J. Michael Martinez
Intro to Women’s Literature
24 September 2013
Sight and Insight: Male Precedence in Society
The stolen images glued onto the back side of my honey nut cheerios cereal box originate from the pages of none other than America’s number one best selling women’s magazine, Cosmopolitan. Together, these images formulate an imitated Hannah Hoch collage. Representing the generalized, socially acceptable ways in which women are expected to act in society, this collage reveals the often disregarded theory of male precedence in the world. A specific critical analysis of this collage would imply that the artist was attempting to portray the idea of male precedence through the concept of validity of women’s meaning in society, the structure of a male oriented culture, and the basic ideology of Cosmopolitan magazine.
The words and images in this collage are accordingly placed to hyalite the essence of a woman’s legitimacy in the world. In this case, that legitimacy would stem from the achievement of male desire. Based on the represented images, the most prominent way for a woman to achieve attention from men is through sexual appeal. Long legs, large breasts, lips, and revealing clothing bombard the viewer with the intention to express (as if there were any question) the importance of sexual appeal in women. Hence, the most important aspect of life that a woman has to focus on, is her physical attractiveness. The objectifying images suggest that because physical appeal is the most vital aspect of feminine life, a woman’s meaning is verified by how successful she is at pleasing men.
Furthermore, because the women’s bodies and various body parts in these images are in the position of appealing to men, the indication is that this collage stems from an essentially sexist, male-oriented culture. The man resting his face in hand at the base of a gigantic woman’s crotch, is not only the center of the collage, but is also in the...