Monday, July 28, 2008

Are You... Consistent?

Johanna Draper Carlson, here, touches on a subject I've already explored a bit, here. Yaoi, that is. And I must say I'm heartened to see that she's not up in arms against yaoi, and doesn't think it should be expunged from existence because of the prevalence of rape themes in the comics.

Because, after all, it IS fantasy, even if it can contain potentially disturbing themes for a fantasy. I mean, GAY RAPE HOLY CRAAAP EW EW EW.

Mad Thinker Scott, in various places, has put a caveat in many of his pro-fantasy statements, to the effect that "there is evidence that writings which promote the myth that all women secretly want to be raped can result in an increase in rape", and, well, okay, if he says so, but I'd have to see a detailed, impartial analysis before I completely buy into that. Still, if it is the case, one wonders whether that applies to yaoi comics where men rape men to "demonstrate their intense overwhelming love" or "convince them they really want to be gay" or whatever rationalizations the pro-yaoi crowd can trot out.

A quote from the reactions to Ms. Carlson's post:

The context reminds me of when there’s arguments over established ‘tropes’ of superhero comics (like the look and role of female characters) and you see responses and defences like “it’s normal, what’s the big deal?” and “wait, you see it like THAT?”.

And that, I think, is an important point to consider. Consistency, that devil, that foiler of dogma. I've already covered that (check the comments in that last link), but it becomes all the more important when you bring in things like rape fantasies into the mix. Tell me truly, do you think any of the rationalizations offered as to why rape in yaoi is "okay" would not generate an utter shitstorm of protest if they were applied to the abuse of some superheroine?

This is the conundrum of yaoi: how do you support the perverted, sick fantasies of one gender while condemning the perverted, sick fantasies of the other gender, and not look like a complete hypocrite? You gotta dance really really fast to pull off that gag...

AN ADDITION, because there seems to be some meat left in the comments filtering in:

Overall, I just feel that fantasy life and real life are two completely separate realms, and I would say most yaoi fans are aware of this. I can’t imagine any fangirl saying she’s read so much yaoi that if her or her friends experienced actual rape they would somehow think it was ‘normal’. That seems like an incredible leap to me, and something that would indicate a total break from reality. There are so many example of things people do when they fantasize and play that they would never consider in real life- kids playing ‘guns’ and ‘killing’ each other for instance.
Awesome. NOW, if we could just get that kind of sensible outlook implanted into the perspectives of those who fret about whether the way superheroines fare in comics stories is somehow going to birth a new generation of mysogynist serial killers.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Well, You Won't Have Michael Turner to Kick Around Anymore.

Cuz' he daid.

Oh, what, too soon?

Hey: anyone reflexively reaching for the keyboard to tell me what an ass I am for being a bit flippant about Michael Turner's recent death from a particularly horrible bout of cancer can just shut the hell up if they were one of the many expressing their outrage and indignation over his various works. The hate and bile I heard expressed while he was alive, as far as I'm concerned, negates any right those same people have to give me a hard time for maybe not being properly respectful now that he's passed away.

'Course, I dunno, maybe there's a bunch of folks out there actually inwardly gleeful that he's dead, meaning there's one less antichrist of anti-feminist girlie art for them to warrior-blog against.

Yes, yes, standard disclaimers, not every fangirl feminist was out for Turner's blood. But even now at WFA I can go follow a link or two and read someone talking about how they'd like to do violence to some particular creator because that creator isn't being caring and respectful enough to some other category of human beings in their work, and do these people ever read what they write sometimes?

It's the double standard of hate. You hate something. I hate you for hating something. Your hate is unjustified. Mine is holy.

But at the risk of sounding Ditko-esque, hate is hate.