This is a really hard issue to handle I find, simply because those who do it are not only getting a level of profit from it but also don’t seem to see an issue in it nor their hypocrisy in some cases.
Many feminist and LGBT bloggers have written before about lesbian porn that is directed and created by men for men. Granted some gay women still watch it but they are not the intended audience. The sexualization of a minority is never a supplement for representation, we all know this, so then why does the Yaoi community still exist?
I’m not some outsider speaking from the outer edges of a community I don’t understand, I am a bisexual transgender man who was closeted as a woman for 21 years. I was extremely closeted. I’ve been around the Yaoi block a few times, and I’m still there kind-a-sorta.
To it’s true definition Yaoi is Japanese manga/anime style gay porn. Meanwhile shonen-ai(spelling guys, sorry to my Japanese speaking readers) is just “boy love”, just romantic gay stories done in the same manga/anime style. It’s not actually the whole “boy love” thing that I have an issue with, it’s a few aspects of Yaoi that honestly really bothers me.
*I’m taking this opportunity to leave a trigger warning here. If you guys aren’t diggy down with me talking about violent and sexual content matter then please stop reading here. I deal with some straight up shit in this rant*
Recently I found out an anime/manga I use to enjoy has crossed the line and become an offender of my first grievance. Kuroshitsuji, otherwise known by it’s English title “Black Butler”. Now I am a huge fan of murder mystery, innocent satirical humour and little kids with an attitude, seeing as I was a kid much like that. Kuroshitsuji had all of this, therefor I almost immediately loved the series and proceeded to recommend it to my bro (who also enjoyed it, especially Grell). I’ll be the first to say that the anime already reeked of fan-girl fodder and gay-baiting but I was able to look past that and pass it off as a simple “making fun of the genre” kind of thing. That is until the creator made the announcement that the series was originally supposed to be a Yaoi series. Which is gross. Not because I am homophobic (once again Trans bisexual all up in here), nor because I hate representation of my own community. I hated hearing this announcement because the two characters that all these fan-girls ship are the two pictured here
Look at those two dashing gentlemen, aren’t they lovely? Except for the fact that the one with the eye-patch is a child. That fact that it’s animated and anime really doesn’t eliminate the fact that the creator wanted to make the series a Yaoi with one of the characters being only 13-14 at the time. If she was planning to change the age and maybe didn’t make that clear in the original statement then that’s cool. But if she really intended on keeping him that age then no, not “Kawaii” not “sugoi”. It’s called Pederasty and it’s illegal for very good reasons. I’ve heard a few girls (let’s not deny that the fan-base is predominantly female) argue that it’s just the Japanese culture and so on and so forth. Really? Using the culture card as a way to support the fact that you are drawing fan-art of a grown man having sex with an underage boy isn’t something a morally sound human does. Those guys that draw pictures of underage schoolgirls showing their panties? Yeah, you’re on the same level as them. You’re also arguably worse then the people that draw sexy superhero ladies….at these those characters are of age and not getting raped. Which leads me to my next issue.
JUST BECAUSE YOU SHIP IT, IT DOES NOT MAKE RAPE OKAY. Rape is not cute. It is not cute when someone forces themselves onto another person and makes them cry from anal rape. You can’t sit there and bitch about rape culture, male or female, and then turn around and read a doujinshi about Kiba from Yugi-Oh raping poor Yugi because he “loves him”. Rape and sexual assault are not healthy ways to depict a homosexual relationship. Granted it’s an issue in adult oriented anime/manga across the board but it almost feels like the “fan-girl” community will glaze over this. While on the topic of inappropriate representations of physical relationships between men, lube and condoms. Spit is not a substitute for lubricant, take it from me, that shit hurts. I honestly don’t blame the Uke for crying, I would to if my partner was practicing dry and unprotected sex. Would it really kill you guys to stop making out for six seconds to use some lube? It’s really not a difficult concept. I don’t really have much else to argue about this seeing as it really is very simple; don’t rape the people you love and love them enough to practice safe and painless anal. Welcome to 2014, where we can have consensual sex in our illustrated pornography.
My next point slightly goes hand in hand with my last one but at the same time it’s more an issue with the community and picking their battles. I’d like to start by saying that I have been on Tumblr for a long ass time, and I follow a large diversity of lovely people. This does include a few Yaoi fan-girls. I could go into how they always turn straight characters gay then ignore the gay ones *cough*tonycapshippersignoringyoungavengers*cough* but there is something a bit more important to address. You can’t hate on Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey then turn around and read a Yaoi manga that supports the very same type of emotionally abusive and controlling relationships. Often times Yaoi is even the worst offender (see my previous point). I can’t, in good conscious support an anime/manga that supports the sort of relationships I find damaging for the same reason I refuse to spend any money on the 50 shades of grey series. No one should be romanticizing or sexualizing a relationship that has such an unequal and damaging effect on one of the partners. I have a queer friend that was in an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship. It was not fun to watch and I am sure it wasn’t fucking romantic for him either.
My entire point being; you can’t give Yaoi a pass on things western society finds otherwise inexcusable. You can’t hide it behind misconceptions of Japanese “culture” and you sure as hell can’t hide it behind the curtain of “LGBT representation”. I have no issues with porn, in fact I love porn and consider myself an enthusiast of all forms of consensual porn between two (or more) adults. My issue is when people try to make it okay that rape, assault, sex with a minor and emotional abuse are all okay because it’s animated and between guys. The fact that the audience is predominantly female doesn’t mean anything either. Women can be just as corrupt as men, a uterus doesn’t give you a “get out of jail free” card when you draw pederasty. Even if it is just fan-art.
So you can go ahead and support Yaoi. Heck use it for whatever purpose to your hearts content, there actually are fantastically written yaoi out there! I myself actually do read and enjoy several yaoi manga’s out there, and many webcomics based off the yaoi genre. Just remember the reality of what you’re watching and maybe instead of rape, switch over to good old consensual BDSM. Remember kids safety words are sexy and bondage is fun when you have advil at hand. Support safe homosexual relationships in the way that you would heterosexual ones. No one ever needs to feel like abuse is romantic or acceptable.
That’s all for today guys. I’d really like to thank and welcome all my new readers to my blog. I honestly don’t blog only about LGBT stuff, I enjoy covering a broad range of topics so stay tuned for those. There were just a few things I wanted to get off my chest lately. I also blog about…stuff…and things. Stuff and things that I am sure will be interesting.
So till next time, stay Tobly awesome everyone.