Crowdfunding a science fiction pinup calendar to fund the Clarion workshop


I wonder what your average 12-year-old female science fiction & fantasy fan might take away from this calendar? Does this type of objectification harm young women if it is done with a wink and supports the work of well-known authors, some of whom are feminists?

Why would, or why wouldn’t, a similar work that focused on depictions of scantily-clad just-post-adolescent young men be a profitable way to support a charitable literary endeavor? Would you buy it? Would you find it titillating?


Good points.

Proposed fix: Add Buck Rogers, buck naked.

Couple of things here. I am not a fan of pin-up artwork because I feel it contributes to objectification.

However, here is an interview on that very subject with the artist:

Where you will be glad to learn it is your fault and you are actually the problem if you find it objectifying.

That being said, I do not honestly know what the right position is here. As I said, it bugs me, I do not think it helps women who are working for equality and to combat the cultural problems they face.

But this year’s edition is actually better than the previous years editions as well. This year they are not all white females and there is even one character that I think is gender neutral or maybe male.

Anyway, as I said, it bugs me but I do not know if that is just my problem or not.

I saw the video and I’m not outraged or anything, but I just wonder…Given SF’s multiple issues this year alone with sexual objectification, sexual harassment at cons, Harley-Quinn-suicide-contest, fake-geek-girl blowups, female-cosplayer harassment, SFWA magazine pin-up covers, SFWA magazine old-boys’-club articles, pin-up-cover-gender-role-reversal sendups, penny-arcade-dickwolves and too many others to remember or list, I wonder if this was the right time for an unironic girly pin-up calendar?

I saw the press release statement at the Indiegogo site but it didn’t seem any more convincing than anything Resnick and Malzberg said about their article, and nobody gave them a pass. Or is the actual calendar more balanced than the shots we see in the video?

Edit: I read TacoChucks’ link to the artist’s words, above.

As a cover artist, Aly Fell’s job, like mine, is to create an interesting or exciting visual narrative to promote the book, the product. I want to catch the eye, to engage the potential reader, and the more I can honestly reflect the author’s characters and intent, the better.

As a viewer, what narrative have you constructed in your head that tells you that a girl in a miniskirt is a slut or a surprised girl in lingerie is a bimbo?

Yes, I see. The artist never brings any of his cultural baggage to the picture, but apparently we always bring all of ours. We viewers are so silly!


Not that I’m totally buying it, but here’s a post from the campaign (which Cory linked to):

Last night, the Clarion Foundation issued a press release announcing the 2014 calendar. Highlighting some of “the ways in which depictions of gender, and particularly women, have changed since the Golden Age of science fiction some 60 years ago,” the release notes the Foundation’s pleasure at taking "a format that once contributed to sexist stereotypes and turn[ing] it on its head.

The release quotes Clarion Foundation president Karen Joy Fowler saying, “Each of our participating authors had creative approval over their image and we knew that the ‘pin-ups’ defined by people like Mary Anne Mohanraj, Pat Murphy, Kelly Link, and Kate Wilhelm would not be traditional.” Earlier in the week Mary Anne had blogged about her participation in the calendar, saying "If you think it gives me a thrill to see one of my characters, a cat woman with pointed ears, in a gorgeous sexy illustration, then perhaps you know that I’m the girl who grew up on Elfquest comics, and spent perhaps too many of her formative college years hanging out on FurryMuck.” (Mary Anne’s first post on the calendar, in August as it was just getting off the ground, was its very quiet debut.)

We’re two-thirds of the way to our goal, with 27 days left. Not a bad start, since we only gave ourselves 33 days to fund this thing.

And, a link to the full press release.

I’m not sure how making a pin-up calendar turns the concept of a pin-up calendar on its head, but that’s not for me to decide, I suppose.

I like it, just ordered one!

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