5516420825

“But the men in comics are sexualized too!” they have whined since time began, copletely ignring how boob-windows, brokebacks, boob socks and more are not the same thing as a man with a good physique in a dynamic pose. Well courtesy of Sears (!????!!?!?) and the listing for a UNDER THE BED RESTRAINT GEAR here’s what it actually looks like when a male is sexualized, just for your information.

This restraint gear sounds very handy for travel, BTW.

Manline Under The Bed Restraint Gear includes 4 cuffs, 4 restraint straps and one connector strap. Restrains your partners arms and legs from the sides or bottom of the bed. Restraint strap quickly fits beneath any mattress with no hooks. Easy set-up on any mattress. Portable and great for travel.

5516420625

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26 COMMENTS

  1. I am outraged that the Sears corporation is targeting bed restraint gear at gay men! Bed restraint gear is for everyone!

    Time to get on Tumblr and start a campaign to keep Sears from publishing anything else by this photographer or model.

  2. Charles Knight – what’s not to like? It’s very practical. It allows ease of movement. Which, granted, the restraints do impede a bit. But the costume itself is great! Where’s your sense of fun? Why do you have to bring politics into this? I bet you don’t even read Aquaman.

  3. Okay. I see the picture, but I don’t see what it has to do with “men” as a gender. It’s a picture of one guy with his ass hanging out, restrained on a bed. It doesn’t offend me. It doesn’t have anything to do with me.

    You’ve been posting about this for almost a month now, and I don’t mean this as a troll comment, but seriously, is your self-esteem as a woman actually undermined in some way by a drawing on the cover of a comic book?

  4. “It’s a picture of one guy with his ass hanging out, restrained on a bed. It doesn’t offend me. It doesn’t have anything to do with me.”
    That’s true! What a luxury! But imagine if 90& of the dudes in superhero comics were dressed–and posed–like this guy. It might start to feel like it had something to do with you.
    “I don’t mean this as a troll comment”
    Maybe try not to act like a troll, then. Jumping from Heidi’s (uncontroversial!) argument that the predominance of highly sexualized images of women in superhero comics make actual women uncomfortable, to making assumptions about… Heidi’s *self esteem*? Seriously? Like the only reason this stuff might bother someone is if she had *low self esteem*?
    Saying you don’t mean it as a troll comment doesn’t make it not come off that way, dude.

  5. Nobody has a problem with men being sexualized in comics and nobody should have a problem with women being so either. Just need more diversity. I think people are confusing the two issues.

  6. Calista, I LOVE comics, but I think 90% of everything in mainstream superhero comics is idiotic. Some people like that stuff, and that’s okay with me. Sales of any comics are good for the comics industry — and I’m rooting for the comics industry.

    I’m not into Nascar or WWE or slasher movies either, but some people are — and I’m okay with that. As far as men being “sexualized,” I’m straight, but I’m not offended by the fact that some people like sexualized images of men. Good for them. Not everything needs to conform to what I personally like.

    I made no assumptions about Heidi’s self esteem. I assume her self esteem is fine. The comment was meant to be facetious (but, if it was taken seriously — which is why I said it wasn’t a troll comment — I apologize). Heidi is Heidi. She’s not Spider-Woman, and she’s not ALL women. She’s one woman. I’m absolutely certain there are other women out there who love the Spider-Woman cover and would like more just like it. Likewise, I’m certain there are men who will buy that ridiculous Sears get-up and restraining device.

    This Battle-of-the-Sexes stuff is pointless. Not all men like the Spider-Woman cover. Not all women hate it. A month of posts obsessing over a cover and the fact that not everyone is offended by it is ridiculous.

  7. Jim:
    >>>>>Okay. I see the picture, but I don’t see what it has to do with “men” as a gender. It’s a picture of one guy with his ass hanging out, restrained on a bed. It doesn’t offend me. It doesn’t have anything to do with me.

    Well that’s good because this is “The News Blog of Comics Culture” not the “New Blog of Jim Culture.” Whether or not it had anything to do with you is a red herring if ever there was one, and then throw in something about “self esteem” just to bring this whole argument back to the personal and away from the greater marketing issues that are what are most important and most interesting.

    Milo Manara is a great artist and his cover continues to amaze people, which the hideous Greg Land cover that is ACTUALLY THE COVER to the book in question gets a free pass. THe Manara image is arresting because it IS SEXUAL. Manara is incapable of drawing women in a way that does not elevate their sexual attractiveness, most likely because he is sexually attracted to women. And that is reflected in his work, and that is why we respond to it.

    I don’t know J. Scott Campbell very well, but I believe he is a straight man who is attracted to women and although his SPider-Man cover has the exact same pose…somehow it lacks the sexualized element that makes the Manara cover so arresting. And yet people keep saying the covers have the same elements, against all common sense, observation and even reason. That is just stupid. Once I felt that people who insisted that the sexual element of the Manara cover (And the restraint ad) is present in all superhero art were just ignorant or in denial. I don’t ask that they conceded to my point, but at least engage WITH MY POINT and not some other straw man. and yet that never ever happens. I’ve decided that rather than just naive, these people are either wilfully stupid or wilfully promoting their own agenda.

    So yeah, it is just like Fox News.

  8. I guess it’s your obsession with the “sexualized” part that I don’t get. Do you WANT men to be sexualized? Or do you want women NOT to be sexualized? Either way, you’re fighting a losing battle. No matter how sexually repressed you’d like people to be, sex is going to win when it comes to trying to sell something. Manara didn’t invent sex, and he isn’t the first artist to draw sexy women or costumes. Even other women often default to drawing sexy comic book women. Trina Robbins, now an outspoken feminist, designed the costume for Vamprilla — one of the most sexualized costumes ever. Amanda Connor draws an outrageously sexualized Power Girl. It was their job, and they did it — just like Manara.

    The reason people keep saying the Manara cover and the Campbell cover are the same is because, technically, they are — the “sexy” element may be observable, but it’s nonetheless subjective. There’s no equation to prove it. It’s just Judge Stewart’s I-Know-It-When-I-See-It argument, and although it sounded good when quoted, it didn’t last long in actual courtroom practice.

    I’ll say it again, I wasn’t trying to be personally offensive by asking what harm the cover has done to you — it’s an honest question (phrased badly, and I apologized). Why does Spider-Woman looking sexier than Spider-Man upset you so much that you write a month of posts about it (several of which specifically attacked Manara’s basic drawing ability)?

  9. For sake of argument, let’s say a comics company wanted to have an absolutely level playing-field, but still wanted to be able to depict its characters in a sexual manner. What would be the solution? I for one think it would be both immoral and futile to ask straight cartoonists to attempt to sexualize male characters. With rare exceptions, they simply wouldn’t have the mindset.

    Could the company create a level field simply by employing 50% straight artists and 50% gay artists? But then, the gay artists chosen would have to be something along the line of P. Craig Russell, who can draw women competently but IMO generally doesn’t sexualize them as he does his male characters.

  10. “I don’t know J. Scott Campbell very well, but I believe he is a straight man who is attracted to women and although his SPider-Man cover has the exact same pose…somehow it lacks the sexualized element”

    You say that as if it’s a fact when it more closely reflects subjectivity. If you zoom out the Manara cover and add in a villain or two, then they are on a more equal footing as a whole…however, the pose is the same. Whether you see it as sexy or not when a male or female character does it is entirely subjective. I don’t think the Manara cover is sexy or sexualized, but I’m not surprised some women and men have taken it to be so from their perspective…because it’s subjective. The Manara cover was made the appeal to the inner teenage boy in all of us by essentially being an action model pose that portrays anatomy in a very in-your-face kind of way.. but “sexualized”? I don’t think so.

  11. >> Do you WANT men to be sexualized? Or do you want women NOT to be sexualized? >>

    I think the issue isn’t a simplistic “all of one thing” or “none of it.”

    It’s that women being sexualized in comics is overwhelmingly the standard, while men being sexualized isn’t. If both were treated in appropriate ways depending on the character and story — so you had sexualized men where appropriate, and women were sexualized when appropriate but not reflexively, as they are now.

    >> Either way, you’re fighting a losing battle.>>

    Give up, Heidi. Jim says you’re not going to win, so it’s not worth the effort. You might as well give up on equal pay, too. That doesn’t affect him directly either, so it’s just not an issue.

    >> No matter how sexually repressed you’d like people to be, sex is going to win when it comes to trying to sell something.>>

    And here comes the argument that if you don’t want overly sexualized images, you’re repressed and want others to be as well, not that he was trying to be personally offensive. Because sexualized woman are NORMAL and sexualized men AREN’T, and that’s just the way it is, and you might as well accept that things are run for men first and women as an afterthought, because it’s not worth trying to change it. Or something.

    >> Why does Spider-Woman looking sexier than Spider-Man upset you so much that you write a month of posts about it (several of which specifically attacked Manara’s basic drawing ability)?>>

    You’ve missed the whole point, Jim. If there were, in fact, only those two examples, I don’t think anyone would care much. But the Manara cover is an example of something we see repeatedly, the Campbell cover, not so much.

    kdb

  12. >> I for one think it would be both immoral and futile to ask straight cartoonists to attempt to sexualize male characters.>>

    Straight cartoonists are all male, after all.

    And it’s immoral and futile to ask Olivier Coipel to draw sexy men, but moral and effective to ask Amanda Conner to draw sexy women.

    I think, perhaps, that cartoonists, both male and female, straight and gay, should be able to draw what the story needs. If the story needs a sexy guy, it shouldn’t be immoral (immoral?!) to ask for that to be drawn in a story. A sexy woman, same deal. But the idea that straight men simply can’t draw sexy men, and that it’s actually _immoral_ to ask them to do so, is a pretty weird concept.

    But then, perhaps to some eyes, sexy women are just and normal and the default setting, while sexy men are weird and unpleasant and squicky. To the point that morality demands that men not have to draw such things.

    This is called gender bias, though, and it’s not really a compelling argument.

    kdb

  13. >> You say that as if it’s a fact when it more closely reflects subjectivity. If you zoom out the Manara cover and add in a villain or two,>>

    If you alter the Manara cover so it doesn’t have the same focus, it doesn’t have the same focus.

    >> Whether you see it as sexy or not when a male or female character does it is entirely subjective.>>

    Subjective, however, doesn’t mean “random.” I expect that seeing the Manara cover as sexualized is a pretty common reaction.

    >> The Manara cover was made the appeal to the inner teenage boy in all of us >>

    That’s right, Heidi. And all the women this comic was supposedly aimed at — just tap into your inner teenage boy. That’s who it’s for. Blahdeblah has one, so everyone has one.

    >> but “sexualized”? I don’t think so.>>

    I think you’re in the minority. And I think that if it’s appealing to your inner teenage boy on the level you think, your inner teenage boy probably disagrees with you.

    kdb

  14. “What it actually looks like when men are sexualized”
    ….which means there are girls that get horny with these kinds of pics…right?
    Am I right? Uh..right?

  15. I’m more disturbed by the fact that Sears sells stuff like this than I am by the sexualization of either gender in comics. I mean, Sears???? My Mom used to shop there.

    Also just curious, do women, in general, find poses such as the ones in this ad as sexy. I know gay men do but it’s been my experience that what gay men find sexy and what straight women find sexy are very often entirely different things.

  16. You’re a good writer of fiction, Kurt, but please don’t resort to fictionalizing me and my opinions in order to more easily debate a straw-man.

    >>You might as well give up on equal pay, too. That doesn’t affect him directly either, so it’s just not an issue.<> Because sexualized woman are NORMAL and sexualized men AREN’T, and that’s just the way it is <> the Manara cover is an example of something we see repeatedly <> If both were treated in appropriate ways depending on the character and story — so you had sexualized men where appropriate, and women were sexualized when appropriate but not reflexively, as they are now. <<

    I'll support that! Now, let's ALL agree on where the "appropriate" line lay. THAT should be easy!

  17. You’re a good writer of fiction, Kurt, but please don’t resort to fictionalizing me and my opinions in order to more easily debate a straw-man.

    >>You might as well give up on equal pay, too. That doesn’t affect him directly either, so it’s just not an issue.>>

    Why stop your lame conflating there, Kurt, while you were at it, you should have gone straight on having me support Hitler and slavery. That would have made me look REALLY bad.

    >> Because sexualized woman are NORMAL and sexualized men AREN’T, and that’s just the way it is >>

    You’re on a ROLL, Kurt! Man, I sure do have some boneheaded opinions, once you invent them and put them in my mouth!

    >> the Manara cover is an example of something we see repeatedly >>

    Such as, oh, say, Conan #24 — a book YOU wrote. Of course that cover didn’t stop at implied nudity, like Spider-Woman — NO. This was your book, Kurt, so it had a fully exposed vagina shot right on the cover!

    Of course this was the same Conan title wherein YOU, Mr. Busiek, created a female character designed to go toe-to-toe with Conan, and you decided that the best way for her to acquire her amazing fighting ability was for her to be raped repeatedly by monsters every night until she learned how to fight them off (WTF?). Fortunately, Dark Horse had the good sense to stop using that character once you left the book.

    >> If both were treated in appropriate ways depending on the character and story — so you had sexualized men where appropriate, and women were sexualized when appropriate but not reflexively, as they are now. >>

    I’ll support that! Now, let’s ALL agree on where the “appropriate” line lay. THAT should be easy!

  18. >> Now, let’s ALL agree on where the “appropriate” line lay. THAT should be easy!>>

    You’ll never get to universal agreement — as is the case with subjective matters — but that’s not a reason not to try for better understanding than what we’ve got now.

    kdb

  19. >> Kurt, while you were at it, you should have gone straight on having me support Hitler and slavery. That would have made me look REALLY bad.>>

    You shouldn’t support Hitler and slavery! Man, what’s wrong with you?

    >> Such as, oh, say, Conan #24 — a book YOU wrote. Of course that cover didn’t stop at implied nudity, like Spider-Woman — NO. This was your book, Kurt, so it had a fully exposed vagina shot right on the cover! >>

    Actually, you’re referring to a variant cover; the main cover had clothing.

    But yes, I would never argue that nudity and sexualization are verboten — indeed, I said rather the opposite. I think there are some things appropriate to Conan that I wouldn’t put in, say AVENGERS, and that’s certainly one of them.

    So if you’re suggesting that such a cover should never run on CONAN, I think I’d disagree.* If you’re suggesting that I must therefore want such covers on all comics, then I think you’ve missed the point entirely.

    *I say “think,” because if not for the way that cover came about (as a gag the artist did to startle the editor, which only became a variant cover when readers and retailers saw that version and asked specifically for the variant cover), I doubt it’d have happened at all. But CONAN as a series was intended for a different audience than SPIDER-WOMAN, and nudity, sex and brutality have been part of the setup since the 1930s.

    >> Of course this was the same Conan title wherein YOU, Mr. Busiek, created a female character designed to go toe-to-toe with Conan, and you decided that the best way for her to acquire her amazing fighting ability was for her to be raped repeatedly by monsters every night until she learned how to fight them off (WTF?). Fortunately, Dark Horse had the good sense to stop using that character once you left the book.>>

    Have they? At one point, they were holding her in reserve for when I’d be able to write her again, but I’m pretty sure she’s shown up at least once since I left — they ran a plot outline past me for comments.

    And we weren’t simply designing a character to be a good fighter — there are better ways to get to that, if it’s all we wanted — but to contrast Conan’s fiercely-guarded independence with a character who became a badass by handing over all control to someone else, and as a result endured horror, coming out the other side a skilled fighter but a severely damaged person. Maybe we’ll get to explore that more in the future, if I ever wind up writing more Janissa.

    But yes, that was meant to be a WTF? situation, so I’m glad your Hitler-lovin’, slavery-boosting sensibilities caught that.

    kdb

  20. How is the image of a man restrained on a bed, requiring a black bar presumably because his genitalia is hanging out, in any way equivalent to the depiction of women on mainstream comic book covers? Milo Manara’s covers for Marvel look downright tame in comparison to Bondage Lad there. A more legitimate, non-hyperbolic comparison is romance novel covers:

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=romance+novel+covers

    Lots of “sexualized” images of men, designed to appeal to the “female gaze” in order to sell more copies.

  21. >>Actually, you’re referring to a variant cover; the main cover had clothing.>>

    Which is PRECISELY what the Manara cover is — a variant, not the main cover.

    >>So if you’re suggesting that such a cover should never run on CONAN, I think I’d disagree.* If you’re suggesting that I must therefore want such covers on all comics, then I think you’ve missed the point entirely.>>

    REH probably wouldn’t have had a problem with that cover. It’s not too far off what Brundage was doing, and definitely in the ballpark of his prose. I also don’t think you’re promoting nude covers on all titles (though if we were to use your straw-man approach, you might be suggesting all manner of things). My only point was about glass-houses and first stones.

    The Spider-Woman cover doesn’t strike me as the kind of thing that should be on the cover of an all-ages comic book, but much of Marvel’s line strikes me that way. It’s Marvel’s decision. If it sells, no one will be able to persuade them that they were wrong. If it doesn’t sell — well, they still won’t think they were wrong, but they might try a different approach… eventually.

    Personally, I liked those Darwyn Cooke covers Heidi ran the other day. I’d like to see more comics with those ideals.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on the use of rape as a plot device with any positive results. Robert E. Howard’s own badass woman — such as Valeria of the Red Brotherhood, or Dark Agnes — left plenty of dead would-be rapists in their wake, but appropriately, no successful ones.

  22. Okay, Jim, you’ve had your fun, but the trolling has come to an end.

    Blahdeblah wrote:
    >>>I don’t think the Manara cover is sexy or sexualized,

    WOW and people were insulted with that redraw? THIS is the most insulting comment yet leveled against Mr. Manara. one of the greatest erotic artists of all time.

    I think we’ve gone about as far as we can go here, so my thought experiment must end, as it began, with trolls claiming black is white and night is day.

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