Bonner Online-Bibliographie zur Comicforschung
Bonn Online Bibliography of Comics Research

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McLelland, Mark J. "The Love Between ‘Beautiful Boys’ in Japanese Women's Comics." In: Journal of Gender Studies 9.1 (2000), S. 13––25. 
Resource type: Journal Article
Languages: englisch
Peer reviewed
DOI: 10.1080/095892300102425
BibTeX citation key: McLelland2000
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Categories: General
Keywords: Gender, Japan, Manga, Sexualität
Creators: McLelland
Collection: Journal of Gender Studies
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 sexually 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.
  
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