Back in February of this year, the United Nations put together a committee to discuss a number of topics relating to issues of sexual violence, fair pay and treatment of pregnant women in the workplace. At the very top of their priority the U.N., wanted to cover the possibility of Japan banning their very popular games, manga and anime that contain any kind of sexual violence against women. Japan’s Women’s Institute of Contemporary Media Culture responded to the U.N., with a very straightforward, uncompromising post.
“We are absolutely in agreement that the protection of the rights of women in Japan is important. On the other hand, we think it should be carefully and seriously evaluated whether the measures taken to ensure those protections are valid ones or not. If we are asked to consider whether “Protecting Women’s Rights in Japan” requires us to “Ban the Sale of Manga and Video Games Depicting Sexual Violence,” then we must reply that that is an absolute “no.”
“Reasons for Our Opinion:
“Reason #1 – The so-called sexual violence in manga and video games is a made-up thing and as such does not threaten the rights of actual people; therefore, it is meaningless in protecting the rights of women.
“Reason #2 – In Japan, and especially when it comes to manga, these are creative fields that women themselves cultivated and worked hard by their own hand to create careers for themselves. If we were to “ban the sale of manga that includes sexual violence,” it would do the opposite and instead create a new avenue of sexism toward women.”
Reason number two is very interesting in the detailed explanation that the post goes further into, because it explains that banning games, manga and anime containing sexual violence toward women would be sexist against women because a lot of them contribute to the industry and make a living in the field of games, anime and manga, such as the legendary Naoko Takeuchi who created the very popular Sailor Moon franchise.
Banning any material that contains sexual violence against women would effectively close down a lot of publishing houses that actually hire a lot of women, thus putting lots of women out of work… all so that the United Nations can feel good about pretending to protect fictional women.
More than anything, it makes the United Nations look racist for not understanding Japanese culture, it makes them look ignorant for not having looked into the employment statistics relating to women in the creative arts field in Japan, and it makes them look sexist for trying to put women out of work.
Then again, this is the same United Nations whose peacekeepers rape and kill kids, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we could add “misogynists” as a descriptor right up there alongside “pedophiles” when it comes time to quickly describe what the United Nations seem to be known for.
The post on the WICMC blog ends with the following…
“As stated above, we cannot say that banning the sale of manga and video games that “depict sexual violence” is valid, even if we were to agree that the goal of protecting the rights of women is correct.
“There is nothing to be gained from regulating fictional sexual violence. However, while you’re trying to fix the rights of fictional characters, you’re leaving the human rights of real women in the real world left to rot.”
And with that, Japan has firmly said “No” to the U.N.’s request to ban games, anime and manga containing “sexual violence”.