Friday, January 16, 2009

How sexist can you get?

Seriously, hottest women on covers of science fiction and fantasy books?

Give me a break.

But someone named Damon wrote up a whole post on it right here.

I'd say something else, but I'm too busy picking my jaw up from the sheer disgust of this. How about you actually pick best art or something, instead of "how hot the chick on the cover looks"?

ETA: Jay Tomio, the other owner of BookSpotCentral has apparently pulled the article and apologizes for it. Jay, I have no idea if you read this blog, but thank you.

17 comments:

Nikki Hootman said...

Since the article reads like it was written by a 15 year old kid, I'm not too offended. He said it was supposed to be "tongue-in-cheek," so I think he was trying to be funny, even though he didn't quite pull it off. Obviously he's not the sharpest knife in the block.

J.M. said...

Nikki Hootman has it right... I sort of feel sorry for this guy!

acpaul said...

With mental abilities like those he is demonstrating, looking at book covers might be as close as he's going to get to the real thing. He *almost* has my pity.

emeraldcite said...

And we all know this door doesn't swing both ways ;)

Here

And Here

They don't even show the male models' heads on half of them...

How sexist! How scandalous!

;)

Jenny Rappaport said...

emeraldcite, it doesn't matter whether the people on the cover being judged are male or female, at least to me. I wouldn't judge the male models on romance or erotica covers this way either.

I don't think it's right, and I think it objectifies the person, no matter what their gender.

emeraldcite said...

But isn't the point of these covers objectification? I can't imagine that these covers were designed without this kind of judgment in mind.

When I think of all the suggestive scifi covers, I have a feeling it is exactly this kind of thinking they expect.

Why make a cover sexy if sex isn't the goal?

Kaz Augustin said...

I agree with emeraldcite on this one. Sex has been sold for everything for as long as anyone can remember. Damon sounds like he's having a bit of fun with this and it's really quite mild compared to the screeds of "gorgeous mantitty" images and comments I've encountered during my journeys through Romancelandia. In fact, I agree with him on some of his points. The comment he made on the "Witch" cover, to take one example, is -- I think -- not only spot on, but not objectifyingly sexist either. Considering I work in a high-tech, male-dominated, socially-inept field, I think I can spot the difference.

Nonny said...

I don't see how the post is sexist (and I'm female). The genre has been featuring attractive women in various stages of undress on covers for the past thirty years or so. It's nothing new. The traditional demographic for SF/F has been young men, and the covers reflect that.

Honestly, I'd be looking at the long-term pattern of SF/F covers in regards to sexism -- rather than one person posting their opinion of the "hottest" chicks on the covers.

Then again, I've been known to pick up a book to check out the blurb/back cover/chapters because I thought the woman on the cover was attractive, so maybe I'm not the best one to judge.

Jenny Rappaport said...

Yes, but my point is, I don't think we should be using sex to sell books AT ALL. At least not genre novels, which aren't supposed to revolve around sex, unlike romance or erotica fare.

I strongly, strongly disagree with the current trend in covers.

Craven said...

Jennifer wrote: Yes, but my point is, I don't think we should be using sex to sell books AT ALL. At least not genre novels, which aren't supposed to revolve around sex, unlike romance or erotica fare.

So let me get this right - it's okay for romance and erotica, which objectifies men and is read primarily by women, to revolve around sex and advertise this on their covers. But it's sexist if it happens in any other genre men might read.

Talk about sexist. What is it George Costanza said, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander" or in this case visa-versa.

Jenny Rappaport said...

First of all, my name is not Jennifer. It has never been Jennifer and never will be Jennifer. So if you're going to refer to something I'm saying, please actually address me properly.

Second, I will not argue about romance because I personally think that men shouldn't be objectified on the covers. I don't think the books should be all about the sex.

Erotica, on the other hand, IS all about the sex. I don't care whether it's male/male, female/female, or male/female erotica... erotica is meant to be about eroticism and the sexual act. That's its purpose. It doesn't necessarily have to be pornographic, and I personally think that most of the erotica novels should have more tasteful covers. I think it is demeaning to the men, to be objectified that way.

But, my point is, is that erotica is selling sex. The books are about sex. So to use sexual poses on a cover of an erotica novel is more acceptable to me, than it is to use it on something that's not an erotica novel.

My Vancouver said...

It IS sexist, and as Nikki H. said, it reads as if it were written by a fifteen year old.

A horny one with no social skills and sweaty palms, who will probably remain a virgin till well past high school.

However, the author's idiocy, whatever his mental age, does not mitigate his offensiveness. Misogyny and lack of wit do not qualify as disabilities. For that we should be grateful; it means he merits no preferential treatment.

What this article has taught me is to not bother visiting their site.

Reisa Stone

Elissa M said...

Well, apparently more than three people were offended, because the post seems to have been removed. I tried searching the site and found a link- but again it wasn't there. I did discover that "Damon" is apparently 35 (if it's the same Damon).

Sex sells. That doesn't make exploitation right.

gerrib said...

Congratulations. You have just participated in censorship. You should be ashamed of yourself for doing so. It is one thing to object to content. It is another thing to actively campaign for an article of relevance to be withdrawn.

Use an article like this to change the system. Covering it up, denying the obvious? Censorship. Bullying.

Disgusting. And then you wonder why so many women deny feminism?

Allow me to inform you of something. I bought Magic to the Bone because of the cover. I am female.

You really should feel ashamed of yourself. The only victory you won with this is oppression.

Sexy covers sell. That was his point. You don't like that, go start talking to marketing departments of publishers. You're the agent. Use that influence. Or don't whine when this happens.

Jenny Rappaport said...

gerrib, I had absolutely nothing to do with the article being taken down. I did not speak to either Jay or Damon, until after I found out the article was taken down, courtesy of the comment right before yours.

I am happy the article was removed, but as I never asked for it to be removed, nor asked for it to be censored, I do not see why you are accusing me of censorship.

I would like to remind people that this is *my* blog, and if you want to start acting troll-like, I'll go back to moderating comments.

A. Shelton said...

Jenny, thank you for showing your character so clearly.

I must be a poor feminist, since I think that censorship--the removal of the article--is far more heinous than sexy book covers. I think gerrib is right; you should take your complaints to the people who matter, not be proud of the fact that a timely article was removed because it offended you with sexism.

I won't be querying YOU.

wortschmiedin said...

I am somewhat concerend, if you want to share your opinion without getting serious and honest feedback you should simply turn off the comment function. this way of dealing with people led me to remove you from my blogs I follow list. Gerrib made a valid point and you could have simply adressed it instead of attacking her. This attitude concerns me far more than somebody somewhere in the world being sexist. Again. Sigh. that is sad but not necessarily new. Neither is cencorship. and even if you didn't have anything to do with that, which I don't think was implied, that SHOULD be of equal importance. but that is just my two cents and this IS your blog.