I want to revisit my post of last week about the suspension of disbelief, and how that played out in the Cosmo article on car sex, and the critique of that article on Jalopnik.
Let me drive you crazy with this steering arm.
First, I think it’s safe to assume that Molly Triffin is really a woman, and Jason Torchinsky is really a man. They have a lot in common: an easy-breezy magazine-y tone, and they want to make their audiences laugh. The Jalopnik article wants to inform as well as entertain. On the surface, the Cosmo article also wants to inform, but the writer’s main focus is humor – and most people who have read more than three Cosmo issues recognize that the sex tips are really kind of a joke.
The Cosmo article makes a lot of assumptions about their readers, and role that gender plays in the minds of the readers. It recognizes that a lot of women’s sexual pleasure comes from titillating the partner. But they make the assumption that 1) the man is just happy to have sex, and 2) there is no chance of failure because even if a sex tip doesn’t work, the guy is still ecstatic that he got some.
The Adventures of Bathwoman and Bobbie: The Suspension of Disbelief
Mild-mannered housewife by day, writing fiend by night: Alys of Bath and her buddy, Bobbie the Prioress.
Bathwoman: Quick, Bobbie, look through this amazing Cyberscope into the bowels of last week’s internet!
Bobbie: Holy manual transmission, Bathwoman! It’s a critique of a Cosmo article on car sex! Something’s seriously wrong here.
Bathwoman: Yes, Bobbie. It’s a problem with suspension of disbelief.
Bobbie: By the way that Volkswagen was bouncing, I’d say the trouble was the front end suspension of disbelief.
Bathwoman: Keep your mind on the blog post, dearie. As you know, Bobbie, writers weave a delicate web of lies and half-truths in order to find a greater truth. When they fool the reader for extended periods, this is known as “suspension of disbelief.”
Bobbie: Gee, Bathwoman!
Bathwoman: Indeed, but the man writing this critique doesn’t Continue reading