Saturday, July 6, 2013

You get a gun and I get a... lipstick tube? Golly, thanks.

Well hello all you internet sojourners who have happened upon this page.  I hope everyone had a super, non-personally-flammable and alien free Independence Day! (Though, if you have any pictures of alien encounters, feel free to send them my way.)

In Life is a Circus Run by a Platypus news, I am contemplating recording an audiobook version of the book! I already asked people on my Facebook page for their opinion, and they seemed really interested!

So, therefore, I will posit the same question here, would anyone be interested in an audiobook version of this book?

Feel free to leave me your opinions/comments here or on my Facebook page, either way I'd love to hear what ya'll think!

Now on to the heart of today's discussion: The portrayal of women in fantasy, action and sci-fi.

This is actually something that has made me want to smack my head into a brick wall for quite some time now, but it was brought to the forefront of my prefrontal cortex when a good friend of mine linked me to this amazing video:

I am a huge geek, in fact as I am writing this post I am listening to John Williams' soundtracks in a room that is completely decorated in superheroes. I read comic books, I watch sci-fi, fantasy and action movies and I will be the first to correct you if you mess up on a random Star Wars fact.

So don't get me wrong, this is not the opinion of some ill-informed noob.

 Now before everyone gets their knickers in a twist, I will admit that there are some well dressed, well armed women in these genres.  Take, for example, the Invisible Woman or Harley Quinn.

And that is the key word "some," as in "only a select few."

Susan Storm Richards, Dr. Harleen Quinzel M.D. and only a hand basket full of others are sadly the rare exceptions to the rule.

For the most part women in fantasy, sci-fi and action genres tend to look like this:

Do we get the idea yet?

I have several very practical and logical problems with this.

The first thing I have to say to this is; for all of their apparent powers, talents and strengths, heroines haven't quite figured out the "pants" concept yet. Seriously, you don't see many superheroes or warriors running around in their underwear! Well... except for maybe Superman...

But even then he did have pants, he just never figured out the order of operations for normal human clothing.

Who in their right mind would want to go fight against the forces of darkness in their underwear? I mean, who thinks, "There is an army of orcs headed this way, better lose my pants, take off my shirt and pick up a battle axe!?"

Granted, the ancient Celts (my ancestors) did engage the enemy in battle naked, but that was more for a shock and awe value. And I have to say, not many people want to see a bunch of hairy, ale guzzling, white men running at them nude. It's just not a fun mental image.

Unless this is some mystical underwear that can protect you against swords, bullets, fists and giant robots, at least consider wearing more clothes than a Hooters' waitress?

Then there is the fighting in heels bit. I have had men actually try to explain to me how this is both feasible and logical. Having been in martial arts for a good portion of my life let me tell you, there is nothing logical about this:

All I can think when I watch this video is, "And now Cameron Diaz has, at the very least a sprained ankle and now has who knows how many blisters on her feet."

When I was involved with Taekwondo a few years back, one of my fellow students was a guy who not only claimed that walking in heels was (and I'm using his words), "Easy-peesey-lemon-squeezy," but that he could do a double spinning back kick in them.

I took his bet. We found him some 4-inch pumps that magically fit his man feet. He scoffed and claimed that it was easier to navigate in heels than he had thought, as his legs wobbled a bit as he tried to walk. Then, he lifted one leg for a kick and suddenly found himself lying on the floor looking up at the bright lights of the ceiling.

I don't care how coordinated you are, you cannot fight in heels!

Then, there are the ridiculous, nearly physically impossible, poses that these fighting females end up standing in.  To show how ridiculous this is blogger Jim C. Hines actually endeavored to recreate the poses he saw on the covers of comic books, sci-fi and fantasy novels and movie covers. Here are some of his results:

 There really are a million more points about women's portrayal in these genres that I could make. Unfortunately, my caffeine-powered focus is beginning to wear thin. 

Before I leave you all however, there is one more point I believe that should be brought up. Why are all the women portrayed skinny-minis? 
Now, don't get me wrong, I know some thin very powerful women with an amazing amount of lean muscle. But let me tell you, if you look like you live off of a diet of half a stick of celery with water for dipping sauce, you are not going to be taking on gangs of thugs, super villains or armies of goblins with any measure of success.

Would it be so bad to have a super heroine (aside from She-Hulk) who was built with a little more to her than spandex and blond hair? Would it be crushing to the plot to have a warrior woman who looked like she weighed more than the battle axe she's brandishing?

Well I will get off my soap box now. As I said at the beginning of this post, I would love to hear your opinions on the audiobook option. I would also love to know what other silly things you've seen in movies, books, video-games and pop culture art regarding the ways women are portrayed!

As always, feel free to follow my misadventures on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads!

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