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"Hey there! Do you like BL? Good!
Have you ever stopped to think about rape culture?
What is it? Oh, let me start by explaining it, then.
Of course everybody knows what rape is, but I’m afraid most people don’t fully understand how much of an awful, terrible thing it is, mostly because stories and such portray it as something trivial, or even commendable, or just an expression of love.
Then I have news for you: it’s none.
And do you know why most people think that it’s ok to rape someone? Because it is portrayed to us this way by all kinds of media.
Rape culture is basically what people make when they make it sound like something daily, or common, when it’s not. It’s a severe crime and it leaves deep psychological scars that take years, decades to heal. But now, of course you’ll think this way if you get rape shoved into your face every day as if it’s the newest delicious dish on a fast food menu. And this is exactly why I’m making this text right now.
So, you think I might be exaggerating? That rape is actually not as bad as people make it sound, since it’s basically “just” forced sex, right? And there’s no way sex can be bad.
Well, I’ll start by saying that people who fight against it don’t consider rape sex, at least not for the victim. Let’s start from the beginning: yes, it is bad. It’s actually worse than you could ever think. Starting with the stereotypical case scenario of the stranger on the street: it is terrifying that someone has the strength to just do whatever the hell they want with your body.
Not so long ago, in my country, we heard of a case about two girls who really like this band and, when they went to get autographs, they got raped. Of course people got really mad and went to the streets and tried to make them pay through justice. Then those people were in front of court making lots of noise and this old lady approaches and says “aw, why do you do that? Of course what they’ve done is wrong, but they’re good boys and they’ve repented”. The woman who she was talking to took a deep breath and answered: No, they’re not good boys and they didn’t repent. Do you know what happened? One of this girl was stripped naked and violently penetrated by men who took turns. While she bled, cried and screamed for help, another one tried to shove his penis inside her mouth and she’d have her face punched, meanwhile the other girl was suffering the same horror in the bathroom.
Still don’t get it?
While bathing, have you ever accidentally scratched your intimate parts while cleaning them? That goes for both girls and boys. It hurts, right? Now imagine someone doing this to you nonstop, no matter how much you cry out and say it hurts. That’s pretty much it. It’s not cool, it hurts. And it hurts most in the soul than it does on the flesh.
Now, everybody knows, or at least should, about how women are treated by general media like merchandise and things made to give pleasure to their male partners, right? It’s always shown this way on whatever you see, from TV and magazines to shoujo manga, and there’s then I start to get back to my point.
Do you know why BL was created? It was a form of revolt against sexist ways of society. Especially in Japan, women never considered themselves equal to men, so, by putting themselves in the place of the “uke”, they could more or less know what it felt like to be on a balanced relationships. Good, right? Wrong, very, very wrong! Because most of the elements of shoujo manga were passed to BL as well, rape included.
I ask you, please think with me, think hard. How many BLs you know that portray someone getting raped in some way? Now how many you know where it doesn’t happen at all? See where I’m getting at?
What makes me the saddest is that even good stories that didn’t have any need whatsoever of rape in it, have. Even some of my favorite characters, like Morinaga form Kousuru Boukun end up raping their partners and it makes me go “oh, heavens, why” over and over inside my head. And don’t even get me started with stuff like Viewfinder or Okane ga Nai. It seriously, honestly makes me wonder if the mangakas are ok inside their brains if they can’t come up with a good love story without rape on it.
You know what’s worse than BL mangas? BL games. I’ve played and/or know the storyline of tons of those and didn’t find one, one, for heaven’s sake, that doesn’t have rape at some point. For crying out loud, even my most favorite one, DMMd, has a route full of it. Thank you lots, Mink (feat. Virus & Trip). I know I’ve just said it, but it really makes me wonder what’s wrong with people. Do you think all gay couples rape? Or do you really think rape is the ultimate expression of love? It saddens me how it’s seen as some kind of fetish or that it’s ok to be raped as long as you love your attacker. It’s not. No means no regardless of the relationship you have with the person.
I’m not saying no story can have rape in it, though. But you must learn to tell apart the story showing it as fetish, as something good, and the story showing it as a form of criticism. J no Subete, for example, has some of the most shocking rape scenes I’ve seen, but in no way they’re shown as something good nor that lead to a romantic relationship.
And please, don’t think the character has a good reason for raping. There’s never a good reason for it. So what if he has a very sad back story where all his family got killed and then burnt and he’s a loner and… Well, if it was real life, those things wouldn’t absolve the attacker on judgment, would they? They wouldn’t make you feel sorry for him or that it was ok to do it because he actually just needed some loving, would they? If you think they would, then I must ask once more what’s wrong with people.
It doesn’t matter how the story is sad and how much he’s suffered, it just doesn’t, ever, justifies making another human being suffer this much.
One of the most concerning things is that some rape scenes aren’t even seen as rape by people, because, to them, it is just something that happens on a black alley, late at night, when you’re alone and some random drunk attacks you. Big mistake. I quoted Morinaga back there, so let’s start with him, shall we? It doesn’t matter how much this character is adorable and has this very sincere love towards his senior, which he’s been harboring for a long time... Taking advantage of someone while they’re drugged or drunk it’s just a big, red, bold, capital letters, no. That’s rape. Yes, that’s rape, even if he loved him, even if he’s adorable, even if he was careful not to hurt. Still rape. Because Tatsumi didn’t consent it.
It gives me mixed feelings, actually. On one hand, I love the character and want him to be happy. On the other, I’m sick tired of stories portraying the attacker as someone nice who lost its temper because he just loves the other this much. Freaking seriously, that’s not love. And I don’t say the because I have pink colored glasses that make love seem like this beautiful utopist thing, but because accepting someone’s right to say no it’s just the least decent thing you can do.
So, people, from the bottom of my heart, please, stop backing it up. It’s not love, it’s not cool and it’s making you all lose part of your humanity, little by little.
By the way, I found a very interesting tumblr: consensualyaoicollective.tumbl…
The post in my tumblr: askkury.tumblr.com/post/704212…
Please share if you agree with it
And I agree with everything. The more I read about rape culture in the internet, the more sensibilized I become.
I also want to say that Kusari was the first and last story that we made with this theme. And we became more mature since 2009.
This all was made to just make you think a bit about it. Please don't get offended or spread more hate than it already exists.
Edit: For those commenting "but there isn't rape just in BL genre" or "there are more important things than this", I would like to say: I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but I'm fighting for what I consider important. There are indeed many things and problems in the world that can be considered important according to each point of view. So...If there are other things that you consider important, why don't you fight for them too, instead of just complaining here?
Edit2: I think people fail to understand that when they want to have sex, it's not rape anymore, so it can't be called a "rape fantasy". It simply makes no sense. They might like rough sex or extreme submission scenarios, but it'll never be rape when there is consent. It's absolutely impossible for someone to enjoy rape because the etymology of the word means it's an act made against the wish of the other person. I won't even bother answering these type of comments. Your fantasy isn't rape fantasy, wake up. You have no idea how this is desrespectful to rape victims. I'll just recommend you looking for a "role playing word" in google called "subjugation", that you probably might not know and though it was equivalent to rape during your entire life. Repeat with me, you enjoy subjugation, not rape. Nobody is able to enjoy rape. Done.
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