Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Warriors Above, Damsels Below"

That's the intriguing title of an article at Flashbak (with a tip o' the hat to Ace of Spades for the link).  Here's an excerpt.

What image could be more ubiquitous in science fiction and fantasy art than the mighty well-armed He-Man with damsel at his feet?

I call it the “Conan Pose” after the most well-known and biggest repeat offender of the trope.

The device is as simple as this: (1) the man is a rugged warrior who is generally armed ...

... and (2) the woman is positioned beneath him and is generally defenseless.

Like the Women Running from Houses theme, which you see again and again in gothic romance, the “Conan Pose” is repeated ad nauseum in the science fiction and fantasy world and beyond.

There are many more examples at the link.  Fun from a literary-historical perspective, and even more fun because they make feminazi's and Social Justice Warriors froth at the mouth!  I have to agree that in terms of modern culture, they're irredeemably sexist and male-chauvinist;  but that sort of thing will probably always be with us.  I'm just waiting for the feminist version, with an Amazonian female dominating male hangers-on!



Mark Matis said...

An Amazonian female dominating male hangers-on, you say? You see that every day. In the White House. With Valerie and the Mad Cow - Angus breed, and the Muslim in Chief cowering at their feet.

Anonymous said...

See covers for the "Chicks in Chainmail" series which has some covers similar to what you're talking about.

parabarbarian said...

On the other hand, not all women can be shield maidens.

Anonymous said...

The one at the top looks like it might be by Frank Frazetta. It looks a little off, but it certainly is similar to other Conon pictures he did. And he had done movie posters before, e.g. The Gauntlet with Clint Eastwood.

D. Scruggs

Anonymous said...

It looked a little off because it was not a Frazetta. Some other guy. The Vacation one I believe is by Boris Vallejo.

D. Scruggs

Wraith said...

"Generally defenseless?" Aside from the NatLamp poster, the ladies are all holding blades or blasters.

Methinks someone's projecting a bit with that analysis.