Liss at Shakesville has posted before about the commercial exploitation of woman as dismembered body parts:
It’s so very girly to get all worked up about novelty boobs. Oh, you’re such a girl.
You’re fucking right I’m a girl.
I’m a girl with no sense of humor about anti-girl things — go figure.
And it was her words that came to mind when I saw this Fox poster advertising Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles on Sociological Images:
Note that the Summer Glau character is not sexualised in the series itself. She has a patriarchally-approved body, but that’s it: she’s 100% business, competent, kick-arse, and clothed. (Aside: Lena Headey, who plays Sarah Connor, is awesome.)
So what do Fox marketeers do to attempt to pull in the male fans? Strip Glau, chop her in half and turn her into a dismembered robot Lady Godiva, hanging from – what are those things? They’re sickeningly reminiscent of meathooks.
Anyhow. If you’re a Terminator fan, don’t let this put you off the series itself. It is very watchable, and not particularly antifeminist. It’s certainly far, far better than the Bionic Woman remake. Which is a pretty low bar.
The rest of the posters:
Categories: gender & feminism, media
a patriarchally-approved body
What does this mean – is there a entry for it at Finally Feminism 101?
That is incredibly frustrating. At least the other posters don’t look as bad (although really, even a robot doesn’t wear a push-up bra to kick ass in – HONESTLY).
I really don’t understand the obsession with torture porn. I mean, I know all the psychology and so on, but it is so far from resonating with me that I find it difficult to understand.
The one where she’s all robot with just the human face would be fine if only she wasn’t so defuckingmurely gazing downwards with half-lidded eyes. Why couldn’t she have looked roboblankly fierce instead of roboblankly submissive?
UT: patriarchally-approved body isn’t obvious? It’s whatever the current generation’s ideal shape is for women (it’s always unrealistic for the majority, and mass media has made this ideal more of an outlier than ever before): currently to have a boyish arse, tits so perky that they defy gravity, and an aura of Photoshop perfection.
@tigtog – I think they’re *all* creepy for that very reason. Cradling the gun, but looking like she’s cradling a baby. uhhhh…?
I’d like to add something else to the list of currently approved body type, which annoys me – super skinny but muscly arms. I am short. I am a small build. Thin, even. But I have muscly upper arms and they are not skinny and little. It’s very hard to have skinny, muscly arms without also having very low body fat. But that’s what’s expected. Grrr.
Those posters remind me of what they did in Star Trek with the Borg Queen. I think it was in the movie ‘First Contact’ with gratuitous shots of the disembodied queen being put together. Its a creepy image which has stayed with me.
The one where she’s demurely looking down–you could argue that it’s representative of her character. On the show, she’s a Terminator, an incredibly powerful killing machine, yet, she’s been programmed to take the commands of weak humans. There’s always this edge of “will she break free and kill them all?”
Although, yeah, that’s just an excuse, it’s supposed to look sexy.
For some reason, someone had posted that exact poster at WisCon. I feel someone misjudged the demographics, there.
I’m with @Rayedish on this: the first time I saw the image, I thought “Oh, Borg Queen homage” and thought nothing more of it.
I like the fact that, with this and Firefly, Summer Glau is set up as the ISO Standard Arse-Kicking Woman for the SFTV world. This despite not being (relatively) tall and bemuscled like Sigourney et al. She’s one actress (pardon my language) who won’t suffer from directors always casting her for pretty=brainless roles; if anything, she’s going to have the opposite problem, being typecast as (a) smart, (b) dangerous and (c) the most interesting character in any show she’s in.
One piece of art can be read in several ways, often these ways represent the viewer more than that of the creator.
Madeline – ”I really don’t understand the obsession with torture porn.” How is this torture – she’s a robot. How is this porn – you can’t see anything.
tigtog – ”gazing downwards with half-lidded eyes. Why couldn’t she have looked roboblankly fierce instead of roboblankly submissive?”. Perhaps this is an instance where the viewers own views are influencing their interpretation. I personaly don’t think her look is in anyway submissive. ”patriarchally-approved body isn’t obvious? It’s whatever the current generation’s ideal shape is for women (it’s always unrealistic for the majority, and mass media has made this ideal more of an outlier than ever before): currently to have a boyish arse, tits so perky that they defy gravity, and an aura of Photoshop perfection.” These people are trying to make beautiful art- understand that – beautiful is defined by the culture of the society and the technology has allowed new art forms such as photoshop to emerge.
This is art and should be viewed as such, personally i think is is beautiful – but that don’t mean I want to be a dimemberd robot or that i want to dimember a robot. All art should be enjoyed for what it is – something that brings forth emotion in us – whether is is happyness, sadness or admiration. It is not a blueprint to be followed and should not be attacked as if it is ment to be one.
I believe all these images of Summer are ment to demonstrate that although she looks like your average human on the outside she is quite different on the inside in a ‘looks can be misleading’ kind of way. I also believe that the artists who worked on these pieces have done a great job and should be admired for doing so.
So Kay – how the school holidays going? good?
You don’t think that the broad societal scripting for women to behave in ways that ultimately are emotionally/physically/financially damaging is present in these representations? Or that such scripting shouldn’t be attacked?