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Thread: Semi "Not Work Safe" ponderings at 3:40am

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Semi "Not Work Safe" ponderings at 3:40am

    I was kind of surfing for ideas for a new avatar for me. I was, ever so briefly, a psychology major. And homeschooling my oldest child has required me to delve deeply into how his mind works in order to be able to help him at all. And I picked up this book about the artist Salvadore Dali recently, which has something to do with understanding "the mind of _____". It just so happens that, earlier this evening, I was expounding on the major breakthroughs my son has made recently in understanding his own mind and how to cope with his quirks. So, said child imposes upon Mom for like the last 2 hours (and it is 3:40 a.m. here -- he is making me NUTS at the moment) to "run his ideas through his mouth so he knows what he thinks" (at my expense and he is still running his mouth, as I type). Here I am, with all this "how the mind of man works" stuff on my mind when I get back online to halfway ignore him so he can finish thinking out loud without me murdering him or falling asleep mid-sentence -- and here is this website I was looking at before he began talking (and talking and talking...): http://home.broadpark.no/~vstromm/artwork.htm (semi- Not Work Safe, depending upon which thumbnail you enlarge).

    So, here are all these pics of women warriors and most of them are highly sexualized -- well beyond merely the stereotypical "chain mail bikini". God only knows how many Red Sonja comics and what not that I have read in my life without thinking about it but, here I am, in this cauldron of psychological whatever today, and I went (lightbulb!): "Gee, I wonder what this says about how men think. Women do not literally become warriors very often. And when they do, they aren't generally your 'Hot Babe who could be a Play Boy Bunny' type." And I am thinking that putting sexy babes into chainmail bikinis and armed to the teeth must be some kind of Jungian-style "archetype" that it has such broad appeal: this must have some kind of unverbalized meaning for an awful lot of men. Perhaps inspired by yesterday's comments from Budgie and Richmond Jake, I wondered if men see the sexuality of women as dangerous to a degree that is appropriately represented by a naked, sexy Hot Babe wearing nothing but the contents of an armory while she poses like a Play Boy Bunny (like that would be so effective on the field of battle....riiiiight.).

    I utterly expect this thread to totally bomb and not get a single response. sigh. But I think it is a fascinating idea, given how terrifying I always found men when I was younger (don't ask -- you don't want to know).

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Well, I haven't looked at the pictures, but I think that sort of thing is a more simple combination of sex and violence used to sell movies, sci-fi novels etc. I don't think its some universal appeal - most men 50 years ago wouldn't have been attracted to a warrior woman.

    A very funny moment was looking at a house for sale with home-made paintings of sci-fi warrior women on every wall.

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Yeah, you're looking at the two main preoccupations of the male mind in one package there.

    One thought though. It's probably only because of the woman's lib movement that boys don't reject the images of woman warriors. 50 years ago, if you wanted to show violence and sex, you'd probably have to show a male warrior wooing a voluptuous, yet helpless woman.

    That's what I call progress.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    You make actually a very interesting observation. This image/notion of a sexualized fem-warrior is pervasive in our culture, we are habituated to it and practically unaware of its presence on a conscious level (unless one works in advertising).
    My suspicion is that it would be misleading to make any generalizations about the male psyche on the whole, however, based on the popularity this one type of image. There are, after all, many other types of pervasive images (exotic dancer, naughty schoolgirl, dominatrix etc.) of women in a sexualized context in our culture (keep this in mind next time you see women portrayed in commercials on tv or print media) and I submit that the fem-warrior fantasy ideal does not enjoy universal appeal; many males are, for example, more attracted to ideas and images of women portrayed in a more docile or subservient manner. I would agree that the popularity of the fem-warrior image points towards the existence of 'types' with their attendant attractions- and here I mean more in the sense of personality type than in the sense of an underlying factor which influences all men's thoughts or actions. We can readily discard the idea that all people born within such and such astological dates exhibit, say a tendency towards detail orientation, mild manner, exessively controlled superego, etc. and label them a 'virgo'. What we cannot so readily discard is the existence of that TYPE or combination of personality traits embodied in the people we have have personal experience dealing with (i.e. we've ALL met a number of people that personify that quintessential mousy 'accountant type' persona in life and readily recognize it when we see it). I believe that the fem-warrior image/ideal appeals to one such a personality "type". I think it would be interesting to discover what sort of personality finds maximum attraction to the fem-warrior ideal - my guess is that it would be probably more of a passive personality typed male (a Walter Mitty?).
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    I think it would be interesting to discover what sort of personality finds maximum attraction to the fem-warrior ideal - my guess is that it would be probably more of a passive personality typed male (a Walter Mitty?).
    Comic book artist Robert Crumb, maybe?




  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    yes and let us not forget the ubiquitous woman-as-barnyard-animal sexual ideal. Any day now I expect Mickey D's to kick off their "Elsie the cow wants a McDLT" ad campaign....yep, any day now......
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    I wasn't intending to say it was somehow "universal" or that this was the be all and end all of how all men see women. I was thinking more in terms of art as an expression of internal imagery that comes from the mind of the artist and which is likely to be psychologically meaningful in some way, although what it means to the artist may be hard to surmise.

    I did a lot of therapy many years ago and one of the things I did as part of therapy was a series of self protraits with the goal of seeing how I saw myself. It was a fascinating and very worthwhile exercise, one I still sometimes repeat (like in this last year, while trying to get over all that nearly dying and see myself with new eyes and wondering who I am now that death no longer sits by the front door eyeing me hungrily and, gee, what is the impact on my identity of living through all that?).

    So, anyway, it was like nearly 4am and Dali's art is highly psychological and my reasons for reading about him and his life have to do with a conversation I had some months back with someone and I thought understanding Dali as a person and how his art expressed internal imagery would give me insight into some people I know. And my thought is that while the individual piece of art may express an image internal to the individual artist, SUCCESSFUL commercial art has to express imagery with appeal to a large number of people (not necessarily "universal" appeal). And I was also thinking about some other anecdotal stuff about men sometimes seeing women in predatory terms -- which is an interesting idea given that men tend to have a lot of power and ... a whole lot of other stuff.

    Anyway, to look at a piece of art as almost like an image from a dream (or nightmare) and wonder what that might mean to a man... it wasn't intended to "slander" men. Or even characterize them in some way. And I did read Red Sonja, etc, as a kid becaus I identified with the imagery myself -- I think the "warrior woman" image has appeal in part because of the "Fight" for women's rights and women's liberation. Although it is not done with swords and shields, emotionally, it can be traumatizing and make one feel embattled, etc. In fact, I tripped across that webpage because I was looking for a "Red Sonja" type image, wondering if that might be the next Face of Michele I would want to project to folks in Cyburbia as my avatar. I certainly identify with the "warrior woman" image and a catch phrase around here is that I am an "Amazon Mom" -- which is to say I have always fought for the welfare of my special needs kids and done a damn fine job and they can count on me to protect them and be strong for them and to not let "the world" mess with them. If you want to mess with my kids, you are going to have to do it "over my dead body" so to speak. (My kids adore me. lol.)

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