Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Are lad mags funny?

The issue of “lad mags” is an interesting one to me because it seems that many issues that are debated in terms of men’s magazines seem to also be discussed in terms of women’s magazines in addition to various other topics that are relevant only to men’s magazines. Gill talks about how it is difficult to create a men’s magazine that caters to a general population that most readers will be interested in. This challenge is also present in women’s magazines as we saw from the various magazines that we analyzed in class which each catered to a certain type of woman.
                With the growing focus on masculinity and issues of masculinity in the arts, the topic of men’s magazines seems to be one that could heat up fast. As we have discussed, there is a perception of a “crisis of masculinity” in today’s society and the question of how magazine staff and editors may deal with this possible crisis could be a challenging one to tackle. While  there are similar issues at hand with men’s versus women’s magazines, there is a large distinction between the two in that women’s magazines tend to be more oriented toward the attainment and maintenance of “femininity” while men’s magazines are taking a turn towards a more playful approach encouraging pleasure, consumption, and irony.

Lad mags have sparked some controversy about whether they are genuinely funny or simply offensive and problematic. UniLad was forced to pull a "surprise" rape segment and other lad mags have been called out for offensive segments; however, it is argued that these segments are not intended to be taken seriously and that a unique sense of humor/irony is needed to fully understand them. However, while humor may be present, it may be more harmful than funny.

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