Another boring post about feminism and stuff in the anime community…

I’m gonna level with you. I fell down a rabbit hole of watching dudes who seem super angry about “feminism” and how it’s destroying everything good like video games and anime. I feel a little defensive now. It’s my own fault, no one forced me to watch. And to be fair, I have also been watching some other dudes who are just as passionate in saying that’s not true.

Both these points of view made me think a bit and I guess I just wanted to get some of these thoughts out. They’re gonna get a bit messy and I’m probably not going to make any actual points. Feel free to skip this post. I usually get it out of my system and move on fairly quickly.

unnamed

but if you want to stay that’s cool too!

For those of you who may not know I am a girl and also I do think equal rights across genders is important so that apparently makes me a feminist. I have no problem with the label. I am also an anime fan who doesn’t particularly believe there’s much need for the medium to drastically change with regard to these issues. I wrote this a long time ago. There’s room for improvement but that’s true on a lot of fronts in pretty much all media.

In fact, I am an old school anime fan who has enjoyed the medium for years and I hadn’t even thought of the possibility of anime being particularly sexist in any way at all…. until I finally became aware of anime fans. Man, some of them do not like women.

We can argue about the sexualization an objectification of female characters in anime, and I occasionally do, however it would be unfair to pretend men don’t also get the same treatment in anime more and more these days. And I also don’t think either of those are particularly bad in a fictional context. However, the way the community around anime acts and reacts is another issue. We’re no longer talking about purely theoretical people.

anime gohst

theoretical people need love too

I do believe the public at large, and even certain fans, broadly overstate the inherent “sexism” of anime as a medium. I also think that if you go too far in forceably trying to make every piece of entertainment inclusive you can do more harm than good. Varied characters and representation is great but not when it’s forced. (Sidenote, Eizouken has a pretty diverse cast and no one really talks about it much. That’s wonderful. It shows n was integrated well into the story. I like representation like that.)

However, to pretend there is no room for improvement either in the medium or in the community seems short sighted to me. I’m not saying I have the answers or anything. Exactly “how” to improve is a question for someone smarter than me. My gut feeling though is that we could learn to listen to each other a bit better. And by we, I do mean me.

I’m going to tell you a little anecdote. I was listening to someone talk about an anime character they said they really liked. And they started to go on about how great this characters boobs were. In fact they started to refer to the character only as a set of breasts and it made me feel odd so I tuned it out. I just assumed that they either didn’t care about any other aspects of the character or the writers hadn’t created any and that just wasn’t interesting to me. I also felt a little bad for the character.

And that’s not exactly fair. The character doesn’t exist or care what this person referred to them as. There is zero harm done to anyone in this situation. Moreover, my own bias is based on the times I have been reduced to vary parts and how uncomfortable that made me feel is what I projected on the situation. But that doesn’t have anything to do with it. This person didn’t know about that and wasn’t trying to make me uncomfortable and I shouldn’t project my experiences on completely unrelated situations. It really doesn’t serve any purpose.

sakura-naruto

google anime useless and see how many mentions of Sakura you get

Not to mention that like I said I sort of tuned out the rest. Maybe if I had bothered asking a few questions I would have found out that this was in fact a superbly developed deeply complex and layered character and my discussion companion did appreciate all those aspects along with the great boobies.

And I also like great boobs too. Everyone does! It’s a thing….

So really this situation is on me. Not that there really was a situation per see but any negative impressions I may have gotten were completely self imposed. I have to work on that. And maybe I’m not the only one.

The flip side though, is that I was a bit afraid to actually say that I don’t really like when people refer to characters only by body part as a compliment. And I could have explained my crazy and the reasons behind it like I just did. Yet somehow I felt it wasn’t the right approach.

Cautious-Hero-

there’s a story behind this image choice – a long one

I’ve seen too many of these conversations spiral out of control. I didn’t want to be immediately accused of being a prude or of not understanding that it’s an inherent part of anime and being immediately dismissed which would have given me actual cause to be bummed. I also didn’t want the other person to feel bad or attacked because as I said, they didn’t do anything wrong in any way.

Despite my self depreciating style, I’m neither shy nor lacking in self-assurance. It’s not like me hold my tongue in any situation. So I know there’s something that’s been instilled in our community around topics of feminism and sexism. Just like you’re not supposed to talk politics with your family, I picked up the vibe that I’m not suppose to talk gender issues with my anime friends. For the record I do talk about these issues with non anime friends and we often disagree on both sides. I have militant feminist friends who consider me part of the problem and friends who think feminism is a plight on the world and also consider me part of the problem… But we’re still friends and we can talk about issues we disagree on. I haven’t observed the same in our community and to me, that’s the point where we could use some improvement.

Because I honestly see these topics turn to anger or preaching and condemnation before anyone has the chance to even make a single point and it gets exhausting. I know there are a lot of people who probably have interesting takes that keep them to themselves because they just don’t want to deal with backlash.  I don’t blame them. But we might be missing out on something great.

All this said, I have gotten it out of my system now…

Rini 2020 (5)

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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50 Responses

  1. Greboruri says:

    I just found you blog on Twitter going through someone’s feed and thought I’d comment. I’ve been in this fandom for something like 25 years now and have noticed over the last few years there has definitely been a change in that fandom. A great chasm has developed between two certain camps of fans.

    The whole feminism debate within the western anime fandom is part of a much larger ideological divide; literary those on the left and those on the right. This all seemed to happen around the 2014 with Gamergate (which I still don’t fully comprehend, I don’t play games anyway). That was sort of weaponised by certain prominent figures on the right and eventually this ideology leaked in anime fandom. I find it quite horrifying as there is a lot of misogyny, “men’s rights” activism and even white nationalism mixed in there.

    Then you have some prominent people in anime fandom on the left who have no qualms about labelling fans of certain anime as “incels” or act if a certain anime is an existential threat to society at large (especially stuff with moe or fanservice elements) or whatever brain farts they type out on Twitter.

    I just find it all tiresome and question what the hell has happened to fandom. I think it’s true many anime and manga are feminist to a degree and there example of this dating back to the 1970’s. Another issue is that Japan as a whole is still a highly patriarchal and sexist society. But at the same time many anime fans who criticise anime and manga are doing so through the lens of a westerner and often have no understanding of established tropes or cliches within types of genre anime or manga etc So they label something sexist or whatever when it’s not.

    Anyway, I try to ignore a lot of fandom now days. It really tires me out. Most anime and manga are disposable pieces of entertainment and don’t have to be scrutinised within an inch of their lives.

  2. Kapodaco says:

    Love reading these kinds of posts from you, Irina. Never feel it’s skippable!

  3. Sapling says:

    I take fan service at face value. If a show has sexualized fanservice of only one sex, I assume it is targeted at one sexual taste. As a dude, personally I don’t like it when shows throw female body parts at me. Yes I like sexy, but there’s a place and context for everything. Assuming I will like your show because I’m some sort of wanton panting dog is pretty annoying to me. I generally respect shows that have equal opportunity fanservice because that means the creators are catering to a wide audience and being considerate and inclusive. There’s a big difference between a gentleman’s club and a nude beach 😁.

    • Irina says:

      True. Fanservice goes beyond traditional visual sexualization these days. There are personality archetypes that are just basically fantasies used a lot and those are generally equal opportunity which is nice.

  4. foovay says:

    Thank you, as always, for interjecting the voice of reason. We could all use a dose of that self awareness as well – that often what we object to so passionately is simply a reflection of ourselves or our experiences. That self reflection is generally why it engages us on an emotional level instead of rational and reasonable, and why (since we don’t have a good rationale or reason) we resort to name calling and finger pointing.

    I have always enjoyed a civilized discussion with someone of opposing views, or who maybe has information I do not have, or experiences I did not have. I have a very dear friend who turns 90 today. He fought in WWII. He doesn’t have ANYTHING nice to say about ANYTHING Japan. We’re still friends. He’s one of the most intelligent people I know, who had an amazing life full of great experiences (he was one of the first photographers for the National Geographic…) and I love to have long talks with him. We don’t discuss Japan, anime, or anything near that subject – but we can have great political discussions. And we both love horses so there’s that. We can talk horses all day.

    When I was growing up and being raised by someone who was an ambitious social climber there was this thing about cocktail parties in your home. You would have a dozen or so people over for a fancy home cooked dinner, maybe (or maybe not – given the ratio of Baptist teetotalers in our area) have a few mixed drinks and chat. One did NOT discuss politics or religion. Believe it or not, this actually leaves a whole lot to talk about depending on the intelligence of your crew.

    I guess when I first got dragged onto the Internet about 1990, one of the things I loved was chat rooms. And while I largely gravitated to pagan chat rooms, religion and politics were not always the only subject of conversation. And if they were, they were still generally civilized discussions. If someone went off the deep end, there were moderators to kick them out of the room until they calmed down.

    Yeah, I know, that was a long time ago. I cannot pinpoint at which point it became almost impossible to have a quiet, reasonable discussion about any subject, in RL or online without someone devolving into a screaming, name calling maniac. And maybe the saddest part is that, like you, I’d rather not engage – and so I simply withdraw from the conversation rather than get the opportunity to know someone better, hear a different viewpoint, maybe give the other side some food for thought. I miss that.

    • Irina says:

      I miss it too. I am one of those people who doesn’t see getting upset as a bad thing necessarily. I think it helps me grow and stops me from getting to intellectually lazy. Sadly I have noticed that my technical posts don’t get much responses so it leaves the social ones. I refuse to believe there isn’t something good about being able to immediately engage with a huge amount of people, I just have to find it.

  5. Dewbond says:

    Bad faith actors and clout chasers have ruined what is a conversation worth having, on both sides. You guys know my blog, and where I stand on the fanservice. It’s here, it’s tied to the very heart of the medium and it won’t go anywhere. That doesn’t mean EVERY series needs to have that, it doesn’t. Thicc anime thighs and phat anime tiddies for life.

    Anime is in a far better place to deal with this because women characters are front and center in so many shows, and actually given the creative freedom to be actual characters, not cardboard cut-outs for this or that political pandering. It’s not perfect, no one is saying that, but it’s pretty damn good.

    There is part of it that, as a man, I will never fully understand and I’ve accepted that. However I do believe that no one, not you, not me, no one, should go into anime (or any medium) and try to wrap your life and political philosophies around it. It’s a waste of time, and frankly sucks the fun out of watching something that makes you go “Oh wow, I actually like this” or “This is an idea i never really considered before!”

    Now I’m off to go think about my review for Resort Boin…

    • Irina says:

      Most people see fiction through the lense of their beleifs and experiences. I could be wrong but I think that’s part of the point. To give people a medium for self reflection and realization. I shouldn’t have picked fanservice for this example. It throws my point way off.

      • Dewbond says:

        Yes you are right, we do bring our own personal experiences and beliefs into what we watch. However we shouldn’t go into anime, or anything, with a checklist, expecting this or that thing to conform and reinforce those beliefs. We need to challenge our beliefs constantly.

        • Irina says:

          Well that can be a challenge in and of itself. One that I think is worth it but I guess everyone figures it out for themselves.

  6. The anger doesn’t help. The instinctive response to hostility is hostility. It is just bad policy to radiate anger onto people who disagree. Or to talk down to them or refuse to consider their POV. They just dig in and radiate anger back.

    Pretty much describes the entire US political system.

    You can’t beat someone into agreement via twitter. They just go back into their own bubble and nothing is changed. What a waste of energy!

  7. Your rhetoric is fantastic. All the more so because it’s invisibly effective. Sharing that you felt like you judged “boob guy” was the rhetorical equivalent to a lightning rod: It caught and ground the charge.

    This isn’t the first time one of your posts reminded me of something from antiquity. In this case, your work stands in sharp contrast to an opening from Philip the Fair of France to Pope Boniface (in the 1200s): “Philip to Boniface, little or no greeting; Know thou, O supreme fool, that in temporal things we are not subject to any one.”

    Why the heck am I quoting an egotistic king responding to an egotistical pope? Contrast. It’s utterly clear from Philip’s opening that he has zero interest in communicating. He wants to put Boniface down.

    Contrast that with: “I know there are a lot of people who probably have interesting takes that keep them to themselves because they just don’t want to deal with backlash. I don’t blame them. But we might be missing out on something great.”

    This is the way out of the polarized atmosphere dominating public discussions. This is the way forward. Not only were you sharing your perspective; you’re inviting others to share their opinion, too.

    I’ll second David Boone (moonhawk81)’s “Well spoken.”

    • Irina says:

      Man you give me too much credit. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad for it but I don’t think I’ll ever live up to it. Thanks for pushing me!

  8. Dawnstorm says:

    ******…or of not understanding that it’s an inherent part of anime …*******

    Ah, but that’s exactly the problem feminist critique points out. That it’s an inherent part of anime. The idea is that it shouldn’t be inherent, not that it shouldn’t be there at all. “Inherent” is an overstatement, of course. It’s really just more about trends.

    The thing is: if a show is clearly a fanservice show, you can either ignore it, or you’ll come in with the expectations adjusted and watch it anyway for whatever elements appeal. But if you have to adjust your expectations by default, it’s really easy to get annoyed down the line. And when you bring up that annoyance, you’re likely to get a “Well, you don’t have to watch it,” response. Is this likely to make you feel welcome in the fandom? Sites like Anime Feminist screen shows for content and then provide reviews with this in mind. Those types of reviews are specifically for people who get annoyed by specific content, and they provide content warning. As such, the language isn’t going to be neutral.

    I’ve been following Anime Feminist since its founding, and on occasion that constant fault-finding gets to me. There are other problems, such as tribalism (expressed most clearly in, for example, downvoting behaviour). I’m not always comfortable making counterpoints. But then I read anime threads on, say, the gamefaqs forums, and see how people make fun of “SJWs”, and… well… I start to understand better what feminists have to put up with.

    It’s the internet bubble wars. People defend their safe spaces.

    • Irina says:

      If nothing else boundless information seems to feed passion. No wait it’s the opposite. Search a subject long enough you’ll end up with some contradictory info. Boundless expression feeds passion. It has it’s downsides.

  9. Pinkie says:

    I unsurpisingly end up being somewhere in the middle of the road like you. There is something to be said for equality, though I do think that would mean negating gender instead of enforcing your womanhood upon someone.

    I do think you are being overly hard on yourself for calling yourself the problem for not “listening closer to boob guy” .. the guy simply was on a different wavelength. Yes with questions we might realign a bit more, but we don’t always have to. We don’t have to find everyone interesting. A talk about boobs would make me tune out as well. Not that it is wrong to love a character for their womanly shapes.. it is just not for me.. as a person not as a woman persé. I think the important thing is to ask yourself how you really feel.
    Not liking the conversation because you are Irina.. and you do not like boob talk is fine.
    Not liking the conversation because you are a woman and it’s your duty to defend womanhood I feel is unneeded.

    I met guys who loved Pokémon but on a very different level than me. Because they want to POWN in battle, they want to build broken but Meta sets and just sneer get good.
    While there is nothing wrong with that there is also nothing wrong with me finding that uninteresting or disrespectful. We just are not a match. When it comes to women’s rights I mostly feel the same. (In normal western worlds at least) I don’t particullary care woman make a bit less money than Men on average, I do not care that some men objectify women. It’s a combination of testosterone levels, social-economical influences and even how one is raised and in their nature. It’s fine for others to be how they are as long as I can be myself as well.

    A guy on the street can think of me as Tits McGee… (though I guess Flatty Mc Flatface is more accurate) because I will never have those people in my interest circle anyway.
    If he calls me Flatty in my face.. I could still be offended and feel objectified. That doesn’t make me a feminist yet. Being non Cis makes my experience a bit different but still. I mean.. I do want to be treated decently.. but not because I am a surpressed minorty.. but just because I want to be taken seriously. If I say I like Pokémon.. and a guy says.. well duh but that doesnt count because you are a woman.. I will most likely ask him if it matters that I am. I don’t have to alllow to be pushed away…but I also don’t need to fight for the right of other women.. if I hear a construction worker talk about how they would sex up that cashier at the grocery store… let them have their fantasies and all.

    All in all I fight for me and my interests, and I think you should be able to yourself. If a guy talks to you about cupsizes and you don’t like you don’t have to provoke and say.. Dude we are woman we have rights too.. you can also just say. I feel nothing about that subject so I can’t really talk about this.. what do you think about Natsume?
    Ideas bounce around untill you find a subject that matches both.. or you dont and leave as perfect strangers to another. All who think one side is evil or who target other people for being themselves are wrong but we don’t have to hide our true selfs and our believes for other people either. As long as their OUR beliefs not “Ours as in” all woman kind. A HECK of a lot of woman don’t speak for me. On both sides of the spectrum.

    • Irina says:

      Since the problem I’m trying to illustrate is a breakdown in communication so I figure that actively taking myself out of a communication is part of the problem.
      Although I don’t need to assert my gender I shouldn’t have to hide it. I think both men and women are allowed to do so if they want to. The question I’m more curious about if can anime fans talk about discrimination or questions of social morality (stuff a lot of fiction tries to explore) through their favourite medium or are we currently in a climate that makes discourse unsustainable. I deffinetly didn’t help the situation in that case but I think I can do better.

      • Pinkie says:

        The communication breakdown is only real though if you can communicate..
        Say he really just thinks about boobs communication probably could not have worked.

        I am just saying no matter if feminist or anti feminst or whatever beliefs sometimes people can’t connect trough no fault of their own, we often paste blame that on others beliefs.

        If I dont get aroused by 2d and my aimes conversation partner loves anime for 2d girls we are fundamentally different.
        I do think you could have asked.. does she have cool powers or what does she do beside look good, but I dont think you goofed when not being interested in what he had to say at the time.

        I feel the word feminist is mostly being used as a derogaterive or anti feminist for that matter to discredit and devaluate an opinon.

        I think anime fans are still not always compatible. Being anime fans is not what makes people compatible..the reason why we are does. There are people I met who exclusively like it for Fan Service and no other reasons, I still recognise them as fans but we have no common ground.
        The whole idea that not being compatible is why we throw around feminist and anti femist statements around. “I tried real hard but he was just a pig who objectifies women” we blame the other for communication not working and label and brand them. Using whatever tool or movement is available.

        However it doesnt have to be anyones fault, even had he wanted to talk about how strong they , it might have not clickrd had you not be in thr mood for powerscaling.

        I think you can tal about social morality and discrimination but not with everyone, those who try to be right and want to proof its okay for everone to lewd women might not function well, same for people of the other side.

        If someone is 100% sure they are right regardless what angle you can’t really talk with them. Regardless what Stigma. They are plenty.. also amongst anime fans.
        To talk about things like this I think you need at least a person with similarish motivations like you and your friends.
        There is an understanding and respect for what you think.. if that is lacking ( for example by including things like..stupid feminst views) I dont think there is actual conversation.

        You never claim you are right for example but are generally fairly open, suitable for talks. A guy on my discord who very openly makes who sends trap jokes all the time gets offended if I dislike them. He tells me my opinion doesnt matter if I do that stupid social justice warrior thing. Not compatible. No conversation possible

        So basicly I try to avoid those who say all feminists are wrong, or those who say being male is a sin. We need to respect each other even if we think different but we should still be able to show disintrest in an opinion as well if its not for us

  10. Here’s a thought:

    I consider becoming so angry over a theoretical point to be a form of narcissism. It is fiction, folks. Flashing lights on a screen. The product of some director’s imagination. Murder and war on epic scales don’t bother you but let women be treated disrespectfully and you are outraged? Really?

    I see exactly the same thing in what we think of as the “right-wing” in politics. This isn’t a dis of any particular set of political or religious beliefs.

    The exaggerated anger itself is an exercise in power, pure and simple. It is an attempt to control the discussion by making it so painful to run counter you just shut up and go away.

    Echo chambers are quite comfortable and validating. I’d like to tell people not to seek out validation by circling the wagons with people who only reinforce your feelings and views but that is not how a religion (secular or theistic) works.

    • Irina says:

      Deminstrative outrage is one of the less enjoyable side products of living in a time where free exage of opinions is so easy and immediate. But I honestly beleive it can have a lot of positives if we just figure out how to harness the good parts.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I myself personally lean on the anti-sjw side been one since 2014 and i really couldn’t care less at all about politics or current events at all. I basically treat everyone completely equally regardless of anything and everything so that i am what is referred to as an egalitarian and apolitical.
    I really couldn’t care less at all if some feminist gets offended whenever a new fanservice type anime,manga or game comes out like Izouka reviewers or whenever a new Dead Or Alive Or Senran Kagura comes out either. I just play the game and watch the show or read the manga and go about with my day.
    I really don’t bother at all listen to the kind of arguments these crazy loony tune type feminists has as the end of the day you’re really just going to get an annoying headache.
    And also pushing in political agenda’s when there was none at all in the first place in the original Japanese product like in Prison School that is really a bad idea and Japanese creators really hate it when companies do stuff like that. And insulting your own audience for disagreeing with them and calling them names like incels or alt right is what really creates alot of virtol in the fandom and the term get woke go broke comes into place because nobody wants to buy your product if you are going to keep on being an annoying jerk to your fandom.
    The best thing you could really do is just go about your day and just enjoy your stuff whatever it is you like and keep on completetly ignoring these radical far left types from tumblr or resetera.
    -K(rogueotakugamer)

    • Anonymous says:

      I do appreciate the fact that you have approached this topic with a level headed and logical take.

    • Irina says:

      I’m not entirely sure but depending on which post you read I might fall into the crazy looney tune feminist cathegory. I’ve certainly been called much worse online. I really appreciate that you take the time to share your views with me anyways. That makes me happy

    • Anonymous says:

      Your welcome.

  12. iniksbane says:

    “But we’re still friends and we can talk about issues we disagree on.”

    I wish that some people could just stop for a moment to recognize that humans are more than a single opinion. I’m glad that you and your friends can do this.

    It’s nice to be able to talk about issues. I miss that.

    • Irina says:

      Right? I’ve beeb trying to figure out a productive forum for anime discussion on social issues but I haven’t found it yet.

      • iniksbane says:

        I think the problem is trying to draw people together with different opinions in a way that they won’t be afraid of being shunned. Along with finding people who can separate their opinions from themselves.

        I’m not sure how to do that anymore. Le sigh.

        • Irina says:

          It’s a huge ask but I want to think it’s possible. I am optimistic to the point of naïveté at times…

  13. David Boone (moonhawk81) says:

    Well-spoken, Irina.

    • Irina says:

      Thank you David. You are one of the few online people I know I can disagree with and not be immediately crucified for it which I truly appreciate.

      • David Boone (moonhawk81) says:

        You know, if I crucified everyone with whom I found myself disagreeing, I’d probably be one of my own first victims. . .

  14. AK says:

    You have a reasonable point of view here. I don’t care for either the hardcore kneejerk reaction feminist side or the reactive anti-feminist one — both are way more interested in putting down and controlling others than in convincing anyone through logic and reasoning.

    As for me — as much as I like some pretty art and nice fanservice in a show or game, I also like characters who are interesting and well-developed. Boobs are great, but how much can you really say about that subject alone?

    • Irina says:

      You know, I’m actually fine with products that are nothing but fanservice myself
      They’re not always the most interesting to me but if someone enjoys it It’s all good. It doesn’t make those people shallow or stupid or anything. But it’s silly if they get mad when I say it’s not necessarily my thing. You know?

  15. K.A.L.T says:

    Honestly, I always say this and I’ll say it again, the only way to have equal rights for both genders is to not focus on the gender in the first place. I don’t have the slightest clue how things work out there since I’m just a student and never seen any gender issues (considering how I look up to my older sister who does everything better than me and is doing really well right now just as she’s always been), but to me, we are all humans and the only thing that gender affects is the attributes of our physical bodies and perhaps some differences in thinking processes. However, all that is trivial since most people don’t think the same anyways, those that do, would naturally come together regardless of gender, is it not so? I mean, even if people started getting close to you based on appearance or gender, they wouldn’t stay if they felt that the person was not someone they want to associate themselves with.

    Anyways, with regards to so called over-sexualisation of anime characters or sexism in anime… I don’t know man. Like people need to stop over-analysing entertainment mediums. I watched a movie with my extended family that had a predominantly female cast and just a couple of weaker males that were just there to get destroyed but I didn’t think anything of it until I heard that my male cousins didn’t really enjoy it cause it was screaming feminism or something. As someone who loves myself anime with a full cast of girls from time to time, I hadn’t even thought to question an all female cast before. Before you talk about sexism and gender whatever issues in the anime, how about you just enjoy the plot for what it is and the characters in them… that’s what entertainment mediums are for isn’t it? At least that’s how I feel.

    Also, I hate it when people refer to characters only by body part as a compliment as well. Not just characters but obviously real life people as well. It disgusts me from the bottom of my heart. For anime characters, I’m completely fine with compliments on general appearance like “cute” or “pretty” or whatever but when it comes to real humans (which I know we’re not actually talking about rn), I can’t help but feel disgusted for some reason. Even more so if they point out a particular body part for discussion. (reasons why I steered clear of most people in Junior College) Though in general, I just really hate hearing compliments because they always sound so hollow and meaningless.

    • Irina says:

      Wait compliments always sound shallow to you. That’s kind of sad. Maybe you happen to deserve praise?

      • K.A.L.T says:

        Haha that’s what stuck out the most in my comment? Well, I’m just generally very negative, especially when it comes to myself. I can’t quite accept others compliments based on what they see and think of me when what I know or think of myself is the complete opposite.

        • Irina says:

          Well at least you value your own opinion. That’s good

          • K.A.L.T says:

            If I didn’t value my own opinion, I wouldn’t be able to bring myself to write anything. Whether or not me writing and putting it online for everyone to see is for the better or worse, I don’t know. Or perhaps, it doesn’t make a difference. Either way, I’ll continue to write for as long as my brain doesn’t draw blanks. Anyways, sorry for my comments that can be a little difficult to reply to ^^”

  16. I agree that we could all do a better job at listening to each other, feminists and non/anti-feminists alike. Posts like this are a good start though, somebody gotta bite the bullet and bring it up once in a while. I love hearing from people who are somewhere in the middle because it’s so rare to find others like that who are willing to be vocal about it. Thanks for writing this!

  17. Pete Davison says:

    As expected, you approach this with rationality and a sensible head on your shoulders! Sasuga Irina and all that.

    I think a lot of the defensiveness against modern feminism in the media is that a lot of the feminist criticism out there is framed in an extremely aggressive manner — the tone is very often “I’m REALLY Angry About This and If You Disagree, You’re Worthless Scum, Muting This Now, My Mentions Are Blowing Up”.

    I recall around the time Dumbbell came out, a site called Anime Feminist got absolutely furious about the suggestion that an anime about getting fit had, among other things, the message that “eating a lot of shit will make you get fat” — and they’d immediately rageblock anyone who pointed out how ridiculous this was, or how positive the show’s message was on the whole. This is just one of many examples; look at the recent brouhaha with Unseen Japan over an utterly harmless Love Live poster for another good example.

    People are tired of having reasonable counter-arguments or explanations shouted down. I know I’ve certainly decided to simply completely steer clear of any such “discussions” these days, because they never go anywhere; it’s not worth the energy and stress. After getting immediately banned from a certain high-profile gaming forum for “promoting child pornography” when I contributed to a thread about positive female representation in gaming by mentioning a couple of (legally available, officially certified, widely distributed, non-pornographic) games that happened to be on their “forbidden texts list”… yeah. I’m tired of arguing.

    If people want to wet their knickers in fury every time a Senran Kagura game comes out, let ’em; I’ve got probably tens of thousands of words available at this point if they want to actually educate themselves on how the series is more than just tits, but I’m certainly not going to expect that sort of person to behave sensibly at this point.

    You have to ask yourself, “is wading into this discussion going to have a positive outcome in any way for anyone involved?” And if you suspect the answer is probably “no”… then, well, move on. The world is a big place with a lot of people in it. Pick your battles and all that.

    • AK says:

      I looked through Unseen Japan’s Twitter feed after that whole scuffle. They really seem to hate both the whole otaku/weeb/whatever thing as well as anything even a little off-color, or that they perceive to be so. Being so mad sll the time about other people liking things you don’t like has to be exhausting.

    • Anonymous says:

      I remember when Unseen Japan got really irked over the blood drive with Uzaki-Chan and the irony is that not only did Uzaki chan still was the mascot but more blood donars came too support the blood drive as well too. It really is pointless to be offended about everything 24/7

    • Irina says:

      I agree that’s a terrible way to make any sort of point and a lot of the situations you’ve brought up in your past sound ridiculous to me. I am a defender of more smut in media as I think more open and healthy embrace of sexuality will do a lot of people good.

      My own experiences are on the other side where anytime I bring up points that I think could be improved I get comments like you’re not a real anime fan or gamer or you would know this is how it goes or I get called a militant sjw which is hilarious considering how moderate and just lazy I tend to be…

      And sometimes it gets scary which us uncalled for

      • Pete Davison says:

        Agreed. A lot of people could really, really stand to chill out a bit.

        I’ve had a bit of that “other side” you talk about too, mostly whenever any of the particularly militant “anti-censorship” brigade mobilise. I’m someone who would rather enjoy something as we get it than not be able to enjoy it at all, and some people *really* don’t like that.

        Opinions!

        • Irina says:

          But you always share yours with me even when we’re not completely in synch and it’s broadened my thinking. That’s not a gift I take for granted.

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