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The Fetishistic Turn in My Little Pony

This blog post originally appeared at Clearance Bin Review almost a year ago, in consideration for the then upcoming release of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic movie Equestria Girls.  Given my research on that topic, I decided to bring it here as well, under the umbrella that is the fractured fandom project. Almost a year ago, I first discovered that My Little Pony: Friendship … Continue reading The Fetishistic Turn in My Little Pony

The Rise of Hentai in America, Part 3

[This is the final part of the women studies paper I wrote on hentai.  You can find Part 1, on the definition of hentai, here, and Part 2, on the comparison of hentai to live action pornography, here.  And, once again, the material covered in this part is strictly NSFW.]

While it may not be as prevalent or have the same tradition in our society that live action pornography does, there is no mistaking that hentai is here and is accessible, highly so if we consider the role of the Internet in its dispersion.  We have seen in this essay that its similarities to live action pornography mean it could have similar impacts on consumers, and these impacts may be further influenced by the simulacrum nature of hentai girls and the fantasies they offer.  Even if these texts are read as humorous, their situatedness in our society, in our public discourse that attempts to both normalize sex and keep it hidden, suggests that even harmless appearing cartoons can reinforce the ideology of male domination if it remains unchallenged.

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The Rise of Hentai in America, Part 2

[In part 1 of this 2006 women studies paper, I discussed what hentai is and how it has grown in consumption in the United States; so if you are first entering this report via this part, you should pop on over there first.  In this part of the report, I compare hentai to live action pornography.  Again, this is absolutely rated NSFW.]

Is it different than live action pornography?

Theories of what is pornography began to crystallize in the 1970s due to the work of American feminists and their analysis of how women are represented on film.  In particular is the work of Laura Mulvey in theorizing how positioning and objectifying women in film serve the scopophilic male gaze that receives pleasure by its voyeuristic and yet controlling gaze of women.  Pornography is largely held as an “art form” that objectifies the female figure, positioning women as submissive sexual objects presented for the sole purpose of providing pleasure to men, whether in the narrative with the women or in the audience consuming the narrative.  Women are fragmented by the camera or the comic panels so that the focus for the viewer is on specific body parts to elicit arousal.  Oftentimes women are being dominated by the male, in a heterosexual coupling, or by a masculinized woman in a homosexual coupling.  Regardless of whether a man is actually present in the frame or not, by depicting women as objects, as dehumanized and subjected to a dominant other’s desires, they rendered powerless, denied agency, and thus not a threat to the presumed male viewer, who is left to gave over the spectacle without anxiety of being discovered, castigated, and ultimately metaphorically castrated.

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The Rise of Hentai in America, Part 1

(This paper, and the accompanying presentation I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way, were done in 2006 for a women’s studies course at Ohio State University.  Some of the facts may be a bit outdated, some have been updated, but I still stand by the interpretation of the texts.  And, warning, this posting will include illustrated examples of pornographic cartoons, so it is definitely rated NSFW.  Part 1 here discusses the subject matter; Part 2 compares hentai to live action pornography; Part 3 considers the ramifications of hentai.)

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The Otaku of OSU

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, in graduate school I learned about, and experimented with, slash. That journey started with exploring more of my interest in Japanese anime and manga. Perhaps in another post, some day, I’ll introduce you to hentai. Now that will be a fun discussion. As part of my exploration of anime and manga, I took a class from Art Education … Continue reading The Otaku of OSU