Friday, June 29, 2012

Play Mats (Part 2 of 2)

Last time I told the story of the banned play mat and wondered what it was that could have prompted such a reaction.

It’s easy to figure out.  Look at the women in the artwork.  There is a lot of skin being shown and we can’t have nudity corrupting the youth.

That’s the knee-jerk answer.  But it doesn’t feel right.  The corrupting the youth argument wouldn’t sway anyone, especially when you consider some of the artwork on other cards.  Look at Radha, Heir to Keld: here, we have a woman showing skin and a decapitated head. 

But these discussions usually break down.  What’s acceptable in one culture is not acceptable in another culture.  In addition, there is the overall feeling of never getting a satisfying answer.  It certainly wasn’t going to be worthy of any meaningful discussions or blog posts.

But that changed.  I received a phone call from an acquaintance who writes scripts for Hollywood.  After some pleasantries and helping him, I told him about this little incident and asked his opinion on it.

That’s easy” he quipped.  “Hollywood has a very strict standard on how women are to be depicted.

Rule 1: All females are to be portrayed as strong women.
Rule 2: Sexy is OK, borderline on being encouraged.
Rule 3: Never, ever depict a woman where she is powerless or in a submissive situation.

If the women were nude, it would not matter.  But that they are serving another as a slave is the problem.”

At least for me, that’s a satisfying answer. 

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