Take a moment to look through two posts by author Jim Hines and book blogger Anna. Both attempt to replicate poses from SF/F jacket art, with mixed success. I found the contrast between Jim attempting some of the women’s poses and Anna attempting some of the men’s poses to be particularly instructive. Jim looks painfully contorted, because anyone would look painfully contorted in this pose:
And Anna looks confident and strong, because anyone would look confident and strong in this pose:
Anna also points out that this isn’t about her appearing masculine; it’s not buying into the idea that the only way for women to have or display strength is for them to do things associated with men. She just looks comfortable, which in no way diminishes her femaleness or femininity.
It’s easy to think that because men look absurd in “women’s poses”, women would look absurd in “men’s poses”. Instead, these comparisons make it clear that there are absurd poses and reasonable poses, and we need to ditch the absurd ones altogether and use the reasonable ones for everyone. As a bonus, I expect the chiropractic bills for those poor cover models will go way, way down.