The love between 'beautiful boys' in Japanese women's comics

McLelland, M. J. (2000) The love between 'beautiful boys' in Japanese women's comics. Journal of Gender Studies, 9 1: 13-25. doi:10.1080/095892300102425


Author McLelland, M. J.
Title The love between 'beautiful boys' in Japanese women's comics
Journal name Journal of Gender Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0958-9236
Publication date 2000-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/095892300102425
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 9
Issue 1
Start page 13
End page 25
Total pages 13
Editor Jenny Wolmark
Ros Billington and Diane Dubois
Place of publication Basingstoke
Publisher Carfax Publishing, Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Subject C1
420303 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
750303 Gender
Abstract This paper investigates why the love between 'beautiful youths' (bishoonen) should have become one of the most recurrent romantic tropes in comics both written by and aimed at Japanese women. I argue that women writers draw upon mainstream representations of homosexual men as somehow feminine, but treat this stereotype favourably, creating the figure of the 'beautiful youth' an androgynous being who possesses a feminine sensibility and yet experiences all the advantages of a male body. I show how mainstream Japanese culture attempts to limit women's sexuality to its reproductive role within marriage, troubling women who express themselves sexuality outside marriage with the image of the 'menacing foetus' I argue that the beautiful youth is a figure of resistance: one way in which Japanese women can picture themselves as loving freely in a Patriarchal system, without being subordinated to the reproductive constraints of the family.
Keyword Social Issues
Social Sciences, Interdisciplinary
Women's Studies
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 10 Jun 2008, 21:11:19 EST