25 Oct 2010

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 break out of prison)
[note: edited to reduce ambiguity in middle part]

Last year (has it already been that long? or am I confusing my fails?) there was the slight kerfluffle among we netizens between female romance writers of M/M fiction and gay (male) readers. This particular note was barely more than a footnote, but I saw it mentioned in a number of places: deriding stories as 'okay-gay'. The label means every character is "just fine" with homosexuality. There's no trauma, no bullying, no isolation, and friends discovering a gay character's sexuality don't respond with negatives but positives, if they even bother to give the character's sexuality that much thought. I didn't see anyone questioning this, which even at the time raised my eyebrows. I don't mean questioning whether it's okay (so to speak) to apply this label; I mean questioning the assumptions in the label.

A few months ago, CP picked up a copy of Boy's Love Manga: Essays on the Sexual Ambiguity and Cross-cultural Fandom of the Genre, edited by Antonia Levi, Mark McHarry, and Dru Pagliassotti. Most of the essays are, frankly, rather pendantic, and some just repeat what's been said plenty of places elsewhere. Some are only barely related to the genre in question, and have little more than a few names dropped of BL publishers to tie the essay into the anthology's theme. (I note all that in case you're thinking it sounds like a good read. It has its bright spots, but of fourteen essays, few really stood out to make the cost worth it.)

One of the essays had a point that's been bubbling around for awhile now; the essay is "Gay or Gei? Reading 'Realness' in Japanese Yaoi Manga", by Alexis Hall. The author interviewed female (American, from what I gather) readers of yaoi manga, asking them about whether yaoi manga is realistic, and what elements 'make' a yaoi story realistic. read the rest... )


kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

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