Category:
Gender

Herrings Workers on Romance Covers

I don't think anyone will accuse Jane Liffen's article, published in a recent issue of Social Semiotics, of being overly broad in its focus. It's title is: “A very glamorized picture, that”: images of Scottish female herring workers on romance novel covers. Here's the abstract:
This article analyses portrayals of Scottish female herring workers on the covers of romance novels and investigates how far these representations conform to, or subvert, the genre of romantic fiction. Covers are analysed to establish whether they accurately portray Scottish female herring workers at their labour. If romanticisation of the women's working role is evident, the ways in which this manifests itself and the possible reasons for this romanticisation are examined. Composition of images and the mise-en-scene of covers are analysed, as well as aspects concerning the narratives of the novels, and elements of herring processing work that are noticeably absent in the depictions are also considered. These elements excluded from the covers are examined through theory relating to the abject in an attempt to ascertain whether the covers potentially provide models of female empowerment for the reader.

And here are some of the romance novel covers in question.



I'll spare you the trouble of reading the article by summarizing its findings. Gutting herrings is smelly, dirty work. This is not accurately portrayed on romance covers. (Thanks to Dave Monroe!)

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 07, 2009 - Comments (7)
Category: Literature, Gender

Makeup for Men

Makeup for Men is the hot new thing in the cosmetics industry. A few of the products available include:

Sport & Sun Tone Enhancer, which "simulates the healthy glow that a faint sunburn and exercise create." When sold to women it's called blush.

Confidence Corrector to hide blemishes and tattoos. I think women call this foundation.

Double Stroke Cream Mascara "for men who want handsome looking lashes without a 'made-up' effect."

And Blo-Job Bronzing Powder, "An instant tan at the end of the brush."

via Sociological Images

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 03, 2009 - Comments (11)
Category: Fashion, Gender

She Doesn’t Have to Shave

Following up on Alex's "Couvade" post: here's a musical exegesis of the eternal tradeoff between daily facial shaving for men, and monthly menstruation for women.

God, I miss Squeeze!

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 04, 2008 - Comments (6)
Category: Music, Video, Gender, Men, Women, Body Fluids, 1990s, Facial Hair

Men’s Premium Brassiere

What I find odd is that the men in the ad don't seem to need a brassiere. So are these being marketed to cross-dressers? But wouldn't cross-dressers want genuine female clothing? (via Gizmodo)

In case you want to buy one, they're available from Wish Room.


Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 19, 2008 - Comments (12)
Category: Fashion, Gender

Follies of the Mad Men #39

image
[From Life magazine for April 23 1971.]

The other day, watching that commercial of Lucky Strike cigarettes square-dancing, I speculated on how one could distinguish female from male cigarettes. Twenty years after that commercial, Madison Avenue had the answer! Female cigarettes are "pretty" and have decorative floral emblems on the filters!

Wasn't it wonderful that "women's lib" allowed tobacco companies to sell more cigarettes to a previously under-served population?

Posted By: Paul - Sun Oct 19, 2008 - Comments (3)
Category: Addictions, Business, Advertising, Death, Fads, Gender, Women, 1970s

The Evolution of G.I. Joe

From the work of Dr. Harrison Pope, a Harvard psychiatrist, comes this illustration of the evolution of G.I. Joe dolls. On the left is the original G.I. Joe from 1964, with relatively normal body proportions. Over the years, the dolls grew progressively more muscular until finally, on the far right, we arrive at a recent version of the doll, "G.I. Joe Extreme." Pope is trying to establish a connection between the toys and an increase in "body-image disturbances" among men.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 16, 2008 - Comments (8)
Category: Body Modifications, Toys, Gender

Men’s Pantyhose

e-MANcipate describes itself as "a project to accelerate the acceptance of male pantyhose as a regular clothing item."

Why should guys wear pantyhose? "To improve athletic performance, energize and revitalize tired, aching leg muscles, and to stimulate circulation if they sit all day."

But what if you're shy and embarrassed about wearing pantyhose? "you can always show that you are wearing support pantyhose, and just give some reasons - your legs were tired or problematic in other ways. This is especially accepted if you need to stand or sit all day long, and for sports using your legs."

It all sounds quite reasonable to me.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 15, 2008 - Comments (36)
Category: Fashion, Gender

Sworn Virgins

Traditional Albanian society was not exactly pro-women's rights. Women were expected to marry and produce children, and that's about it. They were forbidden to partake in any "male" activities, such as smoking or wearing a watch.

But there was another option. A woman could choose to become a "sworn virgin," in which case she would become a man in the eyes of Albanian society, allowed to do all the things that men do (including being able to inherit property). The big drawback was no sex or marriage for the rest of their life. The punishment for breaking the vow was death.

SFGate has an interview with one of the last "sworn virgins" in Albania. There's fewer than a hundred remaining. A 2007 Washington Post article also has a video interview with a sworn virgin.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 06, 2008 - Comments (5)
Category: Gender, Gender-bending

Follies of the Mad Men #27

image

image
[Frpm Life magazine for June 9 1952. Two separate scans, upper and lower.]

James Brown's got nothing on this guy!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 17, 2008 - Comments (13)
Category: Business, Advertising, Domestic, Marriage, Family, Children, Husbands, Parents, Wives, Pets, Dogs, Technology, Gender, 1950s

Follies of the Mad Men #19

image
[From Life for December 11 1964.]

Those darn males! We've already seen that they need to be spritzed regularly with Poo-Pourri, and now we find out that they make three times as much mucus as women!

Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 31, 2008 - Comments (0)
Category: Business, Advertising, Domestic, Hygiene, Body Fluids, Gender, 1960s, Couples

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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