I’m delighted to announce that the makers of Filament magazine successfully sold sufficient numbers of their first issue to change printers and become the first UK women’s magazine to feature an image of a naked man in all his erect glory! Editor Suraya Sidhu Singh contacted me to extend a big thank you to all The F Word readers who supported their campaign, and had this to say about the sexist double-standards of the publishing industry:
The UK publishing industry double-standard that Filament has now made one tiny inroad into, is a big part of what has kept genuinely erotic female-orientated imagery of men off the market. It has never had a legal basis – it has purely and simply been about people deciding what we want on our behalf, and therefore what gets to market. If a tiny magazine like Filament can challenge sexist rules from the dark ages, anyone can. It is a trap to believe that what is available on the market merely represents what sells – most of the decisions about what’s supplied to us are still based on poor, if any, evidence, and often largely on gender stereotypes. What gets out there branded ‘for women’ is part of what defines femininity in our times, so it’s all the more important that women create, support and demand what we actually want.
Filament have yet to secure a distribution deal, and a number of supposedly women-oriented sex shops have bizarrely declined to stock the magazine, for reasons as yet unknown, but the latest issue is available online for £5.89, and features all this lovely stuff.
If you’re interested in the the campaign to get publishers to print more images of men for the straight female gaze, you might like to check out Erotica Cover Watch (some images NSFW), a blog run by two female erotica writers who are sick of sexualised images of women being used to illustrate their work.