The Left Are Annoying Puritans
Every time I blunder into a discussion of covers in my field, I realize that the left has turned into puritans so slowly we barely noticed.
When I was young – yes, and Mastodon roamed the Earth – the left was all about “liberation.”
Of course, even then, if you paid close attention – or any attention, really – you’d see they idolized the Soviet Union and no one could really believe it was “free” when people were dying to get out.
But as the seventies progressed on their very strange way, I told myself they were just odd people who believed the lies published about the Soviet Union, and they wanted complete freedom to do whatever they wanted.
It might surprise the people who were born after the seventies to find out that the left really wanted no taboos at all. At least in Europe, if you attended a certain type of party, you might be importuned by adult males way before the age of consent. And when you refused you were told you had a problem and were repressing your sexuality or had “inhibitions.” (I developed an answer that was something like this “No, I don’t have any hang-ups about nudity. I just have no interest in seeing old men naked, thank you.” It usually made them go away.)
In fact, just about anything you didn’t want to do or try, you were told that you had hang-ups, and how much better you’d feel if you just gave them up and did whatever the person talking to you wanted.
If someone had told me back then that the left would in time become complete Puritans, I’d not have believed them.
But just look at them now.
When the cover for Darkship Thieves was settled on, the male editor who was attending the conference I was at did not show it to me because I am a woman, and he was afraid I’d be offended.
To be clear, the cover has zero sexual content. It shows a woman in a pose reminiscent of Botticelli’s Venus, mostly naked, with a sort of wrap around her that hides all the crucial points.
It is also quite obviously art, not porn. And it did wonders for the book sales.
I was reminded of this today when I blundered into a science fiction fan group online. Someone had posted a picture of an improbable space-babe with big boobs and a space suit that showed a little more cleavage than normal.
Liberal after liberal was throwing fits and talking about the objectification of women and how we should stop objectifying women.
Look guys, I’m the kind of woman who, if she reads romance (periodically, it’s not my main form of entertainment, but I read anything and everything) prefers “sweet” or “traditional” romance, because written sex does nothing for me (I’m not a voyeur) and who once dropped an Urban Fantasy series because of the obvious objectification of male characters who are there ONLY to be considered in a sexual context.