The conventional wisdom states that when it comes to mens' adventure magazines in general, and magazines with a sweaty guy on the cover in particular, they simmer with barely disguised homoeroticism. The counter culturalists of the red pill argue that this modern day conventional wisdom was drafted and promulgated by an elite that has thoroughly hitched its wagon to the feminine-centric worldview. Their poor understanding of the masculine perspective results in an analysis tainted by that confusion and fear. Thinking themselves empathetic, they project their own insecurities (and their discomfort with their own masculinity), which leads them to the erroneous conclusion that the male virtues celebrated in mens' magazines are just a way to cover for the common man's insecurities and a way to remind men of the "masks they are supposed to wear".
Brief aside: A half-smart man who never learned to be comfortable in his own skin assumes that everyone feels exactly the same way, and that any masculine expression is a false front behind which men hide. That's not empathy, that's the exact opposite of empathy. But I digress.
Just as kind souls have difficulty understanding cruelty for its own sake, and the selfish assume everyone is always grasping for every little edge, the trigger-warning crowd that gets to decides these things has decided for us that there is no real virtue in courage, blood, sweat, or brotherly love. Good men don’t really take such things seriously; after all, the college professor safe in his sinecure doesn’t experience or value these, and he is a good man. It’s logic that doesn’t even approach circular, but instead makes a straight line from the gut to the page.
So we are stuck with two competing theories, mens' magazines as morality plays reinforcing traditional forms of masculinity or as unsubtle cries of insecurity and helplessness with a side helping of gay subtext.
The only way to know for sure is to read it for yourself.
Which brings us to a new title in this highly unscientific and nonacademic survey of men's magazines, Fight Stories. The June 1928 issue, to be precise.
The next few posts in this series will review of few of the stories in this issue, available here.