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Revisiting an old memory

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Recently, @Dreamysyu liked one of my older posts, and I felt it was worth revisiting three years later, simply because it has become an even more valid post in light of current events.

At the time I wrote this post, I was pretty angry.  Why?  I'd had the misfortune to see several fellow otakus who happened to be female being subtly (and not so subtly) denigrated by other male otakus at a small gathering at a local gaming event.  The girls were obviously enjoying their cosplay (it was a cosplay-allowed private event for jrpg-lovers of various ages without about fifty people), and they were discussing their favorite games as heatedly as you would expect from the obsessed types that show up at such events (I'm just as bad, obviously).  Unfortunately, about halfway through, several male members of the conversation turned the discussion to eroge, and sexual innuendos started flying at the girls mixed in with various poorly-used Japanese phrases that would have made me wince even if I hadn't hated the content of their statements. 

This was disgusting in and of itself, but it was obvious that the males in question were losing their grasp on the line between reality and eroge (exactly how is that possible, really?).  They started fantasizing openly about what would happen to the character versions of the girls' cosplay if they were put in an eroge... and things just got out of hand from there.

Now, this is just one event that I attended on a whim (under my real name) because I got an invite from an old friend.  However, I had to wonder afterwards... how many of us fail to understand just how warped the sexual viewpoints in VNs are?  I've always been well-aware of it, but I got the impression that those males (listed as 'kids' in my mind, due to my extreme old age of 34 at the time) had no understanding of just how warped those viewpoints are.

I've always understood that most of the Japanese VNs I've read are fundamentally sexist on some level (some weren't, but most were), but I felt like I was listening to someone born in a different universe at that moment.  Perhaps it is because I really don't see rl women as subjects of sexual attraction anymore, but I honestly couldn't comprehend on a gut level falling into that kind of pattern of behavior with someone I was conversing with in a congenial manner only moments before.   It bothered me then and it bothers me now that others could.

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People get drawn to types of media for several reasons, a possible one being that they share their personal views and values. As you pointed out, most eroge are sexist to some degree, some of them completely objectify women, so it's only logical that some fraction (even if it's really small) of its fandom likes the genre because of all the sexism, not despite all the sexism. If people who share these views get into an environment where they feel enabled to express them, you quickly get a situation like the one you described.

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