(Okay, I’m cheating a little by partially reusing a linkdump I compiled back in January — but this is forever topical!)
The male gaze & the portrayal of women in media is one of the things I’m perpetually interested in, mostly because it’s usually so gosh-darned unhealthy and strange. Most of these pages were scrounged up over the course of a single evening, after pitching headfirst down the rabbit hole & following link after link after recommendation after link. Here they are, for posterity and if you also have an evening to spare:
- Disney princesses drawn in ‘comic book style’: Ugh. I thought these were parodies at first — a mockery of comic book-style sexist art — but was disheartened to discover that it was legit.
- Jim C. Hines: Striking a Pose: HILARIOUS and amazing.
- Shortpacked: False Equivalence: One of my favourite individual comic strips of all time. Sums it up so perfectly.
- Anti-Comics Feminist Bingo: #accurate
- Porn That Women Like: Why Does It Make Men So Uncomfortable?: The comments are interesting in that apparently James Deen’s porn isn’t much different from the usual, but I definitely agree that he is way more attractive than what I’ve seen of most porn stars. And I don’t really care about the actual quality of his films, but am super interested in why guys looking like him can’t get jobs in porn, the homophobia argument, the disembodied phallus, etc.
- Fantasy Armor and Lady Bits: My housemate’s boyfriend referenced this the other day, since they work at a swordfighting academy.
- Oldie but a goodie: The Big Sexy Problem with Superheroines and Their ‘Liberated Sexuality’
- Another oldie but goodie: Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women
- Not entirely related, but Athletic Body Diversity: Reference for Artists. There are so many different body types out there!
- Hey, everyone — stop taking this picture! (No, I mean it.): A new article I just came across today.
- oh look I fell down the torrid link spiral again: Female Super-Hero Characters and Sex: Creators Explain How Comics Can Do Better. I love Kurt Busiek’s contribution.
- also just thought of adding this: Kate Beaton, Carly Monardo, and Meredith Gran’s Strong Female Characters
- ditto: Jhonen Vasquez’s parody of superheroes/superheroines, which I have loved for a long, long time. (I howl with laughter every time they x-ray the guy. Or when they poke the girl’s forehead-armour, she tips over due to being so top-heavy, and her breasts crush her own skull. JHONEN, YOU ARE SO GORY YET SO GREAT.)
A friend of mine made the point that even while she completely agrees, another part of her just likes the sight of hot ladies. And I know that I waver sometimes in terms of good artwork; for an example off the top of my head, I’m a big fan of Stuart Immonen’s art in Nextwave even though the women have wacky Barbie proportions, because it’s obviously super-stylised and they don’t show that much skin. (And not to mention, Elsa Bloodstone is so badass.) So there’s a line to tread, I guess, but for the most part it feels like the broader media is still doing it wrong.
Anyway, that’s the tip of the iceberg! If anyone else out there has further thought-provoking/well-written/funny/etc posts on this topic, feel free to pipe up and share! As you can see, once you get started there’s really no end to it. But I still don’t get tired of reading about this, ever. There’s a pretty obvious connection between advertising’s image of women & our self-esteem; when it’s so pervasive like this, no wonder so many people have inaccurate or unhealthy relationships to their own bodies.
(Note to self: At some point, blog my thoughts on specifically the male gaze/female gaze in a few diff. movies.)