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Posts Tagged ‘cartoons’

1-499x387[via sociological images]

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So my friend sent me this article today – published in the NY Times a few months ago – about Japanese men who have relationships, not with dolls, but with 2-D pillowcases that are illustrated with anime characters. The worst part about it is that these anime characters are all illustrated to look like young teenagers posed in sexual positions. I’m sorry, but how is this different than child pornography?

Some of these men bring these pillows with them everywhere:

He treats her the way any decent man would treat a girlfriend — he takes her out on the weekends to sing karaoke or takepurikura, photo-booth pictures imprinted on a sheet of tiny stickers. In the few hours we spent together, I watched him position her gently in the restaurant booth and later in the back seat of his car, making sure to keep her upright and not to touch her private parts.

I just don’t understand how someone actually thinks that it’s okay to have a meaningful relationship with a 2-D cartoon character. The article suggests that it is especially hard in Japan for young people to navigate a meaningful love life, and that this fact might contribute to the rise of these 2-D relationships. I find this hard to believe. There are hundreds of thousands of people who have trouble finding dating successfully, and yet they do not turn to dolls or 2-D cartoon characters to fill that void in their lives. I think that these doll phenomenons speak to a culture of men who want to be able to objectify women in a way that they cannot, so they turn to inanimate objects who will not resist.

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