This stems from my last post on what to review, and comes yet again from a comment made by Tina:
…but I noticed one blog reviewed a BL title by the mangaka [Gerard and Jacques] that in her opinion: opens up with a rape. 0_o. As a as BL fan, the first think I did was, rack my brain trying to remember if there was any ‘violence’ at the start of G/J because the ‘no no stop–’ and the ‘you’re going to have to anyway’ dynamic is so normal in BL that I no longer looked at it as rape…
This, out of all her comments worries me the most, she no longer sees rape as rape. I read Gerard and Jacques a while back, and while I enjoyed the later parts, the rape element at the beginning did set my teeth on end, especially because of the age and setting.
The beginning of the book starts with Jacques being sold to a brothel, with an age of 16 or 17. He’s then raped by Gerard.
…it’s erotica. It’s meant to turn us on, or spark our sexy notions of what’s romantic or hot…
How can graphic rape be considered erotica? I’ve read other manga and novels where rape has played a part, however in those it has always had a minor part to play and is usually a past occurrence that is revealed as a way to show character development. I don’t have an issue with this, because it’s usually handled rightly, without glamorising it.
However in Gerard and Jacques I can’t help but feel that rape is being glamorised, especially when a member of the fandom say’s that she no longer sees rape as rape. If it was a woman being raped I wonder if she’d feel the same way? Or it’s only okay because it’s a man being forced into sex.
Anything that glamorises rape or sexual assault shouldn’t have a place on the shelves.
The fact that this aspect is so common in BL manga is even more worrying, can they only have BL stories if there’s rape involved? are the few without rape considered as bad works?
Why is rape such a large part of BL, yet isn’t a large part of Yuri/GL or any other genre. What makes BL feel they need to include rape for the story to work?
I’m not a huge fan of BL, I never have been, the few I have read however have all been without rape scenes, and frankly i really enjoyed them. So if stories can be done, and done well without rape why add rape?
I find it rather sad that rape is being used so blatantly in BL, especially given all the press we’ve had of late. Especially in the UK we’ve been pushing how women always have the right to say no, and that rape is the most heinous of crimes carrying severe sentences. I’m not sure, but i think it’s the same in the states. If a comic book was to have a male on male rape scene all hell would break loose, and can you imagine if it was an anime that aired on TV?
Because it’s a manga however it’s perfectly fine to have rape, so much so that it isn’t rape anymore, it’s just another element of story to be used to sell volumes.