A Very Special Veteran's Day OTPBS
Before we begin, let us respect and acknowledge that this is what a soldier looks like when that solider is a woman.
Are we clear? We're good on this? Good. Let's move forward.
What I'm about to post was always destined to be the subject of an OTPBS exposé. For so many reasons and in so many ways, what follows was meant for us to ridicule and beat down. Shoot, the comments I'm not supposed to ever read (but so often do) warn of SJW's descending, which I suppose they now are. But honestly, look at this. Look at this foolishness. You can hardly fault me for plucking such decidedly low-hanging fruit.
Stupid, stupid photo credit.
They look oddly familiar, don't they? And that castle recalls some distant memory, yes? That's because these are sexy, sexy warrior Disney princesses. Yes! That's right! They're the Disney princesses our children know and love, rebuilt as (ahem) "strong, sexy warriors who are ready for a fight" in their military-grade, satiny loin draperies, government-issued boob chains, and protective thigh-high stockings. (Hint to the artist: That gear won't work anyway.)
Even while writing that description in fully conscious sarcasm, I still got sick to my stomach, and not for the most obvious reasons. I'm not disgusted by the sexualization of characters and icons that are ostensibly created for children's enjoyment. No, the original characters are already sexualized as drawn and written, and these revisions are pretty clearly made for (immature) adults. Besides, this kind of hyper-sexualized fetishization of fictional characters doesn't bother me. These figures aren't any different from "Sexy-[fill in the blank]" costumes at Halloween, which, when worn by adults and for adults, get a pass and a chuckle from this judge. Consensual adults getting their weird freaks on have never troubled me, and, as long as these images remain directed away from children and within the realm of adult media consumption instead, then have at them, comics wankers!
But not them. They'll mess you up.
No, what troubles me is not the sexualized reduction of already simplistic characters. What troubles me is the sexualization and fetishization of people who actually exist and deserve all of our respect: female warriors. Upon first seeing this collection of eroticized female fighters - well, as soon as my dry-heaves were dying down - I thought, "I would not want to be the soft-handed comics artist pissing off women highly trained in the arts of killing people." Because, honestly, haven't our women veterans - all 2,000,000 or so of them - done enough for us without having to return to this particular form of dimunition? Isn't it enough that they trained, and sacrificed, and served, and risked, and fought, and dared, and hurt, and died for this country? Do they have to return - when they return - to a culture that imagines all of their fortitude reduced to underwire push-up armor and high-heeled thigh boots?
I understand that this "art" is not on the radar of many-to-all women veterans and members of our military. I know that this is small-to-nonexistent potatoes when compared with the grave and very real challenges of being a woman in "this man's" Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines. If one were to apply the phrase "insult to injury" to describe the comparative hurt caused by these images to any of the demands that military contribution requires of women warriors, then this shitty art is obviously a mere insult. But why should our heroes - returning and deployed - suffer such a banal and stupid insult? Why, for a half-heartedly derivative entry into the collective spank-bank of the dull and unimaginative, should our trail-blazing women warriors be insulted? This collection of Disneyfied sex "soldiers" might be but a mosquito's buzz of annoyance to real women fighters and their families, but I think we can all agree that none of us like mosquitos and all of us are happier when they're squashed.
So, shame on you, unnamed (thereby unpromoted) "artist" for attempting to diminish your courageous betters by reducing them to militarized sexbots. I hope you never meet up with a disgruntled woman soldier in a dark alley. Or, rather, maybe I hope that you do.
And, to all of our veterans, but in this post especially our bold women veterans and servicepeople: thank you. Thank you for your sacrifice. We wish you safety, strength, courage, and a full uniform of physical and mental gear to protect you from mosquitos and real threats alike. We honor you today.