Pinterest “Hunk Boards” and Male Objectification

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About Oliver Lee Bateman

Good Men Project contributing editor Oliver Lee Bateman is one of the founders of the Moustache Club of America and Penny & Farthing, two blogzines specializing in flash fiction and creative nonfiction that he co-curates with web developer Erik Hinton, medical consultant Nathan Zimmerman, and freelance writers Christie Chapman and J. R. Powell. He is a lawyer as well as an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington. Follow him on Twitter @MoustacheClubUS or on Google+. Oliver's Spring 2014 US History From the Civil War to the Present course is being live-streamed by UTA. You can access these lectures by clicking here.


  1. N.C. Harrison says:

    I’ve almost–almost–stopped worrying about being attractive at all. It seemed counter productive for me since I’m not under 200 pounds and don’t have hair that does winsomely weird things that girls enjoy. Even though they’re aimed at gay men I’ve found similar solace, too, in tumblrs like “Bull Boys Blog,” or the bulk appreciation threads (visited by both men and women) on the T-Nation forums and their like since SOMEONE out there, at least, seems to find the otherwise “too large and in charge” look, which I can’t avoid without absolutely starving myself, attractive. Mostly I guess I’ve just embraced Jim Wendler’s advice of “train to be awesome and let the rest fall into place” and Mark Rippetoe’s reminder that “strong people are harder to kill” and hoped for the best.

  2. Oliver Lee Bateman says:

    Those two are right, of course: properly trained bodies will look whatever way they’re supposed to look. Although I guess it’s understandable to be outraged by “objectification” in all forms, there’s also something reassuring about knowing that someone (or several someones) finds “your type” attractive (as you noted in your earlier piece on a similar topic).

  3. Alyssa Royse says:

    This both broke my heart and kind of opened my eyes to a weird sort of privilege in the otherwise disgusting sexification of women. I am so sorry that media contributed to a feeling that your body in and of itself isn’t desirable, beautiful and even delicious. But I can see how it did. In the same way it does for women all the time, though different. We are told that our bodies are all powerful and the only thing men want from us. So even when imperfect (perfect being an absurd standard that is used to sell everything from cars to cheeseburgers) the sight of a breast would be enough to satisfy almost any man. I never worried all that much about what response I would get once naked. I mean, a naked woman is the goal, right? (Even writing that I get sick, thinking about the statement that sort of thinking makes about men!) But there are so many “hot” women to choose from in media – geeks, nerds, jocks, hippies etc…. But you are right that for “hot men” in media, there’s really just two options: built like a god or filthy rich. I can see how you would be left thinking there was no place for you to be “hot.” And it’s sad.

    Thanks for sharing this. Gives me a lot to think about, and hardens my resolve to fix this. A great example of how the Prince Charming myth, and general patriarchy, fucks us all. And not in the good way.

  4. So some men want to be objectified? Or at least, lusted after with no thought to their other qualities? Am I right in saying that men can feel objectified for being picked on other qualities that they feel women largely focus on and being picked based on their looks is a welcome reprieve?

    It’s funny how things can affect us so differently. I was pretty confident in my body when I was younger and in less good of shape and less aware. But there was a turning point when I focused on wanting to learn about men and discovered some things men enjoyed media-wise, in regards to women’s bodies. It was after that point that I didn’t really know how I fit anymore and had a serious dose of low confidence because I didn’t fit in to what was held up to beautiful and feminine in the eyes of male-centric media.

    • I know some of us would like to feel attractive. I’ve never been told I’m attractive. I’ve never had a woman tell me I’m hot or sexy or handsome. In fact, I’ve never had a woman act in a way that implied I am good looking or she finds me attractive. I have never felt desired. What does a person with too much attention say to the person with none at all?

      • Do you think that women simply don’t express their physical attraction to a man the same way men do? Or do you believe it’s social conditioning? Sometimes I feel like men want me to be more like them.

        I don’t know what someone with a lot of attention would say to the opposite,I don’t get a lot of attention from men. It would actually be really nice if men celebrated more average girls more while also oconsidering our other qualities.

  5. PursuitAce says:

    Hmmm…One of the percs of not being attractive is you don’t obsess about whether you’re attractive enough. My sympathies for those caught in this harmful cycle.

  6. That’s funny because my take on O.L.B.’s piece was that these “Pinintrest Hunk Boards” and the like was that there you don’t have to be a clone of Channing Tatum or have the bank account of a Bill Gates to be considered ‘Desirable’. It’s kind of ironic that women and men have both been constricted , although in different ways, from expressing diversity in what ‘Turns them on’ for a very long time. Men through society pressure that their supposed to desire a specific type of women (Physically) and women not being to express ANY type of desirability, lest they be considered ‘Hormonally driven Sluts!’ I personally consider ‘Hunk Boards’ and other such devices made possible by the Feminist movement to be quite liberating for BOTH Men and Women!


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