Weekly Round-Up, 15-21 February 2023: New Morishima Akiko Manga, Support for Marriage Equality, and Yoshiya Nobuko Retrospective

By: Anime Feminist February 21, 20230 Comments
The Ippon Again girls at a diner

AniFem Round-Up

Everybody Loves Bridget: The origins of otokonoko and birth of a trans icon

Rain B. explains the history of the Guilty Gear star, her influence in Japan, and her importance worldwide with her coming out in Strive.

Voice Actress Ise Mariya on her iconic roles, voice actors pressured to be idols, and #MeToo in Japan

Ise touched on the increased pressure for voice actresses to be idols and how the slow change post-#MeToo (as well as #KuToo) has given more people space to come forward with their stories.

Chatty AF 179: Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury Part 1 Retrospective

Vrai calls in Gundam experts Maddie and Megan to discuss the very ambitious and very queer first cour of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury!

Black Creators and Journalists in Anime/Manga Fandom

We’re spotlighting Black writers, artists, and media outlets that cover or create art inspired by Japanese pop culture. They’re all making wonderful work — give them a look!

Beyond AniFem

Survey: 72% of voters in favor of legalizing gay marriages (The Asahi Shimbun, Kazuaki Isoda)

That number is up from 41% in 2015.

Despite the trend, conservative members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party continue to prevent Diet deliberations on the issue. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has also expressed cautiousness, saying on Feb. 1 that legalized same-sex marriages is a topic that “will change society.”

However, 67 percent of supporters of Kishida’s LDP back the legalization of same-sex marriages, according to the nationwide telephone survey.

More than half of all respondents, or 51 percent, said legislation prohibiting discrimination against sexual minorities should be introduced, while 39 percent oppose the idea.

Among respondents who support legal same-sex marriages, 36 percent said an anti-discrimination law is not necessary.

Forty-seven percent of LDP supporters backed such a law.

65% in Japan think gov’t ‘not protecting’ gender minorities: Mainichi survey (The Mainichi, Nanae Ito)

The survey contacted roughly 500 mobile lines and 500 landlines.

The survey follows the dismissal of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s former secretary, Masayoshi Arai, after the latter’s discriminatory remarks toward LGBTQ+ people and same-sex marriage. When asked if they believe Japan’s government is protecting the rights of sexual minorities, only 15% responded affirmatively, while 65% believe the government is not protecting them.

The poll found that 54% support legal recognition of same-sex marriage, while 26% oppose it. Twenty percent responded, “I don’t know.” Younger people have a higher rate of support. Around 80% of those aged 18-29 and 70% of those in their 30s and 40s are in favor. Support for same-sex marriage hovers near 60% among those in their 50s, just under 50% among those in their 60s, and just under 40% of people in their 70s or older.

“Is Love The Answer?” Shows the Fluidity of Asexuality and Identity (Into, Latonya Pennington)

The volume explores the spectrum of ace/aro identity.

In fact, there is more to Mitsuru and Chika’s fellow psych majors than meets the eye. They’re all so caught up in the notion of what’s considered “normal” that it makes it hard for them to understand each other at first. Two of the psychology majors, Ito and Enomoto, later apologize to Chika and explain how they feared backlash. Ito is a gay man with a fluctuating orientation, while Enomoto is an otaku. Both of their circumstances are significant when you consider how love has multiple meanings, ranging from queerness to a personal passion for something.

Amatonormativity is a term coined by Professor Elizabeth Brake that describes the belief that participating in a romantic relationship is the only way to have a fully satisfying life and that everyone wants a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, hypersexualization is a cultural norm that expects everyone to be sexually active and experience sexual attraction, which harms marginalized groups such as Black and LGBTQ+ people through negative stereotypes. As a result, I sometimes feel isolated as a Black, bi, grey-aromantic asexual.

The Saami Council demand Square Enix to immediately remove the Final Fantasy “Far Northern Attire” (Saami Council)

The DLC, the Council alleges, violates Sámi cultural property rights.

– Our cultural property rights are not theoretical. They are protected and protectable under intellectual property laws, which are generally harmonised throughout the world. Square Enix, as a media company, is highly aware of intellectual property laws and has no excuse for this blatant violation of Sámi cultural property, Holmberg continues. 

The Saami Council is of the opinion that the issue is particularly damaging because Sámi clothing traditions are not merely aesthetic; they carry the significance of being specific elements of Sámi identity with meaning, content, and context. By creating this product, Square Enix has allowed their 41 million players to dress up as a Sámi people, clothe themselves in the Sámi identity without our consent, and contribute to the erosion of our culture.

Japan to criminalize sex with children under 16 (The Mainichi)

Japan’s age of consent hasn’t been altered since 1907.

While the proposed changes will make sexual intercourse with a person under 16 illegal, regardless of consent, an exception is provided for intercourse between youngsters at least 13 years old with an age difference of less than five years.

To address difficulties in proving sexual assault in situations where the victim cannot resist, the revisions will also clarify eight acts that constitute a lack of consent, including intoxication, drugging, abuse of power and psychological control.

The statute of limitations for prosecution will also be extended to 15 years from 10 years for forcible sexual intercourse or rape and to 20 years from 15 years for indecent assault resulting in injury.

Rally pushes Japan gov’t for measures beyond ‘LGBT understanding’ bill (The Mainichi, Miyuki Fujisawa)

The purely symbolic “understanding” bill has been on hold since 2021.

At the rally, Soshi Matsuoka, who launched a Change.org petition pushing for Japan to pass an anti-discrimination law and legalize same-sex marriage, read messages from LGBTQ individuals and their families. “LGBTQ people are being discriminated against and are facing severe challenges. I wish (the government) would not dodge the issue by playing around with the ‘promoting understanding’ bill,” Matsuoka said.

Another participant, Miho Okada, spoke about the time her late partner was battling cancer. She was plagued by anxiety since the hospital might not have contacted her in an emergency because the two women were not legally married. Regarding the ex-secretary’s discriminatory comments, she said, “Why must I, as a lesbian, be insulted for being with someone I love? How long should we wait for laws to be prepared? In my case, (the changes) are already too late, but I want as many others as possible to see their hopes fulfilled.”

People who represent a range of minorities spoke at the rally. Monky Takano, who is deaf and transgender, said using sign language, “For the deaf, there are thick barriers to getting information about LGBTQ issues, and too few places to seek help. Some take their own lives due to their worries. I’ve happily been with my partner for a long time, but I want us to be recognized as family.”

One participant who serves as an office staffer for gatherings of ethnic Korean LGBTQ people in Japan said, “I’m faced with hate speech from all directions. My very existence is denied. There is a pressing need to pass laws respecting the rights of all sorts of people.”

VIDEO: Retrospective on landmark lesbian fiction writer Yoshiya Nobuko.

THREAD: Morishima Akiko’s manga about an elderly single lesbian is out in English.

TWEET: A set of qualifications to help process depictions of fat Black marginalized gender characters.

TWEET: New essay manga by a man whose mother was ensnared by QAnon conspiracies.

AniFem Community

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