But since I am here already, today I'd like to write about powerful women. The past weeks I have been thinking about what is the best way to overcome the overly attached, unspoilt, cute, quiet, and sometimes annoying view of women that a lot of people/men have and that is generally really popular in anime/manga/games and the Japanese culture.
To be honest, I am extremely tired of this perception.
One of the things annoying me in particular is men ignoring women's real character, particularly Japanese men (probably because Japanese girls are so quiet?). I have even talked to man who dared to interpret a woman's characters in a completely twisted way - and while I didn't know what her true intentions really looked like, I was quite sure he was only interpreting it that way because it fitted him that way and pushed his ego (he basically said that she was sort of fond of him but she never spoke about him to me).
One example: By chance I read online (true story) that a Japanese guy asked for advice on a site where you can ask people questions more or less anonymously - something like yahoo answers. The title of his question was: 'Women who have no need for boyfriends'. So he was telling his story of how he was in love with this girl and knew she broke up with her ex because she didn't need a boyfriend and wanted to have time to pursue her hobbies and find new friends (=totally understandable if you ask me). Then when the guy says when he asked her what relationship they have, she said she doesn't know and when he asked her what he is to her, she replied with 'important'.
So the guy is wondering if the girl would remember him when she wanted a boyfriend and says that probably timing is important - and then asks the others what they think.
And what is the second line (after the greeting) this j*** from the top answer says to him?
'I don't think there is any woman who doesn't need a boyfriend.'
I really lost it when I read that. He didn't say that he doesn't think there isn't any girl who doesn't WANT a boyfriend, he literally said he thinks every girl needs a boyfriend (or else she isn't a real girl or what?)!! From what he wrote, this is one of the guys who thinks if they put kindness coins into a girl she will be what he wants her to be... that women can't manage their life on their own! While even from my thesis I read about researches that make obvious it is JAPANESE MEN who cannot get along in life when they get a divorce.
You know, if it is some other sort of 'light' sexual harassment, I don't mind it as much as this. Attacking women to not be able to get along on their own is so terribly rude, I really start wanting to punch someone!
And this kind of thinking goes up to a level where I am ashamed of men, like when I read this article. I am particularly angry and willing to find way to change and attract awareness to what is happening because this kind of situation of women in the workforce is a part of my thesis.
But that is also when I start realizing that by the years, there is more women working in full-time positions in Japan and having careers in typically male working fields.
One of the things that also made me realize Japan's society and perception of women is changing was when I was yesterday looking for an anime with an elder protagonist (one not in school anymore, I am tired of the characters with a childish mind-set), I was surprised to find one from the Sci-Fi genre called 'Psycho-pass' that grew more and more on me and of whom I did not strongly dislike any female characters.
This is extremely rare because isn't there always some annoying, overly cute girl who speaks in a high voice and who's life has no use? (Basically they are called 'Shojo' and there is research papers about them too!)
But while the female protagonist (Akane) in 'Psycho-pass' does have a higher voice, she is not a shojo with no use, she has a job and is considered calm and ambitious, and always did well in her studies during school/training. But the other girls in this anime are more mature, have a job and also make themselves useful for the society they live in. I was extremely surprised that I was becoming fond of all the female characters, even so the protagonist's friend Yuki who works as a blue-collar worker which is actually very rare because those workers are the ones that do manual labour - they work with their hands, use heavy machines for things like construction etc. Though this could be an 'easier' job too, this is the image you usually get when you hear from blue-collar workers.
And that's not all. Yuki is very considerate of the 'air' she creates and how other people around her feel, though she might look a bit like a selfish person from the first view. She is soft, maybe a little cute but by no means is she the dependent kind of girl; she does not have a boyfriend, and on top of that, she does not mysteriously fall in love with the male protagonist who saves her life and is smart enough to follow the instructions he gives her in a dangerous situation (yet with a bit of resistance... meaning you get she is thinking for herself).
In fact, none of the girls in this anime seem to be magically drawn to a guy just because he is cool or good-looking or anything like that. It's the other way round actually - one good-looking main character guy (Shuusei) finds most girls too intimidating and tries to find a quiet, weak, calm girl for himself which does not really work out for him in the end.
Another bad-ass woman is Shion, who does the analyst work (originally though she is a physician) and is extremely attractive if you ask me. Yet, surprisingly her whole team takes her seriously. She 27 years old, wears those provocative red clothing that shows a lot of skin and is educated and smart (& you usually would rather see this kind of playful but smart female character in US shows, right?)
Shion on the left and Akane on the right
She is also very open with sexual topics (saying things like 'I bet the bra I'm wearing today on this!' in a public discussion) and not at all intimidated by men, taking sexual harassment - in the form of someone grabbing a girls butt at work - not too seriously ( if I'd be an anime character I think I'd be her haha).
...talking about one of her female coworkers here.
There is more girls, but since I am still in the middle of watching this, I will stop here because I don't want to take the fun away for now. Let me only mention that the head of the police department is an elder women.
But while you might all already know that I am impressed with strong (blonde) female characters, don't you think these girls even go one step further with their whole being? None of them cares about men and they all have work and focus on it or the way they want to lead their life. And men take them seriously!
Seeing this anime made me really happy because not only that it is very interesting to see another Sci-Fi future, and follow the philosophical talk that leads you to think about how the world is working and how it should be working but it also shows another future vision of strong women. I really really hope Japan's society is going, at least with a few women, into this direction and if you want a good anime, please check this one out. I'd like it if a lot of girls watched this one.
If you're slightly interested, maybe the cool opening might convince you to give it a shot~
If you are, like me, extremely upset with too young characters and weak female characters that are being nothing but useless (or maybe are only used as eye candy), this is really something for you. I was surprised myself how extremely drawn I was to this from the start (& after the 4th or 5th episode it gets really thrilling).
Okay, changing the topic slightly now - but not really.
Other than gaining respect for a profession that you have to put a lot of effort into by studying, what is another way for a modern women to become independent and respected by others?
You have an answer? - Well, there is more than one answer but the one I have in my head is:
opening your own business.
How do we do that? Well, I am not actually here to teach you how to open your own business because to be blunt, I have no idea haha. But you can practice this kind of thing by opening your own host club!
You don't believe me? Have a look at it yourself!
Now what is this sparkly good-looking guy business here? It's a browser game you can play on ameba called 'My little hosts' where you open your own host club and manage it (by simple leveling up hosts).
Actually the title differs slightly each time the event changes but it's something like
'Protect me! -kanji that are pretty badass & I'm too lazy to look up but that name the current event- My (little) hosts'
With that you get the idea what it is about... right? - But to be honest, when I first looked at it from the title I really thought that I was just some kind of help at the place.
Usually, in host clubs there is no female staff (in contrast, hostess clubs usually have male waiters) so I was quite surprised that in the game you got to work there as a girl. Since I don't know too many kanji but could navigate myself through the game, I kept guessing that as a girl working there you might have some kind of accounting position in the 'back', which seemed the most logical to me ... until it came out that you can talk to the guys and they actually call you 'owner'!!
So that is how the story starts, you have this club and you walk around the street and recruit guys for it (I am quite sure it's much easier than in real life). They come up to you, most of them being polite but some, especially in the beginning, saying that a female owner is so rare... or something like 'Oh there is something like that, a female owner?' or 'Don't think you can become friends with me'.
Soon you will realize that most of the guys you recruit are quite nice to you. Each time when you are meeting a new face, that person will come up to introduce himself to you and many of them have actually real voices (some from very popular anime seiyuu I guess?).
Guys who want to try working at your club introduce themselves to you first.
(Hosts that are rare have a voice attached during that, 'plain' guys ones don't)
On top on that, you can unlock their stories by leveling them up and go on dates with them to make their charming power even stronger. When you go on dates with them, you give them a call and you'll get a voice answering if they have time for the date (when they have the voice attached... some don't).
... unlocking & reading their stories and hearing their voice again when they have one attached.
Just giving them a straight call, you can invite the guys who work for you to a date (if you have a date ticket)!
You're THE female pimp!
Then there is another kind of date, or event that you can go to other than to work. By going to the event (this was an event during rainy season) you can gather experience points for yourself, as well as rewards (roses) when the hosts protect you against some evil guy that is trying to do you harm. The roses can be exchanged for random prizes that are 'money', energy drinks to fill up your empty energy gauge or something like new hosts. The hosts are displayed as cards.
... some normal date (?) event and then a rainy day date event
There's also a way to have call battles (probably from 'champagne call battles' ?) where you can let your hosts fight (or rather drink) against another owner's hosts. Only the 5 most popular/strongest host will be doing this work, they will win experience and some kind of 'puzzle' bonus one can collect. Besides that there is also 'normal' work where you and your host can gain experience points and through which you can meet new hosts.
Actually, rather than me explaining any more of that, you should try it yourself if you want to be the owner of a host club for once! The downside is that it is almost all in Japanese, especially the conversations. You might get the idea if you understand only little of it though. And then there was this one Engrish scene that was almost perfect English but then they didn't make it.
I am being mean... but, instead of talking any more about it, please check it out on ameba yourself (it's a free Japanese blogging site). I think you need an ameba account to play it but you'll see the game right away in the games section.
If you don't feel like playing it, this game actually seems to be modeled after an entertainment (?) TV show that is only on since a few months if I got it right.
It's a little different but then the girl seems a bit more powerful than usual real Japanese girls and the guys (especially one who sells flowers) are extremely surprised to hear that she is the owner of a host club which upsets the owner sometimes. It then gets funny when the hosts seem to be romancing the female owner a little but she also seems to have fights with the staff.
To be honest, the game seems more 'serious' to me with the idea of a female leader. Then again the girl in the TV show doesn't seem to be very educated, so maybe there is a slightly bad view on her because of that and not only because she is in a leading position (hierarchies in business positions in Japan are generally really tough when it comes to someone's education/experience).
You see, there is many options opening up for ambitious women these days and I feel like these struggles to be accepted as a woman who is attractive, smart, educated and independent are slowing becoming recognized as we are little by little less discriminated by our age, too (at least I hope this is the direction it is going towards).
I hope women can be recognized as intelligent and independent even when they decide to care about their looks & to be beautiful, and that women who are intelligent are not seen as men's enemies. And I hope that women set goals for themselves for the future other than watching their 'outer beauty' fade.
After all, I just hope that if hey wish to, women can get the chances to work in the same professions as men (e.g. managers, blue collar workers) and become proud of that, as well as I hope that men will not be discouraged to work in positions that are in typically female field (e.g. nail-artist).
This was a very long post,
If you like, please also share your opinion in the comments, I am really interested to hear it ♡