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Manga and Female Objectification

Manga and Female Objectification

In the overwhelming majority of manga/anime series today, female characters are overly sexualized or fetishized. This sexualization manifests itself most common in the form of fanservice, or any provocative imagery, typically of a sexual nature, that does not contribute to the plot but merely enhances the viewer’s visual experience. The large amounts of fanservice included in tankōbon (series of manga) do not impact the actual storylines of the manga but function as part of the overall drawing style. And manga, being a visual medium, relies heavily on its aesthetic in order to pique the interest of readers. For example, in the shōnen (a genre targeting boys) series Air Gear, all female characters are exceedingly scantily clad and large-bosomed. During battle scenes when women are called to fight, their clothing is often unnecessarily torn to the point where they cease to function as clothes and become fluttering censor strips covering nipples and groins. And when women are not depicted as having big breasts, they are drawn in an overly cute (known as “kawaii/moe”) style that draws from Japan’s obsession with child-like outward appearances and behaviors. This manga and anime style is called moe and depicts female characters as submissive and ditzy. In categorizing them in such a way, they lack the depth their male counterparts possess and are composed by extreme gender labels.

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School Uniforms

School Uniforms

February 12, 2014

A very watered-down example somewhat similar to the hijab discussion we had and how it effects the individuality of those who wear them are school uniforms. Many students required to wear uniforms in either private or public schools feel that their individuality is hindered. Although on the other hand, other students believe they can express themselves in a way that has nothing to do with their appearance and in that way the uniform is freeing to the individual.

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“Are you a boy or a girl?” “…No.”

February 5, 2014

I really enjoyed the article by (and our discussion of) Joselit. I especially love that Joselit says that images do not have a gender. I wish members of our society would be as flexible when it comes to the genders of human beings. Whether we care to admit it or not, none of us are one hundred percent male or one hundred percent female and I don’t understand why we like to make a big to-do when an individual alters their own gender. I mostly identify with being a female, but I love oversized flannel shirts and combat boots, which are apparently dubbed as “boy clothes” and even though it’s very minor, I still get a lot of flack for it. Why are you concerned about where someone else identifies on the gender scale and why do you think it effects you? You shouldn’t be and it doesn’t.