Well, someone needs to buy some moth balls.
This is a guy called Ricky D for Ajaxx. I’m not exactly sure what that means. But I’m pretty sure Homotrophy is a good website
Please, Sir, ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel, pub. Cleis Press. Please, Ma’am, ed. Rachel Kramer Bussel, pub. Cleis Press
Watched by Mathilde Madden
What? No. Really? Really, Cleis Press? Really? Deja vu, anyone?
I mean, you do realise that it’s possible to take photographs of men, don’t you? You haven’t got them confused with, I dunno, vampires or something.
Well, I guess the best that can be said about this. And it’s accompanying book is that it is some kind of improvement on those last ones. Now instead of black rubber corsets we have coloured corsets. Plus, the women have heads: w00t! Women get to have heads, party! Except that we don’t count that on Cover Watch. Nah, see, we count trashy women on covers the same as sophisticated women with vaguely hip make up. Still women. Still covers featuring women and only women. This is an erotica book and in the erotica publishing industry only women can represent the erotic. No, strike that, it’s not quite true. Only the desires of straight men can represent the erotic.
Now, do I need to come right out and say it: this, men and women of the web, is sexism at it’s simplest.
Since these books are about sex and power, let’s talk about sexism and power. We live in a patriachy. Men have power; women have power only where men allow it. So, say, women get to have the “power” of sitting on a book cover looking sexy, but we don’t get to have the (real) power of having our desires represented on book covers. Can you see how different those levels of power are?
What’s particularly unfair is how much artistic energy women sink into the erotica publishing industry. Women make up the bulk of the writers and editors and reviewers for these books, often for very little financial rewards. Wouldn’t it be nice if the result of all this work and enthusiasm was a product that acknowledged their right to desire on the packaging? Instead of just presenting their labours as a delicious treat for straight men to pick up and enjoy?
Again and again we see this idea that women who want to be part of sexual culture have to become performers. Have to be on display. Only men get the privilege of watching from the shadows, comfortable that their desire will be presented for them without them having to offer anything of themselves in return.
That these books, like the previous two in the series, refuse to acknowledge female desire (the books are explicitly heterosexual) on the goddamn covers is shameful. It’s 2010, women have eyes and hearts and minds. Erotica publishing’s continued obstinate ignoring of that simple fact is sexist, nasty and, actually, in these tough economic times, probably downright dumb.
Sorry for the second helpings, but I just couldn’t help myself. I saw this picture over on Janine Ashbless’s blog yesterday and I fell in love. *happy sigh*.
Come back Thursday for a look at what erotica publishing has been slapping on its covers lately. *irritated sigh*.
Ouch! Coat hangers can be tricky things.
Image via Male Submission Art
You know, it’s been a long time since I thought about what a very attractive man Ewan McGregor is (and I used to think about it quite often), but I was reminded by this clip in which he proclaims that his frequent nude scenes in films are ‘a feminist thing’
So that’s nice. Ewan gets it. Naked men = feminist thing; naked women = same old thing. This week, you’ll no doubt be as disappointed as me to learn, the erotica publishing industry failed to get this point so spectacularly I can only think that this was plan B, after going around to every straight female reader or writer of erotica personally and insulting them to their face proved too expensive. (If you follow these thing you might know which books I mean – if not, we’ll get there. Promise.)
Hey, you know what’s terrible? I don’t think we have ever done a headless Man Candy. Shocking! I mean, how else are all our straight male readers going to identify.
Here you go!
(What do you mean straight men don’t get off on identifying with random images of headless male torsos? I don’t understand.)