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Jan. 17th, 2012 @ 02:22 pm Reflections on the Fantasy Covers post
Current Mood: happyhappy
Current Music: Against Me! - I Was a Teenage Anarchist | Powered by Last.fm
This is cross-posted from genrereviews because I know there are people who read here more frequently than over there. If you've already seen it there, feel free to skip past this version. Since, y'know, it's the same thing.

Last week I wrote a post about book covers, gender roles, and the bizarre depictions thereof. You may have noticed it.

That post spread around the internet in a way I was totally unprepared for, as the temporary blip in my bandwidth on Friday no doubt revealed. Sometimes it's hard to predict how well a post will go over, but I'd spent a fair amount of time on that one and was pretty pleased with the way it turned out, and being a feminist the subject matter was close to my heart. I'd hoped for a decent response, but I wasn't expecting a full month's worth of visitors in less than two days. I wasn't expecting to be featured at Publisher's Weekly's sf/f blog, I wasn't expecting to have authors tell me they planned to send their publisher to my post when it came time to talk about cover art, and I wasn't expecting to be used as inspiration for fantasy artists. This is all great stuff. Mindblowing stuff! I am so incredibly pleased at the response, my poor husband is wondering when the giddy is going to die back down.

You know what the best part is, though? People are thinking about this now. And talking about it. It's become a whole conversation, and that is so much more valuable than any of the things I listed above. Does this mean big changes in the way cover art will be produced from now on? No, of course not. But if we're thinking about it and looking critically, that's important. Attitudes of "oh, well that's just the way things are and always have been" don't do anyone any good.

And yes, my back is fine, thank you. It was stiff the next day, mostly from trying to get the spinal twist on the John Ringo cover, but I was careful to stretch it out when I could and was basically fine. And my knee is pleased to report no new injuries in that direction.
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Aeryn
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From:jimhines
Date:January 17th, 2012 08:31 pm (UTC)
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Heh. Ditto to pretty much everything you say here :-)
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From:_ocelott_
Date:January 18th, 2012 06:38 am (UTC)
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Something else I noted, and I'm not sure if this is due to gender or a reflection of the differences in our posts or if it's simply because your platform is larger than mine, but I didn't have detractors the same way you did. Aside from the occasional comment about "but this is the way it's always been" and one or two people trying to convince me the pose on the Ringo cover is a legitimate defensive stance, it was all very positive. Nobody commented on what shape I might be in or told me the poses would be easier if I were a martial artist/acrobat/boneless creature. I'm happy (albeit somewhat surprised) not to have anonymous internet people tell me my problem is that I'm too fat or too old for this, but having read your follow-up post, it does make me go "hmmm."
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From:jimhines
Date:January 18th, 2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
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Interesting ... I'm betting some of that is just due to the numbers, like you said. But given the way male vs. female bloggers are treated online, I'd have expected you to get a bit more of the nastiness. (I'm thrilled to be wrong about that, though!)

The vast majority of the response on mine has been positive too, but last I checked, that thing had been viewed around 75,000 times, which is completely mind-boggling to me. So even if only .1% of people decided to be punks, that would still lead to a fair number of annoying comments. It makes me wonder how the people with the really big blogs handle it day after day.

If the Ringo pose is supposed to be a legitimate stance, wouldn't she have a better chance of defending herself if she opened her eyes?