March 16, 2012 at 7:55 pm #22406
I think the issue here is that there were two covers in a row that featured nude (if tastefully positioned) female figures. I know SSS has been very egalitarian in its artwork, but a LOT of other places are not. They have nude female figures coming out of… well I don’t think I should say.
It’s understandable then that some of us can be easily triggered. I had a few thoughts along these lines myself until I realized these were practically the ONLY covers of SSS that have had nude ladies on them. So. I think it was the frequency that was the problem there, not the nude ladies themselves.
And if this month’s cover is porn, what does that make Michelangelo’s David? o.OMarch 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm #22416
The last two banners are since the revamp of SSS. So from that perspective, 100% of the banners are nude females. Having them on just the cover is not so bad but the banners top every page. And they are dreadfully hard for passersby not to notice as provocative which fits into the stereotype of the general population about sci-fi. Unfortunate.
Remember Michelangelo’s David commission was approved by celibates of strange appetites. While the statue is well done it reflects something even a past queen of England found offensive.March 20, 2012 at 7:57 am #22422
Dennis M LaneSubscriber
Well, considering that, if one looks at the gallery, there are 36 with no unclothed females. 2 which feature a female form but show nothing (176 the female form morphing into a skeleton and 173 a naked female back). Then there are the last 2 covers. I think the term always is way over-the-top in this case!March 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm #22433
the english assassinSubscriber
Hullo Sofa-peeps, long time – no speak. Hope everyone is okay. This place has certainly changed its look – always improving – I like it.
But somethings don’t change, I see…
“Why do banners always have to be naked females?”
Okay, I have no problem with this nor much of Judy’s opening post, although “always” obviously is hyperbole and counter productive to any argument when it is so easy to check – but it is perfectly acceptable for Judy et al to feel uncomfortable with nude-imagery or viewing nedes in public places – although presumably this also makes you feel uncomfortable if viewed on a computer screen in your local library then? If not, why not? this banner is an artistic and sensual image – and those things aren’t mutually exclusive. Indeed they’re both commonplace.
“Beyond that, it puts me at risk of embarrassment if someone at work happened by while I was looking at it.”
Now Fred’s post is even more valid. I can’t imagine that viewing this at work would hardly be a sacking offence (although browsing the internet while you should be working might be), but yes it could cause embarrassment or awkwardness, although no more embarrassing than a lot of imagery on the mediaweb associated with SF or computer games, etc… And to be honest, unless nude imagery was to become a regular feature it should be possible to scroll down in time to hide the banner…
“Nor is it acceptable to transmit or receive material that is threatening, obscene, harassing, or child pornography”
Sorry, I find this really embarrassing. This image is none of those things and to suggest that it is, even tangentially or rhetorically is prudish nonsense. And no, by any standards that I’m aware of other than fem-fascist or Christian-right standards, could this image ever be considered “soft-porn” either.
“The last two banners are since the revamp of SSS. So from that perspective, 100% of the banners are nude females.”
This is an attempt at humour, right? The mag-cover clearly says #228 and (although I haven’t been hear for about a year or so) I clearly remember banners being on here for sometime before this, so re-vamp or not you are factually wrong IMO. But this also reeks of lawyeristic argument, for even if this point wasn’t so palpably wrong, I can only read it as a vain attempt to score a point on what could only be described as a petty technicality.
” Remember Michelangelo’s David commission was approved by celibates of strange appetites. While the statue is well done it reflects something even a past queen of England found offensive.”
Judy, do you really want to use this argument as a defence for your views or are you joking? Because here you seem to be saying that those who appreciate nude imagery and sculpture have deviant or perverse tastes? Well, I’d sooner have strange appetites than no appetites at all. And you also seem to be saying that Victorian prudish sensibilities and mores of a ruling class of racist opium-addled elitists should in some way be a guide to modern aesthetics? Maybe I’m misreading this, but I seem to remember your views on Bergman were similarly conservative.
On the wider issue: I don’t see anything wrong with an occasional bit of titillation in genre art. Obviously it gets boring if it is ubiquitous, but the good ship SSS is hardly a smut factory, so what’s the problem. Should and could erotic imagery of males also be used? Yeah, sure – why not? The female nude is almost a cliché these days, so why shouldn’t an artist not rise to the challenge… I wonder if SSS’s male ‘readership’ would object? Probably not, I suspect… If they did then I would disagree with them as strongly. But in my opinion prudes have a tendency to have the dirtiest minds.
Anyway, it’s good to be back.March 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm #22452
Covers, being avoidable on the site, are not the issue. Banners are unavoidable.
If the artists want a challenge they should try clothing. Any beginning art student can do nudes (Art 101).
As for David a la Grecque, the statue was originally commissioned as a roof ornament to be seen in detail only by those with roof access to the cathedral. It proved to be too heavy to lift into place (LOL – they weren’t engineers). Celibate appetites are what they are. What a way to imagine a prophet(classical Greek style was an anachronism at best)! Such appetites have been the core of some very large legal cases in this state. I’m aware some countries and people turn a blind eye. Imagine Jesus preaching in little red shoes and lacey robes or no robe at all and you sort of get the disharmony of David a la Grecque on a cathedral. One reason why Protestantism gained ground so fast some years later when people could begin to read the scriptures in their own languages.March 26, 2012 at 2:05 am #22454
Wheee! Hyperbole for the win? Hi all! So, I agree to a certain extent with Judy in that there are occasions, albeit rare ones, in which viewing an image of a nude or semi-nude woman on the banner of SSS would be awkward.
For instance, for the next month or so, I live with my extremely Christian parents, who would have been startled/offended to see last month’s cover on my computer screen. That said, when I was on the SSS page I simply spent most of the time scrolled down so that if they randomly walked in, they wouldn’t see that. Same would have gone for a nude male subject.
I don’t think even my extremely Christian parents would have a problem with this month’s cover, however. And to try to say that SSS’s covers are predominantly, or even often, nude females, is silly.
Now, I can certainly understand why you might be upset at having have said nude females (and I refer particularly to last month’s cover, since this month’s cover, even in its banner form, would be offensive only to the MOST uptight people I know, and I know some doozies) on the screen in a public library, or at work. At least at work, I would be more embarrassed to be clearly spending work time on a non-work website than by the picture on that webpage, personally. At the library… uh, well, scroll down? Don’t visit SSS at the library?
The vast majority of SSS listeners are no doubt viewing the page while at home on their own internet connection, and are not offended by or have no problem with the covers as they are/have been.
Also, SSS gets its art for free. If it was paying for art out of a huge selection of art it bought from a number of different artists, or even if it was paying commission for specific artists whose styles tend toward nude women, then I could see this being an issue, as clearly the art direction would be making a choice to include more nudity as opposed to less. (although even this falls in the face of the fact that 9/10 of the art has so far NOT been nudity of any kind)
The point is that while SSS cannot by any means be called a “beggar” they are not exactly a “chooser” either. They live or die by support of fans, and art is part of that. I suspect that often as not, what they get is, well, what they’ve got, and unless it’s truly pornographic (which neither cover has been) it makes sense for them to put it up and run with it, especially when it’s high quality stuff like the last two covers have been.
In conclusion, even if the last two month’s covers offended you, there are plenty of ways to avoid seeing them very much, and I’d suggest giving SSS a chance to prove that these two covers represent incidental choices and are not, in fact, a reflection of pornographic or chauvinist tendencies.
Also, I would not be opposed to a nude male image. Although my parents would be. I will be scrolling down, while still appreciating the quality of work posted here.March 27, 2012 at 12:16 am #22459
I repeat, the main problem is not the covers. They are avoidable. The Banners are not. And since the revamp they are even more unavoidable.
I don’t go to other sci-fi sites that have “lots of nude females” …. so I can’t comment on them. But I have enjoyed spending leisure time at the library or cyber cafes reading SSS forum discussions until recently. Now I only read it when at home alone if I remember to log in. Which is less fun and less often.
Scrolling down is not workable if one has high resolution so that one sees most of a page at a time.
For me, work is not a problem since those servers and computers are separate, but I understand Larry’s situation and being on government computers makes it even more touchy – images get stored in temp files, backups, etc. The images can get one on some peculiar sysadmin lists often shared with government overseers.
I notice that when selecting parts of the cover for the banner this month the parts selected were NOT the wings. LOL.March 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm #22466
I’m with Dee on this one – I didn’t even realise it was a female until I saw this thread! What’s more, I thought the individual was clothed (or wrapped in white bandages at least). As a devout Christian, I’m sensitive to nudity in the sites I visit and while last month’s was on the dodgy side, I didn’t find this month’s offensive at all.
And yes, I’m just as happy with images of naked men, although on the whole I prefer it if we could all just keep our clothes on in public . I got my fill of male nudity for the month at a production of Thyestes I went to, but that’s a story for another day!
TomMarch 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm #22479
In South Carolina a teacher has been placed on administrative leave for reading excerpts of Orson Scott Card’s science fiction classic Ender’s Game to his middle school students.
“The parent that reported him to the school district complained that the book was pornographic,” Tod Kelly writes. “[T]hat same parent also asked the local police to file criminal charges against the teacher. As of today, the police have not yet decided whether or not to file charges (which is probably a good sign that they won’t). The school district, however, appears to agree with the parent, is considering firing the teacher and will be eliminating the book from the school.
Ender’s Game of all things. LOL.
But the teacher, though he’s avoided criminal charges, is suspended and will probably have to find a new job. Such is the environment in the US.
Tom and Veronica discuss the case on Sword and Laser this week.
The S&L banner is cool.March 29, 2012 at 3:40 am #22480
Wow! It’s been 10 years or so since I read Ender’s game, but “pornographic”? I can imagine someone complaining about the violence perhaps, but pornographic? There is some mention of nudity, I guess. Beats me.
BTW, I should add to my previous post that I usually see the artwork on my iphone, which is quite small, and I don’t wear reading glasses although technically I should so I generally miss details.
TomApril 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm #22521
Aw, cripes. What the hell? Not a single naked female this month. My workmates have come to expect a level of sleaze from my screen when peeking over my shoulder. I am truly embarrassed.April 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm #22523
Tony C. SmithKey Master
Oh, you are naughty Larry!April 4, 2012 at 11:59 pm #22524April 6, 2012 at 9:27 am #22532
There’s nothing erotic about an ancient monument thrusting powerfully into the sky. Nothing at all.
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