BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby Xabel Mind » August 14th, 2019, 12:33 pm

I'm investigating on this now.

A bit of context:

The big majority of BL, genre that started in Japan, was created by heterosexual women aimed for heterosexual women.

It is in fact a genre who came out of shojo (content aimed for female teens).

Het women were looking for a romance where females weren't an object subdued to their partner, but a romance where two partners explore love, sexuality, erotic desire... as equals.


The cause of tropes:

This genre appeared on the 60s/70s, with mass media displaying misoginy and homophobia all over the place.

The tropes you find is that misoginy and homophobia deeply inserted by mass media, convincing you that this is how a relationship works and how homosexuals are.

So there you have:

1.Characters rejecting being gay, they only love that special and unique person who happens to be a man.

2.The heteronormativization of the relationship: They are equals... until they become a couple. One shows up dominant, protector, active and the other passive and submissive, till the point of loosing all power of decision without previous consent.


Why there's different content now? More respectful and accurate?

My hypothesis: The LGBT+ community started making themselves visible.

They are doing BL too.

And their BL is accurate and respectful, because it isn't an idealized heteronormative romance from an opressed het woman, but a romance that shows bits of their identity and daily life matters.
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby StanleyComics » August 14th, 2019, 3:32 pm

Agreed with the previous comment.
Personally, I dislike the uke/seme system that keeps being used in BL manga, for the following reasons:
Yes, there are a lot of relationships, which are made off of one top and one bottom. Those are only sexual positions, though (and they are not set in stone, once in a relationship).
The seme and uke system isn't just about sex, it's about the characters' roles in the relationship as a whole. The seme is "the man" and the uke is "the woman", which is totally missing the point of what gay relationships are about, which is two MEN.
In a true gay relationship, dominance and submission are interchangeable (also, I think that's the case in most stable relationships, despite of the sexes of the participants). The relationship is about compromise, understanding (from both sides) and it's about togetherness. There's no leader. The two parties operate with their own individuality, intertwining them and filling each other's gaps (no pun intended). They're not simply a dom and a sub. They're two parts of a whole.
Two guys, making each other better people and loving each other for their good sides and their flaws.
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby Xabel Mind » August 15th, 2019, 11:01 am

StanleyComics wrote:Agreed with the previous comment.
Personally, I dislike the uke/seme system that keeps being used in BL manga, for the following reasons:
Yes, there are a lot of relationships, which are made off of one top and one bottom. Those are only sexual positions, though (and they are not set in stone, once in a relationship).
The seme and uke system isn't just about sex, it's about the characters' roles in the relationship as a whole. The seme is "the man" and the uke is "the woman", which is totally missing the point of what gay relationships are about, which is two MEN.
In a true gay relationship, dominance and submission are interchangeable (also, I think that's the case in most stable relationships, despite of the sexes of the participants). The relationship is about compromise, understanding (from both sides) and it's about togetherness. There's no leader. The two parties operate with their own individuality, intertwining them and filling each other's gaps (no pun intended). They're not simply a dom and a sub. They're two parts of a whole.
Two guys, making each other better people and loving each other for their good sides and their flaws.


Thank you for respond, I was worried I'd be just nagging since this post is oldish o-o"

It's been delighting read you back :D
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby Shyads » August 15th, 2019, 4:33 pm

I don't really know if there is one source thats "better" than the other because the second I see a tag or the author mention the term/refer to their comic as BL, I dont read the comic; I don't think anyone whos trying to be respectful and not just reducing men to fetish objects uses that.

unless theyre somehow INCREDIBLY misinformed to think this is just what mlm relationships are called in the real world? I get that there are new terms being invented all the time, but I definitely know BL isn't one of the positive ones (at least in the western world, idk if it actually means better things elsewhere)
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby eishiya » August 15th, 2019, 4:54 pm

@Shyads: Quite a few people think of BL as a catch-all term for any sort of mlm story (or at least, mlm comics with a manga-inspired style), so I wouldn't be surprised if there were some respectful portrayals labelled as "BL". It doesn't help matters that the term has different meanings in different places.
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby Shyads » August 15th, 2019, 5:01 pm

thats really unfortunate. I also gave it some thought and maybe an author would use that just for marketing, to draw in more readers? fujoshis are certainly a lucrative group to appeal to, I just cannot trust that label and have yet to see it used in any positive light
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby kayotics » August 15th, 2019, 7:03 pm

I mean, "mlm" isn't something that's used outside of niche internet groups either. That's a term that's probably less recognized than BL. Most people associate 'mlm' with multi-level marketing schemes, I promise you.

I would definitely categorize BL and LGBTQ+ comics as different genres, though. While BL doesn't have to be filled with offensive tropes, I would expect a BL comic to be mostly romance focused, mostly about two characters, and not be too concerned with LGBTQ issues. LGBTQ+ comics I'd expect to have a bigger cast of characters or a wider variety of identities, and maybe some romance-but it's not the focus.
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby Shyads » August 15th, 2019, 8:48 pm

^i'll agree with you that anagrams(wait is it annagram or acronym i forget) can mean a whole buttload of different things, but I still have yet to find a person calling their comic BL and not reducing gay and bi men to fetish material, all i see is people trying to call it yaoi without saying yaoi. Or, like i said maybe theyre just trying to steal money from creeps, which in that case is brilliant imo

though i also have seen something tagged lgbt turn out to be absolutely disgusting; tags dont always tell the truth of peoples intentions obvi, people are making new words and abusing them all the time
Last edited by Shyads on August 19th, 2019, 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby Dazombywoof » August 15th, 2019, 10:21 pm

Definitely not as bad as Japanese BL. Imo manhua and manhwa is superior to manga in terms of representing characters in a less objectified light and have much less rape portrayed as romance (there are a few bad examples but they're mostly overshadowed by the good). I've read tons of both manhua and webcomics that aren't shitty and openly objectifying queer men. In a genre saturated by cishet women fans and creators theres always going to be objectification but it's definitely not as bad as yaoi manga. I can count one hand non-shitty Japanese yaoi.
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Re: BL Manga, BL Webcomics and Harmful Tropes

Postby Xabel Mind » August 16th, 2019, 8:44 am

Shyads wrote: all i see is people trying to call it yaoi without saying yaoi.


"Yaoi" and "Boys Love" are synonims.

It just seem to got extended in the western the belief that "yaoi" implys explicit sex, but in Japan, where those nominations come from, both terms mean the same :D

Dazombywoof wrote:Definitely not as bad as Japanese BL.


It took many years for Japanese BL to get here.

That about publishing houses selling through the net the english version of hot off the press content is fairly new.

Till now, BL got here through the scanlations, groups of fans who did non-professional translations and shared with other fans (encouraging them to get a physical copy to support the author if the manga happened to be for sale in their country), that content they managed to gather; which was mainly pretty old, set on a past mindset, while japanese readers were reading new manga from authors in active that had the influence of these last years fight of the LGBT+ community and women rights.

It's now that you see respectful content, be it manga, manwha or webcomics, because it's content that's been created now, not ten or fifteen years ago.

Shyads wrote:fujoshis are certainly a lucrative group to appeal to, I just cannot trust that label and have yet to see it used in any positive light


"Fujoshi" is a peyorative name.

Create and consume BL has been considered as shameful as being gay for many years.

But, guess what? Now fujoshis took it and transformed it in part of their pride of love and have their right to enjoy homoerotic content.

Same happened with peyorative names directed to homosexuals, right?

I think it should happen the same with the term BL.

There's a negative meaning attached to it, and not because in itself is bad, but because the first content on this genre was unconsciouslly influenced by mass media misoginy and homophobia and we, on the Western, haven't got access to fresh content until recently.

There's still a long path and a lot of people whose contact with the LGBT+ community is as faint as barely know they exist by the News.

People to whom BL it's their first contact and source of info to know about relationships, sexuality, the LGBT+ community... it's safe experimentation and learning.

So how about make that content that you would like to see under the BL tag?

How about giving fujoshis and the LGBT+ community content that let them develop a sense of criticism over a kind of BL and the other?

Some content that give them a safe chance to learn about sexuality, sex, relationships, eroticism, the human body, libido... in an entertaining way and not feel bad about getting hot and repress themselves.
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