You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 08, 2016, 10:13:28 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash  (Read 717 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline SafetyTopic starter

I see yaoi, shounen-ai, and slash reducing gay men to sexual objects for their (mostly) intended female viewership and maybe I just take it personally because I get sick of (still sick of it) the objectification of women and can draw parallels between the two topics. Regardless, it irks the holy mother out of me. Iíd like to think my annoyance doesnít stem from ignorance but Iím not a, uh, yaoi fangirl for a lack of a better word, Iím not a gay man, Iím not even lesbian, Iíve never been oppressed or mistreated for my sexuality so really, what do I know? Hence why I want to ask people (everyone included) what they think.

Offline Kythia

  • Noooo-one Fights like Kythia no-one bites like Kythia
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • No one chain smokes Marlboro lights like Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 12:37:23 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not a fangirl either) but are those genres not porn?  Everyone in porn is objectified for sexual gratification.  That's kinda the point. 

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 12:49:08 AM »
Yaoi is essentially porn.  Shounen-ai can be more like 'romance novels'.

Slash is porn, and has been since the days of Kirk/Spock (TOS)

Offline SafetyTopic starter

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 12:51:30 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm not a fangirl either) but are those genres not porn?  Everyone in porn is objectified for sexual gratification.  That's kinda the point.

Shounen-ai isnít porn. Slash doesnít imply either. Only yaoi really classifies are pornography to my understanding. And I think assuming porn having to objectify for sexual gratification is a narrow scope of sex. A person does not have to be dehumanized for someone to get off on it.

Offline Big B

  • Deverified
  • Seduced
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2014
  • Location: There's some dirt here, and a few shrubs...
  • Gender: Female
  • (Insert catchy words here) I'm sure I'll like them
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 12:51:45 AM »
I wouldn't say they're all classified as porn. Shonen-ai "boy love" for instance, is usually supposed to focus on the emotional relationships between the characters and very rarely shows anything more than a few kisses if even that. Yaoi, can be dubbed the porny one as it can get very explicit at times.  The problem I still have with these genres though is that they're still heavily stereo-typed and, like porn, are merely glorifying how people should act in situations that are ridiculously unbelievable and cater to a certain audience, in this case, mostly females.

Offline Kythia

  • Noooo-one Fights like Kythia no-one bites like Kythia
  • Dame
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • No one chain smokes Marlboro lights like Kythia
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 01:00:44 AM »
Shounen-ai isnít porn. Slash doesnít imply either. Only yaoi really classifies are pornography to my understanding. And I think assuming porn having to objectify for sexual gratification is a narrow scope of sex. A person does not have to be dehumanized for someone to get off on it.

Man, if no one's getting dehumanised then I for one am certainly not gonna watch it.  I like to use my mouse cursor to prod at them and pretend I'm controlling them, I often scream "Dance!  Dance for me tiny people!" as well.  Judicious placement of other windows can also ensure I don't have to look at their stupid boring faces when I'm doing that.

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 01:03:23 AM »
I can understand some people feeling annoyed and sick of people being objectified, and as a result, not watching this type of material.  But how does having this perspective justify changing the current portrayal?  Just like you have a perspective opposing the current portrayal of gay men, many others may not see any issues with it.

If anything, shouldn't the solution be to create a new genre reflecting your views, rather than transforming one that is already to the liking of many others?  That's one of the reasons why female-friendly porn came about, even though gonzo porn is still a thriving industry.

Online Nicholas

  • Mr. Nice Guy (or so I am told) :-) Jag's Mulder *muse crack* Deviously delicious - according to a certain, most awesome Liege ;) King of Terrible. Always innocent despite what Caedy says. Spoiler buttons are evil. 42,19km!
  • Knight
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Location: My Skype info is available upon request!
  • Gender: Male
  • #JeSuisUnAnge #ReallyIAm #BlameMads
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 01:09:35 AM »
Personally, I believe that they are not more or less objectified than in any other porn. But, it should be mentioned that in all of those, it are not real people. I am not a fan of this form of art, and I do not seek it out, either, because from what little I know, it is still very stereotyped.  :-\

Offline Big B

  • Deverified
  • Seduced
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2014
  • Location: There's some dirt here, and a few shrubs...
  • Gender: Female
  • (Insert catchy words here) I'm sure I'll like them
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 01:25:59 AM »
Quote
I can understand some people feeling annoyed and sick of people being objectified, and as a result, not watching this type of material.  But how does having this perspective justify changing the current portrayal?  Just like you have a perspective opposing the current portrayal of gay men, many others may not see any issues with it.

I understand were you come, but a lot of the time it seems to do more... harm than good, and a popular portrayal does not always mean it's for the best, a lot of the time they're offensive. Such as with Yaoi mangas, the "uke" always seems to be delicate and sweet, and always falling for an emotionally abusive, stronger man, and more times than not the sex scenes are portrayed in a very rape-like way, that is glossed over because they love each other. Ironically, because they're mostly written by woman they have very misogynistic undertones. And it propels the idea that men are okay with rape because they are men who aren't in tune with those sort of situations.

Quote
If anything, shouldn't the solution be to create a new genre reflecting your views, rather than transforming one that is already to the liking of many others?  That's one of the reasons why female-friendly porn came about, even though gonzo porn is still a thriving industry.

It would be ideal to create another genre that is healthier yes, but it takes years for them to get any recognition and older genres will always be around, and if you cannot transform existing genres than I can't say I see a point in fiction existing, it is not a vaccum, no matter how old it is it will be critiqued, just because you like something does not make it immune to problematic aspects. I enjoy some slash myself sometimes, it can be well-written, but many people who do write it don't look beyond the aspect of getting two leads to have sex. Even on the subject of female porn, it is still very much catered to men, femme-slash is all but ignored unless featured on tv because lesbians making out is far more acceptable, and yuri, the yaoi equivalent, is nothing but schoolgirls half the time.

Offline SafetyTopic starter

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 01:39:57 AM »
Now I'm all for people enjoying their personal fantasies, sexual or otherwise, playing out scenarios that just don't/can't happen however, I'm not talking about this on a personal level and maybe I should have clarified that. One individual does not change an entire peoples way of thinking. The issue lies in many, a community, a population, objectifying people creating an "acceptable stereotype" or passing off a groups voice as null because they've been made out to be merely objects to fulfill the desire of the viewers.

I can understand some people feeling annoyed and sick of people being objectified, and as a result, not watching this type of material.  But how does having this perspective justify changing the current portrayal?  Just like you have a perspective opposing the current portrayal of gay men, many others may not see any issues with it.

If anything, shouldn't the solution be to create a new genre reflecting your views, rather than transforming one that is already to the liking of many others?  That's one of the reasons why female-friendly porn came about, even though gonzo porn is still a thriving industry.

I may be misunderstanding you but I don't think keeping the status quo is a good thing just because it's popular. Maybe a new genre could be created but that wouldn't stop me from pointing out the objectification in slash, things don't change, new things don't show up until people start talking about it. And I may be jumping the gun here but black oppression doesn't no longer warrant discussion because of the Emancipation Proclamation and Civil Rights Movement.

Personally, I believe that they are not more or less objectified than in any other porn. But, it should be mentioned that in all of those, it are not real people. I am not a fan of this form of art, and I do not seek it out, either, because from what little I know, it is still very stereotyped.  :-\

That may very well be true, but the reason I'm focusing the objectification of gay men particularly in yaoi, shounen-ai, and slash is because it's a topic I can't find a whole lot of research on so I decided to bring it to a forum and figured I'd get a more honest opinion on elliquiy where the focus of the site is adult/sexual rolplaying. You don't have to avoid saying sex on a site designed for adults.

Fiction affects real people even if the characters themselves are not real, there are many many articles out there on the internet alone, discussing this.

Offline Blythe

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 01:59:02 AM »
So I was browsing the definition of "yaoi" on Wikipedia, and a couple of quotes in the article freaked me out a bit. Looking at yaoi through this particular lens is more than a little disturbing:

Quote
Rape fantasy is a theme commonly found in yaoi manga. Sexual intercourse is understood a means of expressing commitment to a partner, and in yaoi, the "apparent violence" of rape is transformed into a "measure of passion". While Japanese society often shuns or looks down upon women who are raped in reality, the yaoi genre depicts men who are raped as still "imbued with innocenceĒ and are typically still loved by their rapists after the act, a trope that may have originated with Kaze to Ki no Uta.[57] Rape scenes in yaoi are rarely presented as crimes with an assaulter and a victim: scenes where a seme rapes an uke are not depicted as symptomatic of the seme's "disruptive sexual/violent desires", but instead are a signifier of the "uncontrollable love" felt by a seme for an uke. Such scenes are often a plot device used to make the uke see the seme as more than just a good friend and typically result in the uke falling in love with the seme. Rape fantasy themes explore the protagonist's lack of responsibility in sex, leading to the narrative climax of the story, where "the protagonist takes responsibility for his own sexuality".[58]

Quote
Over time, yaoi came to be used as a generic term for female-oriented manga, anime, dating sims, novels and fan fiction works featuring idealized homosexual male relationships

In the same article where yaoi is described as portraying idealized gay relationships, it also talks about the normalcy and acceptance of rape against some of the characters, who later are seen to fall in love with the rapist. Yikes.

I can kind of see why Safety sees some objectification here.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 02:00:12 AM by Blythe »

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2014, 02:02:08 AM »
I may be misunderstanding you but I don't think keeping the status quo is a good thing just because it's popular. Maybe a new genre could be created but that wouldn't stop me from pointing out the objectification in slash, things don't change, new things don't show up until people start talking about it.

Here's an analogy:  I think almost all of us here on E are 100% supportive of initiatives to end sexual assault and violence against women (and men).

But some of those same individuals just so happen to enjoy watching hardcore gonzo which depicts force and coercion, and like to write NC roleplays.  I, personally, do not enjoy such depictions, but if they enjoy it, then what's wrong with that?

Offline SafetyTopic starter

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 02:15:56 AM »
Here's an analogy:  I think almost all of us here on E are 100% supportive of initiatives to end sexual assault and violence against women (and men).

But some of those same individuals just so happen to enjoy watching hardcore gonzo which depicts force and coercion, and like to write NC roleplays.  I, personally, do not enjoy such depictions, but if they enjoy it, then what's wrong with that?

I apologize for not making it clear in my initial post and said it before but my issue does not lie in an individual preference but an entire cultureópeople perpetuating the already widespread idea that gay men are just objects, whether portrayed as sexual objects, the "acceptable gay stereotypes" (they must be more like caricatures than people) seen on TV and in the media, or a sexual deviant whose only interested on preying on other men.

Offline Big B

  • Deverified
  • Seduced
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2014
  • Location: There's some dirt here, and a few shrubs...
  • Gender: Female
  • (Insert catchy words here) I'm sure I'll like them
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2014, 02:21:44 AM »
Quote
In the same article where yaoi is described as portraying idealized gay relationships, it also talks about the normalcy and acceptance of rape against some of the characters, who later are seen to fall in love with the rapist. Yikes.


It normalizes a lot of criminalized behaviors, very Stockholm's Syndrome if you will, that's why I find it very odd it's mostly women writers and artist who perpetuate the behaviors as romantic while at the same time reducing them to nothing more than, er a sexual object. It strangely always reminded me off a self-insert, since most of the times the characters don't have much in the way of personality.

Quote
Here's an analogy:  I think almost all of us here on E are 100% supportive of initiatives to end sexual assault and violence against women (and men).
I agree with you there, I think it's would be ridiculous for anyone to say otherwise.

Quote
But some of those same individuals just so happen to enjoy watching hardcore gonzo which depicts force and coercion, and like to write NC roleplays.  I, personally, do not enjoy such depictions, but if they enjoy it, then what's wrong with that?

I have no problem, with people enjoying what they do, not my cup of tea either, but when it perpetuates that something like that is the norm and every gay man acts like that, it becomes harmful, especially when they're forced to fit in these personality boxes that not everyone will fit into.

In this case, the glorifying of all gay men have to be soft-spoken boys with little to no plot other than being a sex-toy for someone else's pleasure. The American equivalent I think would be something like, say Kurt from Glee, he is still very much the stereotypical soft-spoken boy who still loves fashion. He has become a stereotype, it's not revolutionary to see that character a million times over in say the past 15 years.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 02:28:06 AM by Big B »

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2014, 02:27:23 AM »
I actually specifically used that example because it would appear that women are frequently sexually-stereotyped, and sexually objectified in a similar manner to the gay stereotypes.

In Safety's opening post, she even says that parallels can be drawn between the objectification of women and the objectification of gay men.

Offline Big B

  • Deverified
  • Seduced
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2014
  • Location: There's some dirt here, and a few shrubs...
  • Gender: Female
  • (Insert catchy words here) I'm sure I'll like them
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2014, 02:50:22 AM »
It is very similar to that actually, most of the time the uke, acts out the traditional view of what a woman should be, say like in the way 50 Shades of Grey, and the main character of that (It adds to the same idea of objectification and horribly written characters, along with perpetuating abuse), both have the same audience I kid you not. Both need this dominant man, who rich and good-looking and is the epitome of manliness. The "submissive" one is always mousy, a bit of a looser, and can only live if they are constantly in the presence of this dominant guy. When it comes to finally getting into the sexual aspect, both have been coerced into a rape, but call it sex, because they have never felt that way before and that makes it okay. After that point the only reason they serve relevancy is because they give into this dominant male, and they are happy to serve that role of pleasuring him, for his sake.

Both of these characters they have no relevancy to be around anymore other than the sex scenes, the consonantly talk about missing their "other", and do little more than revolve around them, they don't have a sense of self. When they loose their sense of self I am willing to say it is a case of nothing more than objectification on a writer's part.

Offline Blythe

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2014, 03:05:48 AM »
Here's an analogy:  I think almost all of us here on E are 100% supportive of initiatives to end sexual assault and violence against women (and men).

But some of those same individuals just so happen to enjoy watching hardcore gonzo which depicts force and coercion, and like to write NC roleplays.  I, personally, do not enjoy such depictions, but if they enjoy it, then what's wrong with that?

I just wanted to mention that while the comparison to hardcore gonzo pornography is a fairly valid and good comparison when talking about objectification in this topic, I hardly think that mentioning individual NC roleplays is a very good comparison.

Pornography (whether this is yaoi-themed or gonzo) represents an industry that saturates a part of the media in the form of videos, TV shows (in the case of some yaoi), and written/illustrated areas and rakes in substantial amounts of money, whereas roleplays are.... certainly not that.  :-X

I think I'm saying I agree with only half of your statement in the above quote, Valthazar.

Offline kylie

  • Bratty Princess of Twisty, Creeping Secrets. Frilly | Fussy | Framed | Dreamy | Glam | Risky | Sporty | Rapt | Tease | Ironic | Shadowed | Struggling | Whispery | Bespelled
  • Liege
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2005
  • Location: Somewhere in the future.
  • Darkly sweet femme for rich & insidious scenarios.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 1
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2014, 03:35:41 AM »
         Hmm.  I don't really watch this genre but...  It seems to me like the sort of thing where people will talk past each other on so many levels.

          Generally -- or more certainly, from studies of female audiences regarding "bodice ripper" romances and outright rape fantasies...  Often much of the appeal is in a viewer sense that there will be survival, transformation of meanings, or redemption somehow.  The story will be organized and controlled in some ways that make it an appealing release for the viewers.  It may be an unrealistic way, or it may be simply a feeling that by knowing the organization of this sort of story, the viewer can focus on the parts of the story that interest them to produce a more comfortable interpretation of it.  (Blythe, I think there is not much difference in this regard with various views of kinks in online rp myself.  I've found myself trying to explain this to people asking about others' rp preferences on E, or even fairly similar preferences in club SM circles, every so often.) 

        Anyway, it's not true that most viewers are watching it to glorify actual rape.  "Radical" (often separatist even) feminists have been insisting it perpetuates submission to male chauvinism for a long time, but I don't see that it necessarily follows in many cases.  Now if the audience were as often men, maybe I'd believe it more -- but still dubious.  Chauvinism and patriarchy as originally conceived are not so much about policing desired elements of fantasy. They are more about undesired ones actually creeping into everyday life and turning into actual rape -- domestic violence -- unequal pay -- ideas that people are really only useful for one role etc..  If there was as much redemption and relationship after actual rape as happens in so many force fantasies, we would probably have another term.  And I don't mean Stockholm Syndrome at all.  So the charge that one represents or causes the other is pretty muddled, I think.
 
          We could find many genres in mass market film, literature, etc. where relationships are unlikely or missing for the sake of the piece jumping to sex (or to implied sexual ties, no need to limit this to porn).  But that doesn't mean most people feel it's all abusive.  Quite a few might just find the plot irrelevant or boring, fine...  (I rather often do, at least in more vanilla porn and some sizeable share of Japanese SM porn I've seen.)  Others find what they want that's inspiring or interesting in it relationship-wise.  Of course, there can always be the "simple" masturbation factor otherwise, or too.  Which is not to disparage that, when people are well aware of it.   

           In an ideal world I suppose, script writers could get all sorts of variety produced, but I think in practice they are limited by what the market will buy.  I'm not sure it's necessarily fair to assume that they are all writing certain types out of their own personal desire to write only that.  Some may be going "as far as they can" while still getting something produced...  Maybe some are getting stuff cut.  Others may just want to get into a certain corner of the industry for some reason and find "rules" handed to them more from others? 

           I would love to see a lot more complexity and variety in porn too.  Even lots of (more m-f) Japanese SM porn is all focused on a certain region (generally censored, as it's Japanese film) over and over, and what little plot it has often leads predictably back there fast and then fades right off.  Some lesbian friends have also told me that they find much of the mass market lesbian porn unrealistic, crude, and lacking in various kinks that actually turn them on.  Sometimes we think these pieces seen over and over are gross misrepresentations of our groups...  But not everyone accepts that "relationships" -- where that is even what the work spends enough time to display at all -- are necessarily really like that for so many.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 03:40:04 AM by kylie »

Offline Wajin

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2014, 04:32:20 AM »
Being quite the consumer of shounen-ai and to some extent Yaoi manga and light novels, I can happily say that the objectification varies greatly depending on author, and to some extent drawer too. There is definitely a problem with Japanese mainstream culture latching on to stereotypes, it's a societal problem that's even deeply embedded in my own Japanese relatives. A lot of them thought that I would change who I was just because I came out as homosexual, imagine their surprise when the next time they met me, I was still me, just a lot more secure about myself and who I thought I was going to be in the future... and don't even get me started on my husband <.< That was a whole other mess in and of itself.

« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 09:01:57 AM by A Japanese Dane »

Online Nicholas

  • Mr. Nice Guy (or so I am told) :-) Jag's Mulder *muse crack* Deviously delicious - according to a certain, most awesome Liege ;) King of Terrible. Always innocent despite what Caedy says. Spoiler buttons are evil. 42,19km!
  • Knight
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2009
  • Location: My Skype info is available upon request!
  • Gender: Male
  • #JeSuisUnAnge #ReallyIAm #BlameMads
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2014, 08:41:52 AM »
That may very well be true, but the reason I'm focusing the objectification of gay men particularly in yaoi, shounen-ai, and slash is because it's a topic I can't find a whole lot of research on so I decided to bring it to a forum and figured I'd get a more honest opinion on elliquiy where the focus of the site is adult/sexual rolplaying. You don't have to avoid saying sex on a site designed for adults.

Fiction affects real people even if the characters themselves are not real, there are many many articles out there on the internet alone, discussing this.
I have to believe you on this, because, as I said, I do not pursue yaoi (or the other genres mentioned).

All I can say is that I, personally, do not feel objectified, and neither do my friends (at least from those I know). I haven't ever heard that someone feels objectified, either, but that is probably because this topic doesn't come up with my RL social circle. If anything, I see it as a form of art and I can either like or dislike it, like each other form of expressing oneself.
I do not even dislike it - it just doesn't do anything for me (aside from the occational "Wow, that's drawn really well")

I can see und understand that it might make people feel objectified, though, even if I cannot relate to it.

And, when I see it from a purely commercial kind of way - it sells. Simple as that. Controversy always sells well. ;D
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 08:46:21 AM by Nicholas »

Offline Florence

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2014, 08:54:22 AM »
Its all fantasy, really. I mean, when you boil it down, just about any fantasy involves objectification. You're reducing a person, or a type of person, into an object for fulfilling a fantasy. Its especially prevalent in porn, because when you get down to it, porn isn't about 'people', its about fetishes, and the people serve only to fulfill those fetishes. Big breasted women, flat chested women, black men, Asian girls, lesbians, gay men, and then further down to the various 'types' of lesbians and gay men; butch lesbians, lipstick lesbians, twinks, bears, etc. Even if the porn itself isn't degrading or dehumanizing, the point is still to use the person or people involved as a sexual object to fulfill a fantasy. I have never seen any porn and thought to myself, "Wow, that person has some great personality." Its not that porn stars aren't people, I've seen some porn stars on the internet who seem to be really cool people with deep and interesting personalities. In fact, I used to know a girl who does porn, and she was a perfectly rich and fulfilling person to talk to. Its simply that, while watching porn, I never found myself thinking, or even caring, what they were like in person. They were acting as the object of a sexual fantasy, and that was the point of it all, and in many cases its less about the person and more about the 'type' of person that they represent.

Even when you're not dealing with porn, the same can often apply, as long as the ultimate goal of the work is less about telling a meaningful story, and more about fulfilling some romantic fantasy, or even a sexual one; simply because there's no sex in the story doesn't mean it can't be used to invoke sexual fantasy, merely by implying that sex happens off screen/panel.

I'm not saying reinforcing these stereotypes is a good thing, but its not especially bad either. As long as the viewer understands the difference between the stereotyped fantasies in the fiction, and the fact that the people in real life; even the very people portraying these stereotypes, if the medium is live action; are more than that. It's sort of the same as people who enjoy various fetishes which may not be acceptable to do in real life. As long as they understand that the fantasy is different from reality, I see no harm in it. Even if there is harm in it, unfortunately, you'll have a hard time trying to change people's sexual fantasies. On the bright side, I think anyone who isn't severely mentally ill can understand that porn is pretty much all fantasy, with very little reality involved.

Now, when we're talking about more mainstream works, I think it becomes more important to try and change the perspective because these are SUPPOSED to represent our cultural identity, and if all we do is portray stereotypes, that's what people will assume is reality, if they don't have an actual basis in reality to work from.

And as A Japanese Dane said, it does vary from the author to author. I'm not big on yaoi or yuri manga or even straight romance manga for that matter. I do find a lot of it, not just yaoi, is stereotyped and characters tend to be fit into very neat little holes. "This is the childhood best friend who's a bit of a tsundere, this is the mature teacher lady who's unusually sexy for her age, this is the little sister with a crush on onii-san." As A Japanese Dane also said, its very much an aspect of Japanese culture. I imagine it comes from the more Asian emphasis on conformity, where we in the west have a near fetishistic love for independence and originality.

Perhaps its just a matter of values dissonance over a cultural divide, but I find that the best romance in any manga or anime are those that dare to break the mold. For example, if you want my all time favorite romance manga. (Warning: Is a Yuri manga, contains nudity and even some sex, though it tends to focus more on the characters and the story.) Hanjuku Joshi, or almost anything else by Morishima Akiko is absolutely amazing. She loves toying around with the cultural expectations of her characters; including the idea that one has to be the 'man' in the relationship, the idea that schoolgirl romance is a passing fantasy and they'll grow up and get men when they're adults, and most notably in her work, the idea (which is admittedly, from what I understand, beginning to become less common) that a woman is no longer desirable after she's hit 25.

I'm not saying that her work is perfect and without stereotype, but it really likes to play around with stereotypes, and even break them completely at times. Add to that, the fact that her characters are well-written and feel like real people as opposed to being fantasy objects, and her work tends to focus more on drama and romance than 'and then they banged'.

I admit, I can't draw any good examples from yaoi itself off hand, but I'm certain they exist xD

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/HanjukuJoshi Here, if you want a work safe way to see what I was talking about with Hanjuko Joshi xD
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 09:00:27 AM by Finn MacKenna »

Offline alextaylor

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2014, 09:56:48 AM »
Someone once said that humiliation and degradation of women in porn was escapism for powerful women to get stress relief from having too many responsibilities.

That may be a dumb statement to make, but I certainly feel that way. That's why I play NC/Extreme games as a switch character. Domination or consensual roles don't appeal to me because I get way too much of that IRL. If anything, I'm "oppressed" by the number of roles and responsibility I have to hold IRL.

Some people actually visualize themselves in the objectified position.

Offline Florence

Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2014, 10:37:39 AM »
Someone once said that humiliation and degradation of women in porn was escapism for powerful women to get stress relief from having too many responsibilities.

That may be a dumb statement to make, but I certainly feel that way. That's why I play NC/Extreme games as a switch character. Domination or consensual roles don't appeal to me because I get way too much of that IRL. If anything, I'm "oppressed" by the number of roles and responsibility I have to hold IRL.

Some people actually visualize themselves in the objectified position.

Well, it really varies from person to person. It's the same as how some powerful men get off on having a mistress dominate them. It seems like a lot of people want what they don't have. People who don't have power in their professional lives seem to crave power in their sex lives, those who have power in their professional lives love giving up their power in bed.

Offline Big B

  • Deverified
  • Seduced
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2014
  • Location: There's some dirt here, and a few shrubs...
  • Gender: Female
  • (Insert catchy words here) I'm sure I'll like them
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: The Objectification of Gay Men in Yaoi, Shounen-ai, and Slash
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2014, 10:46:20 AM »
I agree with a lot of what you say Finn Mackeena, I do agree that porn, especially m/f, is to play out a sexual fantasy, I've never quite understood the draw of that myself, since so many of the situations leading to actual sex is very contrived an unrealistic. And I'll admit, when it comes to sex, if it's randomly inserted even in an RP, I find it silly and don't understand how it can be much of a turn on. I agree that the American porn industry is very much focused on "a type" of person to specifically appeal to people. And now since porn stars talk so much more outside of their work, and like you has said they have very deep personalities, for me it makes it such a shame to know that won't be seen, because ultimately sex sells (or the objectification of it) more than anything else in our society.

Quote
As long as the viewer understands the difference between the stereotyped fantasies in the fiction, and the fact that the people in real life; even the very people portraying these stereotypes, if the medium is live action; are more than that.

This is my issue when it comes to yaoi, a lot of the consumers I have come across, I have a few personal friends who have enjoyed it also, don't realize these characters are not a stereotype. And a lot of them try to advocate LGBT rights because they simply read these mangas for these "cute" men, and so many of the authors and writers themselves are straight women misconstruing an actual struggle for some people.

Like Japanese Dane had said, and I hope I'm not misunderstanding, homosexuals have to fit in a neat little box in Japan, and when someone does not act as they were portrayed in entertainment it's strange. They expect all gay men to act traditionally "womanly" when that's just not the truth of all men at all, and perpetuating that gets me in to a tizzy. It happens so much on Tumblr, which is very American-centric. Albeit the ones doing this are usually girls between the ages of 14 and 20.

Slash has been a bit of a different experience for me, I came in expecting a slew of girls much like in the way of yaoi and I was fairly surprised to find gay men and bisexual men enjoying the medium, and many of the people I have interacted with have at least been in questioning of their sexuality. It still has issues, but many of them don't seem to expect these characters to live in some domestic married bliss realistically on the actual tv shows or books they are from. The most I have seen advocating is to have a character that isn't the art-loving gay trope and justification away from that portrayal at every turn.

And yes, there is a ton of values dissonance going on, even when it comes to character portrayals Americans usually prefer the Tsundere types over the Moe cute ones which are much more prevalent in Japan (And is a whole other issue I take and a different topic).

I'll look into Hanjuku Joshi, and the author, it's really very hard to find characters to relate to in anime, and I've grown out of it because they're tropes on tropes, it refreshing when an author tries breathing some life into their characters.  :-)