In my years consuming media, I’ve encountered certain beliefs and behaviours that never fail to frustrate me. One of them is women’s entertainment and their creators being diminished or regarded with contempt just for targeting women. There is a double standard at play: media targeted at or starring women is “for girls,” while media targeted at or starring men is “for everyone” (unless, of course, someone who isn’t a man is critical of it; then it wasn’t “for them”).
My love for action frequently leads me to shounen, and I often love a story but frustratedly wish the girls would get to do more. Or even worse: I wind up wishing the story would treat them better. But when that discussion happens, there’s a common pushback: “shounen is for boys.” This implies boys don’t need compelling, nuanced women in their stories, and ignores the benefits this would bring to both female and male readers.
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