This is a strip from a comic called Ménage à 3, written by Giselle Lagaçe. Yuki’s character is hugely problematic for me…
In short, her dad writes hentai (pornographic) manga, and as a result she can’t see penises without freaking out and imagining them as tentacles, flying into a mindless destructive rage. This has lead to her only exploring sexual intimacy with women (which she enjoys). Lately, though, she’s experiencing romantic affection for Gary, another character in the comic (who is, for the record, a total virgin).
So, problems…. First of all, the idea that she needs to be “cured.” If this were focused only on recovering from the trauma of being confronted with violent sexual acts illustrated by her father and the resulting destructive tendencies this has given her (like destroying pictures of penises, etc.), I suppose I could understand it… But part of “being cured” seems to be being able to sleep with men. Because, you know, it’s not “normal” to only have sex with women (the only other female characters who engage in/are interested in female/female sex are all bisexual, although there is at least one male character who is only interested in other men). Even leaving aside that bit, though, I find it a really offensive characterisation of mental illness or PTSD or what-have-you. I’m sort of the mind that playing mental trauma for laughs is just Not Cool.
Secondly, that line about Japanese women? Racist. There’s currently a bit of a discussion in the forums about it (starts about halfway down the page), which consisted of a person saying “this is racist,” followed by a bunch of apologism… Ugh. How is it not a racist statement? So far the arguments are “but it’s not racist because it’s an attitude that pervades all cultures!” and “but it makes sense for the character!” and “but I know Japanese women who make this joke!” Listen. If you say that a whole nationality/ethnic group is x, especially when you are not from that group, and it’s derogatory/played for laughs? Racist. Sorry.
May 19, 2011 @ 12:31 pm