IS MEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE HOMOPHOBIC?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 24, 2008 5:21 AM GMT
    So I've bought maybe twenty or thirty issues of Men's Health magazine down through the years and leafed through many others. I only recall ever seeing one small article focussing on being gay i.e. "What do you do if your friend is gay". Are the editors of this publication so afraid of losing their hetero audience that they will refuse to deal with gay relationships?
    Will we ever see a cover which says something like

    "Ten ways to keep HIM always coming back for more"?

    It seems to me to be marketed towards a gay audience as well as straight but doesn't seem to cater to the former.

    I'd be interested to hear any opinions.
  • justjk

    Posts: 302

    Jan 24, 2008 5:25 AM GMT
    I.ve never thought of it as being targeting a gay audience, not really one of my favs, they do have alot of helpful info but the articles about everything else just leave me nat caring
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Jan 24, 2008 10:34 AM GMT
    I don't think they're homophobic. It's just that Gay guys will buy a magazine for particular things; exercise hints, pics of cute guys etc and not be turned off by features about straight sex. But straight guys won't buy a magazine full of articles about Gay stuff (though how straihgt are features on skin care?).

    Bottom line is that these magazines need to sell to the widest audience possible to continue trading and their editorial line will reflect this.

    Lozx

    Though there will come a time when articles like 'My best mate is Gay' will appear in these sort of magazines. But we are not there yet.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jan 24, 2008 11:37 AM GMT
    They try Very hard to cater to the so called str8 guy
    ... but come'on
    with the Herb Ritt's type photography
    and their choice of models?
    They def got some gay guys over there in the art dept
    Plus...if you see a str8 guy with a MensHealth on his coffee table
    You got a pretty good shot of having a good time with him somewhere down the lineicon_wink.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jan 24, 2008 1:31 PM GMT
    Well "Men's Health" certainly has a different slant than one like my favorite "Exercise for Men Only".
    My impression is it is a publication that really takes Men's Health very seriously, thus there are a number of topics covered... not just exercise like some of the "Men's Fitness", etc.

    I doubt if you will find a cover like that on a "Men's Health" publication anytime soon... I'm sure the publishers would be worried about offending straight readers. What I would look for (and press them on) is discussion in the magazine. I think that will mean progress in the mainstream.. so to speak.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 24, 2008 3:17 PM GMT
    people say that because there're hot guys in the mag then whoever reads it is curious about takin it in the bum? gimme a break. they arent gonna put heinous poorly built guys on the cover of a magazine. they're trying to make people look better, strive for what they could become. it's not a mag to make u feel better because "at least i'm not on the cover. Dag yo".

    i bet Quilting America magazine will be more homophobic than Men's Health ever will be.

    let's also remember i'm a marketing student. so the way i see it, the straights are a much bigger community than we are. where is Men's Health gonna make it's money from if one of the two groups get offended by it?
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    Jan 24, 2008 5:36 PM GMT
    I do not find Men's Health to be homophobic. They don't feature many articles about gays or anything, but they don't show any hatred towards gays. I really enjoy their mag, but they do too much with straight sex. I wish they would focus more on the health benefits of sex rather then the act of sex. How many times can they talk about seducing a women?

    I have noticed that Men's Journal uses gay as a discriminatory word. I hate that Magazine anyway. What a waste of resources.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 24, 2008 5:48 PM GMT
    Homophobic? I dont think so...


    brady-mens-health.jpg


    joey-mens-health-2005.jpg

    84709_FOPR4R85FNDRTZT1DSLMABM6XHVAZG_nic

    TK202.jpg

    and my favorite...cause I love him...

    2vn2kxc.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 24, 2008 5:55 PM GMT
    I don't think they are homophobic but they are definitely heterosexist, they assume their readers are all heterosexual males.
  • dhinkansas

    Posts: 764

    Jan 24, 2008 6:02 PM GMT
    Tommysguns bought it for the Brady Quinn Picture.
    An excellent purchase I'd have to say.
    I think Tommy and Brady would make an incredibly HOT couple. Man oh man...he could even start a blog tracking the progress of the relationships.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 24, 2008 6:02 PM GMT
    They know exactly what they are doing. It's homoeroticism without being overtly gay. Details magazine was subjected to the same kind of questioning during its first few years of publication.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 24, 2008 6:02 PM GMT
    Don't be angry at Men's Health magazine.

    It's not their fault that straight men read the articles and gay men only look at the pictures.

    Welcome to Real Jock. Your Gay Men's Health site.
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Jan 24, 2008 6:04 PM GMT
    Not to hijack the topic but those pics of actor Taylor Kitsch made me think of his TV show "Friday Night Lights." It's one of the best things on television and it totally gets sports and small town life exactly right. I can't recommend it highly enough and I would love to see it improve in the ratings so it can stay on the air.
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    Jan 24, 2008 6:09 PM GMT


    UUUUGH, that's a straigthie show!
    They should make a t.v show about that all gay school in New York.
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    Jan 24, 2008 6:15 PM GMT
    hippie4lyfe saidI don't think they are homophobic but they are definitely heterosexist, they assume their readers are all heterosexual males.


    i might be taking this the wrong way, but heterosexist sounds like a negative connotation. and i guarantee they don't assume ALL their readers are heterosexual, they assume MOST of their readers are straight. which is a fair assumption. Realjock could honestly make their own printed version of Men's health and the only reason theyd steal more readers than just the gay guys who want a gay oriented health mag, is cuz gay guys would buy it for the sex tips, and the purty pictures.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 24, 2008 6:30 PM GMT
    There are plenty of other gay (or not so overtly gay) magazines out there. Not every magazine needs to be all encompassing in its content. I think it's great that they can maintain their street-cred as a heterosexual magazine while still writing topics about having a gay friend. At worst the article won't be read, at best it'll inform a homophobe about a different perspective.
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Jan 24, 2008 6:46 PM GMT
    Guilty: the mayor in the town on Friday Night Lights is a lesbian, so it's dealt with some gay themes. It also deals with issues of class and race.
  • art_smass

    Posts: 960

    Jan 24, 2008 7:57 PM GMT
    I've actually had some contact with a managing editor at Men's Health. I wrote a freelance piece that I sent to them. I was contacted about "refining" the article to better suit the magazine's current editorial direction. However, the theme of my article was essentially "slow and steady wins the race." That notion doesn't sit well with the readers of fitness magazines who buy it for the quick fixes advertised on the cover.

    Men's Health doesn't target straight men: They target men who aren't in great shape. It's an impulse publication designed to catch the eye of that guy at 7-11 who is heating-up his hoagie in the microwave. While they took the time to let me know that my writing would compliment the magazine, they emphatically rejected my message. I never got the idea that they were homophobic. They cater to every man who has a terribly unrealistic approach to fitness.
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    Jan 25, 2008 1:00 AM GMT
    gigman17b saidI do not find Men's Health to be homophobic. They don't feature many articles about gays or anything, but they don't show any hatred towards gays. I really enjoy their mag, but they do too much with straight sex. I wish they would focus more on the health benefits of sex rather then the act of sex. How many times can they talk about seducing a women?

    I have noticed that Men's Journal uses gay as a discriminatory word. I hate that Magazine anyway. What a waste of resources.


    No, no, I meant homophobic in a literal sense of them having a phobia/fear of gay issues as opposed to a an irrational hatred, I'm not suggesting that for a second.

    I guess I should just accept them for the business that they are and not expect them to mould social change.

    The word heterosexist may have negative connotations but I guess, if the cap fits, wear it. It's pretty much accepted that between 5 and 10% of men are gay but I would estimate that their gay market share is much stronger. I think a copy of Men's Health lays around all my gay friends houses versus none of my straight friends. I'm also coming to it from an Irish perspective where I believen the magazine has quite a gay association amongst our (often conservative) straight men who would not dream of buying a copy.

    I guess my point is, it would be nice if just once they "gave back to the community(!)" and rocked the boat by featuring a gay sex headliner, but I won't hold my breath.

    Thanks for the responses, an interesting read.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 25, 2008 1:15 AM GMT
    Friday Night Lights rocks...and not only because of Riggins...though he is reason enough to watch it.

    It is an accurate portrayal of how small towns are centered around their sports teams and the pressures the kids face.

    EVERYONE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO WATCH IT!

    Now, having said that I do wish one of those boys (Saracen? woof!) would come out of the closet...or at least have hurried fumbled male on male sex under the bleachers in the football stadium (ahhh, high school memories, lol).

    oh, and btw, DH...if and WHEN I do bring Brady Quinn into my tent and "know" him...I will certainly put it in my blog. Though I may have to change his name, you'll all know who I'm talking about.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 25, 2008 2:19 AM GMT
    Men's Health is obviously not homophobic, or they wouldn't print all those fine pictures. They don't print articles dealing with gay issues for the same reason people like Tom Cruise won't admit they're gay: Marketability. Why would any publication print an article that would surely alienate an enormous portion of their customer base?

    And let's be realistic. Straight guys wouldn't quit buying the magazine because they're "offended" by gay articles. Straight guys would quit buying the magazine because they don't want anyone to see them reading a magazine with gay articles.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 25, 2008 2:31 AM GMT
    obscenewish saidThey know exactly what they are doing. It's homoeroticism without being overtly gay.

    Thanks, OW. You nailed it.icon_wink.gif
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Jan 25, 2008 2:33 AM GMT
    Several of us newish members of Real Jock have joined in sort of a migratory search away from Men's Health for the kind of forums Real Jock and maybe some other "serious" sites offer gay men (I mean serious as opposed to personals/porn/just plain chat rooms).

    All the comments above contain valid assessments of Men's Health magazine, in my opinion. The publication is very well done, for what it is. There are the "quick fixes" articles, yes, and current highlights from medical, nutrition, excercise fields, attention to the whole man in the sense of grroming, style, some perhaps lame business tips and quizzes for self-improvement and "what turns her on."

    Nary a mention about homosexuality, really, in print. (Maybe at the back of the magazine are some ads for male enhancement, sexual prowess DVDs, etc. LOL) - which could apply to whatever kind of sex, I guess.) Yes, the photos are eye candy, there's some token attempt to show an athlete on the cover, or some current Hollywood stud - but it doesn't overtly cross the line.

    We subscribers and readers are also on the online discussion forums at Men's Health and have raised questions to the editors several times about the absence of any articles directed to or mention of gay men. We've raised issues of the true demographics of the magaine's overall readership and online membership. We've suggested worthy articles and subject matter which would not probably be "offensive" but valuable in the real world. No reactions.

    About two and a half months ago or more, the online forums under the "Health" heading, dealing with "Sex" and some catch-all topics like "The Locker Room", "The Guy List", and "Style" were summarily removed without notice or warning because (we later got some admissions by the Rodale/Men's Helath administrators) the threads of discussion had breached the "Terms of Use" for the site, the discussions had become too "inappropriate" and lewd; the avatars/photos some members had used next to their screen names were too raunchy or too much skin was showing, etc.; and so the site pulled all those forums out - albeit some were pulle din error, since they really had had no prurient content -- like questions of "Style" - about clothes, shaving, shoe styles, etc.! Sort of all the babies thrown out with the dirty bath water.

    Despite indications/statements from MH staff, there has been no restructuring, redesign, re-installment of the "innocent" forums to date. What's left is a lop-sided online set of forums -- with many still intact as Training/Fitness/Nutrition/Abs Diets/periodic "challenges" for getting fit/losing weight, etc., and some "Relationships" forums about Dating Life, Married, Life, and Divorced Dads. The last three are populated pretty much solely by heterosexual, homophobic in many cases, guys and some gal members who post there -- the flirting, gay bashing, profanity, chatty topics all over the map are not confined at all in their respective topic areas. But we gay members rarely hang out there for obvious reasons, although I'm known to take a deep breath and plunge in with a post or two occasionally.

    The gay members are forced basically to post any and all topics under General Comments in the "Health" section -- obviously not much is really health related there, but it's where new sprouts of the old removed forums are starting to appear again. But because there's some queenly teasing, gay joking around, occasional talk about a gay sex issue, the moderators are on vigil there and pounce, reminding offending members of banishment consequences, suspension, having their posts deleted, etc. Not a comfortable nor even friendly place a lot of the time, now. It used to be a very helpful place, a fun place to hang out and help out.

    The "advertisers" may have also been behind the scenes, not wanting to be connected with a forum/magazine that tolerated such a liberal approach as MH forums did for the past couple of years or more (that I've been posting and reading there). There are some straight (and one very irksome bitchy woman) members who probably also complained directly to the editors or moderators -- there were times it actually looked a lot like Real Jock discussions! Camelot came to an end in October, I guess.

    Sorry this is so long -- it's background to answer the question, "Is MH Homophobic" -- no, but the magazine and its online forums don't nourish participation openly by its gay readership/online members with any meaningful and thoughtful discussions any more. So, as I said, many of us are finding our way to Real Jock and looking around for a new set of friends.

    There are some serious observations my friends had made too about how the MH site and magazine weregladly taking our pink dollars, but ignoring us otherwise.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 25, 2008 2:58 AM GMT
    I always thought it was a magazine for closeted gay men.
  • leaozinho

    Posts: 177

    Jan 25, 2008 3:05 AM GMT
    the photos tease the homoeroticism just like it pervades culture ay large such as abercrombie & fitch.
    however the content is always heterosexual, a "cosmopolitan" for men. there is no info related to gay men. i buy it sometimes when i am in penn station and need something to look at.
    the articles are not that great. better info or the same can be had in books, through trainers and through this site. i would prefer not to spend my money on a men's magazine that ignores gay men.