Manga may just be pictures, but even so, they are damaging because they normalize pedophilia. Pedophilia should be taboo - it should be regarded as an unspeakable, undrawable horror, because that is the only way to bring about an acceptance in society that it is unequivocally unacceptable.
Japanese official atttudes towards sexualty are very contradictory, and have a lot to do with enforcing power structures. The artist who was arrested for making a model of her private parts was attempting to subvert the system in which women exist exclusively for the benefit of men, and this was deemed unacceptable and obscene. However, when sexually explicit images help to reinforce the status quo - when they depict men controlling women and children - they are deemed acceptable. As long as girls and women continue to be degraded in porn, whether in manga or elsewhere, they will be demeaned in real life. This country has a real problem with equality. It needs to get a grip.
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Glad to know I'm not the only one who is struggling with the obdurate refusal to use soap after the toilet here. Constant fight with my in-laws. I've had more food poisoning in Japan than I ever had in my whole life before I came here.
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Posted in: Don't let it bug you - how not to worry