Thursday, April 26, 2012
violence against women in high fantasy art
This image has sparked off a debate among players of Magic: The Gathering, some of whom include my friends and acquaintances. It shows a provocatively dressed woman (Liliana Vess) being pinned down by the throat be a hulking man (Garruk) who is about to punch her in the face.
In the story, (the story is extremely important to M:TG fans and the issue of violence against women is hard to separate from the story) Liliana is pretty damn evil, has killed lots of people and has put a terrible curse on Garruk. He's out for revenge.
Does she deserve to be killed? (Does she deserve to be punished?)
Personally, I'd say she deserves to be punished, but not killed.
I've seen people question the sexualisation of the image (ok, wow, are you missing the heaving bosoms, his-knee-between-her-legs and suspenders?), question the "rapey"-ness of it, question thoughtfully (hard to tell with this guy, tbh) can it be depicted in another way and if not, what does that mean for female characters in these franchises...
What the hell is wrong with fantasy art? What's so wrong about fantasy art?
On one hand, there is so fucking much wrong with fantasy art and it's depiction of women and men. And the violence.
But hell, it's fantasy! It's not real!
I guess my umbrage is when you get fans of fantasy art talking about women they don't like as "whores" and "bitches". And when they trivialise the fact that violence against women (glowing spells not required) is a REAL WORLD problem and they're perpetuating rape culture by consuming and validating artwork and themes like the Triumph of Ferocity.
And man, it really fucks me off when they mansplain me and ask me enormous questions that boil down to changing all of rape culture right now. God damn it, I'm just trying to change YOUR mind.