A mural at a French hospital showing Wonder Woman getting it every which way from Supergirl, the Flash, Batman and Superman in the most crude ways possible has generated controversy. LINK SO NSFW.

You don’t say.

BUT it’s not quite that simple, as the fresco is sen as testing the limits of free speech in the wake of Charlie Hebdo.

Fans on the Facebook page have been defending the fresco by referring to the recent Charlie Hebdo case and to the principle of “freedom of expression,” with many suggesting it was hypocritical to say the Prophet Muhammed could be depicted in cartoon form but that you shouldn’t create an image implying the rape of the health minister. One of the comments reads: “Does [Marisol Touraine] feel above the Gods? ‘Cause apparently, it’s fine to caricature Gods…”

Others blamed the Facebook group for publishing the image, saying that such frescoes are “part of our [medical students] traditions and had never caused problems before.”


While some saw the piece as condemning the French health care system, and others saw it as a misogynist message, some thought it was good times.

“Others blamed the Facebook group for publishing the image, saying that such frescoes are “part of our [medical students] traditions and had never caused problems before.”


REALLY.

Current plans call for the fresco—whose artist is unknown—to be painted over.

Just to throw in a comment on the serious aspects of this matter, I don’t know how the French freedom of speech law operates, but pornography—as defined by local standards—is not covered here in the US. In other words, it is probably not the kind of imagery you want to see while you are in to get your gall bladder removed.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Just so it’s a bit clearer :
    The image is in the trainee doctors and nurses’ refectory, and pornographic frescoes in these places are indeed a (dying) tradition. It was part of the special “anything goes” atmosphere that apparently helps blow off steam after 50-hour shifts and the proximity of death.
    The pornography of the piece, which is not visible to the public, isn’t really being attacked. The problem is that the speech bubbles “Take that, health reform!”, “that’ll teach to inform yourself first!”, clearly change the consensual nature of the gang bang into a collective rape scene. A legitimized-as-punitive rape.
    If supergirl is above 15, I think it’s ok for the character to have fictional sex under French law. If she isn’t, nobody in the media or the hospital knows.

  2. What about the right of staff (and not only nurses) to live/work in a porn-free environment?
    Or were these voices of discord quickly peer-pressured out, as not being ‘team players’?

    I’m just going to paraphrase Goscinny/Uderzo here: “Les Francais, ils sont fous!”

  3. I’ve read, and re-read the article, and I just can’t make sense of it. Why the mural is in a hospital, why it features the superheroes, and how it conveys the supposed political message remain completely opaque.

  4. I just dont understand the whole project. Why they overpainted the artwork? I think that was fun and a kind of more cynical reinterpretation of whats realy going on between people, when masks are fallen ;-).

  5. Pornography is protected under the First Amendment, but obscenity as applied by local standards is not. I know it sounds like I’m being pedantic, but it really is an important distinction.

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