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Post Reply Anime Isn't Misogynistic.
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Posted 5/16/14 , edited 5/16/14

BLACKOUTMK2 wrote:

Wouldn't calling anime misogynistic be like saying films are misogynistic? It's a pretty broad subject.


More like saying that Hollywood movies are - which is somewhat quite about right. It's not about the single movie or anime, it's about the average and the cultural environment that produces them.

In general, I think the main complaint with anime is that it is common for a lot of mainstream anime to objectify female characters -> to use them only as a way to show tits and ass rather than as actual characters.

Personally, if I think about it, though, it's funny that one of the things that I originally found refreshing about anime when I started to watch it was that 1) it had a comparably higher percentage of female characters than many western shows. I got hooked on shonen shows like Bleach, Naruto and One Piece, as well as Meitantei Conan and Lupin III, and they all have a fair share of female characters, even though males are prevalent, and 2) it had a different approach to sexuality, being maybe less prone to show actual sex than an American movie would be but definitely more interested in the subtleties of sexual attraction, or the use of sexual symbolism. On average, anime felt to me to be more INTELLECTUAL about sex than western media were.

Now I know much more anime and it's common to see the flaws in this representation - bad writers just use female characters as eye candy or tools for viewer wish fulfilment by throwing them one after the other in the MC's arms. The OP also talked about anime female characters being "open" about their sexuality, which strikes me as ridiculous - by comparison, anime can be incredibly prude (reflecting Japanese culture in this): yeah, lot of hinting and wink-wink, but god forbid teenagers actually have sex! Even kissing is exceedingly rare, and when something like "Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt" came out Panty got a lot of hate for being a "bitch" - as she possibly broke the all time record for the most times an anime character had actual sex in a single cour (and the record for the highest number of different partners she had sex with).

But I think that there is also a perspective problem. Crap anime will be crap, you can't expect masterpieces that deal properly with delicate themes such as this from mass produced stuff that is churned out one season and forgotten the next. But as a media, anime has actually a potential to be way BETTER at dealing with female characters than western movies, for example, usually are: it has produced after all masterpieces like Revolutionary Girl Utena, which features fully fleshed out, complex female characters like rarely appear outside of literature. Watamote gave us a realistic (if a bit caricatural) portrayal of a teen girl dealing with social anxiety and her sexual frustration quite openly. And Flowers of Evil was a daunting portrait of repressed teen sexuality and the feelings of guilt related to it (btw, if you're interested in the topic, read the manga, the whole first arc is great imho and some of the most powerful moments were left out by the anime). So yeah, overall, anime isn't really that misogynistic imho. It's just able of dealing with this issue both really, really well and really, really badly.
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Posted 5/16/14

GayAsianBoy wrote:
Have you ever seen a clumsy male character?

Haru from Accel World is one that comes to mind
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Posted 5/16/14

TheGordianNot wrote:


BLACKOUTMK2 wrote:

Wouldn't calling anime misogynistic be like saying films are misogynistic? It's a pretty broad subject.


More like saying that Hollywood movies are - which is somewhat quite about right. It's not about the single movie or anime, it's about the average and the cultural environment that produces them.

In general, I think the main complaint with anime is that it is common for a lot of mainstream anime to objectify female characters -> to use them only as a way to show tits and ass rather than as actual characters.

Personally, if I think about it, though, it's funny that one of the things that I originally found refreshing about anime when I started to watch it was that 1) it had a comparably higher percentage of female characters than many western shows. I got hooked on shonen shows like Bleach, Naruto and One Piece, as well as Meitantei Conan and Lupin III, and they all have a fair share of female characters, even though males are prevalent, and 2) it had a different approach to sexuality, being maybe less prone to show actual sex than an American movie would be but definitely more interested in the subtleties of sexual attraction, or the use of sexual symbolism. On average, anime felt to me to be more INTELLECTUAL about sex than western media were.

Now I know much more anime and it's common to see the flaws in this representation - bad writers just use female characters as eye candy or tools for viewer wish fulfilment by throwing them one after the other in the MC's arms. The OP also talked about anime female characters being "open" about their sexuality, which strikes me as ridiculous - by comparison, anime can be incredibly prude (reflecting Japanese culture in this): yeah, lot of hinting and wink-wink, but god forbid teenagers actually have sex! Even kissing is exceedingly rare, and when something like "Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt" came out Panty got a lot of hate for being a "bitch" - as she possibly broke the all time record for the most times an anime character had actual sex in a single cour (and the record for the highest number of different partners she had sex with).

But I think that there is also a perspective problem. Crap anime will be crap, you can't expect masterpieces that deal properly with delicate themes such as this from mass produced stuff that is churned out one season and forgotten the next. But as a media, anime has actually a potential to be way BETTER at dealing with female characters than western movies, for example, usually are: it has produced after all masterpieces like Revolutionary Girl Utena, which features fully fleshed out, complex female characters like rarely appear outside of literature. Watamote gave us a realistic (if a bit caricatural) portrayal of a teen girl dealing with social anxiety and her sexual frustration quite openly. And Flowers of Evil was a daunting portrait of repressed teen sexuality and the feelings of guilt related to it (btw, if you're interested in the topic, read the manga, the whole first arc is great imho and some of the most powerful moments were left out by the anime). So yeah, overall, anime isn't really that misogynistic imho. It's just able of dealing with this issue both really, really well and really, really badly.


I can agree with that, good answer. Though I must say at the end of the day I'm a simple creature. If a show entertains me then I'll watch it. Some people might dislike me for that but there you go. I'm all for women being treated fairly or being great characters (if anything it usually means the show is interesting due to good character writing) but I never get the feeling 'this show is objectifying women, won't be watching this'. Now I'm not saying you said I believe that, but I do wonder how many others are that way.
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Posted 5/16/14
Saying all anime is misogynistic or sexist is just falling foul of the age old idiom "paint with the same brush".

Is some of it sexist? yes
Is some of it misogynistic? yes
Is all of it? Hell no

Hagure is an example of something that is genuinely misogynistic. It uses the hentai logic of sexually abuse them till they like it along side the damsel in distress trope to get the girls to fall in love with the protagonist in a bizzare busty chick Pokémon-esque venture which is just a horrid depiction of women.

Sexism is much more common but luckily for all of us in anime it works both ways lol. Plenty of sexist comments passed about men and plenty of stereotyped gender roles.
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Posted 5/16/14 , edited 5/16/14
I think the problem is a lot of anime just turns girls into different tropes instead of actual, well built, characters. Most of them are just there for male wish fulfillment and fan service, even the girls portrayed as "strong" are just there a lot of the time for guys that like "strong" girls or fantasize about abuse. Anime as a genre isn't by nature misogynistic or sexist, but the majority animes are. I mean, how could it not be? Japanese culture in general is still very sexist, and the otaku community that purchases most of the products is very sexist as well.
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Posted 5/16/14
Also with no offense meant to the op, I enjoyed his closing thoughts.

"I have a problem with all the strawmen.

1. Strawman

2. Strawman

3. Strawman

4. Strawman

Burn all the strawmen."
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Posted 5/16/14
^ I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles.
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Posted 5/16/14

GoldTStar wrote:

Anime definitely isn't misogynistic.



Haha i laughed so hard at that one.
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Posted 5/16/14

BLACKOUTMK2 wrote:
I can agree with that, good answer. Though I must say at the end of the day I'm a simple creature. If a show entertains me then I'll watch it. Some people might dislike me for that but there you go. I'm all for women being treated fairly or being great characters (if anything it usually means the show is interesting due to good character writing) but I never get the feeling 'this show is objectifying women, won't be watching this'. Now I'm not saying you said I believe that, but I do wonder how many others are that way.


Personally, it can happen to me that a show really bugs me because of how blatant it is in its bad treatment of women (which usually goes hand-in-hand with bad writing, anyway). I remember dropping "Hagure yuusha no aesthetica" at the beginning of episode 2 at a point where a sleepwalking attempt at rape was played for laughs (apparently, that was the right choice - I heard later that the same episode ended in a pissing contest). But it really needs to go to hilariously bad lengths for me to get to that point. I'm not one to drop stuff because of political principles if I enjoy it on another level, but if something gets to the point of straight out disturbing me it's another matter.

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Posted 5/16/14 , edited 5/16/14

TheGordianNot wrote:


BLACKOUTMK2 wrote:
I can agree with that, good answer. Though I must say at the end of the day I'm a simple creature. If a show entertains me then I'll watch it. Some people might dislike me for that but there you go. I'm all for women being treated fairly or being great characters (if anything it usually means the show is interesting due to good character writing) but I never get the feeling 'this show is objectifying women, won't be watching this'. Now I'm not saying you said I believe that, but I do wonder how many others are that way.


Personally, it can happen to me that a show really bugs me because of how blatant it is in its bad treatment of women (which usually goes hand-in-hand with bad writing, anyway). I remember dropping "Hagure yuusha no aesthetica" at the beginning of episode 2 at a point where a sleepwalking attempt at rape was played for laughs (apparently, that was the right choice - I heard later that the same episode ended in a pissing contest). But it really needs to go to hilariously bad lengths for me to get to that point. I'm not one to drop stuff because of political principles if I enjoy it on another level, but if something gets to the point of straight out disturbing me it's another matter.



Oh yeah, fair enough. In that case that does sound pretty messed up, nay simply a bad show.
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Posted 5/16/14

Shrapnel893 wrote:



My mind is drawing a blank, who is this again?


i forget her name but she's from senran kagura
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Posted 5/16/14 , edited 5/16/14
Misogynistic definition, reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women.

is anime, Misogynistic? well, mostly not.
but its not like its real woman friendly, either. most anime that is accessable online tends to sexualize women. its is very much geared to a male fantasy.
example, harem vs reverse harem. and again, the content of said harem. reverse harams tend to focus on the relationship aspect, while harems focus on the sex.

and the number of strong male vs female leads in action genre. plenty of good male leads (i.e. back story, 'real' char. dev. ect)
on the other hand, most female leads is mostly fanservice or violence, i.e. not what a woman could do.

this is one of my biggest gripes. i hate women leads written by men. we end up with a male lead in a female body.

but anime is overall not female friendly.

this is my .10 cents. it was .02 untill the resession of '08. sorry.
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Posted 5/16/14
I love how the majority of the posters in this thread are men.

Ehmn anyway is anime misogynistic? As a whole, no.But there's a lot of misogyny in geek culture, and you really can't deny that.

I'm not bothered by fan service shows and I don't have a problem with displays of human sexuality in anime.

I am bothered by a good portion of moe shows as they have a tendency to portray their women as emotionally immature, mentally inferior beings who must be coddled and protected. I find it gross.
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Posted 5/17/14

sonic720 wrote:


GayAsianBoy wrote:
Have you ever seen a clumsy male character?

Haru from Accel World is one that comes to mind


I really really liked Haru. IS IT NOT STRANGE KIRITO OF SAO AND HARU FROM ACCEL WORLD HAVE THE SAME CREATOR?

More over, while I am well versed in the subject of sexism, I am also bad at arguing about it. My interest is more suited towards Racial topics.



As an argument that Anime is a bit misogynistic, look at the ages of women im Anime.

You have young girls, loli's in their 20s, the ever popular yoing 28 cant get dates teachers, and old hags.
Middle aged women are really really REALLY invisible in media in general, anime is no exception.

Part of what makes Ragyo from Kill la Kill so awsome. The VA Romi Park is in her 40's, and isually voices young men like Ed Elric from FMA. But voicing the middle aged Ragyo? There was no way she didnt have a blast! Her voice can only be described as "crazy orgasmic mom"

So um, we should talk more about the unaccepted and unseen characters over the sexualized prefered girls.
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Posted 5/17/14 , edited 5/17/14
The thing that irritates me about comments like "Anime (or any entertainment venue) objectifies women." As if entertainment doesn't objectify men, and women lust and crave for it just as much as men crave women.

These animes that showcase women with 36DDD breasts, are the same animes that give guys ripped 8-packs and golden eyes. As much as women are stripped naked on magazines, you see just as many dudes. How many shirtless pics do we see of The Rock, Channing Tatum, Matthew McCoune---however you spell it, etc...? Women are just as guilty of objectifying men as men are of objectifying women, so why is it that men have to take the perpetrator role while women play the victims?

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