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Truth About Boy Love: Article
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30 / M / "Spaaaaace!"
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Posted 10/14/13
So, while flicking through tweets today I came across a tweet from Lauren Rae Orsini. reading "The truth about Boys’ Love and Rape culture" and a link to this Article: http://otakujournalist.com/the-truth-about-boys-love-and-rape-culture/

I am guessing I received the tweet because she is also subscribed to Animerv. Curiosity got the better of me so I clicked on the link and read the article in its entirety.

Now, I am not attempting to attack, belittle or cast this author in some sort of creeper pale lighting; In fact the article was a very informative, thoughtful and generally well written piece.

My question(s): Is rape really a fairly common theme in Yaoi? If it is a common theme, why? As a male I can say I am disgusted by depictions of non-consensual sex (I can't watch Japanese or Asian pornography for this very reason). I also can't seem to shake the double standard if this is a common theme in this type of Anime and Literature...
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Posted 10/14/13
(I skimmed the article)

I think that the whole rape/yaoi stems from the idea of sex and submission. I think a part of every culture has something that reflects on this; Japan simply reflects it in yaoi, that's all.
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Posted 10/14/13

-helen wrote:

(I skimmed the article)

I think that the whole rape/yaoi stems from the idea of sex and submission. I think a part of every culture has something that reflects on this; Japan simply reflects it in yaoi, that's all.


This, pretty much. There's a sizable subculture for S&M, and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that you can find people belonging to that subculture, in some manifestation or another, no matter where you go. While there's nothing inherently wrong with it, as it's perfectly possible for everyone involved to enjoy it, for the uninitiated, it's something bordering on rape or even slavery. I've had many a heated debate with my ex, who was into that sort of thing, because I was of the opinion at the time that the whole idea was deplorable. It's not by any means a constructive reaction, but it is a normal one for those of us who despise hierarchy and any obstruction of personal autonomy. I softened to the idea eventually, and while it's still very much not my cup of tea, I understand that to plenty of people, it's an exciting prospect.

Yaoi culture just happens to be one of the groups that's saturated with the idea, and I would even go so far as to say that the ubiquitous presence of S&M-style relationships, far more than the plain fact that it's gay romance, is what keeps yaoi from breaking out of its current audience and attracting a wider male readership/viewership. I have no problem reading/watching a romance between two guys, but only if they treat each other as equals (and I'm given fair warning so I can skip the explicit scenes).

So, while I'm not going to bash the yaoi genre or its fans, I can understand the train of thought that links yaoi to rape. While I'm sure there are some yaoi works that do include actual rape, just as there are some more mainstream works that include it, I think it's a misjudgment to label the genre as a whole as one that promotes or celebrates rape. The only thing that bugs me about yaoi fans, and S&M fans in general, is that many of them end up believing that everybody can be placed on their dichotomous construct of submissive versus dominant, and that even the middle ground must be someone who switches back and forth between the two, rather than someone who just doesn't like it. It's that very pushiness that grates on people who place a high value on autonomy - and those same people are the ones who are generally averse to the S&M philosophy. That, more than anything, is why every so often, you see articles like this one, that denounce the entire lifestyle as deviant.
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30 / M / "Spaaaaace!"
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Posted 10/14/13
very familiar with relationships that incorporate the BDSM lifestyle. However rape is neither "safe nor consensual" so the BDSM community would be very much against this... exploring sex and submission in literature and other mediums is fine, but this is not submission it is rape.
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/17/13
Rape is common in Yaoi; basically the original meaning of yaoi was supposed to mean meaningless sex, no plot.

A lot of taboo themes are present in modern day yaoi/Boy's Love, including teacher/student, boss/employee (Junjou romantica), incest, paedophilia and so on.

They're there because that was what the genre was originally intended for, it's based on sexual themes, not for people to read meaningful stories. But over time, yaoi writers have incorporated meaningful stories behind those taboos.


And they sell very well amonst women, just look at "50 shades of grey" and how popular it is amongst women. We all have our fantasies. Just because we enjoy these taboos don't necessarily mean we condone it in real life.




Edit: Also, when I see people on here saying "Free! is a yaoi anime" as a joke or as serious, I get really annoyed because it shows their ignorance about the genre... it's like somebody making a joke based on ignorance rather than facts.
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/17/13
It's been quite a while since I was actively reading/watching Yaoi, but from what I remember I have never come across any that didn't involve at least some kind of non-consensual sexual situation. However, the thing I'd like to add to that is that the same could be said about a lot of other anime and manga, but that's often treated as 'normal' and therefore less worth commenting on.
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50 / M / In
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Posted 10/17/13
wish they would call it Yaoi instead of boy love because that reminds me to much of NAMBLA and that is just creepy
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Posted 10/17/13

sillyriri wrote:

It's been quite a while since I was actively reading/watching Yaoi, but from what I remember I have never come across any that didn't involve at least some kind of non-consensual sexual situation. However, the thing I'd like to add to that is that the same could be said about a lot of other anime and manga, but that's often treated as 'normal' and therefore less worth commenting on.

Both the heterosexual and homosexual scenes need to criticized.

A lot of the time I dislike yaoi because it often feels like appropriation of homosexual people for the enjoyment of typically straight women. This ignorance often results in things like heteronormative relationships within the homosexual couples - including the whole constant of "seme" and "uke," as well as non-consensual situations sometimes coming along with that. I remember going through a few yaoi or m/m fan blogs and seeing banners declaring that is "rape is love."

This ignorance is prevalent enough that some of these women expect that homosexual couples are actually like this, and that there is always a seme/uke or feminine/masculine pair in those relationships, as well as the non-consensuality. It comes across as dehumanizing to me.

Granted, there's far more objectification of women by men, but I often feel like yaoi gets a free pass. That it's fantasy and not actually happening is not really an excuse. It contributes to rape culture and ignorance about homosexuality.
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/17/13

justapersonwatchinganime wrote:


sillyriri wrote:

It's been quite a while since I was actively reading/watching Yaoi, but from what I remember I have never come across any that didn't involve at least some kind of non-consensual sexual situation. However, the thing I'd like to add to that is that the same could be said about a lot of other anime and manga, but that's often treated as 'normal' and therefore less worth commenting on.

Both the heterosexual and homosexual scenes need to criticized.

A lot of the time I dislike yaoi because it often feels like appropriation of homosexual people for the enjoyment of typically straight women. This ignorance often results in things like heteronormative relationships within the homosexual couples - including the whole constant of "seme" and "uke," as well as non-consensual situations sometimes coming along with that. I remember going through a few yaoi or m/m fan blogs and seeing banners declaring that is "rape is love."

This ignorance is prevalent enough that some of these women expect that homosexual couples are actually like this, and that there is always a seme/uke or feminine/masculine pair in those relationships, as well as the non-consensuality. It comes across as dehumanizing to me.

Granted, there's far more objectification of women by men, but I often feel like yaoi gets a free pass. That it's fantasy and not actually happening is not really an excuse. It contributes to rape culture and ignorance about homosexuality.

if we're talking about criticizing both sides of things, naturally we'd also have to criticize the fetishization of lesbian relationships for a primarily male audience that is very prevalent- in fact, much moreso, in Western culture- too. But, y'know, I wasn't looking for a debate, nor to turn this into a 'who has it worse' conversation. My initial comment was just to point out that as far as rape culture and anime/manga goes, people overlook it if it occurs in heterosexual relations far too easily.
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Posted 10/17/13

GayAsianBoy wrote:

Rape is common in Yaoi; basically the original meaning of yaoi was supposed to mean meaningless sex, no plot.

A lot of taboo themes are present in modern day yaoi/Boy's Love, including teacher/student, boss/employee (Junjou romantica), incest, paedophilia and so on.

They're there because that was what the genre was originally intended for, it's based on sexual themes, not for people to read meaningful stories. But over time, yaoi writers have incorporated meaningful stories behind those taboos.


And they sell very well amonst women, just look at "50 shades of grey" and how popular it is amongst women. We all have our fantasies. Just because we enjoy these taboos don't necessarily mean we condone it in real life.




Edit: Also, when I see people on here saying "Free! is a yaoi anime" as a joke or as serious, I get really annoyed because it shows their ignorance about the genre... it's like somebody making a joke based on ignorance rather than facts.



I don't like it either. There was never anything yaoi about Free! in the first place its simply five friends doing something they all enjoy which is swimming. How is any of it yaoi is something worth explaining to me.
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/17/13

qualeshia3 wrote:


GayAsianBoy wrote:

Rape is common in Yaoi; basically the original meaning of yaoi was supposed to mean meaningless sex, no plot.

A lot of taboo themes are present in modern day yaoi/Boy's Love, including teacher/student, boss/employee (Junjou romantica), incest, paedophilia and so on.

They're there because that was what the genre was originally intended for, it's based on sexual themes, not for people to read meaningful stories. But over time, yaoi writers have incorporated meaningful stories behind those taboos.


And they sell very well amonst women, just look at "50 shades of grey" and how popular it is amongst women. We all have our fantasies. Just because we enjoy these taboos don't necessarily mean we condone it in real life.




Edit: Also, when I see people on here saying "Free! is a yaoi anime" as a joke or as serious, I get really annoyed because it shows their ignorance about the genre... it's like somebody making a joke based on ignorance rather than facts.



I don't like it either. There was never anything yaoi about Free! in the first place its simply five friends doing something they all enjoy which is swimming. How is any of it yaoi is something worth explaining to me.


Free! has some homosexual undertones, which is why people call it yaoi, but that's obviously incorrect.
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Posted 10/17/13

GayAsianBoy wrote:

Rape is common in Yaoi; basically the original meaning of yaoi was supposed to mean meaningless sex, no plot.

A lot of taboo themes are present in modern day yaoi/Boy's Love, including teacher/student, boss/employee (Junjou romantica), incest, paedophilia and so on.

They're there because that was what the genre was originally intended for, it's based on sexual themes, not for people to read meaningful stories. But over time, yaoi writers have incorporated meaningful stories behind those taboos.


And they sell very well amonst women, just look at "50 shades of grey" and how popular it is amongst women. We all have our fantasies. Just because we enjoy these taboos don't necessarily mean we condone it in real life.




Edit: Also, when I see people on here saying "Free! is a yaoi anime" as a joke or as serious, I get really annoyed because it shows their ignorance about the genre... it's like somebody making a joke based on ignorance rather than facts.


I've never legitimately seen anyone claim Free! is under the genre of yaoi, but then again I haven't really looked.
Sure, I've seen guys talk about how "gay it is," and how it's "fujoshit," but no one actually claiming that it is straight out Yaoi or even BL, because it's really not. I think what most people are getting confused with are the differences between cannon ships and fandom ships.
Granted all the voice actors have worked for BLCDs, none of the characters are ever cannon shipped together.

I've also heard the argument from people claiming that ships are wrong, because people are "eroticizing homosexuality." I just feel like addressing that now because I think people are going to address something about ships later in this thread, with a similar mindset. But think of it this way:
Is a homosexual person really fetishizing homosexual people by desperately searching for representation in a world where they have pretty much none? And if one claims that they're pushing their sexuality onto a character because they assume they're gay in a ship, isn't the straight person assuming that a character is straight doing the same exact thing?
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Posted 10/17/13

-xMint wrote:
Is a homosexual person really fetishizing homosexual people by desperately searching for representation in a world where they have pretty much none?


I think the problem is not homosexual people desiring representation, but straight women for their own enjoyment creating homosexual couples. And often in a stereotyping, non-consensual way.
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Posted 10/17/13 , edited 10/17/13



Wouldn't we call that bromance though?
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19 / M / On the Court
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Posted 10/17/13
I mean, guys rape people in prison. I guess it's a common theme.
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