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Why I’m Not Against Fanservice and Sexual Objectification in the Media (And Why the Focus Should Be Different)

March 21, 2014 4 comments

In retrospect, now that I haven’t posted here in about five months, I realize that I’ve really been talking a lot about social issues on this blog. In fact, I haven’t talked much about kitties, despite the subtitle of this blog. At some point, this needs to change.

I’ve sort of addressed this before, but let’s try this more comprehensively.

In anime and manga spheres, the term most are familiar with is probably “fanservice”; in Western spheres, “sexual objectification” is probably more often seen. In either case, however, it comes down to using sex appeal to cater to audiences. Almost universally, said “audience” are straight, cisgendered males (it would be interesting to add a racial component, but it’s important to remember that this is not a phenomenon that is strictly isolated to “white spheres”, so we’ll just use those two labels for now), meaning that “fanservice” often involves using scantily-clad, attractive girls in sexually-suggestive predicaments.

A large number of feminists argue that fanservice is wrong, as it sexually objectifies women as merely objects to be desired after, that it strips them down of their humanity and only down to characteristics of sexual appeal. Media traditionalists – most of them heterosexual, cisgendered men – insist that authors and media producers are free to do what they want, that freedom of speech and expression is paramount, and usually throw in a line or two about how “women are ruining movies/comics/video games/etc.”.

The feminist argument is entirely valid, and is certainly reasonable. However, I do take a differing stance for different reasons, and I postulate that these feminists are perhaps focusing on the wrong issue. Read more…

Thoughts on “The Dark Knight Rises”

August 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Disclaimer: I enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises. It had its problems, including a small army of plotholes, which I will not address, because it doesn’t bother me as much as more fundamentally problematic issues, but I enjoyed it as a blockbuster. Still, it doesn’t mean that we cannot address what I felt were fundamental shortcomings, which is what is going to happen now.

And, yes, this is a spoiler warning. Please don’t proceed unless you’ve already watched the movie, or don’t mind being spoiled, or have already been spoiled anyways. Read more…

Categories: Film