branchandroot: rainbow D (DW rainbow)
Branch ([personal profile] branchandroot) wrote2010-02-02 12:31 pm
Entry tags:

Life =/= bling

I've cast off from the latest round of perorations over m/m and/or slash vis a vis appropriation and queerness. The soapboxing has clearly shot any actual discussion dead. But something I saw at the con this past weekend reminded me of it.

There was a booth in the dealer's room that had a big rainbow flag up behind it. Now, normally I'm pleased to see the flag wherever it's shown, but not in this case. Because that booth was selling doujinshi and appliqued across the flag was the acronym "YAOI".

That. That right there is the line getting crossed. Because yaoi doujinshi in very particular are not about celebrating diversity or about gay pride. The vast majority of yaoi is direly heteronormative and doesn't even make a pretense at representing the shape or variety of gay culture (either in Japan or anywhere else they may be set). Printing "yaoi" across a rainbow flag is one of the most stunning examples of not-getting-it that I've seen in a long while, and something I have no hesitation to call both disrespect and defacement.

The issues surrounding representation and who and how don't always lend themselves to simplification, but I think one point does boil down very consistently:

My life is not your bling.

And if that thought makes me or anyone else uncomfortable to think while standing in the middle of an anime convention ninety-eight percent of which is distinctly not-Japanese-at-all, well it should. The lack of that thought and awareness is one of the reasons there are large sections of Western a/m fandom I don't engage with, that and the lack of the related awareness, "Liking it doesn't make you Japanese".

Kind of like having two dicks on the page doesn't make it gay. So get those grubby paws off my damn flag.

Informational note: if this is picked up by any of the link comms I will probably limit commenting to my circle, having no interest in hosting general idiocy.
pineapplechild: HELLO!, says the giant squid, wait why are you running away (Default)

[personal profile] pineapplechild 2010-02-02 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Agreed. Very much so.
ranalore: (weapon of choice)

[personal profile] ranalore 2010-02-02 11:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Because that booth was selling doujinshi and appliqued across the flag was the acronym "YAOI".

...Wow. I have no words. Or rather, my words are not printable.

Also, I feel these two things are worth repeating:

My life is not your bling.

"Liking it doesn't make you Japanese".

With, of course, the applicable additions of, "Liking it doesn't make you Korean/Chinese/Indian/Taiwanese/Thai." There's less importation of those cultures into U.S. fannish culture, so it's not as widespread a problem, but with the rise of Hallyu and Western awareness of South Korean pop cultural exports, it's a problem that's growing.
zombiecookie: (Default)

[personal profile] zombiecookie 2010-02-04 09:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Every con I've been to there has always been a yaoi booth that goes just a little bit too far with advertising, so to see one of them actually crossing the line into being offensive doesn't surprise me. Many of the doujinshi booths are staff by people who don't get it, either because they're just not interested in what they're selling, or yaoi is the extent of their exposure to GLBT stuff. Either way they're not going to understand that yaoi(or yuri)=/=GLBT manga. Unfortunately most people don't even know that bara exists, because the difference between yaoi and bara can be really striking and it kills a lot of the arguments that people use trying to defend yaoi as GLBT.

They're only using the flag as a shortcut to advertise stuff. It's great that it's widely enough known that things like that work, but it sucks that they're watering down it's meaning. Also, on a basic level it's really offensive to be doing something like that to /any/ flag, especially just for a marketing gimmick. Yeah, you can buy a lot of flags with random stuff on them, but this is a real flag, with real meaning to people. You deface a flag when you piss someone off.
linkspam_mod: A metal chain (Default)

[personal profile] linkspam_mod 2010-02-13 09:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Your post has been included in an Linkspam Roundup.