2DT, blogger and endless fount of writing prompts, recommended I watch Girls und Panzer (GaruPan for short) for unspecified reasons which very quickly became clear: the show presents a world with different rules for gender roles. During the informational video played at the end of the first episode, the girls of Oarai are told that “tankery” (the “sport” of tank-mounted combat) is one that emphasizes grace and beauty and is as a result ideally suited to young women with poise and drive. Because in our world, men wage war, this alternate reality represents a progressive vision where women lord their martial might over men… WRONG. And, frankly, it wouldn’t matter even if that were the case. And here, I think is an opportunity to say a few things about choice.
Tag Archives: feminism
Every move you make is carefully planned. You are limited in your capability, your capacity, your reach. To reach beyond what is allotted to you is met with struggle, strain, and pain. You cannot be frivolous in your actions, for each moment is carefully meted out as though you’re incapable of the responsibility yourself.
How would this color your outlook on life?
Or: Why I Should Be Guardian of Your Modesty
Time to take a break from writing about anime women (in the strictest sense, this post is going to have a lot to do with women as well as men) and start talking about men: the “target” demographic of ecchi anime. This season’s crop of Shows I Should Find More Amusing include a pair of anime that feature the common idea of unwanted molestation of men by women. For me, the subtext of these interactions rankles. Most anime men who have women throwing themselves at them seem to react poorly. Some can shout down the unwanted attention, but there are equally many leads who end up as doormats, frequently molested by their paramores. This upsets me on two levels: One is because it relates to the dual dichotomies of sexuality (Virgin/Whore and Knight/Beast) and secondly because the subtext of these interactions points to a monolithic understanding of gender interaction that leads men and boys to believe they are supposed to value sex highly and should do their best to ensure that women not behave like “sluts”. Continue reading
Or: Better Understanding Through Looking at Gender
I got into a conversation in another part of the anisphere about female main characters. The blog post was here and it compared Tohru of Fruits Basket to Sawako Kuronuma of Kimi ni Todoke (the inferior Sawako, if you ask me… Sawa-chan <3). At the culmination of the comments dialog I came to some interesting realizations about gender performance in our animated heroines and heroes. See, we talk a lot about the need for “strong, female characters”, but as Kate Beaton noted, they don’t always serve. I would like to take this time, instead, to proffer up an examination of how a close look at gender helps flesh out both simple, straightforward characters and more complex ones.