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Old 06-06-2013, 11:57 AM   #46
AnemicOak
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I believe any problems with the cover in relation to the OP were something that were compounded from the issues the columns by Resnick & Malzberg brought forth. In and of itself the cover probably wouldn't have garnered a lot of attention, or no more so than such covers always do.

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Old 06-06-2013, 12:16 PM   #47
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And folks... The problem *really* wasn't the cover illustration. The problem was a series of columns that just seem to get more condescending as they went along. That's where the anger is coming from.

Edit: Yeah.. What Brian said
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:20 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Rbneader View Post
I agree, people *should* be able to separate wish fulfillment from reality. But surprisingly many people just don't take the time too. There are a lot of decent people who don't think about how their actions or words impact others, they just kind of absorb and reflect the attitudes they see around them. So if an attitude is prevalent in their environment, which includes entertainment, they start adopting it. There's a lot of fascinating psychological research done on how repetition influences belief.
I understand what you're saying, but I think there's a real danger here of an offended minority attempting to impose their will on a non-offended majority. Ie, does your right not to be offended "trump" the right of those who enjoy such things to continue to do so? And with the very greatest respect, I do suspect that you're in the minority in finding such things offensive.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:32 PM   #49
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Just for references, a few links to posts from members of the SFWA:

A sigh about cover #200
Outrage abut the followup article by Resnick and Malzburg
Another complaint about the Resnick/Malzburg article, with links to more
A rebuttal to to accusation of anonymous criticism that was in the Malzburg/Resnick article, giving links to many non-anonymous complaints.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:34 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I understand what you're saying, but I think there's a real danger here of an offended minority attempting to impose their will on a non-offended majority. Ie, does your right not to be offended "trump" the right of those who enjoy such things to continue to do so? And with the very greatest respect, I do suspect that you're in the minority in finding such things offensive.
Yeah, I know I am in the minority. It happens to everyone at some point. Although, I have to note that it's not an insignificant minority. Sci fi covers aren't *all* pulp covers any more, comic books are coming under fire in larger media for sexist depictions, and complaints about the cover are a part of the general sea of complaints about this incident.

I don't think I've suggested that all covers everywhere should conform to my specific taste, and I apologize if I came across as saying that. I was simply trying to explain why some people dislike covers like that. Random sidenote: With ebooks, I wonder how hard/expensive it would be to let people choose a different cover? Maybe a selection screen at purchase or something? Print books are another story, but since we have this digital medium I'm hoping we see more choice and innovation in publishing. Or maybe it could be a way for Pint On Demand books to make themselves more attractive to broader audiences?

If SFWA had done something besides dismissing concerns and letting Resnick's articles continue, I don't think there would have been a huge fuss. It's the dismissal of concerns that makes me upset enough to talk about it.

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Old 06-06-2013, 12:50 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
It is, but the suggestion has been made that it's sexist to have half-naked women on book covers. What I'm asking is why it's not sexist to have half-naked men.
Well, now...
A lot of women seem to object to being portrayed as sexual objects--most men, however, can only *hope* to ever be seen as a sexual object.

A lot of political scandals are at heart about small, not terribly sigificant issues, but the followup atempts to cover up or spin the issue is what triggers the general outrage.

Here, it seems the situation has snowballed beyond the matter of the tastefulness of the cover into a fiery debate over the followup attempt to justify the cover and *the way* the attemp was made, the debating tactics and the language used.

I find neither cover offensive but since I have a long history of exposure to comic book art, I have a fairly high tolerace for stylized art. That said, a lot of comic book art from the height of the Image era (90's) was positively cringeworthy.

Ultimately, artistic tastes evolve over time and the same is true about culture and mores. Digging in the heels and dismissing somebody else's right to be offended solely on historical grounds is not likely to be effective in defusing controversy.

It certainly wasn't in this case.

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Old 06-06-2013, 12:54 PM   #52
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I understand what you're saying, but I think there's a real danger here of an offended minority attempting to impose their will on a non-offended majority.
Indeed. Which is why *listening* to the minority is a good idea *before* dismissing their concerns. It may be that the "minority" is actually a plurality or even a silent majority.
Or that their concern can be addressed at minimal cost.

A bit of civil discourse upfront can avoid ugly messes.

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Old 06-06-2013, 01:03 PM   #53
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Oh, gee, I guess we should all call African Americans n*gg*r rather than Blacks or African Americans - after all, they're only a minority. Who cares if they get offended?

no, I'm going to stop there.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgaiser View Post
And folks... The problem *really* wasn't the cover illustration. The problem was a series of columns that just seem to get more condescending as they went along. That's where the anger is coming from.

Edit: Yeah.. What Brian said
Also looks like they're trying to invoke US politics to try to shout down their detractors, too. That's the part that really bothers me. Its one thing to say that you won't shut up, but another entirely to start insulting the people around you and make a political issue out of it.

Last edited by teh603; 06-06-2013 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:31 PM   #55
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Ughh . Please don't follow any links to Vox Day unless you really want to read troglodyte ravings. Need to go wash out my brain.
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:46 PM   #56
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Ughh . Please don't follow any links to Vox Day unless you really want to read troglodyte ravings. Need to go wash out my brain.
Agreed. To quote a (somewhat) famous fantasy author on Twitter:
"If insecurities had mass, Theo [Theodore Beale] would be a black hole the size of Kansas. If unjustified self-importance had mass, ten Kansases."
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:49 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Rbneader View Post
Yeah, I know I am in the minority. It happens to everyone at some point. Although, I have to note that it's not an insignificant minority. Sci fi covers aren't *all* pulp covers any more, comic books are coming under fire in larger media for sexist depictions, and complaints about the cover are a part of the general sea of complaints about this incident.

I don't think I've suggested that all covers everywhere should conform to my specific taste, and I apologize if I came across as saying that. I was simply trying to explain why some people dislike covers like that. Random sidenote: With ebooks, I wonder how hard/expensive it would be to let people choose a different cover? Maybe a selection screen at purchase or something? Print books are another story, but since we have this digital medium I'm hoping we see more choice and innovation in publishing. Or maybe it could be a way for Pint On Demand books to make themselves more attractive to broader audiences?

If SFWA had done something besides dismissing concerns and letting Resnick's articles continue, I don't think there would have been a huge fuss. It's the dismissal of concerns that makes me upset enough to talk about it.

It's the overall attitude that bothers me as well. I realize there are going to be covers out there that offend me and don't offend others. I also understand why they are done--there are those who believe it makes the book more marketable.

The flippant attitude...and the articles...that's another problem entirely.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:00 PM   #58
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Oh, gee, I guess we should all call African Americans n*gg*r rather than Blacks or African Americans - after all, they're only a minority. Who cares if they get offended?

no, I'm going to stop there.
Trouble is, Becca, that once you start demanding a right not to be offended you're on a very slippery slope indeed. Suppose I say that I'm offended by all the erotic fiction out there (the overwhelming majority of which is written by, and read by, women), because it portrays men as mere sex objects, does that give me the right to demand that nobody should be allowed to read erotica? Or might it, perhaps, simply be more sensible for me to take the view that, although it's not something I want to read myself, other people have tastes which differ from mine, and there's nothing actually wrong with enjoying an escapist fantasy which depicts someone as an object of sexual desire?
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:21 PM   #59
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But isn't what's actually happening here the membership of the SFWA giving feedback as to what should be published in the organization's official bulletin? And the targets of their criticism reacting really really badly?
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:08 PM   #60
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"Offending people is a necessary and healthy act. Every time you say something that's offensive to another person, you just caused a discussion. You just forced them to have to think." Louis C.K.

I haven't read any Resnick or Malzberg lately, I may have to. I support anything which strikes a blow against language and thought policing.
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