The Gold Digger Press: Understanding the Female Media Gaze

25 Jun


There comes a point in most men’s lives when you realize that you’re perceived as public property. Maybe it’s the moment you set eyes on your Selective Service Registration Form and realize your life belongs to the state, or maybe it’s when the manager at your part-time job asks you to carry the heavy boxes again while the women stand around looking bored. The experience can come in an infinite number of iterations; the only sure thing is that the first time is never the last time. Walking around in a male body means you are constantly reminded that your value exists in the way that other people—women, especially— can use you.




Stranger still, this being valued for your income or strength or willingness to take risks is framed as a compliment—it’s not enough that men are meant to endure the neverending reminder that they exist to provide for others, they’re actually supposed to enjoy it. Men are taught to be eager to signal their wealth so that others know how to value them. Your car, your clothes, your shoes, your job, your body – lets women know just how much they can expect you to provide for them.




Recently it occurred to me that the expectation that men enjoy female attention in all forms may be behind the many unfortunate media profiles of influential men. Whether it’s Mitt Romney’s personal wealth or John Thune’s biceps—when it comes to covering successful men, the media prefers wealth and physical strength over substance and issues. Articles like these are not always written by women, but they always seem to be written for them.




A recent—and perhaps one of the most egregious—example comes from Politico, where the site ran a piece on President Obama and several other candidates physical fitness, including a topless photo of the President!




The article’s premise alone is sexist—would the physical strength of a female candidate ever be fodder?—but the content is even worse.


In a curious juxtaposition, while America’s waistline expands the candidates gunning for the White House have never looked better. Although we’ve seen trim, athletically minded tickets before (most recently, John Kerry and John Edwards), few have exhibited such a commitment to physical fitness as this year’s crop.

In short, it’s flat stomachs, across the board.

“With politicians, I think the mentality is, you’re projecting an image of looking good, that you are good, that you are strong, that you have what it takes to be a leader. I think that’s part of it.”


Multiple articles fetishize Paul Ryan’s body and his dedication to P90X workouts.


A former personal trainer, Ryan, who stands 6-ft.-2-in. and weighs 163 lbs. with 6%-8% body fat, works out like a warrior and leads fellow Hill staffers in daily morning sessions of the popular 90-day, body-sculpting program called P90X.


Time Magazine featured a photo shoot of Ryan working out, including shots of bulging biceps and sculpted thigh muscles.




What possible purpose would including such explicit photos serve other than to present a very sexual visual of Ryan? What purpose does featuring the sculpted chest of Obama on the front page of a magazine serve other than to convey he will step up and provide, as men are expected to do?




There is some logic to Ryan and Obama agreeing to have their bodies exploited this way: physical strength is taken as competence, and that competence is appealing.


But appealing to whom?


Ovulation led single women to become more liberal, less religious, and more likely to vote for Barack Obama. In contrast, ovulation led women in committed relationships to become more conservative, more religious, and more likely to vote for Mitt Romney. In addition, ovulation-induced changes in political orientation mediated women’s voting behavior. Overall, the ovulatory cycle not only influences women’s politics but also appears to do so differently for single women than for women in relationships.


When the presumed audience is always female, men’s objectification becomes the norm. A man’s humanity, his intellect, talent and substance pale in comparison to how “appealing” he can be to women. And the danger of the female gaze is that it does tangible harm. When the media focuses on powerful men’s wealth and strength and social utility, their credibility is undermined. And in everyday life, the assumption that men’s usefulness as providers must meet female approval isn’t just burdensome—it’s harassing. This is especially true for young men who bear the brunt of the female gaze everywhere from school to the airport, under constant assessment for how much they can bring to the table in terms of resources.




In a media landscape where sexist hit pieces on powerful men are common, “appealing” profiles that focus on a man’s muscle tone and body fat percentages are especially insidious.




But objectification is not a compliment, even when well-intentioned. Old habits die hard for women who have been raised to believe what they think about a man’s income and ability to provide for her is the most important piece of information they can relay. But wallet-measuring isn’t journalism, and until some women learn as much, we’re going to be stuck with a media that is more gold-digging dating service than press.





boo hoo baby


You know this is a reversal, right? Yep, Jessica Valenti, boo-hooing her way across the pages of The Nation that the male media gaze is so mean and focusing on how women look is just one more attempt by the patriarchy to keep women out of power.


It’s almost funny that Valenti can live and work and presumably observe some actual humans around her and yet fail to notice that the female media gaze gives as good as it gets.


Now, I need to do a little more research on the fitness levels of politicians. I find I make much better assessments when the candidates are topless.




Mmmm. Topless candidates.


My favourite!


Lots of love,




36 Responses to “The Gold Digger Press: Understanding the Female Media Gaze”

  1. Goober June 25, 2013 at 14:05 #

    Lets see… If this is a real role reversal, this must be where us fat guys join in the bitching about how we are more than just a pretty face. The poor guys will follow in shortly after.


  2. Orphan Wilde June 25, 2013 at 14:18 #

    I’m kind of stunned by your opening quote, as this is something I have actually just recently realized. It’s a pretty disheartening epiphany.


  3. Gem (@Gemmarees) June 25, 2013 at 16:18 #

    I just like it when you give us lots of torso, JB.


  4. feeriker June 25, 2013 at 18:25 #

    The obsession with propaganda organs like Politico and Time with something as irrelevant as the physical fitness of members of the political criminal class is nauseating, for sure, but hardly surprising. When one considers what constitutes the readership of these rags (brainless, shallow drones indoctrinated by 12-plus years of publik ejookayshun who are incapable of even an accidental critical thought), it makes perfect sense. Were I to waste precious life-minutes venturing to these articles to read any of the comments following them, I would no doubt discover that nearly all of those commenting in adulation of the their content are Amoricon womynz belonging to the aforementioned demographic. A better example of the reasons for why MGTOW is on the rise would be hard to find.


  5. Goober June 25, 2013 at 18:32 #

    “Stranger still, this being valued for your income or strength or willingness to take risks is framed as a compliment – it’s not enough that men are meant to endure the never-ending reminder that they exist to provide for others, they’re actually supposed to be enjoying it”

    Here’s the funny thing, JB: We do actually enjoy it. It is ingrained in our very natures; we have a need to be appreciated, wanted, needed, and relied upon. A man has to feel useful – without that, he is destined to a miserable life, and likely one of crime and ugliness. The feeling of staisfaction

    I’ve told my nephew countless times, and I will tell my son once he’s old enough to understand, that if a man wants to be valued, he must first be valuable. Nobody except for your immediate family and close friends gives two hot shits about you except for what you can do for them.

    That is the way that the world turns. The big difference between most men, and most feminists, is that the men accept that this is the way that it has to be in order for our species to be successful – useless men were a liability to scoiety in ancient times, and to be honest, are not much less so today. Feminists look at the way things have to be, and hate it because they are so diseased with envy that they can’t see that their path to happiness is compliance with their biological destiny, not rebellion against it.

    It sucks, but it isn’t a condition unique to womanhood – we all live under the same yoke. It’s just that some of us have actually learned to like that instead of hate it.

    “a man’s humanity, his intellect, talent, and substance pale in comparison to how “appealing” he can be to women”

    I know that this was written with your tongue firmly in your cheek, but the fact is, this is a common mistake made by feminists, who assume that because tits and ass are important to men, that tits and ass are all that matter to them.

    The flip side is that all of those traits you listed above for men ARE important, but many MRAs assume that all women are interested in are tight abs, strong arms, and a thick wallet.

    No one is willing to concede that for most intelligent people, it is the complete package of all desirable traits that make someone desirable, no matter the gender.

    You can be pissed that some of those traits include superficial assets like tits and ass, or you can accept that and understand that even if you’re lacking in the T&A department, you can still be desirable if you bring other positive traits to the table. Just like massively ugly guys who have lots of money tend to score hotties, women with bad T&A ratios can still score good men. No one seems to be willing to concede that if you’re dating a man, to whom all that matters is how big your boobs are, you’re dating the wrong guy! Likewise, if you’re dating a woman, to whom all that matters is how much money she can get out of you, you’re dating the wrong woman!


  6. judgybitch June 25, 2013 at 18:46 #

    What a great comment, Goober.

    And the truth is the “objectification” Valenti is talking about – men noticing my appearance, is also something I like very much. I generally like when men flirt with me or make it obvious they like how I look. It’s a great ego booster, and I’m happy to return the favor. Innocent flirting is very enjoyable, and I have yet to meet the man who thought a smile and some light banter was an invitation to assault me.

    Nobody tells me to “smile!”, because I usually do.

    Permanent Bitch Face seems to be something feminists strive for. Why, I have no idea. Here is Jezebel celebrating women who look like sour cunts.

    And then they wonder where all the good men have gone!


  7. Marlo Rocci June 25, 2013 at 18:50 #


    ‘nough said.


  8. Ginkgo June 25, 2013 at 19:23 #

    The history Channel had a program recently about the Warren Harding presidency, whcih was disastrous. he was a disiaster as a president form the very beginning.

    He was elected right after women got the vote and his election was attributed to his good looks. Someone called him a “handsome dog” and he was both.


  9. Ginkgo June 25, 2013 at 19:25 #

    One lcear example of what you are tlaking about, JB, is the election of warren harding, easily one of our most disastrous presidents, for all the good he did. He was elected on the wave of women voting for the first time in large numbers and his win was attributed at the time to his good looks. So this is nothing new.


  10. yodax June 25, 2013 at 19:43 #

    My mother freely admits she voted for Kennedy because he was cute. I laugh, but honestly I cut Palin some slack because she’s pretty. As for male candidates, I don’t care about appearance EXCEPT for Christie. I would never vote for that tub-o-lard. Yeah, I’m a sizeist.


  11. Goober June 25, 2013 at 19:44 #

    Loved that article. “I’m tired of being nice, so I decided to just be a bitch!”

    Waiting patiently for the same author to write an article within the next month or so complaining about how people are never nice to her (and blaming it on men somehow). There really is a massive introspection failure with these people, isn’t there…


  12. feeriker June 25, 2013 at 20:53 #

    “I’m tired of being nice, so I decided to just be a bitch!”

    And no doubt whining in the next sentence “How come every guy I run into is such an ASSHOLE?”


  13. feeriker June 25, 2013 at 21:11 #

    Were I someone who believed in voting, I would ask if you would consider voting for someone based on their qualifications to hold the office rather than their appearance. A radical thought, I know, one that isn’t about to trend anytime soon (and one that is arguably impossible to effectively practice), but shouldn’t at least some passing attention be given to what matters?


  14. Goober June 25, 2013 at 23:26 #

    Please don’t vote, then. Just stop. You are making decisions for everyone else based on abjectly (and admittedly, to boot) stupid reasons.

    I don’t care who you vote for, but for fuck’s sake, could you please try to cast your ballot based on what you think is the best choice for this country, as opposed to the man’s pant’s size? Is that too much to ask of a citizen?


  15. judgybitch June 25, 2013 at 23:28 #

    Oh honey.

    It’s not the size of the pants that matters. Whatcha got in there?



  16. Transhuman June 25, 2013 at 23:28 #

    “Here’s the funny thing, JB: We do actually enjoy it. It is ingrained in our very natures; we have a need to be appreciated, wanted, needed, and relied upon.”

    Some men enjoy it.

    My job and its attendant income is how I pay for my life. While my work is rewarding and I enjoy it, I am not my job. The last thing I consider to define my worth is whether I can support a partner or how expensive my car/clothes/jewellery is.

    I am a man, I have worth because I am human.


  17. Goober June 26, 2013 at 01:14 #

    You have worth to yourself and your immediate family only for the reasons you mentioned. But your worth to everyone else on earth is determined by what you can do for their benefit.

    My guess is that you agree with me more than you realize. Ever get that feeling of satisfaction from a job well done?


  18. Emcee June 26, 2013 at 05:31 #

    You might want to give this a read:


  19. Orphan Wilde June 26, 2013 at 06:49 #

    There’s a difference between being valuable to others and being nothing more than that value.

    I don’t exist to serve others. Just as they expect value from me, I -also- expect value from them. But men are expected to provide value regardless of whether or not any is returned; we certainly aren’t allowed to expect to get paid more for lifting the heavy boxes none of the women will lift.

    This is the problematic part: Treating men like utility-generators rather than equals and human beings. We’ve been turned into an underclass of human being. Men are no longer partners in society; the world feels entitled to us. We have fewer rights and more responsibilities.


  20. Dr. Illusion June 26, 2013 at 09:17 #

    It took about ten seconds to realize this was tongue in cheek. Glad I was correct.

    I second the statement that men do enjoy being evaluated and admired/desired for their abilities and worth (worth as in what they have to offer).

    I keep myself in good shape and make good money. I own home and property. If some chick I wanted chose some out of shape guy who lives with his mother over me, I would be quite livid. Luckily it’s never happened, because I bring more to the table.

    Being born does not give you innate worth. You fell out of a vagina, congratulations. If you haven’t accomplished anything significant since then, why would anyone think you have value?

    Transhuman… talk like one of those MHRA losers. How long before it becomes MHLBGTRA?


  21. Spaniard June 26, 2013 at 09:53 #

    When you do not give a shit about providing for women in any way… then you are free.
    I prefer to provide punctually for professionals and end of the story. 200 euros for a shag with a goddess and no more worries.


  22. Spaniard June 26, 2013 at 10:17 #

    Agree. A man needs to feel, and to be useful.
    But not to women, please!


  23. Spaniard June 26, 2013 at 10:28 #

    Palin… PRETTY (!!!???)

    I find quite attractive in American political and media arena Ann Coulter and Michelle bachmann. Find her very sexy.
    Because I am leftwing I feel kind of fatal attraction to rightwing women like Marine Le Pen in France or passed away Lady Mosley, in Britain.
    There is such a beautiful social democrat prime minister in Denmark: Helle Thorning. And the sexiest of them all… Yulia Timoshenko in Ucraine. She is in jail now.


  24. Spaniard June 26, 2013 at 11:27 #

    I find bitch face a turn off.
    I see a lot of bitch face among American womenand Spanish women. Funny: probably the the two most pussified countries in the world.
    Bitch face is not popular among British women. Of course not among Russian, neither Scandinavian. The contrary: Scandinavian women smile a lot.

    “Bitch face” in Spanish is called “Arpifaz”. It is words game. “Arpi” because “arpia” (harpy) and “faz” (face)


  25. Dr. Illusion June 26, 2013 at 14:02 #

    If I didn’t have the easy access to free sex that I do, I would not hesitate to go that route. I damn sure won’t put you down for it. The men of the Manosphere are meeting up in Vegas at the end of the summer, and I honestly would love to screw a hooker in Vegas. But I’m bringing my gorgeous girlfriend with me….bygones.


  26. Spaniard June 26, 2013 at 15:29 #

    No good place to bring girlfriend.
    Rome, to women, is not a good place to bring boyfriends or hubbys as well.


  27. Spaniard June 26, 2013 at 15:31 #

    Never is free, Doctor.


  28. judgybitch June 26, 2013 at 15:31 #

    Yulia Timoshenko makes me swoony!

    I have a serious case of hair envy!


  29. judgybitch June 26, 2013 at 15:33 #

    Fell out of a vagina?

    Crap. My vagina must be broken. Those little buggers did not want to come out at all. I had to SHOVE them into this world, and it took hours and hours to dislodge them!

    Man, if only I had a bigger vagina.



  30. princesspixiepointless June 26, 2013 at 15:58 #

    Oh, so that’s how it rains men…


  31. EMMA June 26, 2013 at 18:50 #

    Ann Coutler, really?!!! Ann Coutler has an adam’s apple and no top lip!

    Bachmann is attractive though.


  32. not_PC June 26, 2013 at 21:31 #

    It will happen in our lifetime (game over if we get to nano-tech sooner) that men will be able to reproduce without having women around (yes, technology will advance that far ahead). When that happens, _ALL_ of our laws regarding what men should be doing will be on their heads.

    Yes, men can now have surrogate children from India (and they can be certain of the paternity), the artificial womb will advance as well… there are countries who wouldn’t mind advancing that tech if the West scoffs at this advancement…


  33. Dr. Illusion June 26, 2013 at 23:14 #



  34. Dr. Illusion June 26, 2013 at 23:17 #

    What man ever wants to leave a nice comfy vagina?

    People with sleeping disorders can sleep close to a running washing machine and get more rest. Hypothetically because the motion and sound reminds us of the womb, the last place we remember being truly safe.


  35. Master Beta June 27, 2013 at 09:22 #

    The first two paragraphs are killer



  1. The Gold Digger Press: Understanding the Female Media Gaze | Viva La Manosphere! - June 25, 2013

    […] […]


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