Why Don’t People Like Anime Feminists?

Inspired by this Artifice post and…well, Anime Feminist itself.

Obviously, some people do like anime feminists – hence the blog in question – but there are some who don’t.

Admittedly, my stance on the word “feminism” has been bugging me since 2015 or so, when someone asked me if I was a feminist. I said “yes” at the time because my understanding of “feminism” was “you want equality between men and women”. These days, it significantly means more than that, asking for equality and understanding between the many gender and sexualities that are known to exist.

Furthermore, when people think of feminism, it tends to be the really radical people who rally on the streets and march in Pride parades. This is only part of it – the “visible” tip of the iceberg. You can be a…for lack of a better term, a “low-key feminist”…like you can be a cisgender and/or straight ally to LGBTIAQ+ individuals. You can want it without making it known you’re supporting them – actions speak louder than words in this case.

One bit I don’t quite like about Anime Feminist (and some other blogs) is the particularly United States-centric views they have, which bleeds into from one set of politicised views into another, such as the views about defunding the police, “all cops are b*stards” and so on which you get, particularly from Police in a Pod/Hakozume reviews. This might be true there and it might be true in other countries to some extent or another as well, but…some places do have decent police and legislation that (mostly) works. Due to the fact they’re so radical and passionate on their feminist viewpoints, this carries over into their other points too.

So, that aside, what about anime feminism? Historically, anime’s (and its adjacent media’s) not been very good at showing how it can be feminist unless you look at it from certain angles – say, looking at how magical girls shape children’s viewpoints on what young women’s empowerment looks like.

I guess what it comes down to is whether you want to believe all anime has a message and it influences people or it doesn’t and you can turn your brain off to it all the time. Although it may not be made to spread a message and may just be a publicity tool for a manga or other arms of a franchise, it still contains the messages the creator/s gave it and you just need to dig for it.

Simultaneously, everything may be political but it also may not be. Remember, you can like different series for different reasons and you can like some bits, but not others. Just as not everything is a critical masterpiece, not everything has to be feminist and/or MOGAI (marginalised orientations and gender alignments or identities and intersex) friendly, although it would be nice if it were.

Sometimes people get their entertainment fix from things which can be perceived as “offensive” and/or “problematic” to feminists and in that case, you just gotta live and let live.


I think that should be enough blabbering for now. Two chunky posts back to back…whew.

Like the last post (linked a few paragraphs ago), this is a potentially hot button topic which never really dies, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes out of this.

6 thoughts on “Why Don’t People Like Anime Feminists?

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  1. I don’t particularly have a view on anime feminist but just picking up on what you wrote about the norms of one country being used to look at content made in another. I write in the English-speaking domain but I’m from Asia and have experience across several Asian cultures. Being in this space is mostly a good experience but sometimes some people will have a very “Western” view to interpreting certain aspects of anime and I find it uncomfortable at times because norms differ in countries. Taking it out of its context means you’re drawing a very different picture.

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  2. So I’m not entirely sure about your use of feminist here. I think you can apply a feminist critique to anything, even the most banal entertainment. What does it say that almost all of the characters in DBZ are men? And the ones that aren’t men are either not human or not powerful?

    Then there is an idea that things can carry a feminist message, which seems to make up the bulk of the discussion here. On that point, I think you’re right. It’s hard to find a message in everything.

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  3. I like a lot of what Anime Feminist publishes. I’ve featured them in my Other Posts to Crow About often.

    Do I agree with everything they say? No, particularly because I’m not sure that the site as a whole has a single opinion. I’ve read a variety of opinions there. That’s one of the things I like about them. I don’t like the whole concept of defunding police, because a) I’m friends with some police officers, and they are good folks and b) doing away with any kind of law enforcement would be a social disaster.

    At a macro level.

    Now, the idea of reallocating some funds from law enforcement to prevention, like expanded mental health offerings and other social programs, is a good idea. It’s not only cost effective, it’s more humane. A police officer is unlikely to have the training needed to de-escalate a mental health crisis, for example. But often social workers do. And certainly, mental health first responders would. If they existed. And they might. They certainly should.

    I don’t like trying to boil complex issues down to sound bites. Do we need police reform in the US? I’m not sure a rational human being could answer anything but yes. But wholesale defunding is not an answer.

    I am curious: Why do you ask the question? Are you asking with the idea that much of what Anime Feminist discusses should be appealing to folks, yet does not seem to be, at least in some quarters? I think that’s a great question. When I read their posts, by and large I come away with an idea that their writers are all trying to work out how to make the world better, especially for populations that too often find themselves forcibly marginalized.

    I suspect that at least part of the answer to your question revolves around that. Some people in power maintain that power by creating demons and scapegoats. If we deprive those people of the ability to demean others to shore up their power, then we have to expect them to take action. That would include maligning writers who say radical things like “Hey, don’t kill this population because they are innocent and harmless.”

    Seriously. How is that radical? How is that even political?

    I’m not sure I answered your question; I hope I interpreted it correctly!

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  4. If “live and let live” is part of the vocabulary, I’m happy with just about any philosophical approach. I live and let live. I expect some kind of mutuality here. There’s stuff I think is inappropriate for anime I but understand it is just my opinion. As long as no people or animals were harmed in the production of an anime, not mine to get heated up over. Just mine to watch or not watch and maybe pan in a review.

    People do not generate their moral code by what they see in anime. It is generated by what they see parents and other adults and (probably most importantly) their peer groups actually doing. That’s how social bubbles become so powerful. Real life trumps flickering images on a screen. At most, anime reflects the fantasy of the culture that created it. If it did not resonate in some way, it wouldn’t be popular. Truly great anime does this and illuminates some deep underlying truth.

    Not a fan of censorship nor of cancel. What I hear from all sides seems to be, “Free speech for me but not for me. Respect me but I think you’re subhuman.” I am not saying this is that approach of any particular blog but it is the feeling I get from society in general. It is the battle cry of instant gratification, of revolution over evolution. A bunch of people talking at each other rather than honestly trying to understand where the other guy is coming from.

    Truth is, revolution rarely changes anything important.

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  5. I don’t like them because of stuff like the cop example you gave. They say stuff like that all the time and are just generally really combative and biased when it comes to any discussion. Really, I think they do more harm for their supposed cause than good.

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