Getty's 'Sexiest Fans' Gallery: Is the Outrage Justified?

Getty's 'Sexiest Fans' Gallery: Is the Outrage Justified?

You may have read an article about how Getty removed their "sexiest fans" gallery due to receiving backlash from social media. What's interesting is Vogue Magazine posted a similar type of article about men, which didn't seem to receive much in terms of outrage. Is it more offensive to objectify women than it is to objectify men? 

The whole article from Vogue discusses football players and describes them as "Reasons to Watch the 2018 World Cup." From talking about one player's lips and smile to another player's abs, this article clearly objectifies men in a manner that would be completely unacceptable if they were women. The primary difference is the reaction this piece has received versus the reaction Getty received for doing something similar. The reaction Getty received forced them to completely remove the gallery and offer an apology. As of writing this article, however, Vogue's article is still live and the reaction from social media has been relatively benign. 

Personally, I do not believe the article from Vogue causes any offense, nor do I think it requires any outrage, so why do many of us consider the Getty gallery to be offensive? If society considers anything negative against women to be more significant, is that in itself a form of sexism? Some could assume that men simply don't care as much as women when it comes to these issues and that people are becoming overly prone to outrage. You may be led to believe this if you read some of the comments. The majority of the comments on the Fstoppers article about the Getty gallery are from men expressing their unhappiness in regards to the outrage. Effectively, men are outraged about women being outraged about something. The discussions tend to focus on how people are just looking for things to be outraged about and how this infringes freedom of speech. Whether or not this affects freedom of speech could be debatable; in any case, we are seeing more frustration against "political correctness." We also see more and more companies developing themselves to be seen as forward-thinking and modern when it comes to how women are presented, yet, we don't see much of that happening for men. 

There are many that assume issues relating to men aren't taken as seriously by society in general. Maybe men's issues don't matter as much and we're simply expendable to some extent, which is horrible to say the least. The saying "women and children first" comes to mind. An article from The Guardian discusses this specifically, and in practice, there have been situations that suggest this is not as relevant or true. There are no actual laws that dictate this either; even still, the sentiment seems to remain. 

I think it's important to consider context too. For the longest time, women haven't had many of the rights that men have benefited from. Although in Europe, two of the more prominent countries (U.K and Germany) do have female heads of state. Is this enough? Could it be that strong reactions are required when female rights are infringed or if something is damaging the perception of women in order to bring some balance and equality? The outrage we see now could be due to the many numbers of years where women didn't have rights and it's strong reactions that have helped push the progress. Maybe the reason companies like Getty are actively trying to be seen as modern and forward-thinking is that they have deep-rooted issues that need to be shaken off. Progress can be slow, but fortunately, we've seen it happen and we can help it continue. 

Personally, I don't think either company did anything majorly wrong with either the galleries or the articles, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm right. I don't assume to know the answer; I can only describe my own thoughts and ask questions that I feel are relevant. Ultimately, there're two facts I'm certain we can agree on: people find people attractive and attraction is fundamental to how we operate. Just because a particular article or gallery shows individuals of a certain gender as being attractive does not mean all of their other characteristics are negated. In some sense, this reminds me of the fundamental attribution error. Having said that, It's important to remember how a single image can be extremely impactful. Photographs have the potential to drastically change the political landscape for better or worse. Images can become symbols with incredible meaning. Maybe we need to be more conscious of how an image or a gallery is portrayed and what message it sends. Once again, context is important, and in the current climate, with many women trying to develop and improve perceptions, maybe the pendulum does need to swing a little farther to one side before we see some proper equality. 

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Claire Whitehead's picture

This isn't really the content I come to fStoppers for.

If the Getty images offend you, why are you viewing Fstoppers? There is a plethora of similar shots found on the Home screen and even a forum for Glamour.

Usman Dawood's picture

There's a difference between journalism and art.

I cannot tell you how nauseated I am every time an (always heterosexual) male suggests, oh, ever so innocently, that MEN SUFFER, TOO! every time one nanosecond of attention is either directed elsewhere or directed at them in a manner they cannot, for once, control.

Have you been sleeping under a rock during the past #meToo years as women finally decided that being assaulted was not as cool or as necessary as men had led them to believe? Men have had all the power, have refused to give up their power, and still refuse to do so, and continue to use their power to discount, degrade and assault women. Do you wonder that the tone-deaf offensiveness of that spread was vilified on social media?

As the beginning of your education in gender politics, think on this: Why is it cool and admired when a woman wears a tuxedo, but laughable and grotesque when a man dresses in drag? Why? Because being a woman is considered inferior. It is laughable (we respond involuntarily) that a man would choose to feminize himself, to LOWER himself to the level of a woman. To objectify a male is to admire his power. To objectify a woman is to emphasize the power of the male gaze over her, it is to remove her power.

Is it more offensive to objectify women than men. Yes. And it is just as offensive to even ask that question. Give it a rest, dude!

Usman Dawood's picture

It's offensive to you, to you, it's offensive because of your opinions which others may share but that doesn't make you right by any means.

How could you possibly know what all heterosexual males have suffered or haven't? The answer is you don't, not even close.

Your statements and position all seem to assume that men and women exist independently in some bubble which is false. We're all interconnected, men and women do not exist on opposing sides, absolutely ridiculous.

Yes, there are problems that need to be solved but that's true for both genders. You can feel more passionately about one issue over another but that doesn't mean other issues don't exist. You just want to believe they don't but once again that doesn't make you right

You also completely disregard the individual in favour of discussing everyone as groups of people. Humanity does not operate like that, surely you must understand this.

"To objectify a male is to admire his power. To objectify a woman is to emphasize the power of the male gaze over her, it is to remove her power." Where are you getting this from? This assumes everyone on the planet is attracted to everyone in the same way and for the same reasons, complete and utter nonsense.