Thursday, January 12, 2012

Striking a Pose (Women and Fantasy Covers)





Every Thursday on my urban fantasy blog, Fangs for the Fantasy, which I write with Paul, AKA Sparky, who is always wrong, we do cover snark.  We have examined thinks like:
As you can see, the over riding theme in the above list is the sexualization of women on book covers.  Part of what makes this trend so aggravating, is that these books are largely written by women, to appeal to a female audience.  We know that authors normally have little to no control over the covers of their work, but does not mean that we should avoid pointing the ridiculous twists and turns that traditional publishers engage in, in order to turn a profit. For the life of me, I cannot understand why they believe that reproducing the straight male gaze, to represent work geared towards women, is a selling feature. If anything, I believe that women buy these books in spite of the covers rather than because of them.


I recently came across a post by author Jim C. Hines, in which he takes the time to point out the ridiculousness of this trend, by reproducing some of the stances that are common in urban fantasy.  I love it when men do this, because it helps to highlight the sexism in these images.  No one would ever dream of posing a male in the positions that are commonplace for women on book covers.


and


I love it when men take the time to copy the poses that women are placed into, because it really displays gender in action, and the inherit sexism that has been so very normalized.  I further love that he took the time to point out how uncomfortable these poses made him.  These stances are uncomfortable and yet they are suggested as natural because it is believed that all women find it acceptable to suffer some sort of discomfort to be beautiful.


You can see the rest of the images here.