What is it that's upsetting these people? That link is to a Daily Mail article in which the author goes from 'not to my taste and therefore crap' (read - every magazine should cater to me specifically), to near-ranting about how women looking at porn/erotica is somehow demeaning to women.
Some quotes from the Daily Mail article:
"Not all women are left cold in the face of pornographic images - and that, I fear, is increasingly a result of the ever-more-crude society in which we live."
"The ladette culture ... is teaching our teenage daughters it's acceptable to behave badly, and perhaps, for their generation, that will include leering at pornography aimed at women.
And yet I still believe doing that is as innately unfeminine as drinking yourself senseless."
"We are living in a culture more sexually explicit than ever before, and with the avalanche of no-holds-barred images beamed into our homes via television and computer, I fear women are in danger of losing touch with the subtle threads of sexual desire which mark us apart from men."
"Women just don't respond to visual stimuli in the same way that men do ... so why do we persist in pretending we're just like men? Even when we are aroused by visual images in pornography, our loud inner monologues promote disagreement between what our bodies are feeling and what our minds are saying. 'Is that woman really enjoying herself? Has she been forced to do what I see her doing?' Our hormones simply don't have the same ability to silence our minds as they do for many men."
So, to get this straight, the author of this article has used her review of Filament to grandstand her own view that looking at porn is unfeminine and that women shouldn't do it because that would make us like those crass, gross men. She also seems to think that her view represents that of all women.
To which I say What.The.Fuck. So let me get this straight. Looking at erotic pictures of men is something women shouldn't enjoy doing. All that feminism business, where women stood up and said "Oi. I am going to do whatever the fuck I want because I'm a human being not a gender" actually means nothing. The fact that erotica aimed at women has traditionally been made by men based on erotica aimed at gay men, and therefore caters to the taste of men, has NOTHING to do with why women have heaved a collective *yawn* at it. And when I'm watching porn, apparently I'm actually asking myself if the woman has been coerced rather than enjoying the voyeurism. It's in my HORMONES, don't you know? Women daring to look at porn and admitting they enjoy it, is contributing to the demise of our culture! And they are being pandered to! WON'T ANYBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN?
In some ways she's right. Women are not like men. What we find erotic IS generally different from that which men do*. Which is why it's about bloody time that someone produced a magazine of erotica that caters to the taste of women. And if what appeals to women is so difficult to pin down, why not ASK THEM? Gosh, now there's a novel concept! But I absolutely refuse to accept that women going "Hey, I'm a sexual being and I like looking at pictures of men" is in any way a negative thing for society. This woman would have us all being asexual to prove some kind of point - and the stupid thing is that the point is EXACTLY THE SAME.
What is that point? Wait for it...
Women are different from men.
*cue gasps from the internet* I know. Mind-boggling, isn't it? What a concept. Only, Miss Daily Mail thinks this should mean that women get labelled unfeminine for wanting to see flesh, cock, male nudity. We should be 'above' that, and in our demure purity only accept advances from gentlemen who romance us, chase us and put us on pedastals. News for you lady. This isn't 1950, I own my sexuality, and you and your outdated, restrictive opinions can fuck the fuck off.
The editor of Filament, on the other hand, has looked at the difference from a viewpoint of "OK, women don't like erotica aimed at men, what sort of erotica do they like?" And gone and found out. And done something about it. How anyone can see this as a bad thing is completely beyond me.
So the magazine is filled with hairless, androgynous boys, huh? Well, I know one of the models and there is NOTHING androgynous or effeminate about him. I challenge anyone to call him a hairless boy. However, I can see that if there were only one type of man represented, the appeal of the magazine would be limited.
Suraya points out though, that with so little of this kind of thing available to women, it's hard for one magazine to cater to all tastes. I see this as a problem with the market rather than a problem with the magazine - folks like Miss Daily Mail and Mr 'Shoot Suraya' have dominated thinking for too long. Porn for men has dominated the market. There's never been decent erotica for women in my lifetime. Now there's one magazine - when there are ten magazines I'd be willing to bet they'll splinter into specific niches, meanwhile, Filament has a hard row to hoe covering the huge variety of things women have said appeal to them. I fully expect to see body hair, larger men, beards, BDSM, and probably cock in the future. Not all of these things appeal to me, but unlike Miss Daily Mail, I'm willing to accept that my taste does not represent that of all women, and sacrifice a few pages of 'ho-hum' for the sake of finally having some decent erotica to look at.
Oh, and that bit about 'a geeky girl's idea of what might be sexy'? Uh.. Thinking woman's crumpet, people. Jeez.
* This is not to say that a couple can't enjoy looking at porn together - I've done it and it's awesome. It just has to be well-chosen porn.
Gosh, that ended up longer than expected. My copy is winging its way to me as you read this. One thing's for sure, people getting upset about it is focusing attention on it. And while geek girls who like porn might be in the minority right now, we're a vocal and growing minority who would just like to say a big "Fuck you" to those who think we shouldn't have our needs met because we don't fit their idea of what women should enjoy. I fully expect the magazine will have a small, steadily growing and dedicated following. And good on Suraya for doing it.