Wait, what? There’s such a thing as sexist sci-fi and fantasy book covers? Really? I thought only ugly feminists said that. Surely the BBC isn’t an ugly feminist.
Science fiction and fantasy novels routinely portray scantily clad woman on their covers – a device that draws the heterosexual male eye but may turn away women readers. Lynsea Garrison finds one fantasy author aiming to zap gender
By doing the poses himself, to amusing effect.
Hines, a fantasy author, is posing like some of the female characters on science fiction and fantasy book covers he says objectify women.
He gets into character by twisting his body into the same contorted positions as the female characters on the books.
“The way women are portrayed is just so ridiculous, so often, you just stop seeing it,” Hines says.
“I think posing has made people see it again – you see how ridiculous it is when a 38-year-old fantasy writer is doing it.”
Well, a 38-year-old male balding glasses-wearing fantasy writer with stubble and armpit hair, at least.
Many science fiction and fantasy readers are disappointed to encounter everyday sexism in a medium that is supposed to offer an escape.
Covers frequently exhibit women’s bodies with revealing clothing unsuitable for combat, and fans argue that sexualising female characters sends a message to readers that women are sex objects.
And that the only women who are of interest are the pneumatic hottie type.
Gallo thinks part of the problem is that male artists greatly outnumber female artists in the industry.
“You go to art school, and it’s 50-50,” Gallo said. “But professionally, it’s overwhelmingly male.
“This is an unfortunate fact of the industry. These artists grew up with comics and gaming, so it’s easy to perpetuate these things without thinking them through.”
Ah no no no no no!! You can’t say that. No no no. That’s Nazi witch-hunting inquisition stuff. It never happens that anyone perpetuates these things without thinking them through. Never never never!