10/17/2014 09:27 am ET Updated Oct 17, 2014

Media Obsession With Penises: Final Wave Of Feminism?

Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Is Ben Affleck’s penis really the great Gone Girl mystery of 2014? Is Justin Theroux’s “flopping” junk the key to “The Leftovers?” Yesterday a male colleague sent us an email, subject line: “NY media’s penis obsession.” What’s with it? We decided to explore.

Hillary Kelly: I have to be honest. When I see a link asking me to click through and check out the definitely-not-a-cell-phone that Jon Hamm is carrying in his pocket, I do it. First of all, he's Jon Hamm, so I'd look at photos of him picking his nose and get a little thrill. But there's also the fact that the penis has, for so long, been The Last Taboo of Human Anatomy. The Great Butt Battle of 2014 ensured that full-on shaking, clenching, jiggling butts are about as mainstream as cupcakes and sweatpants in public. Breasts have been falling out of clothes for decades, even centuries. And the tucked-away nature of the vagina means it's a little bit difficult to put on display—but nonetheless, the popularity of Playboy and Penthouse means that the vag and it's accompanying hair (or lack thereof) have been ogled and objectified for decades. I mean, once Gwyneth Paltrow hasdiscussed the state of her pubic hair on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," it's pretty clear the topic is no longer verboten.

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