Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Shojo for girls and boys in U.S.?

Johanna questions why Shojo manga is described as being for both girls and boys in the U.S.

In my opinion it is likely described as such so as to not scare off male readers, some of whom may look at anything that says "targeted for girls/women" as reading "anti-boy."

Of course I'm weird and have always found the stuff supposedly targeted at boys --big explosions, women in little clothing, with little to no characterization or personal elements beyond "I'll save you from that horrible man/monster Jill/Johanna/Denise!"-- stuff sort of insulting to my intelligence.

While I look at the stuff targeted supposedly at girls/women --personal issues, world events, finding true love, interpersonal conflicts-- and gone "ooh interesting!"

Yet I know for many people, especially young boys, anything described as for girls can have negative connotations for them if a boy is interested in it. It seems more acceptable for girls in our society to be interested in typical "boy" targeted entertainment.

Likely due to the still overriding domination of male targeted entertainment in TV shows and movies, leaving them with very little choice in the matter. Though the rash of teenage girl targeted movies like "Mean Girls" and "Lizzie McGuire" may be changing that trend thankfully.

Yet boys interested in anything thought of as "for girls" are often derided, chastised and made to choose something else in most instances. Leading to a real defensiveness that can come out any time that is questioned. Ever try and describe a boy's G.I. Joe toys as dolls, to only be loudly corrected that they "are not dolls, but action figures!"?

Perhaps this view will eventually change, but for now it doesn't seem that likely.

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