What makes a Gentleman a Gentleman?

2 Jul

Some may have seen the recent cover of the July issue of Gentlemans’ Quarterly or GQ magazine.  It features Kate Upton in a bikini enjoying an ice cream. This may seem fairly innocent but the ice cream and gesture of Upton further demonstrates how women are sexualized and marginalized in the media. In this article we will look into what defines a gentleman and how should society  respond to the medias continued negative assault on woman.

Given the word Gentleman (and I use that word loosely) is what GQ magazine prides itself for being. Their mantra is “look sharp and live smart.” Really? Hmm! We thought we look at a few definitions of the word gentleman and see if they can claim to live up to those standards.

Merriam Dictionary:


  • (1) : a man who combines gentle birth or rank with chivalrous qualities (2) : a man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior.[1]

Urban Dictionary:


  • 1. A man of calm demeanor, strong preserve, intellectual thinking, polite yet meaningful speak and a good upbringing. A fighter for the cause of right with words, not guns.
  • 2. A man who considers the feelings of the people around him and makes them as comfortable as he is able.
  • 3. Something very rare today. A man who is respectful and considerate of those around him. Acts politely. Treats women with respect. Open doors for them, pulls out chairs, and is classy. What more guys should be. Because regardless of what your testosterone driven buddies tell you, treating people with respect and being polite doesn’t make you a “fag” or “wimp” or whatever. It makes you a good person and will really benefit you in life.[2]

Oxford Dictionary:


  • a chivalrous, courteous, or honourable man:
  • he behaved throughout like a perfect gentleman[3]

Granted it takes two to turn things around. However, women’s rights are still far from equal to men’s today. The media continues to be the arsenal used to dismantle woman psychologically. That’s why it’s up to women to resist internalizing the negative images being fed to them by the media to find their value within.

After reading a few of these definitions it makes you wonder? Should GQ change its name? If so what new name would you give them?

Please join us for a discussion Tuesday 7/3/2012@7pmE/12UTC

49 Responses to “What makes a Gentleman a Gentleman?”

  1. Comic Relief July 2, 2012 at 9:08 AM #


    Can’t wait for the discussion. Avoiding the obvious patriotic intent of the cover in favor of focusing on the magazine’s definition of “gentlemen” was strategically very incisive.

    With KING | The Illest Men’s Magazine Ever!, Maxim and Details magazines using these similar marketing strategies (no I’m not talking about Playboy, Hustler, or Penthouse) one has to wonder what’s happening at GQ.

  2. 4string July 2, 2012 at 9:12 AM #

    I think they should go back to having men on the cover. It’s not like you’re going to see a man on the cover of Vogue or Cosmo. If there is, it’s usually with a model or actress and it’s the exception and not the rule.

    • ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM #

      I agree. Isn’t it supposed to be like the male Vogue or something similar? As 4string says men are rarely in it. Its focused on beauty and fashion for women so shouldn’t the male equivalent focus on the same thing but just for men?

      • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM #

        Hi Ozzie.

        • ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 7:32 PM #

          Hi CR! How are you?

          • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:40 PM #

            Great, thanks for asking. 🙂

        • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM #

          I think 4string is right; women generally are not featured on the cover (yet may appear in the magazine). As I said before I think this behavior by the magazine is very peculiar.

          • ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM #

            Ah, thank you for explaining it to me CR! I don’t have any knowledge of men’s magazines. I don’t even know who Kate Upton is either, lol!

  3. littlebells July 2, 2012 at 11:21 AM #

    OB…I bow at your feet for bringing the true meaning of gentleman to the forefront of.this article. I said I would bring it and I WILL!

    Like CR, I’m looking forward to this discussion!

  4. littlebells July 2, 2012 at 11:34 AM #

    “Chauvinist Quarterly”?

    • Open Book July 2, 2012 at 6:46 PM #

      LOL!! So far u are the winner LB.

      • ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 7:19 PM #

        You win LB! *bows down to worship*

  5. Open Book July 2, 2012 at 7:00 PM #

    Hi Everyone-

    Do u think this Upton cover of GQ contradicts their moto to live smart? What does this cover say about them when they reduce women to prop themselves up?

  6. littlebells July 3, 2012 at 6:44 PM #

    Hi OB and everyone!

    I may be a little late to the discussion, but i will be there. On my phone. I hate that. Argh…

    • Open Book July 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM #

      Hi LB-

      No problem!

  7. Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM #


    I have a question.

    Are you more irritated by the cover or that Kate Upton participated in it?

    I am wondering because I’m not sure what’s the difference between her performance and Channing Tatum’s (and crew’s) performance(s) in Magic Mike?

    • Open Book July 3, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

      Well I think women and men who enjoy seeing men or women exploit themselves ultimately have some issues. I think if u would not exploit yourself why would u pay to see others do it?

      • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM #

        Well, I didn’t claim “Magic Mike” was good taste….

        I assumed Kate Upton was offered the gig (I don’t know how they knew she would do it). As I understand Tatum has been telling people for some time he started his career as a stripper so I’m sure this is how this project came about.

        But I would agree exploiting yourself (again and again) over time probably leaves a fairly nasty stain on your resume’.

    • littlebells July 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM #

      I honestly have no desire to see.this film. I’m irritated that the cover is as such regardless of who they chose to be the female. I mean come on, most.men who see that cover on stands is going to think “booobieees!”

      • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

        After that exclaimation…

        …the really young ones will run home to their sandboxes.

        …and the older ones will run home and do what Tatum is doing in the clip above.

        The problem for GQ is that neither may have actually bought the magazine.

        • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM #

          Actually I’ve heard most magazines don’t really make their money from over the counter sales. I’ve heard most come from advertising sales and long-term subscriptions (libraries, barbershops, etc.).

          I guess that would make the cover even more offensive.

      • ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 8:04 PM #

        Yay, someone else who doesn’t have the desire to see Magic Mike! Yes they are good looking men but I still don’t want to see them (or other men) or women exploit themselves. So that turned me off the movie.

  8. Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM #


    This is a very long question

    There used to be this term metrosexual that seemed to do two things;

    – Claim male obsession with self-appearance isn’t dandiism.
    – Claim that one the motivations for this interest was urban living
    – Claim this interest did not necessarily make you gay

    This is how Wikipedia describes it;

    Metrosexual is a neologism derived from metropolitan and heterosexual coined in 1994 describing a man (especially one living in an urban, post-industrial, capitalist culture) who spends a lot of time and money on shopping for his appearance.[1]

    What would you say to GQ if they claimed that after a year of promoting metrosexuality they needed one day to verify that the demographic they favored was one that would not be upset by the cover photo?

    • Open Book July 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM #

      Hi CR!

      Let me try and take a stab at this. However, if others want to jump in and help me out that would be great as well.

      I think because we live in a male dominated society. Men should not take advantage of women because they can. IMO men should treat women like a partner not like she’s in-human and not reduce her to her physicality. Does that make sense?

      • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:38 PM #

        I guess I should assume regardless of who they think they are talking to the message is already out there and is fairly thoughtless generally.

        Therefore they deserve what every response they provoke, and every evaluation they receive.

  9. Open Book July 3, 2012 at 7:04 PM #

    Hi Everyone-

    Welcome new and returning visitors to our discussion tonight. Please feel free to jump in at anytime.

  10. ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 7:17 PM #

    Hi all!

    Great article OB, I know we’re going to have a great discussion too! 🙂

    • Open Book July 3, 2012 at 7:20 PM #

      Hi Ozzie-

      How are u? I’m glad u like the article.

      • ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 7:27 PM #

        I’m ok, thank you for asking! 🙂 How are you?

  11. littlebells July 3, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

    I’m here! Let me get caught up!

    • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:51 PM #

      Hi LB.

    • ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 7:57 PM #

      Hi LB! How are you?

      • littlebells July 3, 2012 at 8:09 PM #

        I’m good. Sweating it out on the treadmill and trying not to trip over myself. Hahahaha!!!

  12. Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

    I used to really admire GQ and it’s tone and point of view. I’m not the demographic they are likely to attract but I thought the philosophy was harmless….

  13. Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:50 PM #

    Oops, I just read the web site link and the statement about Upton.

    “From Mansfield to Monroe, from Farrah to Pam, the U.S.A. is pretty good at bombshells. Let’s all welcome Kate Upton to the canon”

    Sorry, absolutely no more sympathy.

    • littlebells July 3, 2012 at 7:55 PM #

      If u see my eyeballs rippling around, grab them for me. She knew exactly what she was doing and I hardly think she needs to be introduced.

  14. Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 7:57 PM #

    I’ll assume their magazine is in the process of a major nose dive.

  15. littlebells July 3, 2012 at 8:03 PM #

    Ok, forgive any typos on my phone. I will write a.novella later, however let me address a few.things.

    1. The line between respect of the sexes, integrity vs. Exploitation, respect of oneself, having a strong and honorable moral compass vs. Cowardice standing up for what is right, and not giving into per pressure is very defined now. It is not faint but distinct. We as a people must make a choice which side we will be on and defend. There is no more gray and fence sitting. I am seeing distinctions within my own extended family and there is slowly being a divide.

    2. This is solely my opinion and I don’t want to offend anyone who may feel I am preaching.

    3. This cover is just a drop in the bucket off all things that degrade women.

    4….four…crap. I forgot.

    • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 8:17 PM #

      I don’t think you’re preaching and I know you are right. You could always add #4 later.

    • Open Book July 4, 2012 at 10:39 AM #


      I think u did an amazing job on your phone. Wow!

      IMO being decisive does not make u preachy. I think more people should stand up and defend their beliefs instead of letting others define it for them. What’s funny about following what’s popular? People become so enamored with being popular they no longer question what they are endorsing. GQ magazine is a perfect example of this. GQ don’t abide by the very thing they claim to represent Gentleman. Yet, because of their popularity women are willing to cut off their nose despite their face? It was a stupid move on GQ’s part and Kate Upton’s.

  16. littlebells July 3, 2012 at 8:07 PM #

    Ps. I would be MORTIFIED if any of these covers with sexualized girls and women were my.daughter.

    4. Little boys don’t need to sneak nudey magazines. There are enough over the counter magazines they can choose from.

    • Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 8:20 PM #

      …and even more is available on the web.

  17. Comic Relief July 3, 2012 at 8:21 PM #


    OB wasn’t feeling well earlier and now I’m feeling similarly. I should go. Thanks everyone for coming.

    • ozzie20 July 3, 2012 at 8:43 PM #

      Oh no! I hope you both feel better soon!

      As I’m nearly falling asleep I suppose I should go too. Hope you have a good workout LB! 🙂

  18. Open Book July 3, 2012 at 8:55 PM #

    Hi Everyone-

    Sorry, I will need to respond to your comments tomorrow. Thanks for coming.

  19. littlebells July 3, 2012 at 10:10 PM #

    I’m sick. Seriously, I feel queasy. Out of 61 photos only three women are not showing skin or being provacative: Carol Channing, Barbra Streisand and Julia Ormand. I have lost all respect for GQ and the women who think it’s not doing any harm to be sexual on the cover.


    And hoooooow interesting that the men on the covers are always dressed in sharp suits.

    • Open Book July 4, 2012 at 12:24 PM #

      What’s really sad? All these woman (with the exception of Channing, Striesand and Ormand) featured on the cover are selling T&A not intelligence. They are willing to compromise everything they’ve worked for to look stupid for men? These photos don’t even promote their acting or other skill they are known for or their aspirations. This is what I mean about cutting off your nose despite your face just to be considered popular.

  20. Open Book July 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM #

    IMO there is nothing wrong with sex. Its actually a very beautiful thing shared by two people. However, I think how people choose to depict it is where the problem begins. Often when sex is taken out of context where it no longer connects with a narrative it becomes porn and in-human. In short by reducing a person to a sex object u erase that individuals spirit. It allows a person to wash their hands of any emotional connection or responsibility to that person. What’s the famous JFK saying? It’s not what your country can do for u? It’s what u can do for your country? Just swap woman for country and the same thing applies. LOL!! Because we live in a consumer society where people are rewarded for being self indulgent instead of selfless. GQ epitomizes what’s wrong with our society today by turning women into objects to be consumed by men. When are men going to start helping women instead of helping themselves to women?

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