Cowgirls But No Indians

By March 10, 2016 March 31st, 2016 Art, Blog, Feminism

Fantasies and Role-play are really fun, and whatever you do in your own bedroom is a-okay with me. We can all enjoy things in private that we don’t have to share with the rest of the world. The things that turn us on can’t always be explained. Sometimes we have a particular kink because of a single image we saw growing up. The mind is an interesting thing, and the way it takes information and processes it is still not completely understood. I think our own head-space and our own bedrooms are a special place that we don’t have to justify to anyone. 

I don’t think the same can be said for the work we create and share with the world. When we create something publicly and choose to market it in hopes of making a profit, we have a responsibility not to take advantage of marginalized groups.

A cowboy or cowgirl is a job, like a firefighter or police officer. A woman who is part of an Indigenous community has a culture. Her culture isn’t a hat she can take off and put back on. It’s a part of who she is and where she came from. She can’t decide to leave it behind went the situation doesn’t call for it.

Like I said, I’m not looking into your bedroom, and I’m not judging your secret fantasies, but if I’m going to draw something that will be shared and sold I won’t include racial stereotypes. Even if it is a private commission.

When we publicly sexualize a culture we add to the negative stereotypes that are already hurting them. Especially with cartoons. Cartoons take the most basic elements of something and bring those aspects to the forefront. By turning an Indigenous woman into a cartoony stereotype for sexual purposes we are causing a lot of damage to an already marginalized group. Taking the racist stereotypical elements of a culture and sexualizing it for public profit is not the way to treat other human beings. This goes for any group who is marginalized and has their sexuality stereotyped, but in particular Indigenous women have incredibly high rates of sexual violence and abuse against them.

This doesn’t mean Indigenous women don’t have their own sexual agency, or that a modern Indigenous woman won’t be featured in my comics. But if she is, then she will be presented with her own unique personality and her own sexual agency, not as a stereotypical, one-dimensional sex object.

There are lots of fun fantasies you’ll find on my site. I’ve got comic ideas for mythological creatures, period pieces, steampunk, cyberpunk, medieval, the list is endless! With so many great ideas to choose from there is no need to sexualize a marginalized group who is still dealing with the negative effects of cultural stereotyping.

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