May 152016
 

One way to view the Internet is as a vast sorting system, in which individuals can curate collections of material that might never be allowed to come together otherwise. I found the Fraulein Swastika Tumblr recently, a collection of erotic images of women with fascist elements. What’s interesting is that the images seem to come from at least three different discourses.

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Aug 092013
 

Magillow, Daniel H., Bridges, Elizabeth, and Vander Lugt, Kristen T. Nazisploitation! the Nazi image in low-brow cinema and culture. Continuum Books, 2012 Amazon

Nazisploitation, or sadiconazista, is one of the most scorned film genres, and also one of the most complex. The films grouped under that heading may share a common aesthetic but have very different productions and meanings, which this anthology tries to map.

…the standard tropes, settings and narrative conceits of Nazisploitation cinema [include]: sexually perverted, calculating and sadistic Nazi officers, prisoner-of-war and concentration camps, medical experimentation and prisoner rebellions. [Pg.2]

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Mar 112013
 

Lynndie-England -Abu-Ghraib-FemdomWell, this had to happen sooner or later. I found this image on the Femdom Artists blog. This is the cover of a Mexican magazine, presumably published sometime in the late 2000s, based on the iconic images of Lynndie England and other American soldiers abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib. “Arrogance and torture in Iraq!” shouts the headline.

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Mar 172012
 

From the Old Erotic Art Tumblr:

Half-naked women being threatened with head-shaving

This image, presumably the cover of an old men’s adventure magazine from the ’50s or ’60s, is puzzling initially. Why the shaving brush and scissors? Guerilla barbers? This is almost certainly a reference to les femmes tondues. In post-liberation France, women who allegedly collaborated with occupying fascists (especially “horizontal collaboration”) were publicly shaved bald. Like the “Nazi dominatrix” trope, this is the conflation of deviant politics (collaboration) with deviant female sexuality (“slut shaming”). Women are used as ritual scapegoats for a community’s problems (in this case, the legacy of occupation and collaboration in France) and symbolically “killed.” See Frost’s book Sex Drives

Interesting to see women-in-danger in the context of anti-fascist, “good guy” forces like the French resistance. This can be applied to just about any conflict, or to put it another way, any conflict or social anxiety can provide a framing narrative for the scene of woman-in-distress.

Aug 172011
 

Cinema Sewer 34, Danny Hellman, Cmm3C

Well, sooner or later, somebody had to make an image like the one above.

Danny Hellman created this for cover of the 24th issue of the Cinema Sewer zine, published out of Vancouver, BC by Robin Bougie.

It’s not the only Hellman that satirizes the Iraq and Afghanistan war, viewing those conflicts through the lenses of comic books and exploitation magazines (e.g. 1). This is an obvious take on the previously discussed Israeli stalag novels and the later men’s adventure magazines, referencing the notorious Abu Ghraib pictures. The brunette woman in the background represents Lynndie England, for instance.

The Abu Ghraib pictures put Americans in a quandary. The scenario was familiar, but the ones inflicting the suffering were “us”, not “them”. How could this be? This is what Other people do. It’s telling that England, a female soldier, became the most recognizable name and face associated with this scandal, linking political deviance with female sexual deviance.

I feel somewhat disappointed that this image is too knowing, too ironic to be a genuine expression of fantasy. Maybe we need to wait a few years before the psychosocial impact of the War on Terrorism percolates up from the collective subconscious. Or perhaps the torture porn film genre previously discussed is part of that response. Maybe in North America the feared Other is not the Muslim terrorist, but the out-of-control, paranoid police state. That at any second, for no apparent reason, we can find ourselves strapped to something in a windowless room where we are utterly helpless before an unknown person. Network television is already crawling with surveillance and confinement and competition. Somewhere out there, Room 101 is ready for you.

Jul 272011
 

Book cover. Man wearing officer's cap embracing nude woman, in leather harness, from behind. Title is Captured by the SS

Sylvia Plath wrote that “Every woman loves a fascist” and the Nazi can function as the absolute extreme of the “bad boy”.

A book published by Ellora’s Cave under the Taboo line, Captured by the SS by Gail Starbright, goes deep into this fantasy. From the description:

By the twenty-first century, Germany has all but taken over the world. Only one nation remains untouched…America. Only spies slip in and out of enemy territory. Within this shadowy and dangerous world of cloak and dagger, Isabel Riley is an American spy deep in enemy territory.

Isabel is detained at a German checkpoint by a black-uniformed SS officer. She’s arrested, taken into custody and interrogated.

But she soon learns her enigmatic captor wants more than just her secrets. He enjoys tying her up or teasing her with the tails of his leather flogger. But floggers and video cameras are the least of her concerns. In the eyes of the Third Reich, ownership is real. And a lovely American spy is far too tempting of a war prize to pass up.

Although I haven’t read the book, my response to the description was “Um…”

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Jul 162011
 

Angela Caperton’s blog pointed me towards several Youtube clips from the documentary, Stalags (2008), about the Israeli stalag novels:

The Introduction

A discussion of the standard plot

A professor talks about his schooldays, when Stalag novels were circulated as porn, while the works of Ka Tzetnik 135633 treated the same subject matter but legitimately.

A publisher talks about the premise of the books, in which a “pinnacle of manhood”, American pilots, are dominated by women.

An interview with present-day Israeli who talks about his fantasies when having sex with a gentile German woman.

Interview with filmmaker Ari Libsker

I think this is an example of fantasy as a reparative/redemptive rewriting of an earlier experience, either first hand or indirect. Definitely gotta see this one.

More on Ka Tzetnik 135633 in a future post.

Apr 072011
 

Gloria Brame has posted a startling image of a group of les femmes tondues, or shaved women. In post-WWII France, certain women, sometimes but not always prostitutes, were singled out for ritualized public humiliation for alleged “horizontal collaboration” with fascists. These women had their heads shaved, and this particular group seems to have been stripped naked and painted with a black substance (tar?), and are giving a fascist salute, more likely ironic than defiant.

I post this as an example of the kind of ritualized display of power that can evolve over time into sadomasochistic fantasy.

Oct 172010
 

Fussell, Paul. Uniforms: Why we are what we wear Houghton Mifflin, 2002.

Fussel is a snob, a crank and a square (he refers to “skate-board enthusiasts and other pseudo-degenerates”), and he would probably agree with all those adjectives assessments. He fully admits that his book is about surface impressions, but that’s what a uniform is: a surface, a membrane between the world and the self. It covers up the flawed individual and makes the wearer represent an ideal. Fussell contends that, despite the status accorded to individualism, people like wearing uniforms, even lowly ones. However, one of the first thing people do when given uniforms is to customize them for comfort, utility or style. In extreme cases, this produces the paradox of the unique uniform; WWII-era leaders, like MacArthur, Patton, Montgomery, Hitler and Eisenhower, had distinctive uniforms made for them.

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