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.