Weekly Round-Up, 24-30 June 2020: Misogynoir Reading List, Yuri VN Devs, and Sailor Moon Fan Club

By: Anime Feminist June 30, 20200 Comments
a redheaded princess leaping to hug a shocked catgirl. subtitle: I love you, Karyl!

AniFem Round-Up

Brianna Slaughter on organizing BLM Kansai / インタビュー:BLM関西オーガナイザー、ブリアナ・スローター

Chiaki interviews one of the organizers and PR manager of BLM Kansai; includes a translation by Masaki C. Matsumoto.

Bend the Rules, but Never Break Them: Individual growth and systemic oppression in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Vrai looks beyond the children’s card game into the story’s themes about overcoming trauma, and how unconscious bias and a rushed final arc hold it back.

How have you felt about the resource posts?

Have they been helpful, and should they be a regular part of the rotation alongside Talk prompts?

Beyond AniFem

How Misogynoir Shows Up In Our Lives: A Wear Your Voice Reading List (Wear Your Voice)

A list of essays on misogynoir spanning general theory, media, and various intersectional aspects of culture.

Our politic at Wear Your Voice has always been and will forever be rooted in an intersectional feminism because we recognize that the liberation of assigned, assumed, and affirmed Black womxn is imperative to the liberation of all of us. Misogynoir describes both the anti-Blackness and misogyny that Black womxn experience together, because their Blackness and womxn-ness are never divorced from one another. Properly addressing misogynoir requires the dismantling of both patriarchy and white supremacy, as well as uprooting capitalism and colonialist thought. 

But even those who know of misogynoir often only have a surface level understanding of the term and how the phenomenon shows up in our lives. From interpersonal relationships to institutional measures, misogynoir informs Black womxn’s experiences and it is a constant fixture of their existence. It rears its head and manifests itself in a multitude of ever-evolving ways, shaping how the world regards Black womxn and sometimes even skewing Black womxn’s perceptions of themselves. 

Friendships, romantic entanglements, and familial relations. Pregnancy, childbirth, and reproductive care. Interactions with police and the criminal justice system, health care, medical aid, education, and housing. Misogynoir determines how Black womxn experience all of these things and more. Even fatphobic ideology and much of the sexual repression in colonized nations are directly drawn from ideas about Black womxn’s bodies and hypersexualization. 

Behind the Games – Interview with Oracle and Bone Studio (Blerdy Otome)

Interview regarding the studio’s first project, yuri visual novel A Summer’s End – Hong Kong 1986.

Q. There is a tendency for the media to fetishize same sex relationships, particularly in narratives focusing on relationships between women. How do you feel about that hyper sexualization of WLW romances? How does A Summer’s End subvert those tropes?  

A. As creators we’re also the audience for WLW romances. We created this project in part because we wanted to represent WLW romance from a perspective that is authentic and honest about sexuality and same-sex attraction. We felt it important to include an option for mature adult scenes as it represents a part of the LGBTQ+ experience. Depicting these scenes frankly without an exploitative gaze was something we were cognizant of. These scenes were not created for the purpose of viewing the character’s bodies as sexual objects. Rather, we wanted these scenes to depict the love between the characters and their mutual and consenting attraction for one another. 

Love Me for Who I Am Vol. 1 Review (Anime News Network, Faye Hopper)

Critical review of the manga’s handling of nonbinary identity.

I’m not out, and often find myself intensely jealous of those who are; able to present themselves as they like and feel like in the world, on some level, acknowledges who they are. It leads to a certain defensiveness, a digging in of heels. You come to defend bitterly the things that make you unhappy, the things you hate, because you feel you’re stuck with them. It’s moments like this that show me, on some level, the series is trying. It is trying to depict queer life in all its diverse and complicated specifics, it is trying to be intersectional and about the way people’s various and diverse queer experiences slam against each other. In moments, it does succeed.

This problem is that despite this ostensible well-meaning, compassionate agenda, the book does not have real, deep interest in what it is to be nonbinary. Mogumo’s perspective is never centered. We never see how their dysphoria manifests, internally, beyond them bucking against the cisnormative labels at the maid café. We never the ways in which their spirit is given new outlets of expression, new ways of being that really and deeply compliment who they are as a person. They’re always an outsider in their own story. And though Mogumo is nonbinary, so much of the way the book expresses their identity is solely in binary terms. Tetsu is hung up on the fact that he sees them as a boy, as the gender they were assigned at birth, not really advancing his understanding of nonbinary identities much throughout the volume’s course.

Gaming can’t fix its abuse problem one person at a time (The Verge, Megan Farokhmanesh)

Discussing the most recent wave of abuse allegations as symptomatic of a rotten industry.

The task before the industry is one it’s needed to tackle for years: reforming its culture on a massive scale. Those who work within games are already plagued by toxic work practices and harassment from overzealous fans. As more dangerous men are outed, it is impossible to ignore how many held powerful positions within games. If companies want to fix their problems with sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault, they have to examine their relationship to alcohol-driven events, in-house policies for reporting, and the structure of their teams. It’s easy to disavow a single person and harder to identify the points of failure that allowed them to rise in the first place. This requires studios across the industry — not just those exposed in each new round of allegations — to get their houses in order.

Companies have an ethical obligation to their employees to provide safe work environments. One person’s bad behavior does not only affect those they victimize; it is a source of secondary trauma for colleagues. Left unchecked, it is a poison that spreads to anyone attached to the culprit. As the current culture of harassment stands, it asks individuals to do the work. Accountability must be a commitment from the community, but especially men who want to claim allyship. It’s true that women can be abusers, and men can be abused; yet the game industry, in particular, has demonstrated an overwhelmingly male-driven pattern of harm. Men must hold their male colleagues accountable, both at work and outside of it. Hand-wringing has no place in this conversation.

Kanno Sugako’s Daring Revolution (Unseen Japan, Alyssa Pearl Fusek)

Biography of the anarchist writer and attempted assassin.

Managing the newspaper sobered Kanno to the real expectations of the male socialists in her acquaintance. The men in Kanno’s circle professed their belief in gender equality by day and prowled the red-light district at night. Men with loose sexual morals got a pass; Kanno and other sexually independent women faced ridicule and labeled as immoral. The double standards grated on Kanno’s nerves.

Upon Mori’s return, Kanno continued to write forthe home section of Muro Shimpo, but remained bitter about the lack of female representation in socialism. She called for women to become self-aware and to read more. Kanno’s scorn is clear in her attack on society’s double standard on chastity in a 1906 article:

“Among the many annoying things in the world, I think men are the most annoying. When I hear them carrying on interminably about female chastity, I burst out laughing…. I greet with utmost cynicism and unbridled hatred the debauched male of today who rattles on about good wives and wise mothers. Where do all of these depraved men get the right to emphasize chastity? Before they begin stressing women’s chastity, they ought to perfect their own male chastity, and concentrate on becoming wise fathers and good husbands!”

For Black Creatives Trying to Thrive Amidst a Global Pandemic, Police Brutality, and Racial Inequality When Surviving is Enuff (Black Nerd Problems, M. Skylar Ezell)

A reassurance that not feeling creative is okay, and mental health resources.

I say all of this to you, fellow Black creative, because whatever you feel right now as you try to navigate your finances, your job, your health, and your art, is valid. And if you haven’t realized by now, you are not alone. Your fellow creatives are getting through this experience the best ways they know how, and few if any of us know exactly what we’re doing. And you know what? That’s OK.

In a world where your very Blackness is viewed as a threat, simply being here is an act of defiance and courage. The talents you have and skills you’ve worked for are manifestations of your audacity to exist. But don’t fret about living up to your potential. You honor your gifts simply by making it through another day. Please don’t beat yourself up or allow others to shame you for not being more productive. Not now. Not ever.

TWEET: Spotlighting a Japanese community activism group supporting the queer community.

TWEET: Excerpt of an interview with Stephanie Sheh from the Sailor Moon Fan Club podcast.

TWEET: Discussion of Japanese tweet regarding Studio Trigger overworking/not paying animators.

TWEET: Video spotlighting several organizations supporting the Black trans community.

AniFem Community

From the sounds of your feedback, it seems like resource posts will become at least a monthly thing. Thanks, AniFam! Please enjoy this Tom Nook cat.

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