Ryan's Reviews > Swimsuit Issue: Hegemonic Masculin: Hegemonic Masculinity in Sports Illustrated

Swimsuit Issue by Laurel R. Davis
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M 50x66
's review
Jul 10, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction-media-study
Read in August, 2009

as i've said in earlier reviews, for me a non-fiction book can suffer from less-than-adequate writing if its scholarship is intriguing. i would definitely say that is the case for this tiny book which reads less as a full-fledged study into masculine hegemony - with the swimsuit issue as a shining example - and more as a graduate dissertation; it drops names and facts without fleshing them out, assuming that its audience is already well versed in them (i was not). too bad, considering i would have liked to know more about the studies that she cites without diving headlong into lexus nexus.

furthermore, the writing in the first half, which otherwise presents a virtually inarguable case that the swimsuit issue and sports illustrated in general use both hegemonically idealized masculine and feminine bodies to gear the entire publication towards men as opposed to sports fans at large and therefore must adhere and propagate a masculine hegemony, stumbles and repeats itself in ways that it would seem any capable editor could scrub clean with relative ease. however, in its second half, where ms. davis shows the effects of the aforementioned masculine hegemony both within the contexts of the issue itself, the monthly magazine, and society as a whole, the writing becomes much more self assured, finding a solid structure within which to confidently assert opinions and observations without constantly repeating or citing previously established facts (at least, not with the frequency as the first half).

overall, an interesting read for the academic minded. and made me question further my subjugating gaze in terms of a politically oppressive act.

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