Sadly, this article is not about the pros and cons of our reproductive organs, instead it is about magazines aimed at men and women and the vast chasm of banterless content that lies between them. Working on a rig, I very rarely do any work and as a result spend a lot of time reading the various lads mags that are strewn around the tea-shack with their pages suspiciously stuck together. The more I read, the more I realise that as a woman, I am getting a bit of a raw deal when it comes to my reading material in comparison to that of the men-folk. It’s gotten to the point now where on the odd occasion I will even risk looking like a rabid lesbian in Tesco Metro just to get my hands on a copy of Nuts Magazine because I find it a substantially better read than Cosmopolitan. In an attempt to investigate why there is such a huge difference between the two, I bought 2 men’s and 3 women’s magazines, read them all from cover to cover and have presented my findings below.
Straight away I can see a problem here.
Men get: Zoo and Nuts. Zoo is a fun word. It has a ‘Z’ in it and two ‘O’s which makes it a funny word to say over and over. Zoos are also fun places with lots of wild animals and ice-cream. Nuts is an equally appealing name, not only because it is a common term for testicles (which are always funny) but also because it can refer to mental illness which, depending on the nature of the mental illness (i.e. Tourette’s), can also be pretty funny.
Women get: Reveal, Best and More which are terrible names for a magazine. They invoke nothing. They sound like the names of cut-price ghetto whores. Those titles do not make me want to grab the magazines off the shelf and see what excitement they have in store for me, they make me want to shower and get tested for syphilis.
These first few pages are supposed to draw you in and prepare you for what’s to come. They are supposed to make you want to give the magazine an hour of your time.
Men get: “How Harry Redknapp’s bulldog could spend £189k” – Referring to the recent claim that Mr. Redknapp paid 189k into a secret account in the name of Rosie, one of his bulldogs. This short and topical article was accompanied by a series of photos depicting a v cute bulldog in a variety of situations which included getting a private dance in a strip-club and buying a pair of designer sunglasses. Which I loved.
Women get: “Yellow Fever Hits Town” – Fortunately not an article about the acute viral hemorrhagic disease responsible for wiping out entire communities in South America, but a reference to the complicated subject of the colour yellow in fashion. Apparently there are five main shades of yellow (canary, sherbet, mustard, neon and lemon) and it is imperative that I know the difference between them. I now wish they had written about the disease.
I love facts (for example, did you know that wombats shit cubes?) so I was delighted to discover that a few of these magazines provide a page of interesting facts to impress your friends with. It seems, however, that the media believe women speak a strange, alternate language in which “interesting” actually means “so boring I want to stab myself in the eye with a rusty fork”.
-The smallest human penis ever recorded was roughly 1cm long.
-Bees can recognise human faces.”
Women editors take note: THESE are the kind of facts that I want to share with my friends.
-10% of blokes wants to complete a 10k run in 2102.
-36% of blokes prefer brown bread to white.”
First of all, I don’t give a fuck. Secondly, “bloke” is a shit word.
I performed an experiment in the pub to see just which set of facts would generate the most interest from females. I started off with the brown bread fact and got hit in the face with a tumbleweed. The penis fact, however, had a much better reception and incited an animated conversation about whether by “roughly” they meant ‘approximately’ or if the guy had a 1cm penis with some sort dermatological affliction that gave it the texture of sandpaper. This then moved on to whether we would let a guy come near us with a tiny, abrasive 1cm penis. Incidentally, I was the only one that would……I was thinking of the exfoliation benefits.
Due to the anatomical and chemical differences between men and women, it was no surprise to me that the ‘Health Questions’ section of these magazines differed considerably. What did surprise me, however, was that the differences were often neither anatomical or chemical, but more forehead-slappingly stupid or hilariously embarrassing.
Men get: “I always, without fail, need to do a massive fart straight after I’ve had sex. It has caused me so many problems in the past that it has nearly put me off sex completely and I’m too embarrassed to go to the doctor. What should I do?”
Women get: “I’m bleeding in the middle of my cycle on my contraceptive pill. What should I do?”
Oh my God. Stop writing into magazines and go to the fucking doctor you reprobate. That’s like writing “I just got my arm ripped off by some farming machinery, it’s bleeding profusely. What should I do?” and then emailing it in to the magazine, sitting around waiting for it to be issued, dragging your weak body to the shop to buy it, trying to get the money out of your wallet with one hand and then dying on the pavement outside as you desperately flip through the pages trying to find where they printed the answer to your ridiculous question, which will inevitably be “Stop writing into magazines and go to the fucking hospital you weirdo”.
By featured articles I mean either the ones you see splashed all over the cover because they are the most informative, exclusive and interesting things that magazine has to offer you, or the ones that feature regularly in said magazine. Instead of sitting here for weeks describing each one, I will just provide a list of some of the titles of these featured articles. You can then decide for yourself which magazine you would prefer to read and which one you will take camping with you so you can wipe your arse with Kerry Katona’s face.
-Would you? (a picture of a hideously ugly girl with an amazing body)
-Don’t Look (pictures of gory injuries sent in by readers)
-Camera Phone Comedy (mostly pictures of sleeping, drunk people getting cocks drawn on their faces)
-Naff Tatts Corner (a weekly collection of shit tattoos)
-There are also entire pages dedicated to stealth-bumming and sex advice from a ‘fit lesbian’.
-Look Younger for Longer
-Eat Yourself Younger
-Which is the Healthiest Diet?
-We ask him: What Would Stop you Cheating on your Girlfriend?
-What his ‘I Love You’ Really Means
-How to Make him Want you Back
-There are also entire pages dedicated to eyebrow upkeep and lettuce. Now, I’m not for a second suggesting that eyebrows and lettuces are not engaging subjects worthy of intricate discussion, but would “pluck them” and “put it in a sandwich” not save you quite bit of paper? It is a recession.
When was the last time you said to someone “Do you want to hear a joke?” and they said “No thanks, I don’t like jokes”. Never – because everyone likes jokes. Bearing this in mind…
Men get: A penguin takes his car to the garage where the mechanic says it will take an hour or so to fix. As it is quite a hot day, the penguin decides to get an ice-cream but makes quite a mess eating it. An hour later he returns to the garage.
“What’s the problem?” the penguin asks.
“It looks like you’ve blown a seal mate” says the mechanic.
“Oh no” he replies “that’s just ice-cream.”
Women get: Fuck all. Not even a knock-knock joke.
HOT PIECES OF ASS
Men get: So much tits. Too much tits. The abundance of tits and football articles is literally the only down-side to men’s magazines. I generally flip past the naked women (especially when I’m pre-menstrual) but will admit that on the odd occasion when I am feeling up to it, I will skim over them just to get an idea of how mine are (literally) holding-up in comparison. This always proves to be a pointless exercise as boobs tend to get progressively worse over time, but although they may never suddenly become perkier than those of Kimberley, 18, from Liverpool, it can sometimes bring back good memories of the days when they were.
Women get: David Beckham. Every fucking week.
Why magazines still bother with this when we have the Internet is beyond me, but they do, and again they do it so very differently.
Men get: ‘The Simon Cowell’*
A dodgy drawing of Simon Cowell banging a girl from behind with “It’s a yes from me” captioned underneath. I think it is essentially doggy-style but with your thumbs up in the air.
*Billy: I’ll be home on Tuesday, get down to Primark and buy as many black v-neck sweaters as you can, pull your jeans up so high that I can see each individual testicle and then pick me up from the airport around 7.30pm. This is happening.
Women get: ‘A Sexy Bubble-Bath’
Not technically a position though, is it? It’s more like an activity. They have basically just told me to have sex in the bath. I figured that one out when I was 17.
On a side note, they have a little caption at the bottom which says “Want £50 to have sex with your man? Email us and you could be in the mag!”
Men get: Two pages. A couple of pairs of jeans, some t-shirts with retro video game logos on them, a few pairs of trainers and a jacket or two. Job done-o.
Women get: Well, obviously women’s magazines are going to pay more attention to fashion and that’s completely fine. I do have an interest in it and I enjoy looking at nice clothes and making fantasy lists in my head of the ones that I want, yet will never buy – but for the love of Christ, it does not have to take up two thirds of the entire fucking magazine. If I wanted to look at that many clothes I would have gone to TK Maxx with the rest of Poland and had a walk around. After four pages I’ve had enough. Add to this the fact that the price-tags on some of them are ridiculous to the point that literally no one I know would be able to afford them. Yes, alright I will give them their due, more and more magazines are featuring high street stores nowadays, but they will always throw in a Mulberry bag or pair of Louboutins just to remind you that you live in relative poverty and will forever smell of turnips and Baldrick’s ball-bag.
So with my research complete, let’s sum this up:
-Women are only interested in being thin, looking young and obsessing over their men. They have no concept of humour and will not stop until their dishes are “smear-free” and sparkling.
-Men are light-hearted and fun creatures with a love of tits, football and entertainment. They spend their time drinking beer, laughing and drawing genitals on each others faces.
I refuse to accept this.
We like apps! We like laughing! We like photos of people stealth-bumming each other! Why are we not allowed to have these things in our magazines? Now, I know that for a girl I am into slightly abnormal things like video games, gadgets and explicit photos of horrendous injuries, so I am aware that in its entirety, Zoo is probably not going to appeal to most women, but just having the choice would be nice. Men get to choose between Viz and GQ, two magazines with highly contrasting content, whereas women get to choose between Hello and OK, one of which has an extra picture of Kate Middleton. I once spoke to a male colleague about this dilemma and he explained rather simply that “There just isn’t a market for humour and immaturity when it comes to women’s light reading.” Is this true? I know I’m not the only one who would rather see a photo of a dog in a sleeping-bag playing an Xbox than see Rihanna dry-humping a surfboard in Hawaii for the one millionth time.
Sadly, it appears that until someone realises that having a vagina does not constitute page upon page of mundane and superficial bullshit, I will just to have to continue to steal Billy’s copy of Viz, peel apart the pages of Loaded magazine in the tea shack and hope that one day, my children’s children will not have to suffer this immense hardship.