“Political correctness has no place in art”? On the contrary! As artists, we have a responsibility to think about the way in which our art shapes our society. While I don’t agree with externally imposed censorship, if one is going to perpetuate a stereotype with a piece of artwork, one ought to have a good reason for it. (Stereotypes should also be avoided in art because they’re dull, and art is about the new). Now in this case, it seems clear that the artist has given a good deal of thought as to why he wants to portray what he intends to portray; he also has a new and interesting spin to give to the “damsel in distress” scenario. Giving the subject matter careful thought is certainly not over-thinking, though, especially when potentially negative stereotypes are involved.
Incidentally, I wouldn’t call the equality of the sexes “politics du jour”. The women’s rights movement is a lot older than you or me, and it’s here to stay. It doesn’t mean that every “damsel in distress” is a step backwards – but we do need to be mindful of sex stereotypes, as Daniel seems to be.