[Links] 2-8 August 2017

How to step up as an ally (and how not to), music in Fujiko Mine, and body positivity.

AniFem Round-Up

[Feature] How Everyone’s Getting Married tries to have it all

Guest author Megan R discusses how Everyone’s Getting Married tries to strike a balance between having its female lead choose the life of a homemaker without implying it’s more or less valid than work outside the home.

[Fan vs. Service] Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid vs… Itself?

A look at three different portrayals of adult sexuality in the show, from the awful to the slapstick to the consensual.

[Podcast] Chatty AF 18: Berserk watchalong – Episodes 13-18

It’s that time. Time to talk about Griffith and Guts and aaaaaaaaall the baggage there.

[AniFemTalk] Convention Panels

Are panels your thing? Why, why not, and what kind draw you in?

 

Beyond AniFem

Former GeekGirlCon Volunteers Resign Over … “Reverse Racism”? (The Mary Sue)

Members of GGC released a resignation to the con’s mailing list using a lot of buzzwords like racism and discrimination, while conveniently not mentioning that they were describing said discrimination being allegedly perpetrated by WOC toward white men and women.

You should definitely check out Redpath’s full editorial on Twitter, because it is hella illuminating. She will be expanding on her story later today, but the bottom line seems to be that the five former volunteer staffers knowingly and purposely didn’t mention in their email to everyone that the “discrimination” they were talking about was the perceived “racism” against white people by women of color.
These are volunteers who’ve apparently spent years working for a convention whose entire mission is about inclusion and giving a greater platform and voice to marginalized communities. But, they seemingly don’t want to give those communities too much of one, or that is also racism?

LGBT politicians in Japan seek to promote awareness, secure rights (Asia Rising)

Members of Japan’s LGBTQ community currently have few rights regarding their partners, which lawmakers are hoping to band together to change.

Tokyo (dpa) – Kunihiro Maeda, one of Japan’s few openly gay politicians, recalls waiting outside an intensive-care unit 15 years ago, not knowing whether his long-time partner was still alive after being rushed to hospital.
Maeda was only allowed to see his partner after his partner’s parents arrived and told a doctor that Maeda was a family member.
“Being a housemate does not enable you to be by your partner’s bedside when he dies,” said Maeda, 51, who has been an assembly member for Tokyo’s Bunkyo ward for 18 years.
Maeda suffered a further indignity when he was not allowed to sit with other family members at his partner’s funeral.

Analysis: How ‘Toxic Masculinity’ Fuels Transgender Victimization (NBC News)

In response to comedian Lil Duval saying he would kill his partner if he found out she was trans, this piece breaks down the societal factors that make life so unsafe for trans women in particular.

The media and Hollywood have been perpetuating these ideas about transgender people as far back as 100 years ago, before even the word “transgender” existed. In 1917, for example, silent film actor Fatty Arbuckle was on film “ogling women in the restroom while he’s disguised in a dress and wig,” Sam Feder, the director of the forthcoming documentary “Disclosure: Trans Lives On Screen,” said in an email.
Recent movies, too, have used transgender people as the butt of a joke. In the “Hangover II,” one of the characters is disgusted when he finds out a woman he hooked up with is trans, according to Preston. “This trope both fuels, and is fueled by, straight male anxiety. This trope, and its underlying assumption that trans women are really predatory men in disguise, justifies violence against trans women,” Jen Richards, a writer and actor, said.
report from GLAAD examined 102 episodes of scripted television featuring a trans character catalogued since 2002. In it, the organization found that over half contained negative representations. Whether on the small screen or a popular morning show, these narratives are dangerous because the audience may believe that they’re true. “If you keep seeing a man putting on a dress in order to fool someone into thinking he’s a woman, than it’s a natural progression to think trans people are trying to fool you,” Feder added.

SOUND DESIGN OF WOMAN CALLED FUJIKO MINE WITH SAYO YAMAMOTO (DIRECTOR) AND NARUYOSHI KIKUCHI (MUSIC PRODUCER) (Wave Motion Cannon)

Because we’re never going to pass up an opportunity to highlight Yamamoto and particularly this series. Here’s a talk about how the show’s music plays a very important role in shaping the overall feel.

Kikuchi: This Lupin has been made under the slogan of returning to “Lupin for adults,” and it is also “A Feminist Lupin” from the hands of a female director and a female screenwriter. The heroine carrying sexual trauma from her past going on a journey of self-discovery is a staple from the history of European film, but though it’s an anime, I realised that this show wouldn’t compromise on that psychological question one bit. It’d be something that would make men shake in their boots. So I thought that the only person that could work on the music for such a show would be me. Though I didn’t know whether I could actually pull it off. That’s why I spent some time listening to the soundtracks of (Roman Polanski’s) Repulsion and Alain Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad, both of which deal with the theme of a woman’s sexual trauma.

Stop Supporting And Protecting Abusive Men (Fader)

A panel discussion on recent revelations of assault and other abuses of women by male stars (predominantly R. Kelly) and how men can contribute as allies to stopping these abuses. (GIF/seizure warning at the top).

Even when men call out other men for their abusive or shitty behavior, they always seem to play out as performative theatrics rather than a genuine change of internalized behavior. We’ve seen men turn the idea of “respecting women” into detracting memes, as well as lauded artists (Diplo) and comedians (Zack Fox) turn abusive situations into jokes for the RTs, with no respect for the traumatic events that women continuously go through. Time and time again, the only people really calling out this kind of trivializing behavior are womenMen need to do better in checking other men — but before that we need to do better in checking ourselves.
Men far too often selfishly rationalize abusive behaviors, even their own mounting microaggressions, because they personally benefit from them. It’s incredibly disheartening and unjust to women that it takes cases like R. Kelly and A$AP Bari for discourse on abuse accountability to take place. I think nearly every man is guilty of abuse in at least the micro-sense — myself included — and although it might not be rape or holding women captive, there exists smaller aggregated behaviors amongst men that have become so normalized. This results in much lower standards for men — and yet we still continue to play limbo and fall under the bar. Men are trash, and we need to listen to women when they flame us with the truth about ourselves. It’s only when shitty behaviors are confronted that true personal behavioral change begins to takes place.

THE ADIPOSITIVITY PROJECT

A photo site dedicated to normalizing body diversity by presenting photos of unashamed fat people. Please be advised the site contains nudity, in keeping with its mission statement.

Secret Women’s Business: Galko-chan vs Stigmas and Body Stuff (The Afictionado)

A look at comedies centered around women discussing their bodies, airing and normalizing the gross physical weirdness that can come with being a human in general and a woman in particular.

There’s a stigma that girls/women just don’t talk about their bodies and the weirdness as much, when in turn makes girls/women feel it’s inappropriate to talk about that sort of thing. Which makes shows and movies that bring Body Stuff to the forefront, on the vessel of humour, from the mouths of women, subversive in their own strange way.
I talked a while ago about how Lucky Star somehow managed to walk the perfect line between relatable realism and whacky comedy while capturing the spirit of ordinary high school girls’ conversations, and somehow making that engaging. Well, Please Tell Me! Galko-chan is in much the same camp, but much, much more candid around the whole girl talk thing. Its main characters—each presented as a different archetype, with a matching nickname to pigeonhole them and everything—are friends who openly and frankly discuss stuff like periods, breast growth and soreness, pubic hair and safe sex. Combined with the playful subversion of the tropes the girls are initially pinned into, this is where a lot of the comedy of the show comes from. Not necessarily in an excessive and lewd way, though the fact it’s being talked about could come off as excessive to some—considering it’s not normally discussed at all.

Wakui Kanako on Why Women Enjoy Boy’s Love Comics (Takurei’s Room)

Another attempt to answer the age-old question, this time by manga scholar Wakui Kanako (she is the “I” in the piece).

Women are not allowed to enjoy sex to the same degree as men are able to. I once wrote an article about AV (adult videos), and the female editor told me, “I don’t like to make light of sex.”  It seemed like she was uncomfortable with any topic related to sex, be it AV or otherwise.
Erotic novelist Mutsuki Kagerou says that the three rules of eroticism are “no pregnancy, no menstruation, and reaching a climax even if they are a virgin”. It seems that he tries to exclude unnecessary elements with the focus of making the erotic content as enjoyable as possible. However, these three rules are not realistic for most women. To many women, sex is not something that can be dissociated from things such as their life or work. So in the case of erotic novels drawn by women, there seems to be a pattern where scrupulous care is taken to  establish the backgrounds of characters, only for something unexpected to happen in the end. The same was true of an AV scenario I wrote about recently.
It certainly seems that BL abides by Kagerou’s three rules of eroticism. Men do not get pregnant, nor do they menstruate (probably). Indeed, the best way for women to enjoy BL in a carefree manner is to do away with these unnecessary elements.

A year on, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike has more plans to reform the capital (The Japan Times)

Tokyo’s first female governor retains her focus on the discriminatory treatment women receive in Japanese politics.

Her party’s triumph, Koike said, underscored the pent-up frustration by a particular Tokyo demographic that she says has long been ignored by the old guard of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party: women.
“It’s a widely held notion that the LDP is a chauvinistic party with a propensity to treat women as a decoration,” Koike, 65, said in a recent interview with The Japan Times, noting that women account for a big portion of her party’s support base.
Tomin First’s victory helped raise the number of female members to 36, or 30 percent of the 127-member assembly, up from 25 before the July election. Koike currently serves as the party’s special adviser.
“In a nutshell, it’s the dissatisfaction with the status quo that helped us win,” she said. “I think Tokyo residents wanted really badly to see a change in Tokyo politics.”

Introducing Yuri VN Creators Studio Élan (Okazu)

The predominantly-female studio will be focused on creating wlw (women loving women) visual novels. Concepts and screenshots are already popping up on the team’s twitters.

This past weekend, Yuri VN Highway Blossoms creator Josh Kaplan announced the creation of a new studio, Studio Élan, specifically to work on Yuri VNs.
I asked him to tell us a little bit about it. Here’s Josh’s response:
…I started the group early this year specifically dedicated to making yuri games, and particularly yuri games for girls. I’m still proud of Highway Blossoms, but I decided I wanted to do more in that vein. Alienworks, the group with which we made HB, is still alive and I’m still part of it, but Studio Élan is like… my main thing for the foreseeable future. Most of the team are girls, and so far I’m really excited about what we’re doing in a way that I’ve never really been before. We have two projects right now, both of which will be announced at Anime Weekend Atlanta in September. I hope that people will like them. 

BONUS: Shexy Shelob (The Jimquisition)

Update: AAA videogames are still bad at diverse portrayals of women.

 

AniFem Community

Shojo Beat itself tweeted Megan’s Everyone’s Getting Married piece, which is quite an honor! Our congrats to Megan.

 

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  • GeekGirlCon followed up with a Facebook Live session providing a more detailed statement and answering further questions. (30 minutes, but most of the information is in the first half.) The speaker does not quite confirm that the accusations of racism and sexism were as @AudreyRedpath says, but heavily implies that.

    Another part concerns a debate over whether to pay an unspecified organization for running an allyship workshop at the con; that matches the experience of SafetyPinBox described here.

  • Gorion

    Interesting piece on A Woman Called Fujiko Mine. It certainly was an odd production since it deliberately discarded most of the 50-year nostalgia for Lupin III and found its own voice. I remember it being intriguing and disturbing (the scene where Zenigata blackmails Fujiko into sex at his office horrified me) and it’s a shame that the show hasn’t gotten more recognition.

    Speaking of recognition, the Lupin III Series IV is on Crunchyroll and it’s terrific! I highly recommend it to anyone who’s enjoyed Lupin in the past or who’s interested in starting to watch. It introduces a new female lead, Rebecca, who quickly became one of my favorite characters in the Lupin universe.

  • alecksis

    While I think that the explanation of why women love BL was interesting, ever since I read this piece http://brandonrambles.tumblr.com/post/146534279006/gay-romance-novels-are-not-queer-romance-novels by Brandon Taylor, a gay black writer, I find it difficult to see female escapism through BL stories as purely benign. I’m always wondering if the intent was to responsibly represent young queer men, or if the often-heterosexual women creators are using young queer bodies to satisfy their own fetish. And I think there’s always something insidious about fetishizing another group of humans. It feels exploitative, akin to how I felt when I came out as bi and my best friend’s boyfriend (whom I had known for years) propositioned me for a threesome. When we present queer bodies as stand-ins for heterosexual relationships or as a vessel for fulfilling heterosexual fantasies, we’re dehumanizing and diminishing the people we’re trying to represent and that has real-world consequences.

    At any rate, this links post was chock-full of pretty great stuff and I’m still working my way through it! Just wanted to boost the hell out of Brandon Taylor’s writing before I found something else interesting that would derail my thoughts.

    • Sea John

      Thank you so much for posting this. The insightful comment and especially Brandon Taylor’s post. His writing is truly something special.

      • alecksis

        I’m glad I could add something to the conversation! 🙂 Thank you for reading and I’m so glad you liked Brandon Taylor’s writing.