Women with Guns: Just Shoot Me 2 and the Inevitable Pin-up Girl

Sequels are inevitable. This is a sequel to my previous post. I was thinking about feminism and violence. Then I was thinking about women since it was that time of the year:

In Pakistan working women in formal and informal sectors celebrate International Women’s Day every year to commemorate their ongoing struggle for due rights, despite facing many cultural and religious restrictions.

According to Wikipedia, it sounds so hopeless. For hope and optimism, this worked for me like nothing else. However, I have been thinking along the lines of visual representation – particularily images that connect women with violence. I wasn’t thinking of woman as a victim – but of woman as a violent being. I do not condone violence (maybe in my dreams) but images are powerful and can lead to all kinds of interpretations.

Now you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m trying to get at here – but like I said before, I’m just confused and looking for answers. That state of being probably makes a lousy blog post but I can’t seem to help myself.

I found the image below in a news item that was about men robbing a bank dressed like women:

Does this image inspire you in any way? Does it shock you?

Cross-dressing at it’s finest. These men need to be women to break the law. Or, the world is more messed up than I think. What does this image do? It creates all kinds of associations. In this mad world, it could mean so many things. It could point towards some weird new fetishism. It could also point towards a very popular notion in the world about religion. It could mean too many things.

Are these the new pin-up girls? They could be. I have heard too many men putting women down because they “reek of feminism” which is “just another kind of violence” – images like the one above do nothing to alleviate my sinking heart and mind. But then again, they do look powerful. People have always associated power with guns and other killing machines. So are these women powerful? Is that a “good” thing? Is it anything at all? Do men (or people in general) fear such power?

I just have too many questions.

A young girl - also a Maoist rebel.

She certainly cannot be ignored:

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) report, State of the World Population 2010: From Conflict and Crisis to Renewal: Generations of Change, released on 20 October 2010, acknowledges the role women play in forging peace, but cautions against the assumptions of women as nurturers and “natural peace-makers … [choosing] non-violent solutions rather than conflict whenever possible”.

I feel I am incapable of forming a conclusive opinion. I just know that this interests me at the moment (again, making this a lousy blog post but I am helpless). Maybe this is just an ode to a different kind of pin-up girl. Maybe I just need to focus on aunties like I used to (which was always cathartic) or maybe I just need to sleep.

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9 responses to “Women with Guns: Just Shoot Me 2 and the Inevitable Pin-up Girl

  1. OK – I get your point – well sort of

  2. Pingback: Women with Guns: Just Shoot Me 2 and the Inevitable Pin-up Girl | Tea Break

  3. Looks in congruent for women to have guns but then it depends.

    • Depends on what exactly?
      I’m trying to figure out why would any person (regardless of their gender) resort to serious violence. It’s all around us. Women with guns would just take it to a new level if it was widespread. Since it isn’t – I think it is glamorized in some cases or used as a shocking statement in others. And I was mostly focusing on the visual representations/images. The associations with these images are many. It confuses me.
      I feel every human being is capable of violence. But I wish I could figure out why we can’t seem to evolve out of it. I know it’s not a big deal – thinking about this will hardly lead to a solution. But maybe talking about it will make it easier to understand.

      • Maybe for ‘self-defence’. There are parts of the world where women require extra measures to protect themselves – If men can use guns to protect themselves then I don’t see why women can’t do the same. Admittedly violence should be condemned specially gun related but of half of the neighbourhood have gun then the other have need to balance the equation and result in doing the same. I hope I make sense.

      • Yes you do 🙂
        I think they’re being forced to resort to violence. Essentially, they’re doing what any man would do. Defend themselves and quit being victims. However, they’re being represented as exotic or something else. I saw a picture recently of a woman in a burka cleaning a gun and all sorts of strange associations went through my head. I am resonably of a liberal mind and I hope I understand the reasons why a woman would resort to holding a gun. However, other people who have different mind-sets might respond to it differently. Some person might make romantic or sexual (and inappropriate) associations with such an image.
        My question then is: should such imagery be considered exploitation? Inappropriate associations cannot be prevented and I am not (in any way) saying that such images be removed from existence. Then what is the solution to this? Perhaps, if women were seen as human beings and not limited to their gender, these images would be looked at as they really are.

  4. I studient a digital imaging module back at University not so long ago – images are used to create an opinion in the minds of people – for example, lets take this lady in a burka cluthcing a gun. A soldier surving in Iraq or Afghanistan will see this image as an enemy, a Muslim living in either Iraq, Afghanistan or anyother country who opposes war in Iraq and Afghanistan will see this image as a freedom fighter or maybe a soldier belonging to the country, Women around the world who have no particular faith might see this image self-defence or protection from hostile environment, a IDF in Israel might see this women as a enemy or much worse, some people might see this image in light of sexual pleasure and others might see it a symbol of women resistence in the Middle East.

    My point is, images are used for powerful opinions. Opinions that can change the views of some.

    I like the way you write and explain, I would like for you to visit my blog and voice your comments on some stuff I have written.

    • Yes I agree with you – images are used for powerful (and to power) opinions. But they can also be used to exploit ideals and people. But there are always two sides (or more) to every issue.
      Thanks for appreciating my posts. I’ll visit your blog for sure.

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