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Kameruka 2011-04-28 09:06

Are shoujo manga/anime really anti-feminist
 
I hate to start 'battle of the sexes' thread but I just found this issue worth to be discussed here. I just found this one in Yahoo! Answers.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cornelius85
As a man I hate to ask such question but I really annoyed with recent trend in shoujo mangas right now. For example most of the heroines are willing to gave up their hopes and dreams only to get along with their sweethearts. Even worse some often ends up getting raped by their so-called "sweethearts" who actually never sweet in first place.

Ironically some of the male-oriented mangas and anime had more feminist than something that marketed towards female ones. Take Claymore for example. While nobody claiming it to be feminist but at the same time I don't think it had a shoujo/josei equivalent. Ghost in The Shell and Black Lagoon were panned for overly-sexualized heroines but I don't think we can see characters like Motoko and Revy in any shoujo or josei ones.

However my favorite example goes to Taishou Yakyuu Musume. Despite being aimed towards young adult men, I was surprised it is more feminist than it actually appears. The girls form a baseball team to prove that they can compete with boys at same age. In one episode they able to defeat thieves by working together. The heroine did ends up with her love interest without giving up her hope and dream. After finishing it, I asked myself "why there are no shoujo shows doing the same?".

Maybe it just marketing issues than anything else(as girls and women just want to see hot guys) but I will ask very same question if I were woman right now.


Okay Cornelius85, I have some interesting answers for you:

1. Shoujo manga/anime are nothing but escapism. Of course most, if not all readers actually approves that in real-life. The male-oriented stuffs were no better either.

2. Women can be as sexists as men. Maybe because "if you can't beat them, join them" philosophy. Why bother to waste energy, money and time to free yourself while you can be their slut and get paid because of it. Much like they were chained gold and diamonds.

3. "Sex sells" philosophy. It actually worked on women too. Just look how chiseled the man's body when he is topless or wearing open shirt. They are no different than well-endowed women in male-oriented materials.

4. Counter-feminism is at work and it currently monitoring female-oriented materials. That's why some male-oriented materials that you mentioned are actually more feminist.

Not to offend any shoujo fans out there but I also felt much the same about recent shoujo development.

Dorfl 2011-04-28 09:30

The fact that in the majority of shoujo series the main guy is a complete jerk to the heroine 95% of the time is certainly something to think about.

Ichihara Asako 2011-04-28 09:33

Actually, it's something that has irked me about a lot of shoujo romance for a very long time. The heroines are often broken down and made in to submissive little slaves, even if they start out quite confident and strong. They go and change to win the heart of some complete douchebag who thinks nothing of them and end up being little more than a bootycall (well, usually not specifically depicted as such outside of H, but still).

I find it worse with the quiet nice ones though, when some misogynistic asshat turns her in to a "regular" girl; aka a slut, just to fit in to his trends/social group. There are too many instances of both happening in both manga and anime for me to even begin to cite.

It's sad to see this sort of stuff coming from female authors; it's like they're telling their female target audience that they should confirm/submit to men because it's entirely unacceptable to be strong, independent and successful on your own merits. Then again, Japan really is a society like that, where a woman not married by 30 is worthless junk. So they have to do what they can to catch a fish, even if it's a rotten smelly one.

Dorfl 2011-04-28 10:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ichihara Asako (Post 3590889)
And end up being little more than a bootycall (well, usually not specifically depicted as such outside of H, but still)

It's depicted pretty often. There's a whole genre of shoujo depicted to such degrading sex acts: it's called smut. Mangaupdates has 12 pages worth of smut manga, so it's hardly rare either.

fanty 2011-04-28 10:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dorfl (Post 3590887)
The fact that in the majority of shoujo series the main guy is a complete jerk to the heroine 95% of the time is certainly something to think about.

One thing to remember though, is the fact that the guy behaving like a jerk is usually not really a jerk at all. REAL LIFE jerks are absolutely nothing like the fictional jerks you see in shoujo manga. There's just something appealing about a jerk with a fundamentally good heart going around teasing you. But I suppose some authors take the "teasing" thing way too far.

I don't really read that much shoujo manga, though. Maybe this "kinda jerkish but actually good" type of a love interest is actually the exception. I wouldn't know.

One thing that is certainly true though, is the fact that most shoujo heroines just suck. They're often bad students, have next to no friends, and end up being doormats to everyone, especially their love interest. And that's partly because sappy stuff sells, and partly because of this idea that a heroine must totally suck to be easier to relate to (whatever horrible things that implies.)

More assertive heroines that don't suck at everything and aren't fragile little things at constant danger of falling apart would definitely be good, but I'm not really sure about overtly feminist shoujo. I'm a feminist, but I don't think I'd read a manga where the heroine launches into a feminist tirade every few pages.

Edit: Another thing to note: almost all shoujo manga editors are male. Most of them don't really know (or ever want to know) what female audiences want to read about. That's why they just make the mangaka stick to the formulaic stuff. Shoujo manga sales have been in decline for decades now. Or at least that's what people who know more than me say.

Last Sinner 2011-04-28 11:11

Let's start from the beginning...

Literature, TV series, anime, manga - if they aren't an accurate retelling of something from reality, then it is a form of escapism. Shoujo does have a very exaggerated element to it that is quite escapist, yes. But really...it's not like shoujo is the only genre that does that...Shounen's umpteenth wacky adventures, full of manly excess, over-the-top emo and inevitable triumph against the odds? If that's not escapism, I don't know what is. But it's the excess and youthful determination that makes readers want to buy it. A lot of people dare to dream of doing something epic, which is why shounen manga sells. Comedy is exaggerated otherwise people wouldn't find it funny enough to buy. Romance is exaggerated to fill the reader with scenarios and thoughts to be stimulating. Crime is intense and gory. Ecchi is raunchy and intentionally excessive. The point being, any genre has a selling point. And with that comes positives and negatives.

Onto shoujo. What are its selling points/traits? Drama, fancy/cute artwork, female protagonists, some of them living innocent-like, some of them thinking they found Mr. Right then finding out they were so wrong. Hopes and dreams being shattered

Now I'm sure that is unsettling to a lot of people. It's not the nicest thing to see. There are valid reasons. But here's the thing. Who generally reads a title where the protagonists makes all the right choices, meets the perfect person, gets hitched without a bump and lives happily ever after? Very few, if any. Because people generally don't like the Mary Sue scenario, where a character has nothing but good things happen to them and life is bliss without fault. That doesn't give people solace, it doesn't inspire them. It makes them mad because it's too far removed from reality to be plausible in any way. Ultimately, conflict and tension are what sells. Characters that go through very tough times, yet grow as people and find a way to overcome adversity and be better for it in the long run. All people make mistakes in life. People won't always make the best/right decision, even if it seems bleedingly obvious to the majority of others. A person's true nature is shown in far more detail when things go wrong and they have to find a way to keep going. Not when everything is bubbles and smiles.

As for women making mistakes because they find a guy incredibly hot and letting that get the better of them - well, it's not like guys aren't incredibly guilty of chasing after the woman with extreme features rather than going after the woman who has a successful career and a good personality. It's not the biggest sin ever. But yes, there will be consequences and in a good deal of cases the character probably deserves them for doing something so stupid. Plenty of people have done that in reality. And for some people, the greatest source of comfort or inspiration comes when they realise they're not alone in making such a stupid mistake, that others understand what they're going through and that the dark times won't last forever. I can assure you that while there are plenty of people that will despise some characters for lowering their standards in the pursuit of love, there are those that will find a character that only goes through everyday issues and has a reasonably smooth ride overall to be boring and offensive. You can't please everyone.

Shoujo and josei tend to offend some people because they do explore issues that other genres and IRL society don't want to confront at all. Things like rape, betrayl, abuse. You're not going to see those explored honestly or in detail in most shounen titles, are you? Society generally doesn't want to help people that make mistakes or those that are victims. A lot of people pretend on the surface level to care but deep down, they're glad it didn't happen to them or to someone close to them. When it happens to them or someone close to them, they change their tune VERY quickly. And when people encounter a victim of such a crime, they don't know how to cope or they don't want to be the one to reach out because it isn't easy to. Instead, they take the easy way out and avoid that person, treating them like damaged goods that aren't worth the effort, leading to the victim feeling like a criminal. Some authors write material that most wouldn't dare go to so a reader that has gone through hell can know they're not the only one and that they can climb out of the abyss. It can be a very powerful thing for victims of sexual crimes and abuse to draw into and shouldn't simply be dismissed at face value. And that hard journey from hell back to a relatively normal life can truly define a person and make them much better in life for the long run. Adversity can bring out the worst in anyone. Don't be too quick to judge all people by just one mistake until you've walked in their shoes and know enough about them to understand why they made that mistake.

Onto characters like The Major and Revy - they are kickarse feministas. They are about power, domination, obliterating anyone who gets in their way. They are also about using sexuality as a weapon, because it can be one of the strongest forms of confidence and strength for females. It can be interpreted as being cheap and slutty, but on the flipside it can also be seen as confidence and sticking it to those who don't regard women as being capable of doing what a situation requires them to do. And that is what The Major and Revy are about - they're duking it out in scenarios which are typically dominated by men. They may be extreme with some of their behaviour, but in the end they have the respect and trust of their colleagues because they are very capable people who get the job done properly and excel in ways their colleagues can't. Batou and Saitou both knew what it was like to be on the receiving end of The Major and they gained permanent respect for her as a result. Hell, I recall Batou issuing a dare to the Major to use a male chassis instead because she acted more masculine than most women yet had a female chassis. The Major only needed five seconds to fire a smile at Batou to lower his guard then knock him out with one hit. Revy would use her charms and features to lure a guy in then unleash hell on him but she would protect her subordinates at great risk, which is why Rock had a lot of respect for her. Revy's methods may not be the most admirable, but she survives in a world where very few can and gets the job done. Her gender is not a barrier - it is one of her greatest assets. (And this is coming from someone who didn't like Black Lagoon)

And in terms of female authors portraying innocent females who get corrupted and then do stupid things - I can see why some may find that offensive and insulting. But there's more than one way to look at it. If little Miss Innocent gets sent into hell by a guy she thought was worth the risk, she then has to find a way to get out of that hell, find the strength to do so, get over that person then piece her life back together, probably by herself since she'll usually have lost the respect of most of her friends and peers in the process., then finally be able to live a proper life again. As gruelling and off-putting as that can be, is it not also admirable that a person was able to realise what a mess they had made of their life then want to get back on track so badly and do whatever it would take to get out of that hell? Again, most people don't want to confront adversity and pain because it isn't nice or pleasing to look at. It's cold, it's miserable and it is a journey usually travelled alone or with the one or two people who were willing to look beyond the surface and still want to help the person in need. If adversity that goes too far makes you angry, I understand. But my female friends over the years have told me they take a lot of comfort and inspiration from the characters who make colossal mistakes then have to work like hell to get their life together again. Because the ultimate aim of a lot of female authors writing those stories - not all of them, some may do it for selfish purposes and I havent read every shoujo and josei title under the sun - is to write a story that will make their readers, especially female ones, not make the mistakes the characters in their story have made. In some cases, it's more personal because the author has been in that situation and wants their readers to never experience that hell for themselves. Surely that is a good thing in some ways.

If shoujo is guilty of making people uncomfortable and offended because it goes places they don't want to see characters go to or because they do it in such a naive way, then so be it. Don't read or watch them if that's the case for you. But understand that in a good deal of cases, the creator's intention is to inform people, mainly women, of what can happen to them and to prevent that from ever becoming reality. It's not always telling people to settle for something for the sake of it. In many cases, it's telling women to do the exact opposite - to not sell themselves short, when they can get something and someone so much better in life.

And in finality, I'm not saying that shoujo is the greatest thing ever. It's not - there are some glaring flaws and some who exploit the genre, sending bad messages to their readers in the process. But there are a good deal of authors doing a lot of good for people and trying to fix a society that didn't have a gender revolution for women until about 2000, that still has a lot of misogynstic views towards women, that doesn't want to confront hard issues or show sympathy to victims, as well as the attitude problems of a country that has long been in denial of the financial and social problems that are weighing their country down and will do so unless they are finally able to swallow their pride and be willing to change. Avoiding the problem will only make it worse in the long run. Shoujo manga can be a good source to advocate change. But some people will misuse it. And change will not happen overnight - change always takes time. I hope people don't see shoujo in a purely negative light. It has its flaws like anything. But there's some really good things to it to that shouldn't be dismissed so easily.

DonQuigleone 2011-04-28 11:54

I'd just like to chip in and say that this phenomenon isn't totally unique to Shoujo Manga, I mean just look at Twilight...

I don't think the Shoujo Formula is entirely bad, it just the extreme forms you find epitomized in "smut manga" that are truly awful. A softer form like in Nodame Cantabile is quite good. Yes Nodame is a clutz, yes Chiaki is a jerk, yes Chiaki is generally more accomplished. BUT the difference there is that:

A) Chiaki softens over the course of the series
B) Chiaki never actually does anything more then shoot sarcastic comments at Nodame.
C) Chiaki never actually exploits Nodame for anything, no emotional blackmail, no pseudo (or actual) rape. In fact usually Nodame is exploiting him!
D) Chiaki actually has flaws (serious neuroses and OCD!)
E) Nodame actually has talents.
F) Nodame actually gains aspirations over the course of the story, and Chiaki encourages her.
G) Nodame pretty much falls in love with him from the start, but never actually becomes servile.

The problem with Shoujo Manga is that the stories tend towards the opposite, if the lead has aspirations, she loses them (in favour of serving the man), she has no talents, the male lead is portrayed as "perfect", he's got money, grades, athletics, popularity etc. Their only flaw is ever pride and/or arrogance, but their pride is always shown as ultimately justified, and they never get any kind of comeupance.

The male lead is literally a god, and the female lead is reduced to (often forced) to be his no.1 fan. And it perfectly okay is he forces her to have sex, because, of course, she actually wants it. Urgh.

But if you take some of these properties(except the rape thing) on their own, they're not too bad, just together they form a toxic mix extolling female servitude. There's a lot of fine Shoujo and Josei manga that contain some of these elements that are perfectly fine, but the conventional shoujo formula, to me, feels like a mysoginists wet dream.

Tworble 2011-04-28 11:54

There are so many different types of shoujo series. Many at least offer a banal message of self acceptance, but you won't find any burly women holding swords. That is more of a male fantasy.

I have noticed, in contrast, that many males in shonen romance series are wimps surrounded by powerful women. Perhaps both men and women emphasize with the idea of powerlessness and want to be rescued.

Irisiel 2011-04-28 12:03

Not all shoujo are inherently anti-feminist, but there's a lot of shoujo that's really questionable.

Take the Jerk with a Heart of Gold, in many shoujo, he's just abrasive but has his nice points which he shows those close to him (hence he isn't really changed when the Heroine starts dating him and he treats her nicer, she is simply just one of those close to him by then), but in many others, he is an abusive jerk "who simply needs to a good woman to love him" to turn into a decent human being.

Which is a dangerous fantasy and extremely anti-feminist. The danger is that when women are brought up thinking that they can change someone (and the majority of cultures around the world espouses this view), they take on Projects. You know, Those Guys. The ones who perpetuate domestic violence. The ones who made a road in college be called Rape Road. The ones who had little pills they put in girls' drinks in High School.

And many women are told if they just Nurture these Projects, they will find the truest and purest love, and portraying a guy changing just because he finds a girl, one enforces this type of culture. (There was a really disturbing case a few months/years back when a man went and shot a whole bunch of women after blogging about his failed dating experience, and something that was almost even more disturbing was the amount of people saying that women only has themselves to blame since they wouldn't date this guy. Basically: Either you put out, or I have the right to shoot all women.)

Then there are those that always portray a girl as second/third best, or if she is the best, that there's something wrong with her, and she becomes "right" when she "mellows" into being second best to her guy. (A prominent example of always being second best is Special A, who tries to save their broken Aesop by saying that it's okay that Heroine is second best in everything! Really! Because she'll always be number one in the Hero's heart! *barfs*)

Then there's Shugo Chara, in which the Heroine fights Evil for 99 percent of the manga, only to end the manga with *ultimate transformation: Bride* "Girls can't fight". Seriously, the coalition of becoming a cheerleader, artist, songstress and housewife is apparently to become a bride, and her epiphany is that she's a girl and therefore can't fight. Do I have to explain why this is anti-feminist?

On the other hand, I don't find stereotypically girly shoujo such as VB Rose anti-feminist. Maybe because the secondary plot (the first one is romance) is about the Heroine's ambitions, even if it is a stereotypically girly profession (somewhat offset by the fact that her colleagues are guys, and they're not even flamboyantly gay guys, just regular guys). And she has close relationships with other girls without fighting over a guy.

And, of course, it is set in Real World (albeit, prettified) without magic, and the Real World has yet a few more miles to go before it is fully feminist.

Then there are shoujo who normalises sexual harassment such as skirt-flipping and underwear-stealing on the part of the Love Interest/Hero, and this is considered no big deal/Boys Being Boys. This is anti-feminist (and man-hating, holding boys to much, much lower standards than a sub-human).

Then there's shoujo who tries to assert that their Heroine is a Strong Female Character by making her One of the Boys, often by making her hate on girly girls and stereotypically girly activities (seriously, I remember a Heroine who was about infiltrate a party to save the life of a comrade, but all women at the party had to wear a dress and you wouldn't believe the tantrum she threw; she irrationally complained about a dress when the consequences of her not wearing it would mean the death of a friend). It is considered anti-feminist to devalue the actions and choices of women, as well as call women stupid because they choose to do something you personally have a problem with (like, wear a dress or think puppies and kitties are cute), so needless to say, those shoujo and manga in general are considered anti-feminist.

To summarise: There's lots of shoujo that's anti-feminist and perpetuates/glorifies sexist culture and ideas. There's also shoujo that doesn't swing either way, simply trying to portray the Real World, which also includes Real World flaws. And sometimes, there's shoujo that's feminist.

By the way, I recommend VB Rose, 1/2 Prince and Saiunkoku Monogatari. All three are very different, but I think they all have good heroines that aren't devalued or degraded.

Last Sinner 2011-04-28 12:39

Probably the one title that did it for me was Kare Kano. It's not perfect but it has a solid line of female characters who didn't tolerate any crap and were achievers. Yukino showed a lot of resilience and determination that isn't seen in that many females of any genre, let alone shoujo. She realised what a bitch she was initially and changed her ways. Then after creating a circle of friends and gradually deepening her relationship with Soichiro, she learnt he was rather twisted on the inside (although for once, there were valid reasons to a point). And when he did hurt her about 2/3rds of the way through, she didn't cry about it, break down or lament what had happened. She became permanently determined to set Soichiro straight and to never let him harm anyone ever again, especially himself. And in the process, she won over the respect of her peers and the families involved that Yukino ended up succeeding in a world traditionally dominated by men and tradition. Yet she was still able to act as a woman and break down those barriers because she never gave up, she never settled for anything less than what she wanted and her values broke down the hate that had dominated Soichiro's family. Then there were side characters like Maho who believed in love so much from when she met the right guy, that it inspired her to excel to her dreams and let love compliment her life rather than be the one determining factor. Or Sakura, who was a truly free spirit who just relished in the moment and loved beating the boys at their own game, but found that she had teased Tonami for long enough and that was willing to make room for someone to travel the world with. I.e. Kare Kano girls had some major flaws, but they really grew as people over the volumes and were very admirable because they were driven to succeed in life and balance love in the mix. It rambled and got a bit overdramatic at times, but in terms of how it treated its females, it's hard to beat.


Speaking with a female friend about this, we then compared females from various titles. We agreed the shoujo formula is guilty of lowering the standards of females in numerous cases, but that there were also a good number of titles that treated its women with respect and developed them well. And we quickly agreed on that if there's one thing 'shounen' titles are regularly guilty of, it's that a lot of the females in those titles are there to be nuisances or eye candy. A classic example would be Sakura from Naruto. Along the line, she eventually realises that she is somewhat useless in the way she's been acting. But then she comes to a ridiculous conclusion - 'I'll just step aside and let the boys handle it.' And that is one of the most things I hate most in female characters in shounen as well as other genres - that they somehow get the idea into their head they're not capable of fulfilling a role and that it's a boy's world. But somehow that aspect seems to get amplified more in shounen, where they're suddenly there just to look good. It's something a great deal of long-running titles are guilty of.

Vexx 2011-04-28 13:03

Some of you should pick up a Western romance novel (those shelves and shelves of them in the grocery stores and bookstores) ..... hell, the covers reek of misogyny and sexism much less the inside content.

But as for shoujo... I guess I read a small subset of it as I've not encountered very much anti-feminist sentiment. The worst I can think is simply people operating within the restrictions of japanese society in the time period the story is set in.

For example, I wouldn't call Kimi ni Todoke anti-feminist.... its a glacial story of a girl so shy she's almost non-functional who evolves outward from that.

Last Sinner 2011-04-28 13:18

Yeah, I wouldn't say just the romance novels, Vexx. A lot of commercials are oriented that way too in terms of the gender roles and the messages they send.

Kimi ni Todoke's best aspect is that not only are some of the girls not the usual stereotypes, a couple of the guys aren't either. Sawako - yeah, she is innocent and naive but not in a sickening way. She is a genuinely nice, shy girl who is craving friends and gradually opening up to people once she has friends. It's cutesy but without the guilt and the rage. It's really quite funny. Yoshida is a fair tomboy and does slot in with the guys, but she is still a girl and isn't the typical unsensitive blockhead the tomboy character type. Yano is the glam girl but she has standards. She knows what she wants and she isn't going to lower her colours to get what she wants in love. Shota is perhaps the most stereotypical character in that title, but he's hard to hate because he is genuinely nice. Pin is such an anti-shoujo male, you expected him to be in a shounen-ish sports title. But he always obliterates drama and tension with ease, livening things up and making sure the title doesn't get too serious. Then there's Ryu, who is just classic. Casual, easygoing, very 'whatever' on the surface in a group scenario, but one-on-one, he is quite a mature, easy-to-talk-to guy who is honest and a good listener despite being the baseball guy. The mix has a not-so-serious tone to it which makes it a good read. Some will find it way too innocent/flowers'n'bubbles, which is fair enough. But when you treat your characters with respect and give them identities which are worth following, it's amazing what can be done within the genre.

DonQuigleone 2011-04-28 13:19

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vexx (Post 3591130)
Some of you should pick up a Western romance novel (those shelves and shelves of them in the grocery stores and bookstores) ..... hell, the covers reek of misogyny and sexism much less the inside content.

But as for shoujo... I guess I read a small subset of it as I've not encountered very much anti-feminist sentiment. The worst I can think is simply people operating within the restrictions of japanese society in the time period the story is set in.

For example, I wouldn't call Kimi ni Todoke anti-feminist.... its a glacial story of a girl so shy she's almost non-functional who evolves outward from that.

I'd agree, but if you want to see the real dregs read the stuff labelled "smut", "romance" and "shoujo", 3/4 of those are very disturbed. But I have to agree that western Romance novels are just as bad. Again, look at Twilight...

Last Sinner 2011-04-28 13:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by DonQuigleone (Post 3591155)
Again, look at Twilight...

There was a good joke we had at the local anime convention last year. A copy of the Twilight visual novel was auctioned off so the winner could burn it. :D Because hell, what else was it good for?!

Dorfl 2011-04-28 13:53

Who did the proceeds go to, Satan?

FlavorOfLife 2011-04-29 02:17

Stamping cultural views from outside the culture in question is always a 100% fail. The members of that culture, regardless of male or female, are the ones who make the decision on what is acceptable.

If said shoujo works are felt, within the culture, to be 100% fail, then such works will not be popular and will fall by themselves. Else its the equivalent of the "friendly" neighbour teaching you how to be a parent.

Irisiel 2011-04-29 05:10

Not really.

The belief that the love of a good woman can change a psychopath is pretty much global. It exists in Asia, the Americas, Europe and Africa. It's screwed up and enables abusive behaviour towards women.

Furthermore, if I see my neighbour violently shake a baby, I wont just confront them with it, I'd call the police and social services.

And just because something is cultural, traditional and "it's the way it is here" doesn't mean that it can't be abusive and damaging. I wont quietly step aside on issues like rape culture and female genital mutilation just because it's traditional in some country. Nor do I agree with a cultural depiction that tries to box in women as being weak, needy and doesn't understand fighting even if it's fighting to protect other people, just because that is the traditional view of women in that country.

Furthermore, I do not approve of the constant devaluation of women and girls in fictional works. In shounen, for example, where fighting is the currency, the women and girls are either lousy fighters, shuffled off the side or depicted as unable to fight because they're too damn womanly to do so.

And the reason why many shoujo, romance novels and josei are so damn rapetastic? Because the readers (women and girls) are supposed to enjoy the fantasy without that pesky guilt for feeling like a sexual being, because if you don't give the heroine a chance to say yes, why then she's as pure as a Madonna isn't she?

These are all the little things that makes people nod to themselves when others say "girls who like sex are sluts", which, in some cultures, then get blown into "girls shouldn't enjoy sex so we'll cut their sexual organs".

And the West isn't exactly innocent, either. Each of those picketers outside abortion clinics that demand to know about a woman's (and sometimes, girl's) visit to the clinic are violating the woman's privacy.

Quite honestly, the world is screwed up, but people everywhere work to make it a better place. Unfortunately we still live in a world where a black president must show his birth certificate to the world and women are harassed for their medical information, as if they don't have a right to privacy and autonomy.

DonQuigleone 2011-04-29 07:54

Quote:

Originally Posted by Irisiel (Post 3592143)
Furthermore, I do not approve of the constant devaluation of women and girls in fictional works. In shounen, for example, where fighting is the currency, the women and girls are either lousy fighters, shuffled off the side or depicted as unable to fight because they're too damn womanly to do so.

On the other hand, should a female character in a shonen only have worth if she fights and is physically as strong as the male characters? Most women are not big on violence anyway, why does a woman have to be violent - ergo adopt a more masculine role - to have any form of worth?

I don't think it's wrong to show men and women adopting different roles, in real life it's the norm, most men are physically stronger then women, and historically I can't think of a single army that had significant numbers of women. And I don't view this as a good or bad thing. Female characters should be able to be heroic in the context of the story without being pidgeon-holed into being masculine. That's just as bad as portraying women as only having worth in context of the man "they serve".

It's just as bad when women are told they have to act like men to be their equal, it's basically saying that female behaviour is inferior to men-> women are inferior to men. Women are equal to men exactly as they are. There's nothing wrong with dresses or cooking. Dresses are just a form of clothing, and cooking is a hell of a lot more useful then being able to charge up a ki blast to a power level of over 9000.

Kameruka 2011-04-29 07:58

I just solely blame on Shinjou Mayu's mangatography. Regardless the criticism thrown to them by Japanese and non-Japanese critics, it still sold, someone still upload them to internet and of course, teenage girls always read them. I believe Cornelius85 is asking about Shinjou Mayu's creations than anything else.

Irisiel 2011-04-29 09:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by DonQuigleone (Post 3592293)
On the other hand, should a female character in a shonen only have worth if she fights and is physically as strong as the male characters? Most women are not big on violence anyway, why does a woman have to be violent - ergo adopt a more masculine role - to have any form of worth?

I don't think it's wrong to show men and women adopting different roles, in real life it's the norm, most men are physically stronger then women, and historically I can't think of a single army that had significant numbers of women. And I don't view this as a good or bad thing. Female characters should be able to be heroic in the context of the story without being pidgeon-holed into being masculine. That's just as bad as portraying women as only having worth in context of the man "they serve".

It's just as bad when women are told they have to act like men to be their equal, it's basically saying that female behaviour is inferior to men-> women are inferior to men. Women are equal to men exactly as they are. There's nothing wrong with dresses or cooking. Dresses are just a form of clothing, and cooking is a hell of a lot more useful then being able to charge up a ki blast to a power level of over 9000.

The thing is, that being womanly has nothing to do with fighting, but cultural depictions keeps telling us that feminine=/=fighting, which is what I was getting at.

Furthermore, there's the problem with making women passive and caught up in the conflicts of active men.

Shuurei in Saiunkoku Monogatari, for example, wears feminine clothes, make up and can run a household on limited funds, yet she's still considered strong in my book, because she actively seeks her dreams and ambitions, and doesn't take crap from anyone, without being irrational about it. Plus, her actions are valued as part of the plot of the story.

I want both male and female characters to be just as active and integral to each story, and be SHOWN to be so. Instead of someone saying "Sakura is more powerful than Tsunade because she's a genjutsu type" or "Captain Unohana is totes strong! Really!" and then just not showing it. If Unohana is strong enough to kick several hollows/arrancar/shinigami/whatever to the curb, or strong enough to revive the dead, show us how she does it! Show us why her powers are so strong, how they are so strong, show her the same courtesy you show the men and fighter units at the very least!


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