More Lara Croft, more Fifty Shades and some book covers

First of all, there’s more on the whole “Hey, let’s rape Lara Croft” affair from the Guardian, the New Statesman, Care2 and Destructoid. I have no idea what that still from The Ewok Adventure has to do with anything, though. And yes, to my infinite shame I actually know the film.

Indeed, the response from big name mainstream media outlets like the Guardian and the New Statesman confirm that Lara Croft is an iconic character who transcends the videogame community. And indeed, the game company Crystal Dynamics felt compelled to issue a statement that “it’s not as bad as it sounds and it’s not really rape” (thanks to commenter Sakinah for the link). Unfortunately, the trailer for the new game embedded in the article does indeed look torture porny in a way that the old games never looked, pneumatic breasts aside.

Tangentially related, Foz Meadows has a great post about rape culture in gaming with links about how several women have been harassed in nastiest way imaginable for the sin of being female and daring to say something about the inherent misogyny in large parts of the videogame culture.

Meanwhile, Cynthia Crossen wonders about the appeal of Fifty Shades of Grey at the Wall Street Journal. There are the by now familiar arguments that submission fantasies mainly appeal to people with a lot of power and responsibility in their lives and that books like these give women permission to express their sexual desires.

The results of the Cover Café‘s 2011 romance cover contest are in and several of my remarks are quoted. These results once again demonstrate how out of tune my tastes are with those of the majority of romance readers, because my picks inevitably end up somewhere towards the bottom. The only category where my choice won is the “Worst” category and that cover truly reaches new dimensions of hideousness.

And what’s it with all the cowboys on the category romance covers? I’ve never really gotten the appeal of cowboys and cowboy hats anyway – they mostly remind me of bad westerns I had to watch as a child – but those aren’t even particularly attractive cowboys.

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2 Responses to More Lara Croft, more Fifty Shades and some book covers

  1. Kaz Augustin says:

    Imo, anything that has a Renaissance feel + feathers/angel-vibe = instant win! The rest pander to North American/Anglo tastes, without a doubt, because they all left me cold. I saw CHAIN OF KISSES, however, and went WTF??!!

    As for the harassment of women delving into misogyny in gaming, well, another WTF!! but much more strident and, at the same time, sadder.

    • Cora says:

      Those covers definitely pander to North American tastes, which is probably why so many of them don’t work for me either. The cowboys on the category romance covers are obviously an American obsession, one that I never quite managed to understand. And tanned models falling out of prom dresses in colours that weren’t even available in the 18th and 19th century on many historical covers just drive me mad. As for Chain of Kisses, I can’t fathom how that cover ever seemed like a good idea.

      Apparently, there have been quite a few cases where women who spoke out against misogyny in gaming and even women who worked in the gaming industry have been harassed and threatened in the nastiest way imaginable. That’s probably why videogames are so misogynist – because any woman working in the industry is harassed until she leaves.

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