International Vogue Cover Controversy

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International Vogue Cover Controversy

Thomas Patterson
Professor Moktarzada
Sociology 300
2 November 2012
The French cover of Vogue displays a male and female model; the male is grabbing the females’ breast with one hand, while the other is insinuating a choke- hold on her. In my opinion, this is distasteful for a cover of a magazine that will be sold in grocery stores and where children may see. This sexually controversial photo depicts a dominant male and submissive female as glamorous, sexy, and fashionable. While it is known that the European and American cultures greatly differ when it comes to sex and sexuality, I feel this Vogue cover may have gone a little too far, for American eyes that is. According to the New York Times, the average age at which Europeans and Americans first have sex is the same, 17. The way it is discussed and advertised, however, is very different. For example, a European condom commercial shows a screaming toddler throwing a temper tantrum for not getting his “sweeties”, and a tired and embarrassed father at the grocery store. The words “Use Condoms”, big and bold, occupy the television screen. In America, on the contrary, sex is viewed in a more serious manner and aimed at “scaring” teens away from sex. This Vogue cover is probably not making headlines in Europe for being controversial or edgy. Here in America, however, it has caused a stir with anti-domestic violence advocates.

Anti-domestic violence advocates and Women’s rights activists argue that while this cover was perhaps intended to shock and thrill potential readers, the truly shocking fact is that it glorifies violence against women and sends a dangerous message to anyone who sees this magazine - that choking is a sign of passion rather than of violence. They fear that the editors are pushing the abuse of women as a “fetish”, and have gone too far.

This is not the first time Vogue has pushed the limits on a controversial cover for their magazine. Just last...
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