arccie: 12kingdoms break (Default)
[personal profile] arccie
So I'm that bored and in need of a job that I took up an advertisement for website content writers for TOKYOPOP, and I thought I'd post it here as it is my view, even if some of this got slightly exaggerated in the need to reach 1000 words. I've obviously forgotten what every good English student knows: how to babble (a.k.a. BS).
If only I wasn't so highly underqualified I might actually be able to apply for jobs I have a chance of getting.
*sigh*
Come rant with me or dispute my views.



Anime and Male Rights:
The Double Standard.

(18/6/06)

Anime is often enjoyed for its interesting portrayal of society, intriguing plot devices, the special effects that would be impossible in a live action show and a quirky sense of humour. Yet that sense of humour is not always what it should be. The anime subplot where men are subject to beatings by their female co-stars for the sake of humour is a double standard for our social values.

It’s the 21st Century, and women’s rights are better known now than ever. Equal rights for men and women is the goal that people hope society is progressively moving towards. However, with the focus on enlightening society to the true character of women, the male side of the story is often forgotten.

In most cases, female rights advocacy groups have brought about equal standing for men and women, such as equal pay for people doing the same job regardless of gender. A good thing for everyone. But in some ways female rights have come to overshadow the rights of men in the eyes of society.

Domestic violence against women is a problem throughout the world, with wives, girlfriends and mothers suffering at the hands of their loved ones. Not so commonly broadcast, domestic violence against men is a problem of similar proportions, with approximately 5% of men in the USA having suffered such abuse at some point in their lives. Yet this issue is not getting a lot of the consideration it deserves.

It is a taboo issue, with the idea of men being beaten up by “their women” a shameful thing. Many men are too embarrassed to speak out, as society enforces the idea that men have to be “strong”. A psychological conditioning that continues to exist despite the advances in social awareness in modern society.

The anime fan-base covers a large proportion of the world, with fans in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, Australia and the Pacific. Many of these countries have the strong social view condemning domestic violence against women. A view which is often translated into these societies’ values of entertainment.

Portraying men hitting women is viewed with distaste when the scenario is used for artistic license. In anime, it is rare for a woman to be hit, just for the sake of it. Few anime touch on the scenario of domestic violence, and they are generally historical portrayals of society or adding a touch of realism to modern life story. Yet in all these cases the violence against women is viewed as a severe act and regarded with the seriousness it deserves.

This is not the case for violence against men. In a number of anime, violence against men is used as a humorous plot device, a gag scene for laughs. In most cases, if the gender roles had been reversed in these scenes it wouldn’t have been a laughing matter at all.

This isn’t advocating a cease to all violence. Such a suggestion would be met with incredulity and scorn. Action and adventure stories are extremely popular, and the fight scenes where foes confront each other in sword fights, battles and wars of epic proportion are a large part of their appeal. Yet in general these are serious events considered with the respect they deserve.

It is the inappropriate use of violence that needs to be considered. Violence for the sake of humour, portraying scenarios that are offensive in the reverse, must be appropriately considered. Anime capitalising on the double standard that exists need consider both sides of the coin.

Anime like Full Metal Panic: FUMOFFU and Love Hina are prime examples of this sub-genre. Each involves the main male character being hit regularly by their female co-stars on the premise of humour.

Love Hina although it has its amusing moments, is based around the antics of a male manager in a women’s inn being constantly beaten up for his supposed trespasses on their privacy. Trespasses that are often as imagined as real, with little consideration given before the women resort to violence to deal with the problem

FMP: FUMOFFU follows a similar plot line, with Kaname Chidori punishing socially inept, military minded Sergeant Sagara Sousuke for his ignorance of acceptable behaviour by immediately resorting to violence. The violence doesn’t add anything to the plot, and can in fact, detract from the otherwise humorous events.

It is despite these moments of violence that these anime are amusing. In each of these cases any number of alternatives could have been used to portray female displeasure. Resorting to violence simply encourages a social acceptance of a situation that shouldn’t be in anyway acceptable.

It is admittedly an interesting plot device to have the role reversal of strong women and the not so strong men. However, the method used to portray the disparity in “strength” is outdated and somewhat inappropriate. It is implied that to be strong people need to be able to demonstrate their dominance over others. A view that people should be dissuaded from, especially in light of the wars that currently plague the world.

This is not to say strong women are a bad thing. Of course not. More truly strong women would be appreciated. Women in anime often take the role of cute but shy friend or girlfriend, supportive mother or troubled sister. Strong women in anime are somewhat rare creature that many would welcome seeing more often. Characters like Motoko Kusanagi (Ghost in the Shell) demonstrating unique strength and excellent minds are few and far between. In effect they are a refreshing change, and their strength of character makes them all that much more popular.

Yet there is a balance that must be maintained. Men can be considered strong without beating up their prospective girlfriends. In fact, with modern society’s outlook on violence against women, men who hit their female counterparts are often considered truly weak. The same is true for women.

Male violence against women is considered offensive. A needless act of violence that isn’t funny. So considering female violence against men, really, where’s the joke?

on 2006-06-19 08:09 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] qem_chibati
What about guys hitting other guys? Slap stick violence seems to involve a lot of injury to men, but doesn't seem to carry the same sort of humour when women are involved. Possibly because women are such fragile beings, that they couldn't possibly just bounce back, not like a man.... ~.~;;

Meh. I might also point out violence against other girls.

This is actually reminding me of a joke my sister Rox was telling me the other day.

"Australian laws are sexist, because if a man hits a woman he gets sent to jail, where as if a woman, hits a man, he has to stand there and take it, unless she breaks his jaw."



I know for a fact that often when women go up against men, in martial arts, etc, they are often not taken seriously. If your not being taken seriously, then what is left other than a joke?

My mother used to do judo; she knocked a man out, when practicing strangle holds, because the bloody idiot refused to admit that a "woman" could possibly hurt him. Particularly one of a petite size and frame like my mother.

My sister Rox does medieval fighting, as part of a kids group. Despite the fact that she is one of the oldest kids there, she is also one of the shortest... And the only girl.

It has become the great delight, I'm told, watching her go up against other teams, and having them learn about "the outcome of the battle depends on one person charging. Guess which one." rule.

I've always found that female violence against men, is playing up to the macho expectation, that men are suppose to be tough, and take it.

Again, meh. Personally, I've tended to enjoy female violence, even in series like Mai Otame, where its being directed by girls to girls, because the characters involved tend to be dominant, agressive, characters with a real personality. And tend to be less caught up in the "oh I've got to be a good demure girl" imagry, which I've always tended to detest more often than not.

on 2006-06-19 08:12 am (UTC)
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (pimping hat)
Posted by [personal profile] qem_chibati
*I might also point out that I think everyone is personally entitled to laugh at the guy that was knocked out; when all he had to say was "I give", or indicate that enough was enough - this was a practice, lots of people and teachers watching; but instead he was saying "not doing it hard enough, not doing it hard enough, not doing it-" and passed out.

on 2006-06-23 06:01 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] arccie.livejournal.com
Oh I'm definitely not saying that doesn't exist and is as stupidly unfunny as guys getting beat up by girls. I mean, sure, there's some humour to be found in quirky accidents, but seeing a guy hit over the head by his "mates" just doesn't make me laugh.Or even when it's irls slapping each other, or scratching or biting or kicking...just not funny.

Personally, this article was aimed to look at the douyble standard that exists in the anime, and I was only aiming at one aspect of it.
Sloppy of me I know, but the 1000 word limit meant that I was trying not to start too many threads of thought in the first place.

*sigh*

The macho!guy shy/effeminate/useless girl stereotypes annoy me. Of course taking things too far in the opposite direction annoys me too, especially in girls, probably because I want to be able to like them MORE than the guys but can't. I just feel that too often the girls are give the short straw and end up with in general 2D personalities where just one trait becomes most of their personality. Guys get that to a lesser degree than the girls fairly regularly, as in even if they're 2D initially they experience character growth over the course of the plot.
Girls often just remain the loving/worshipful support or bitchy but secretly in love or useless burdens that get int he way but get dragged through every fight scene anyway because they're the heroes fatal flaw and when the enemy captures her despite the hero having told her not to be on the battlefield in the first place, the hero is reduced to obeying the enemies demands because he doesn't wanrt to see her get hurt and so on and so forth and GUH! *cough*ok that's probably a pet peeve of mine, if they're useless, been told to go elsewhere so they're not in the way and just have to turn up to watch anyway they DESERVE TO DIE!!!


The thing is that joke isn't too far from the truth. Which is really sad. I remember the court case a while back about the female school teacher accused of molesting an underage boy, and whose sentencxe was 3 months imprisonment, suspended. If it had been a guy in the same position, then his ass would have been pulled over the griller and flambed, serious time in prison and all.

It's a constant thing everywhere. Girls strength, power, skill, ability, etc are underestimated just because they're female. Sure in some ways we're not as genetically modelled for strength, and don't build powerful looking abs as easily, but that's not where most of the power comes from anyway. I hate that it gets reinforced in movies, games, tv shows, etc. it's like a subliminal message that gets passed through all forms of entertainment and through the restrictions people place on different genders.
Irt makes me think of the double standard where guys must go and sow their wild oats, but if a girl did the same thing she's a slut.

It's a painful thing in society and for all that equality is more in reach now than ever it's still light years away from being a fact in reality.

"Men don't cry, but it's ok for girls."
...point in case.
It's not genetically encoded people. It's just social prejudice.

I love strong female characters who have depth and basically aren't catagorised as so strong she's essentially a man anyway. They're just so rare, and finding a well-fleshed out personality on top of that...
*sigh*
Maybe one day.


*nods*
Of he can't get over his own pride enough to realsie the difference in strength just because it was a woman he deserves to be given a chance to have some sense knocked into him.


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