The Official Blog of Author Tristan Vick
It seems to have become such a big point of contention I now have to include it as a warning on my book blurbs.
What is it you might wonder?
A metal bikini.
Allow me to explain. The biggest complaint regarding my Jegra books that I seem to get is that she wears a scantily clad metal bikini.
Usually, the complaint is by people who haven't read the book. Because, hey, I'm not a sexist objectifying women. There's a valid reason she wears that thing.
When people read the story they go...oh...I get it now.
Which brings me to my next point.
Occasionally I come across someone who refuses to read my book because they think that a book with scantily clad women is a form of objectification.
It may be in a way the objectification of the human form, sure. But I only have one human in my story. All the rest are aliens. Some anthropomorphic, others not.
I mean, I have sentient algae and talking crystals for crying out loud.
My main character is bi-sexual and pan-sexual. That means she sleeps with men and women and aliens.
Her girlfriend is a trans space elf.
I'm not objectifying her so much as giving her real relationships and personality traits that I'd imagine an intergalactic, multi-species, multi-racially aware person might have in the near future.
So, she's not simply a "sex object." That would be real objectification.
No. She's a realistic depiction of a woman, at least as close as I can get being a man who writes women. But women are human beings last I checked, and we're really not that different. Our struggles may differ to a degree, but if one has ample empathy then we can sympathize and understand one another on a deeper level.
That's the type of people I like writing about, regardless of whether they're male or female.
But I think people get caught up on the body image thing.
Yes, Jegra also has a body with the inherent strength of the She-Hulk. Her skin is nigh impervious, like Supergirl's. And she fights giant monsters in hand-to-hand combat.
So, bulky armor would shear off more quickly and readily than scantily clad bikini armor. It all has to do with physics, friends.
Heat, friction, torque, and the durability of materials all play a factor in my choice to dress Jegra in a metal bikini.
It wasn't because I wanted more boobs--although that's a marketable asset for many demographics.
It just wasn't in the calculation of why she'd wear what she wears. My stories are about character and world-building. Not gimmicks.
If something happens, then there's likely a good reason for it. And if it's not going toward progressing the story then it's going toward fleshing out the world building.
So the people claiming male objectification need to read the story and give it a chance. She wears a metal bikini because, with her strength and abilities, it's simply the easiest thing to fight in.
Heck, if C.L. Moore was writing Northwest Smith today, would these same people be complaining that she was writing a suave, womanizing, space scoundrel (the very same figure that Han Solo of Star Wars fame was roughly based off of)? Probably not.
They singled Jegra out because she's a woman--and whether male or female--so many people tend only to see women as sexual objects. But I wouldn't dare presume to tell a woman how she ought to dress, regardless of whether she's real or fictional because that would be sexist. And wrong.
I guess that's why they say don't judge a book by its cover.
So, if C.L. Moore gets to write her debonair space scoundrel, I get to write my gladiatrix.
Get your copy of Jegra now!
By day I am an educator and a cultural ambassador. By night I entertain notions of being a literary master. In reality I am just a family man and ordinary guy who works hard and loves writing just about as much as I love my family. Just about.