she’d consider being called a “dirty whore” a compliment. I suppose the fact that this “advice” is at least taking the woman’s feelings into consideration is a clue that it’s from a lads’ mag rather than a convicted rapist, even if the only feeling it’s concerned with is horniness. But it’s still offering pointers on how to turn a resistant woman into a pliable piece of meat, in one easy step.
You would think that only an idiot would genuinely believe that an entire gender could be reduced, through excessive generalisation, into a single entity governed by a set of easily learnable rules. You would, unfortunately, be correct, because there are plenty of absolute fucking idiots who believe exactly this. I’m not sure if pick-up artists are taken in by their own hype, but they’re certainly willing to feed gullible men the ridiculous notion that women can be viewed as a system rather than a gender. They talk about advice in terms of secrets men need to know or mistakes men make with women, as if it’s a cheat code, with sex as the reward. Lads’ mags run this idea so far into the ground that it causes widespread panic among seismologists.
Image credit: standard.co.uk
You could argue that it’s all a bit of banter and shouldn’t be taken seriously, but the obvious flaw in this logic is that people are fucking stupid and can’t be trusted to do anything right. Pretty much every man has been guilty of letting his dick do the thinking at some point in his life; I’m not blaming lads’ mags for that. The issue is not just that they suggest that men are entitled or even obliged to indulge in these urges, but that they also paint women as willing fodder that just need to be rubbed the right way. Literally, judging by this quote:
I think girls are like plasticine, if you warm them up you can do anything you want with them.
Again, that’s not a convicted rapist – it’s another sample lads’ mag quote from the study. Its anonymous author talks about women as if they are lumps of clay, presumably because that makes it easier to assuage any underlying guilt you feel after forcing yourself on a woman who doesn’t want to have sex with you. And this opinion was published by an influential magazine that really ought to know that its readership consists largely of impressionable dick-thinkers.
I’m sure that, individually, the lads who digest these mags are capable of a little more consideration than I’m giving them credit for, but speaking about women in material terms underlines the “us vs. them” mentality that blocks out a man’s voice of reason, replacing it with a pack animal’s baser instincts. The language of testosterone-fuelled posturing favours urges over thought, so they can swallow the idea of women as a means of gratification without feeling troubled.
The idea that women might not want to indulge you just because you’re attracted to them clearly hadn’t occurred to the man who said this:
Girls ask for it by wearing these mini-skirts and hotpants . . . they’re just displaying their body . . . Whether they realise it or not they’re saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got a beautiful body, and it’s yours if you want it.’
If you’ve been paying attention, you might think that one’s from a lads’ mag as well. Mercifully, you’re wrong – those are the otherwise unpublished words of a convicted rapist who apparently considers women’s bodies to be a commodity. But the fact that there’s any confusion at all over the provenance of these quotes means that lads’ mags drastically need to rethink the attitude that they’re perpetrating towards women.
Anyway, I’d like to think my articles were distinctive in their anti-lad stylings, but I’ll let you be the judge…
It’s time to play: Lad or Anti-Lad
I’ve taken some typical lads’ mag quotes from the Middlesex study, along with samples of my spleen being vented on this very website. With my credibility on the line, can you tell which is lad and which is anti-lad?
Hopefully, the answers are blindingly obvious, but just in case you’re a moron:
1. lad 2. anti-lad 3. lad 4.anti-lad 5. lad 6. anti-lad 7. lad. 8. anti-lad
Read more of James’ spleen venting HERE