Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fashion Trends in Sexist Exploitation in SF and Fantasy Movies

I have written a poem. Since it does not scan, please consider the following blank verse, that fabulous category that accepts any poetic indignity.

The bodice ripper has ripped her bodices
The bald blue babe makes quite a goddess-es

Secondary sexual characteristic
With body paint and old fashioned lipstick

Its not done yet, that is as far as I have gotten.   Now to our post.

No less an issue than stupid features in smart phones, the display of sexual fitness in women moves forward with dazzling speed, and failure to keep up with styles in sexist exploitation is a clear indication of someone who has not met the challenge posed by these changing times.

As we move swiftly from one exploitative style to the next nevertheless we may look fondly back to simpler times when our sexist exploitation of women merely emphasized such supernormal signals as cup or breast size, or tight spandex, and did not rely on surgical modification and implanted electronics, at least not so much. A puffy lip or two was sufficient back in those days to indicate sexual fitness, now things are so much more complicated.

But I am not complaining, far from it. One of my favorite trends, which originates all the way back in the 1990s and 2000s has come back with a vengeance. Yes, the role of women in science fiction television of the period: stern, even mean, and tightly bound in her spandex or polyethelyne “uniform”. Not exploitative at all, no not at all.

This is old fashioned sexist exploitation.  We are far more sophisticated today.

Mean looking women in spandex, one of my favorites, I thought as I watched Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) only this time hold the spandex, we will just spray the decoration directly on the lithe young actress victim and mating unit with some decoration to simulate ritual scarification or is that embedded electronics? Does anyone care? I just hope it does not smear when handled by suitably energized victim or victimized units of the appropriate non-gender specific gender, whatever that may be.

Subtle, very subtle!  And blue!

Or maybe smearing of surface features is part of successful mating?  These things change you know.  Then there could be a ritual of reapplying the ritual scarification or surface electronics after the main event is over.   These things are culturally as well as biologically determined and who am I to judge or guess what might be involved.  Clearly more research is needed.

But we can certainly applaud these trends in body paint / surface electronics unless of course we are decrying this obvious objectification of women beneath a veneer of plot-driven character to obscure the latent or not so latent exploitation in action adventure comic-derived feature films.

Obviously we need more examples and more hands-on research in order to determine what is going on here.  In the mean time, and in the absence of a certain condemnation, we can provisionally grant our approval and look forward to the future in this subgenre.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) on IMDB

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