Japanese prefectural authorities charged with censoring manga have been caught saying that titles in which women take the lead are “very dangerous” as they may “promote homosexual development amongst the youth.”
From the minutes of the 13 member “2nd Miyazaki Prefectural Commission for the Promotion of Healthy Youth Development,” a local government body charged with censoring ‘harmful literature’ (the ‘harmful literature’ such bodies concern themselves with is virtually always manga):
[The committee is discussing the wickedness of displaying “boys love” and “ladies comics” amongst ‘normal’ non-adult manga in local bookstore shelves]
Committee Member A:
In these books there is some violence and cruelty, and most have sexually provocative material.
In particular, many include scenes of women taking the lead ahead of men, and I think they’ll promote the prejudiced view that women want this.
And if you keep getting these depictions of women taking the lead, matters soon develop in a homosexual direction and it must become difficult to develop sexually in a normal fashion, mustn’t it?
This may not always be the case, but I think for the male conciousness they may end up thinking they cannot take the lead themselves, and so they tend to turn homosexual more often as a result.
I can’t help but think it is very dangerous to our young people, should they see this sort of material mixed in amongst normal books.
No objection to these sentiments were recorded in the committee minutes, although whether this reflects the consensus opinion of the committee or merely the Japanese custom of never arguing or telling the truth in public in case it might cause group discord is not clear.
The body’s suggestions for works to be designated as ‘urgently designated harmful entertainment’ were apparently accepted. The committee could not decide on any titles to recommend, as it was “difficult.”
Online, the remarks have attracted a storm of criticism, not least because it is readily apparent that the self-appointed prudes charged with censoring manga are absolutely crazy:
“These people do not in any way have the requisite intelligence to debate this sort of thing, they are just forcing their prejudices onto other people.”
“They just treat anything they don’t like as unnatural or unhealthy. Who knows what they think is natural…”
“These people are like the ‘Pornography and Sexual Violence Victims Association’ extremists behind the Tokyo manga ban, saying people who read manga are mentally defective.
Funnily enough, they never said anything about Ishihara’s bashing of homosexuals. I suppose the only human rights worth defending are the ones which benefit their interests.”
“I cannot believe this committee has managed to come to the conclusion that an ‘environment which promotes homosexuality’ (and there is no scientific consensus as to whether homosexuality is environmental or genetic or both) is ‘very dangerous.'”
“The only prejudice here is that displayed by the person in this committee! Please, give this nonsense a rest.”
“I hope this member will write a manga featuring what they regard as ‘normal sexual relations’…”