Here, I’m going to start to hash out some of the ideas and content I want to cover in my Otakon panel. Feedback is always appreciated and don’t assume that anything in any of these posts will make it into the final panel. This is more a way for me to organize my thinking and find precisely what I want to say.
Sexism, as defined in the dictionary has two components:
- Attitudes or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of sexual roles.
- Discrimination or devaluation based on a person’s sex; as in restricted job opportunities; especially such discrimination as directed against women.
In their panel at Sakura-con, Leigh Weekly and Meg Humphrey indicated that this kind of discrimination and behavior affects both the portrayal of women in geek media and their treatment in geek culture. In videogame and comics culture, everyone basically consumes the same media, and therefore the problematic treatment and portrayal of high-profile characters forms a background of problematic imagery and behavior. But we’re anime fans. We actually have it better, right?
Anime generally divides itself along gender lines due to the shounen/seinen and shoujo/josei, meaning it doesn’t as obviously suffer from the same monoculture issues as western media. But that doesn’t mean that anime and manga works can’t be sexist, just that you have to understand it differently. From where I sit, the issue centers on asymmetry.
[Next Slide Shows a Hot Springs Episode]