Tamora Pierce Vs. Gor
I've always wondered what would happen if the feminist comics blogosphere ever collided with the decidedly un-PC "Gor" science-fiction series. Now I know.
On Pierce's blog, commenting on Dark Horse's upcoming "Gor" omnibus:
"...swaggering male stereotypes, rape disguised as sex, with women begging for more. Women who dare to try to transcend these highly limited roles are beaten down, enslaved, conveniently killed by the plot for their presumption, or made to crawl to the father phallus hero--or forced to serve as egg farms.
And Dark Horse wants to perpetuate this. Dark Horse wants to make money with this. I have no doubt that they will. Neither do you, I suspect. This of all of those fanboys who have ordered us to cook for them, opted into hive-vagina rhetoric, demanded that we stop whining, called those of us who are men all manner of names, told us to get out of comics. They will love this world, if they don't know it already. They'll be able to live every woman-beating, woman-raping, woman-enslaving moment. Dark Horse means to enable this kind of hatred of non-phallo-stereotype men and women alike. In these books the heroes are muscular studs who prey on all that is Other."
To fill you in, the "Gor" novels, by John Norman, are about another planet where women are systematically enslaved. I mean, there is other stuff in the books -- social commentary, sword play, etc -- but the concept of enslaving women is at the heart of these books. It sort of takes the sort of "women in peril" cheesecake stuff you see in comics twenty steps further.
On one hand, it is a series of "classic" sci-fi novels and there is a market for reprints, comic book adaptations, etc. There is a loyal fanbase.
On the other hand, there is no way in hell I could tell a women concerned about feminist issues to "lighten up" about "Gor." It would be like me trying to tell them to "lighten up" about "The Devil's Rejects." As a horror fan, I think "The Devil's Rejects" is unique & has merit. But the first scene has a dead naked cheerleader being dragged through the dirt. In terms of feminism, it is hideous.
If you want to get a taste of what the "Gor" books are about but would prefer it in a more watered-down form, you could do worse than read this.
I think Pierce is calling for a boycott of the book. At any rate, certainly the company must be aware of the shit they are going to catch for carrying this title.