Friday, 2 March 2012

Impractical costume

MetaFilter just had a good compendium of links to articles critical of the sexist conventions of superhero costumes in comics (see "You don't remember anyone named Dick?" "No." "Garth? Dustin? Vic?" "I can't recall." "Lilith? Gar?" "You are boring me.") - to which the antithesis is the excellent Women Fighters in Reasonable Armour.

I finally got a good picture of the lady above, who - apparently suffering from severe hip dysplasia - has clothing highly unsuited to wielding a flame-thrower. She comes from the van of a local firm, who deserve some kind of prize for the most jaw-droppingly naff and sexist trading logo I've seen for years. Some artist actually went to the considerable effort of designing it for them: did he or she not advise them how wildly inappropriate it is as a professional logo in the 21st century? It's tempting to "name and shame" the firm, but that risks giving them better Google ranking.

The design has a strong similarity to this wallpaper image of Lucy Liu for the 2003 movie Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. While just as impractical, it's rather more decent; and she at least looks like she's serious about the flame-throwing, unlike the strangely simpering character on the van. In the film - see this filming locations page - she wears a long-sleeved high-necked tunic and gloves.

- Ray


  1. The image and logo has served me well for many years and helped my business grow and be recognised, it has obviously provoked a reaction from yourself as it has done many others some bad but mostly good, but do tell me how many other plumbers vans you have commented on so my choice of 21st century advertising has worked effectively enough for you to blot it :) furthermore you have a directory in which my number and the picture is listed so you only had to call and ask for a decent picture that doesn't infringe the copyrights of which it is protected against from unlawful use, you have my number if you wish to phone me and seek my permission to use my material lawfully along with a donation for a charity of my choice to give it to, that way you then have the rights to use my highly imaginative and creative imagery on your site, when you can be as creative and imaginative yourself, you would not be so quick to put others down that try to make a living for themselves, I trust I make myself clear about the image and its unauthorised web publication !! Many thanks A.Addicott

  2. I've taken initial advice on this.

    Firstly, photography of objects in view in a public place is perfectly legal; to make this more clear, I've replaced the images with an uncropped shot showing the location to be a public place.

    Secondly, copyright isn't an issue either. This comes well under "fair use" - low-resolution reproduction for critical comment. I'm not seeking to sell the image, or trade under it (so trademarks aren't an issue either).

    I'll remove it if I ultimately have to, but people will draw their own conclusions about a company applying 'legal chill' to prevent open analysis of the sexual politics of artwork it has chosen as its trading logo.

    (I'm assuming that by posting it to the article comments page you intended your message for publication - if not, let me know, and I'll remove it).

  3. Anthony Williams10 April 2012 at 23:35

    Mr Addicott: "you have my number if you wish to phone me and seek my permission to use my material lawfully along with a donation for a charity of my choice"

    Good to hear, Mr Addicott, that you will make a donation to charity if people phone you about images which they have already used lawfully.