Aniblogger Attitudes on Romance

Deb Aoki responded to ‘How to Not Man Up‘ with actual tips on how men should act.  As it was representative of how female bloggers responded, this was really interesting.  The objections I had raised were: first and foremost, that the advice was assuming too much when it assumed that the “failure at life” of John was directly caused by his failure to woo Sarah (such that fixing the latter would fix the former), and second, that they weren’t even going about correcting it in a coherent way.

We shouldn’t suggest that doing a ton of things you don’t like to try to satisfy a woman who ultimately doesn’t want you is “manning up.”

It is, at best, merely a different brand of failure.

So, seeing as she never questioned the basic assumption – that if you are male, you automatically need a girl to be happy, above and beyond other pursuits in life* – I wondered if this acceptance of the basic premise was gender linked.  If so, it would hardly be surprising – women are bombarded with images of domesticity, coupledom, and romance from an early age, and even a worldly and sophisticated professional critic might be affected.  Nevertheless, it would be an interesting find, because to reveal such a bias opens up the possibility of addressing it.

What did I find?

For those who discussed whether or not the relationship advice was valid, there was no real difference in the proportion of those who firmly accepted the premise versus those who firmly rejected it.  However, a greater proportion of male respondents managed to ignore the issue entirely, and focus on some other aspect of the comic.  Put in other terms, for roughly half the men, there were other arguments that might have primacy.  For a majority of women, the romantic issue was one they couldn’t avoid, even if they didn’t agree with it.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that drawing a conclusion is risky: the sample size is too small, and participation is voluntary.  However, as the anime blogosphere is itself a place where participation is voluntary, the skew for voluntary participation doesn’t really matter, because that same skew keeps people out of this community entirely.

Of course we have to be especially careful not to draw sweeping conclusions.  There were still 1/3 of the women that did not think the romantic angle was the main issue.  That said, it is interesting that there might be a significant difference in terms of how male and female members of the aniblog community react when romance is discussed.

Further research (with actual scientific rigor) is probably warranted.

*This is also tremendously heteronormative, but it’s apparently seen as excessive to point that out.

Published in: on July 14, 2010 at 3:55 PM  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t the post about me and Eugen here…

  2. I personally blame the combination of Train Man (Densha Otoko) and a lifetime of being put out in the cold by women I shouldn’t have had feelings for in the first place considering how bad they treated me, but I still chase romance even though I’m a bloke.

    Why? Because when I was looking for something to satisfy my urges to get a girlfriend I wanted an angle on that that wasn’t as exploitative as porn, but really both porn and romance are pretty idealistic aren’t they?

    I mean this is a kind of Karl Pinkerton “Ricky Gervais Show” rant here but really, I ask you, since Twilight is pretty much on the romance scale of things but’s dangerous because it makes women idealise a guy who cannot possibly exist in reality – and on the other end you’ve got something like Bible Black which from what I’ve heard objectifies women as much as it idealises them in porn (hentai), human beings can’t really win can they?

    Especially if you’re nerdy or lonely like I am. Half the problem is finding a woman to go out with – you don’t even factor in stuff like public transport vs. car driving, or whether you even have a driver’s license, which might affect how often you can meet ladies, what sort of places you go to, how you behave under stress, anxiety and personality disorders – things like that. The average man was summed up by Castlevania as it stole from German philosophy – “What is a man? A MISERABLE PILE OF SECRETS!”.

    And we keep these secrets in ourselves because we don’t really know what other people, specifically the opposite gender will think of us.

    A long ramble, but one last bit: Why didn’t you pimp my response comic to this issue, “Gentlemen Fear Blondes”? I thought that would have been relevant to the discussion of said comic in how realistic both parties are. Might have been horribly drawn but it had heart. Would do with a pro artist redrawing it.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by lora brain, David Jamess, Dale Scott, Tom jonson, Christoph Garla and others. Christoph Garla said: Aniblogger Attitudes on Romance « The Moritheil Review: If so, it would hardly be surprising – women are bomba.. […]

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