June 22nd, 2013

The Pink Cage

I really hate how pink is being used as a cage for women and girls, especially girls. Examining toys at how every freaking toy for girls is pink in some way is very heart breaking. While boys get the plethora of colors. It’s a cage because at one time it was used to empower women as it was a masculine color. Then it was used to DEFINE women.

It also sucks in anime that to be the hero of a shoujo anime, you need to LOVE PINK. If you like any other color, too bad, you are the second stringer.
It didn’t start off that way. Going back to Sailor Moon, her colors were red, white, blue and if you include hair, yellow. If you didn’t like those four colors, then yeah you were out of luck, but there was nothing bad associated with those colors. Nothing bad like the associations with pink. After Sailor Moon there’s Wedding Peach, with the main girl’s hair… IS PINK. After that in Futari wa Pretty Cure with back with pink highlights, then more pink, then Splash Star and Oooohhhh fucking… pink it all out!!

So if you want to be a modern day shoujo hero, you have to conform to femininity. You have to love pink, because your outfit will be pink, all the items will be pink, the small creature following you is probably going to be pink in some way. Your room will be pink, it will be your favorite color. If you don’t believe that pink define femininity, they just go to a hard ware store and you’ll find the pink this and that “for women” of course. Pink you see is this color that will melt the flesh off men.
Pink is also associated with babies, and nurturing, and weakness, submission, and helplessness. Despite it being just a color. Funny how all those things are what men (and brainwashed women) use to define women as. Weak, helpless, infantile… One one hand men want us to conform to those traits and on the other find it annoying when we do. Pink is no exception. Guys will kill themselves (yes sometimes literally) if they have to do anything related to the feminine. Pink is no expectation. The guys wearing pink is a parody a joke. They are gay one because that is also associated with being feminine.
And here we have a position that has all this crap behind it, that if you don’t want to deal with, too bad, you can’t have the empowering female fantasy you want because blue and black aren’t colors a proper shoujo hero wears. You want to wear pink!! It’s every girls dream!! That’s they way they sell it to girls and brainwash them into thinking they want the color in the first place. The hero is pink so I must like pink to be the hero. I must CONFORM. it’s shitty where there is exactly ONE anime targeted at you where you don’t have to wear pink. ONE!
Thus we have the cage. That cage girls can’t escape because there is nothing out there that telling them they can also like other colors and be other colors and also feel the ultimate empowerment in being a hero. You can only watch Sailor Moon so many times. You either conform to pink or you get to be a side character.

Yeah you can tell I hate the color pink. I’m not a feminine person and having likes I want to be into and not having a deep selection makes one hate the color, it makes me hate being a woman in the first place. You can’t deny pink is currently a feminine color. So of course you have people that will lash out against the color, it’s currently being used as a weapon to beat women into submission.
So really people, lay off the damn pink already.

April 13th, 2013

Maverynthia’s Anime|Manga Calendar – April

Karneval [Josei]
I’ve only seen the first episode, but I’m not sure I’m going to keep with it. I’m not big into secret societies, secrets and mysterious people, and that has this right from the start. Who is Circus, who is Karoku, what is going on? Yeah, not my cup of tea.

Shingeki no Kyojin [Shounen]
I don’t normally read or watch shounen because REALLY, it’s all the same. However I gave this a glace because it looked like it might be a more serious manga and it was. It still has it’s shounen roots with the main character having a super power that none of his friends have and being the center of attention, and while he is awesome, he’s not polished awesome and thus needs training.
What kept me reading however is the fact that the female characters aren’t drawn to look any different. No skirt uniforms or pendulous breasts here. They are drawn such that they often sometimes look like the men and I like that, because that is more realistic of how the world work that boob armor and boob socks. Also it is said that the best person on the team is Mikasa.
While it does it’s typical shounen, “The main hero must be better!”, it hasn’t really put down any of the main female characters. Mikasa is awesome, Annie is awesome and Ymir is awesome.
The anime started recently and so far seems to be following the manga in terms of story, the art style is different and I’ll have to see if they decide to take it in a wild different direction. The manga artwork isn’t what you usually expect. It has a lot of motion line and sketchiness which sets it apart from the straight edge usual shounen. I’m also hoping the manga-ka doesn’t get trained into “Boobs = better!” for manga, as this seems to be their first work and I’d like them to keep a fairly consistent style.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince [Shounen – Mecha]
This is about as shounen as you can get. It seems to have crammed three (or more) anime and types of anime into itself. It’s got the Macross (F), the aliens look human and have that war thing going on – time for a rival!, with the sentai Red, Blue, Yellow, Pink and Purple! Even so much the leader (red) actually is writing a sentai story and his literal reason for doing MJP is “I want to be a (sentai) hero!”. It’s also got the feel of Sousei no Aquarion with Gatou as a Fudou Gen type COMPLETE with scar! That and the fact the guy let’s on more than he knows. That and the downtime with the character has a similarity with Sousei. it does contain impossible boobs and I don’t really like that one of the female characters is a complete ditz and an airhead AND support AND the pink one. However I haven’t seen them focus on the breasts and how they jiggle (yet) so I haven’t been too put off by it. That and when they were talking about all their dreams… the women didn’t get a chance to voice there like “Nope the men are more important!”. It’s probably not going to get high marks, but I do kinda want to see what the story with the enemy is.

Suisei no Gargantia [Seinen – Mecha]
This is another mecha show, though it takes a different approach by shoving out mecha hero back to Earth that has been forgotten. I like the take on the future pilot back to basics. But much of the episode is of him kidnapping the girl and running around with her. That really didn’t need to happen. However he ends up with a bunch of guns in his face. I also don’t like the “magic translation” that happens. I’d rather like to see him bumble around trying to figure out what they are saying rather than “Computer translates everything magically!” I don’t even think future computers will be able to automatically translate a completely foreign language. I’ll watch another one of this one and if the feeling isn’t right, I’ll probably dump it.

April 8th, 2013

“Mary Sue” = misogyny

Posted to my Tumblr, saving here.

The term Mary Sue comes from a parody fan fic that basically mocks, dismisses, degrades and otherwise tears down women’s fantasies. The character was gendered for that very reason. The fact that women having self insert power fantasies is something to be mocked and trashed.

Then the term started being applied to female characters from other fiction. The term is used to discredit, dismiss, degrade, mock, and otherwise tear down those stories too. It’s basically saying “Hey, women shouldn’t be strong and you women shouldn’t have any kinds of fantasies of power of any kind’ MARY SUE! Feel bad about that!”

Then people started forcing male characters into Mary Sue, they equated them to being a women, to being female and then shaming the character for it. They called male characters Mary Sue, just so they wouldn’t look sexist, despite the fact that pretty much every male character out there is a self insert power fantasy. Hey boys get to be Goku and Naruto and women get to be…. uh…. nothing. Women don’t get a fantasy that is just simply accepted without being torn to shreds in some form or fashion.
(example of the Avatar creators mocking Katara/Zuko pairing fans at a convention.)

Which s why using the term Mary Sue for any character is sexist and misogynistic. You are saying women’s fantasies are something to be shamed and they are inherently bad thanks to the character. Then trying to apply it to male characters just o justify you using it. (like how some people will call men whores just to feel good about calling women whores, and say “I use it for everybody”)

So if you want to keep using that term, you are not being feminist, you re being a misogynist and I don’t really want to know you’

October 22nd, 2012

Liking Problematic Stuff PT II – The Oppressor is YOU!

The first part of my post on Liking Problematic Stuff was from mostly the oppressed point of view. Liking something you know is actively oppressing you.

Now i want to focus on the “allies”, the oppressor (also known as the people with privilege) because I’ve heard a lot more shit from them. Namely “I like what I like!”.

First of all, why does YOUR comfort trump my right to be a human being. Yes, you as the oppressor are actively oppressing me if you say something similar to that as you consume the oppressive shit. Being a good ally is about changing your likes (and possibly your dislikes) in order to be less oppressing. Keeping the status quo does nothing. If you’ve ever said that, take your badge off now and burn your “I am a good ally” t-shirt.

Why? Because you are the target audience! If you buy that problematic show/game/book you are telling the companies “Hey I’m your target audience and I like this stuff!” They can ignore the parts where you said it was sexist as all hell or the racism was ramped up to 11. They made a sale to their target audience and they an count that on their marketing sheet as “It’s working!” It’s only when something ISN’T selling that they might actually look at the response and go “Oh! Our target audience doesn’t like this problematic shit :X!”

“But if I stop liking this stuff I won’t have anything to watch/play/read!” There are plenty of other things to watch/play/read. Saying this just means you want to be lazy and continue to be an oppressive douche. Remember what I said about changing your likes. Yes you have to change them! You have to actively go outside of that little box and find something new.

You like Dead or Alive? Try a different fighting game that isn’t a pile of misogynistic shit.
You like ecchi/harem? Try something that isn’t labeled as ecchi, dump anything ecchi from your likes and focus on the shows that want to tell a story over degrading women. They are out there.
You like Family Guy? Try one of the other less oppressive adult cartoons out there. Look into the ones that have come before. I hear “King of the Hill” is far better than Family Guy. (Not saying it’s the best mind you.)
You like Dresden Files? There is a ton more books out there in that genre that isn’t oppressive as all hell. Try looking for books from people not white, possibly not male, and possibly not straight too.

Being a complicit target audience is the worst thing you as an oppressor. You are telling the creators of these things that “YES! Keep making them and ignore the non-target audience. I’ll keep buying them!”

October 20th, 2012

Why Sailor Moon is better than the other mahou shoujo

I want to like the new mahou shoujo anime but… watching Sailor Moon.. it’s VERY hard for me to like it…

A show from 1991 is still far more feminist and more progressive that shows here in 2012. First of all, Sailor Moon isn’t PIIIINK!

She’s red, white and blue. Overall her color is white and then we have blue, red, green and orange (with bluer, aqua, dark purple and black). The only pink one is Chibi Moon. Later she adds more yellow with the only pink bits being on the shoulders and only in the LAST season/series of the anime when it seems that the times are getting less progressive (1995).  The only other main mahou shoujo that doesn’t have pink on her outfit is Momoko (from Wedding Peach)…. BUUUUT her hair is pink, thus rendering her “The pink one”.

So here we have the good old “Girls are pink and boys are every other color under the rainbow, sometimes pink but never the main character”. Even the original Pretty Cure had pink on the outfits. It’s like they can’t escape pink hell.

Next after we’ve added even a dash of pink to the outfit if it isn’t completely pink, the transformation items and/or the communicators etc are going to be pink. It’s like if they sort of escape being completely in pink hell, well the cosmos has dictated that mahou shoujo items will be pink. Sailor Moon however, has all the senshi have same colored sticks (until the final series) where Sailor Moons weapons are usually white and reddish, with only some being pink in color. Other shows seem to have all the items as being pink save for a crystal or gem or such and since the main hero is always pink… her weapons are always pink.

Also Sailor Moon was dark, very dark when you think about it. Skipping the filler the enemies always seemed to be a threat. The now mahou shoujo… not so much. Always silly with a less serious tone to everything. If Sailor Moon lost the world would be lost, the newer series.. eh not so much. It’s about collecting “deco”, or musical notes, and it’s usually about conquering this OTHER world.

Another thing Sailor Moon had going for it than the rest is giving the enemy character. Instead of being this big faceless blob (sometimes literally), we got to see the enemy interactions and their lives. Sometimes we empathized with them. The new anime… we rarely see enemy interaction, it’s usually them searching for the next target or coming up with the next plan. The enemies seem to rarely look human anymore (unless they are female), where Sailor moon hardly had any fully inhuman enemies. Also when things are done and said, in Sailor Moon, collateral damage is permanent (unless the world gets a reboot via the silver crystal), this is even lampshaded in one episode where a note is placed next to a bent pole.
Newer anime? They either create a fighting space, or there doesn’t seem to be any collateral damage. If there is… it’s never really shown to be resolved. Sailor Moon had a whole episode about collateral damage where she had to fight in her own home. Even her outfit became detrimental.

Overall Sailor Moon seems to be about the relationship between the characters, while these other shows seem to be about “special character of the day!” with a few episodes of main character stories. They just don’t feel as dark and certainly don’t involve backstory about “Sailor Wars” where the mahou shoujo battle each other in the distant universe, with people even DYING. (I’m talking SHOUJO mahou shoujo, the seinen stuff doesn’t count because it’s for a male audience). The backstories seem to be less thought out and more We have X enemy doing Y thing with Z theme of the year.

A final note, Sailor Moon often had the senshi and other women doing jobs that are considered “men’s work” like the woman that was fixing up the car. Today’s mahou shoujo seems to avoid that like the plague and instead focuses on beauty, singing, and being good enough for marriage. Though the other senshi fretted about boys, it seemed they had bigger interests than fashion, pretty, “be an object!”. Ami Mizuno even wanted to be a doctor and didn’t care much about that stuff. Today’s anime.. yeah they’d drag her off all the time to be made up. Haruka anyone? The only time she wore a skirt was when she was Sailor Uranus. At NO time was she ever drug off and forced into a dress to “clean up nicely”. She dressed like a man and acted like a man and nobody ever tore her down for it. She didn’t have a secretly pink room either. (I don’t even think Michiru had a pink room.)

You can see the degression of even Sailor Moon in the US logo, it was a light yellow “Sailor Moon” with a yellow shiny crescent moon. Then it went to PIIINK! The original Japanese logo was a rainbow color. It seems even now we are trying to pinkify Sailor Moon when she doesn’t need to be pink.