[LMB] more on the PP cover

Pat Mathews mathews55 at msn.com
Mon Sep 16 13:25:34 BST 2019

There’s a Bimbo on the Cover of My Book: Verse One<https://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2016/10/26/there%E2%80%99s-a-bimbo-on-the-cover-of-my-book-verse-1/>
To celebrate having an honest-to-God bimbo on the cover of a book—one who was specifically designed to be there, I’m rerunning the Bimbo series from 2011, which takes a humorous and sometimes terrifying look at the things that end up on the covers of our books. Bimbo on the Cover is a ...

From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Beatrice Otter <beatrice_otter at zoho.com>
Sent: Sunday, September 15, 2019 9:09 PM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold. <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [LMB] more on the PP cover

---- On Sun, 15 Sep 2019 02:48:28 -0700 Gwynne Powell <mailto:gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote ----

I still think the youthful spirits behind Pen are acceptable: this shows
their spirits, it's how they saw themselves, it's their essence. I know that
my inner me, the image I see of myself deep down inside, isn't set at my
current age.

And the nudity makes it more intimate, after all Penric deals with them
on a very close and intimate level. With no deception, no concealment.

Plus the more active of the spirits do tend to be rather exuberant.

Beatrice Otter:
So, the core of how women (or even these specific women) see themselves is young and naked and on display?  Younger, possibly, but young AND NAKED AND ON DISPLAY?

The problem with discussing how women are portrayed in media is that people use Watsonian methods to address Doylistic problems.  If you work hard enough, you can find a Watsonian reason to explain away ANY exploitation, ANY objectification.  The reason that the women on the cover were portrayed as young and naked is because young naked women are more commercially exploitable than middle-aged or older women who are fully dressed.  The reason that female characters in fantasy books, games, and movies are so often portrayed with "armor" that covers barely more than a bikini is because young women in bikinis are more commercially exploitable than women in armor that actually is useful as armor.  You can come up with all kinds of in-universe justifications after the fact, but the truth is, any justification you come up with is just papering over the real reason.  Our culture, and SF/F in particular, commodifies and exploits women as sex objects.  That is the norm.

And, frankly, as disturbing as that is, I still find it better to acknowledge it for what it is than to try and come up with in-universe justifications for why it's really appropriate that the women (and only the women) are naked and on display.

Beatrice Otter
Lois-Bujold mailing list message sent to mathews55 at msn.com
Lois-Bujold at lists.herald.co.uk

More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list