Japan *Isn't* More Pedophiliac.
What Vice News got wrong & right.
How old were you when you heard about Japan’s wacky vending machines stuffed with the real underwear of school girls? I graduated high school less than a decade ago and this lame Gen X urban legend still made the rounds where I lived.
According to Vice News, Japan has a problem with pornographic Manga featuring young people. This issue, of sketchy comic book porn, has been a point of contention within many foreign anime circles for quite a while. While the Vice expose does raise a good few points I must ask this—should we really be advocating for arresting people based on hand drawings? I don’t personally believe this content is good. Much of it features extreme gore, abuse and non-consensual storylines that would be morally reprehensible if it were not drawings. As a woman I totally understand the aversion to this sort of material being widely accessible. When I lived in Tokyo my friend took me to a large Doujinshi book store where I saw various categories of manga porn that made me cringe.
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As much as I cringed and found the content to be disgusting I find this issue to be largely irrelevant. For one, we don’t have any consistent evidence on either side of the argument. There’s the libertine side that believes this material acts as a deterrent for would be IRL abusers. The other insists that people who consume this Manga will turn to abuse once the content no longer gives them dopamine hits. I have not seen a shred of concrete evidence either way and this argument seems to be far more based on morale than anything else.
Arguments on morale are just fine. I would rather consider how real-life young women, girls, kids are impacted. As someone who has worked in Japan’s idol industry I saw some shady shit.
I still can say in full confidence that I don’t believe Japan to be more pedophiliac but rather more tolerant. Let me explain — the average Japanese man is not buying sketchy hentai. The average person is not consuming this material. The average person is not an idol fan. If you’ve ever seen Japanese porn(which I was subjected to due to the nation’s convenience store tiggle biddies wide in the open policy) the women are pretty healthy.
The reason this material has been allowed for so long is because of Japan’s overall sexism. It’s not that there’s more people who enjoy these things but rather due to lack of women in leadership/political positions, this lends to a lack of legislation that reflects the interests of women.
To be frank, Vice definitely does not deserve the hate they’re getting from both Weaboos & Japanese Otaku—the doujinshi industry as a whole can be critiqued, just as art should be. However, I cannot say in good faith that I believe Japan to be more sexually perverse than anywhere else.