February 16, 2017

"This Sexist Cartoon Everyone Is Freaking Out About..."

... isn't really what it appears to be.



So... I can see how you might argue that it's not sexist because it's feminist: The woman begins as a dupe of society and, after reading about feminism, adopts a natural look. But those who are freaking out are seeing body shaming and even racism:
According to this picture, reading weakens muscle tone, and in addition to that it makes you look white and almost European and makes you cut your hair too. Just ignore that picture, one can read and remain black and dress as one wish.
But the real story behind that picture is way different from old feminism quandaries about getting dolled up:
[T]he artist behind the piece, who is known on DeviantArt as Sortimid, says the art is part of an erotic niche called “bimbo transformation.”... Sortimid says that the viral cartoon was a commissioned piece for someone who wanted to see this transformation in reverse. They did not expect the art to be seen outside of the transformation porn community.
Sortimid has apologized, adding:
“Perhaps it was na├»ve of me to assume it was ‘just another transformation.’ People don’t see it as ‘porn’ so they assume it must be a statement. Their criticism is valid. I apologize for advancing those stereotypes. I strive to create erotica that is both sexy and feminist. It seems, in this case, I have failed spectacularly and for that, I apologize. If there’s anything I can do to make up for it, please let me know.”
I don't want to further complicate the life of Sortimid, but I remember when porn was considered to be quite a statement, and seeing something as intended to be porn would not exclude feminist criticism. Doesn't anyone say "Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice" anymore?

IN THE COMMENTS: David says: David said:
By there way, she does not change from black to white, racially at least. She just discards her obsession with tanning.
And I said:
Why aren't fair-skinned women criticized for cultural appropriation and even blackface when they go in for tanning like that?
A quick googling found this:

69 comments:

Danno said...

I think the inhabitants of DeviantArt use a different definition of porn than the OED might offer.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think the inhabitants of DeviantArt use a different definition of porn than the OED might offer."

If you are disagreeing with anything I've written, please point that out and explain.

Laslo Spatula said...

Step Five in the series is one step too far.

Step Four is close to Naughty Librarian territory. Perfect.

Step Five is as much a caricature as Step One. Step Five will get drunk at a college party, act out like Step One, then cry Rape in the morning.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

There is also the subtext of the move from heterosexual to lesbian.

Step Six sees her pulling up to her girlfriend's house in the U-Haul.

I am Laslo.

pst314 said...

"Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice"

Leftism is the theory, and gulags are the practice.

FleetUSA said...

Sorry, I don't see this as porn. I see the transformation from bimbo to intellectual as one begins to read and study which women should be doing as opposed to watching cheap TV, etc.

Ann Althouse said...

"Doesn't anyone say "Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice" anymore?"

The pro-sex feminists won... at least for the last 25 years.

Sebastian said...

It's about time everyone learns that trying to look almost European is a form of reverse porn.

Laslo Spatula said...

Permissible Sex Acts of Steps One Through Five:

One: Anal.

Two: Blow-Job.

Three: Doggie-Style.

Four: Woman On Top.

Five: Scissoring.

I am Laslo.

Xmas said...

I think it's kind of funny that the twitter follow-up is complaining that the image is racist because it turns Nicki Minaj into a white girl.

David said...

Puritan Revival, lead by women this time.

David said...

By there way, she does not change from black to white, racially at least. She just discards her obsession with tanning. Free At Last!

BDNYC said...

Reading also makes women lose their tits? I hope Trump really is a Nazi so we can burn some books.

MadisonMan said...

Where "Everyone" is defined somewhat differently than I would define it.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

David said...
Puritan Revival, lead by women this time.
2/16/17, 8:32 AM

Isn't it always? Prohibition, sex repression and religious devotion are means to tame males for the benefit of females.

Ann Althouse said...

"By there way, she does not change from black to white, racially at least. She just discards her obsession with tanning. Free At Last!"

Why aren't fair-skinned women criticized for cultural appropriation and even blackface when they go in for tanning like that?

MaxedOutMama said...

Most people are not freaking out over this cartoon, nor would most people ever consider it.

Laslo Spatula said...

I will posit that the absolute quickest way to learn about a Culture is to view its Pornography.

Watching a young American Girl with pigtails and tattoos being anally fucked by a black man with a monster cock reveals our Obsession with Youth, Our Desire for Authenticity to the point of Conformance, our ongoing Conflicted Feelings on Race, and the Issue of Power in Male/Female Relationships.

Watch a young Japanese Girl bound-and-gagged and submitted to Bukkake and you see a pre-feminist society still coming to grips with the Superiority of its Culture being crippled in the aftermath of World War II.

Watch Russian Porn and you see how life is a base commodity to be used with no fear of brutality, untethered by the loss of an overwhelming Communist State and the resulting Strong Men that filled the vacuum.

Watch a German Woman fuck a German Shepard and you realize that the Germans are ruthless and will always want to rule the world: Nietzsche would masturbate to this, relentlessly.

I think I made my point.

I am Laslo.

John Farrier said...

Sortimid should never have apologized for his art. He did a job for a client and owes angry SJWs nothing at all.

If they don't like it, they can commission their own art.

Robert Cook said...

The artist shouldn't apologize but should tell those criticizing the piece to take their heads out of their asses.

Original Mike said...

Step 5 is the one I'm attracted to.

Larvell said...

By "this," I suppose boqor riya. (why the period?) is referring to her tweet?

Todd said...

Talk about your "first world problems".

Though I suppose if feminists REALLY want to be taken seriously about how much this "cartoon" hurts them, they should issue a fatwa calling for the artist's death. That seems to work just fine for another "religion"...

Bob Ellison said...

How did her butt get smaller?

Todd said...

Bob Ellison said... [hush]​[hide comment]
How did her butt get smaller?

2/16/17, 9:02 AM


Spin class...

William said...

You know you're getting old when people engage in sexual fetishes that you never heard of. As a general rule nothing in pornography is alien to me, but this is meh, which is the worst thing you can say about porn........If sexual identity can be fluid, why can't sexual magnetism also be given the same freedom. Maybe some women want to release their inner bimbo on occasion.

Fernandinande said...

But those who are freaking out are seeing body shaming and even racism:

Oh my gosh!

They freak out about stereotypes which are true (as almost all are), in this case white people really do read more books.

Doesn't anyone say "Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice" anymore?

It's nonsense, so there was never any good reason for anyone to say it.

"I think the inhabitants of DeviantArt use a different definition of porn than the OED might offer."
If you are disagreeing with anything I've written, please point that out and explain.


"X Porn" is pictures of "X": "car porn" on instagram = pictures of cars.

rhhardin said...

I don't understand what it's about, who's offended by what, or even what the what is, unless it's a pun on book and boob.

My experience with books is that you have to more than skim them.

Boobs are the opposite.

chickelit said...

Althouse asks: Why aren't fair-skinned women criticized for cultural appropriation and even blackface when they go in for tanning like that?

Corollary answers: Why aren't black women criticized for cultural appropriation when they go for hair straightening?

Ken B said...

It's not a book on feminism. It's a *book*. The woman on the left side of the panel is being portrayed as ignorant and unthinking. It's the usual dis on attractive women.

TreeJoe said...

The idea that #1 is a different race is pretty offensive. So anyone whose skin is caramel colored is black?

That's offensive to blacks, and offensive to many Mediterranean's, and on and on...

Fritz said...

Does she get her first cat in the next frame?

Scott McGlasson said...

I've asked it before and I'll ask it again: Just how affluent must a society be before these things become problems?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I was blindsided by "the transformation porn community."

William said...

Tanning has more to do with Veblen than with race. Veblen held that a fair complexion indicated that you didn't have to work in the sun and were thus part of the leisure class. That was then. Somewhat later, a tan indicated that you could winter in the Caribbean and were thus part of the leisure class. This may be changing. Too much time in a tanning salon is considered Jersey Shore and is not truly leisure class anymore. It's hard to keep up.

khesanh0802 said...

This is important because......?

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
Why aren't fair-skinned women criticized for cultural appropriation and even blackface when they go in for tanning like that?


Because we know that they are going to die from skin cancers.

Rob said...

The porniest thing is Sortimid's self-flaggelation. I'm repulsed.

Clyde said...

The "Tanning Is Blackface" people need to lighten up.

Bay Area Guy said...

The cartoon is not sexist, it's sexy! (Apologies to Nigel in Spinal Tap)

Fernandinande said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...
I was blindsided by "the transformation porn community."


"transformation porn" = 88 google results.

"car porn" = 71 results.

"bug porn" = 130 results.

BUG PORN $1!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqNhJwo1ujg

Marc Puckett said...

"Decay porn" = 6,710 results.

Todd said...

"Laslo porn"

About 61,500 results (0.57 seconds)

HoTouPragmatosKurios said...

Tolle, lege ... Apt as that caption would be, would it be an impolitic allusion?

Bill Peschel said...

Hey, Althouse is on the first page of Google's "transformation porn" page!

Great SEO optimization strategy!

Is it also telling that Laslo is the most transgressive artist we have today (identified as someone who speaks truths no one else would dare say publicly).

Regarding porn: I remember being at a friend's house party in the '90s. A group of guys were outside, chatting and drinking our beers. We were in our mid-30s, so some of us were married, all of us had jobs, so it was that kind of party.

I can't remember who brought it up, but someone brought up the name of a porn star. Not Linda Lovelace, who you could have heard from in the news, but someone like Vanessa Del Rio. A name you'd only know if you had seen her movies.

A bolt of energy seemed to shoot through the group. We started talking about her, and then other names were thrown into the mix, like Vanessa Hart and Peter North and Blondi Bee.

The conversations moved on, but it made me reflect that porn was the one subject we had in common, and far more than I expected.

Laslo is the Peter North of the Althouse blog.

William said...

Well, there is little doubt that women who get heavily into "feminism" put less effort into making themselves look physically attractive than women with a more traditional view of female roles. Kind of goes with the territory doesn't it? Leave it to lefties to proudly espouse a doctrine that downplays physical attractiveness but then whinge about it when someone points out that adherents of that doctrine actually pursue its logical conclusions.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Why aren't fair-skinned women criticized for cultural appropriation and even blackface when they go in for tanning like that?

"Why aren't X criticized for cultural appropriation for Y?" Fear not, Professor: they are. I submit it would be damn difficult to come up with some form of cultural appropriation that hasn't already been alleged. It'd be a contest: think of a type of cultural appropriation that you could complain about on Twitter or in the right SJW-populated fora that "those people" wouldn't take seriously.
All feelings are equal valid, see, and if I feel like white people's love of loafers is cultural appropriation from African American prison culture (since laces are often forbidden in prison), well, that position just has to be accepted. It'd be ugly not to agree, really.

Liesl said...

"Because we know that they are going to die from skin cancers."

AReasonableMan-- laughing my pasty white, yet substantial and shapely, ass off at this. (Where does that leave me on the spectrum of this particular cartoon, anyway?)

Ann Althouse said...

"Great SEO optimization strategy!"

LOL

Freeman Hunt said...

"the transformation porn community"

Community? Do they have a rec center and a holiday food drive?

Peter said...

"They did not expect the art to be seen outside of the transformation porn community."

The work is being criticized for being non-PC, but, is it even possible to create PC porn? And if so, why would you want to?

Regarding an earlier discussion, does "transgressiveness" in art include creating non-PC art? Or are while we might agree that transgressive artists are rebels, might they also be regarded as very conformist rebels?

Xmas said...

Peter,

There is plenty of PC porn. It's boring and has a strong crossover with "hairy woman" porn.

But, yeah, most porn is decidedly Non-PC.

Related (NSFW page title, but otherwise mildly NSFW)

sean said...

Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

A news item last week made me look up the phrase "lobster porn." An alleged NYU Professor heckling cops, I think, saying they should be attacking Trump supporters or something. Anyway, yeah, don't...don't Google "lobster porn."

SukieTawdry said...

So when a woman becomes a feminist, she loses her bust?

JaimeRoberto said...

In step 6 she becomes a lesbian SJW who berates the cartoonist that just drew her.

Static Ping said...

In Step 7 she adopts 35 cats, which she names after characters in Girls, Harry Potter, and a dozen variations on "Fluffybottom."

In Step 8 she is wearing a vayjay costume in public, which confuses the heck out of Steps 2, 3 and 4. Step 1 wonders if Step 8 is dating that crazy ex-boyfriend who wanted to do nasal.

In Step 9, the entire ice cream, bon-bon, and plus-sized halter top distribution network in her area would collapse if she relocated. She is granted appropriate tax breaks and a spoon to the city.

In Step 10, she spends all her time complaining on Twitter about non-existent slights in niche masturbatory material.

Static Ping said...

Personally, I would be very interested in Step 4.

eddie willers said...

Laslo is the Peter North of the Althouse blog.

Just keeps coming and coming.

ALP said...

This woman is clearly reading a weight-loss, diet book or "Anorexia for Dummies". Look at how much weight she's lost - to the point she's got no boobs or ass at the end. Put down the book and eat something!

Static Ping said...

FleetUSA said... Sorry, I don't see this as porn.

Porn is in the eye of the beholder. Scratch that. Porn is in the hand of the beholder. I wouldn't think that schoolgirls being intimately probed by an extraterrestrial octopus, fantasies about getting serviced by all of Snow White's dwarfs at the same time, or girls in high heels crushing cockroaches would be a turn on, but there is a market for them. Personally, I still haven't figured out the whips and chains thing much less half the stuff that comes out of Japan.

Sabinal said...

who says the book would lead the woman to a) pick it up or b) become what we call a "proper" woman?

the book could be O by Pauline Reage or Twilight or even The Hungry Caterpillar for all we know

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

The joke is over 80 years old anyway.

Fred Drinkwater said...

Based on sales numbers, the book is most likely to be "50 Shades..."

openidname said...

Am I the only one who finds that Twitter comment -- "Imagine carrying a child for 9 months & give birth & take care of them for years for them to grow up to be the person who created this?" -- to be incredibly nasty?

Betting here and now that "Boqor Riya" doesn't have any children.

richard mcenroe said...

Sortomid is WAY out of line. Letting women read is ALWAYS a mistake.

richard mcenroe said...

UM, someone I know told me about DeviantArt.com. They said if that's the most offensive thing you find there, you haven't looked around much.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

veni vidi vici said...

Can this guy grovel any more than he is in the quoted apologia? Why doesn't he just off himself already then, since he's clearly so abjectly injured by the thought of his imagined offense to the chronically hyper-offended?

It's as though the graphic weren't tiresomely banal enough; its author must inject his psychosis into the story and make it about his "transgression".

What a cavalcade of ass this story is!

Smilin' Jack said...

The woman begins as a dupe of society and, after reading about feminism, adopts a natural look...

Simpler:

Books:women::kryptonite:Superman.