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justanother

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code of conduct suggestion
« on: May 26, 2014, 01:44:51 PM »

Can the organizers of Fanime take a stand against the sexualization of children at their event? There were anime theaters and panels that involved prepubescent girls depicted sexually (skimpy & form fitting clothing, nude, sexually suggestive poses, sexually charged dialog, sexually based plot). I didn't explore the hentai or yaoi, but I saw signs for shota, and expect many products sold in the vendor area involved the sexual depiction of children. I think this content gives the convention and Japanese culture a bad image. I (and perhaps others) would appreciate intervention on behalf of the convention organizers.

The code of conduct could simply be changed to prohibit the following:
1. Vendors and artists cannot sell or display products (anime, manga, pillows, prints, etc.) that depict prepubescent children sexually.
2. Videos played in the theaters cannot depict prepubescent children sexually.
3. Panels cannot display or promote products that depict prepubescent children sexually.

Fanime is supposed to be a safe place for everyone, but I think condoning the sexualization of children contradicts that.
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justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2014, 01:48:31 PM »

And just to be clear, I'm not complaining about the occasional naked child in anime. I'm complaining about explicitly sexual content. Legit cartoon pedophilia.
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otakuya

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2014, 02:50:12 PM »

While I get that the theme was a summer beach party, I don't get a lot of "cosplays" out there. Is practically being naked a cosplay? I'm all for promoting the codes of conduct
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justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2014, 03:00:22 PM »

While I get that the theme was a summer beach party, I don't get a lot of "cosplays" out there. Is practically being naked a cosplay? I'm all for promoting the codes of conduct
While I agree that the whole convention was sexualized (I hated my badge for this reason), I'd prefer to just focus on the pedophilia prevalent in the convention. I think that's actually an issue worth our attention. Adults wearing skimpy clothing is something I can tolerate. Adults lusting over prepubescent children is not tolerable.
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Konekogami

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2014, 05:56:50 PM »

For real live people, it would be a matter of enforcing a dress code.  Officially it says that

"Costumes and daily wear shall not expose the body in such a way as to be deemed indecent exposure under California and City of San Jose ordinances. Private parts must be covered in an opaque material and not be subject to slippage or gaps. Liquid Latex or other conformal body coatings that conform to the body will be judged on a case by case basis."    Of course with the amount of people at Fanime, I'm certain that dress code violations slip through. 

Which is a dress code that's a LOT more lenient than my home convention. 

As for media such as anime, manga, artwork, etc etc..  That's more vague.  I mean for one thing, how do you enforce that?  Yes there are series which explicitly sexualize children and the characters are stated as children, However they're rather unrealistic depictions, and then you have characters who are of legal age, but may be flat chested and short..  So you can't exactly say.. 

"Oh! That character is 4'7 and an A-cup! She's a minor!"   I mean, my roommate is in her 20s and she can fit into clothing from the children's section.

If you see a REAL adult getting creepy on a REAL LIVE minor.. do something about it.  Go get staff, yell out, draw attention.  Real children, and everyone for that matter, should be able to feel safe.  However, I wouldn't worry about an anime girl with a petite body in a bikini. 
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justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2014, 06:18:56 PM »

As for media such as anime, manga, artwork, etc etc..  That's more vague.  I mean for one thing, how do you enforce that?  Yes there are series which explicitly sexualize children and the characters are stated as children, However they're rather unrealistic depictions, and then you have characters who are of legal age, but may be flat chested and short..  So you can't exactly say.. 

"Oh! That character is 4'7 and an A-cup! She's a minor!"   I mean, my roommate is in her 20s and she can fit into clothing from the children's section.

If you see a REAL adult getting creepy on a REAL LIVE minor.. do something about it.  Go get staff, yell out, draw attention.  Real children, and everyone for that matter, should be able to feel safe.  However, I wouldn't worry about an anime girl with a petite body in a bikini.
Uh, we can start by banning things that advertise the sexual depiction of children (e.g., shota). The convention can make it policy that anyone who promotes the sexual depiction of children gets shut down. Introduce a review/investigation system for people to file complaints.

I randomly attended the panel on a video game called Vanguard Princess, which featured this character:
http://i.imgur.com/9b3lMlX.jpg
I simply asked the panel how old she is, and they told me eight.

Eight years old. This is how companies who use Fanime to promote their products view eight year old girls.
Even worse is some other guy in the audience responded to my criticism by saying he was drawn to Vanguard Princess because of this.

Things like shota merchandise and the Vanguard Princess panel create an open atmosphere for pedophiles to promote the sexualization of children. My intention is not to demonize pedophiles (I actually don't think they do anything wrong until they act on their desires; it's not their fault they're attracted to kids). However, I do not think this is the kind of message that should be promoted through the convention.

I do take your point that enforcement cannot be perfect (especially because it's common for copout excuses like "she's not ten years old...she's actually a 4000 year old alien who just looks like a child"). I don't have an answer for that. But the convention can certainly make it known that it does not condone pedophilia and will no longer allow the free for all environment for it that currently exists.

It blows my mind that the organizers approved the shota merchandise. It makes me wonder what other products take advantage of the convention's venue to promote pedophilia.
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Konekogami

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2014, 06:49:57 PM »

.. Yeah, but the thing is..   THEY DON'T RESEMBLE REAL LIVE PEOPLE.   You can't compare a picture of an anime character, or video game character or such to a real person.   Of course, if the artwork is extremely realistic that's another story, but you can't compare a fictional character who has bright pink hair, dinner plate sized eyes and a dot for a nose to a real live human being  To say that in promotes pedophilia seems to be a stretch to me since.. once again.. it doesn't look like a HUMAN BEING.

Media that depicts REAL children in sexualized situations is a problem,  Media that has realistically renderedchildren is a problem, real children being victimized is a problem.. 

Having a flat chested girl with dinner plate eyes, a dot for a nose and odd colored hair, wearing a bikini and suggestively eating an ice cream cone, really isn't a problem..  .. Even if her official profile says she's a ten year old girl. 

My take on it is.. worry more about real life, and less about fiction.
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justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 07:30:06 PM »

By that logic, fanfiction doesn't resemble real life because there are no pictures to show 100% accuracy.

The cartoons represent humans. Anime girls and boys represent human children. To represent them sexually (either visually or simply in writing) is to represent children sexually.

I don't understand how arguments to the contrary could possibly hold up, considering the plotlines of things like shota involve the child condition (innocence, dependence on adults, underdeveloped sexuality, naivete, etc.). It's total wish fulfillment.
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cutiebunny

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 09:29:36 PM »

Fanfiction is exactly just that - Fiction.

JA, I think you're overreacting.  Most people ( and I do stress most) who view anime can differentiate between real life and fantasy.  They may be sexually attracted to a character, but they don't walk down the street, moaning how unfair it is that no one looks like said character.  Nor do they walk down the street and actively fantasize about passerbys having relationships with each other.  The same for violent video games ; Most people who play them realize that going out and slaughtering people is wrong and would never consider doing so in real life.

Hentai, even those involving fictional children, is a way of safely releasing a fantasy.  I would much rather someone surround themselves with hentai featuring their fetish than do something foolish out of frustration because they can't legally satisfy that urge.  Ignoring  or worse, criminalizing their fetish is far worse, and could possibly lead more people to "snap" and act our their fantasy with real people.

Demanding that a convention ban anime and manga depicting minor characters in sexual situations simply because there's a possibility that someone viewing it might act out this fantasy with real people is not the right way to go about it as well.  You might as well ban everyone from driving a car because they're dangerous machines that could enable people to act out fantasies where real people could be hurt.

If you really want to change the way real life children are treated, might I suggest lobbying real life companies that make clothing for real life children to stop making short and revealing clothing?  Or perhaps protest that parents should not buy this type of clothing for their children, and those that allow their eight year olds to go out in public with revealing clothing to be prosecuted?  You'd probably be far more effective protecting real children than trying to argue that media featuring made up children harms them.
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justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2014, 09:51:46 PM »

I object to making fictionalized sexual depictions of children illegal. I never suggested they should be illegal. Freedom of speech and all that.

What I am saying is that Fanime should not allow itself to be used to promote pedophilia. If someone wants to masturbate to children, he can stay in the dark corners of the Internet. Fanime should not be an open place for pedophiles to creep out of the woodwork and fantasize about violating children.

For some reason, most attendees seem totally okay with this. I think the reason for that is there is a long history of anime (and, really, the Internet in general) being so strange that people will tolerate anything. But fantasizing about childrape is definitely over the line. The Fanime organizers should respect that line and acknowledge that pedophilia is not acceptable for their event.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2014, 10:47:24 PM by justanother »
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justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2014, 10:46:28 PM »

Also, I do understand the point that it's better for pedophiles to get their rocks off to cartoons than to engage in actual violence against children. I think that's a valid point (and one I have actually maintained for years in defense of protecting the rights of people to fictionalize child molestation).

But that's a separate issue. Fanime's purpose is not to be a support group for pedophiles or to provide them with that safe outlet. Fanime's purpose is to celebrate anime. Does Fanime want to be known as the place pedophiles should go to get their child porn fix?
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otakuya

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2014, 10:50:29 PM »

That can be said at every anime convention. It's not the fault of the artists or animation companies to regulate their forms of entertainment. That's the way anime culture is nowadays.
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justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2014, 11:16:02 PM »

That can be said at every anime convention. It's not the fault of the artists or animation companies to regulate their forms of entertainment. That's the way anime culture is nowadays.
That's exactly my point. We shouldn't tolerate it. We should object to it. Other anime conventions are wrong for promoting child sexualization as well. If I attended other conventions I would raise a stink there. But I don't, so I'm starting with Fanime.

But we should hold the artists and animation companies accountable. They're the one perpetuating the sexualization of children. If it doesn't stop with them, who does it stop with? Or are you saying if the market demands the product then the product is justified?

They can create what they want, but they shouldn't be allowed to bring it to Fanime. It sullies the rest of the genre.
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cutiebunny

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2014, 06:36:29 AM »

That's exactly my point. We shouldn't tolerate it. We should object to it. Other anime conventions are wrong for promoting child sexualization as well. If I attended other conventions I would raise a stink there. But I don't, so I'm starting with Fanime.

Once again, the portrayal of animated characters is not the same as real life children.  One is a fantasy involving fantasy characters.  The other involves real people, with real feelings, that are victims.  The two are completely different. 

You've already acknowledged that this involves "fantasy" children, and thus that makes the rest of your argument regarding their exploitation as invalid.

It was only a couple years ago where homosexual marriage was illegal in the United States.  By your logic, should we have outlawed yuri and yaoi simply because made up characters were engaging in sexual acts with the same gender?

If you don't like the way Fanime runs things, don't go.  Just because you've decided to go to this convention and you're clearly upset by the depiction of underage fantasy characters does not mean the rest of us are.  And, I'm sorry, but you taking offense at shouta/loli fantasy does not trump the interest in this subject from those that enjoy it.

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But we should hold the artists and animation companies accountable. They're the one perpetuating the sexualization of children. If it doesn't stop with them, who does it stop with? Or are you saying if the market demands the product then the product is justified?

No, we should hold the companies that produce revealing clothing for real life children accountable.  And we should hold the parents who buy these clothes and allow their children to dress in them accountable.  We should hold the media accountable when they air TV shows/commercials featuring a real child dressed inappropriately.  They are the ones that are depicting the sexualization of real children.

The artists who are depicting made up characters should not be held accountable because they are using fantasy characters.  Big difference.  Fantasy characters don't have feelings and can't be exploited.  They are not perpetuating anything and, if anything, provide people with a safe release of the sexualization that clothing companies and parents have perpetuated by allowing their children to dress inappropriately.


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They can create what they want, but they shouldn't be allowed to bring it to Fanime. It sullies the rest of the genre.

No, it doesn't.  Most anime fans practice and preach tolerance.  Just because I do not like a particular fetish does not mean that you should not be allowed to enjoy it.  And as long as the characters portrayed are fake, I see no reason why anyone should not be allowed to enjoy it.
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justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2014, 08:46:32 AM »

This back-and-forth obviously isn't going to change either of our opinions, so there's no point in continuing it.

If Fanime wants to promote pedophilia, it should keep the code of conduct as it is. If Fanime does not want to promote pedophilia, it should change it. I personally won't be returning unless (at the very least) Fanime stops promoting child rape in manga and anime.
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idontknow

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2014, 09:40:51 AM »

To justanother, I totally agree with you, but as mentioned before it's hard to determine the 'standards' for what 'sexualization of children' should be. Should it be limited to age? Their body? And/or both? And should it be limited to depictions of them that obviously promote the idea of sexualization, or should we include them wearing revealing outfits that were meant to be cute?

In my opinion, I don't think Fanime should fully ban it, but they should putting more restrictions. Maybe making theaters/panels that have any of this content should be restricted for 16+ and/or 18+ (although, making it 18+ kind of promotes the idea of pedophilia more, but that's a different story.) But doing this goes back to the set of standards again. What should the standards be?

justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2014, 09:52:30 AM »

Yes, I agree that it's a difficult issue to tackle without going overboard. There should be some standards and oversight, even if the policy is based on a case-by-case basis in which Fanime offers an open door to complaints which it can then investigate.

I'm thinking it could be like the bootleg policy. The standards are there to create an atmosphere that disapproves of bootlegging. But is it totally enforced? No, because that would be impossible. But Fanime encourages attendees to find staff if they suspect a product is bootlegged or otherwise infringes on an IP, then the staff member investigates. And if a vendor is caught bootlegging there are consequences.

Why can't Fanime take that approach with pedophilia? I'll concede that some porn simply has petite adults, and I'm not saying that shouldn't be allowed. But vendors and artists and panels should not be allowed to promote and sell content that is explicitly sexual regarding children. If there is a shota or loli manga that clearly identifies a child engaging in sex with an adult (i.e., being raped), staff should be receptive to complaints and follow through with consequences for the vendor/artist/panel.

Because Fanime is not the place to celebrate child rape fetishes.

Of course, there are going to be extremely ambiguous situations, which have been discussed in this topic already. But such ambiguity should not be used as an excuse to neglect standards. Simply setting the standards and enforcing them on a case-by-case basis creates an atmosphere of safety and respect regarding children and intolerance toward child rape fetishes.

It wouldn't change things overnight, but I think it would be a step in the right direction...which is sorely needed in the anime/manga/Internet realm.
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keitoghostie

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2014, 10:04:19 AM »

My concern is Fanime's ability to regulate this anywhere aside from at-con.

The panel approval process was slow nonetheless, and logistically I don't think they would be able to a. ask panelists about potentially sensitive content in their panel(s) and/or b. survey the material  and still have a process that works relatively quickly (even having it in a terms & conditions type thing might not work because there's a good chance panelists either won't read it or will just agree with it to get through)
That said, I do know that a panel called "A History of Lolis" was accepted and then pulled, which I appreciate because it's explicitly obvious that pedophilic material will be present (and I know it's gotten through in past years, which means that Fanime is on an upward trend as far as being aware and considerate goes)

I think it's reasonable to have Fanime staff ask dealers and artists to hide artwork or merchandise that has sensitive depictions of assumed minors, and have multiple strikes against them mean they are unable to attend the following year? But it's tough to find that balance, and I know that many artists and dealers feel pressure to provide what will sell (tying into the whole "loli/shota is a part of anime culture itself") and may overstep their own ideologies in the process.

justanother

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2014, 10:28:52 AM »

I didn't know about the loli panel Fanime pulled. I'm glad they changed their mind about that.

There's still more to be done, though. Like I said, I don't expect changes overnight. Fanime can start small. Like banning shota and loli porn altogether.

I'd support a system that blacklists certain people/companies, but I also recognize the danger that comes with blacklisting based on judgment calls. Still, Fanime could do more to end the widespread presence of pedophilia at the convention.
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cutiebunny

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Re: code of conduct suggestion
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2014, 12:30:34 PM »

Why can't Fanime take that approach with pedophilia?

Because, legally speaking, in the US, it is not considered punishable unless REAL CHILDREN are involved.

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Because Fanime is not the place to celebrate child rape fetishes.

No one is "celebrating" this.  Citing an 18+ viewing of an anime featuring this or a vendor selling doujinshi featuring minors does not mean the convention is 'celebrating' it.  Usually, these 18+ panels have a staffer that checks IDs and/or wristbands.  If this was not done, then, a specific complaint should be made to the con that the 18+ restriction was not properly enforced.  Same thing with vendors - they card buyers as well.

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Of course, there are going to be extremely ambiguous situations, which have been discussed in this topic already. But such ambiguity should not be used as an excuse to neglect standards.

Your standards.

Sellers should already be hiding this stuff at their booths.  I'd be really surprised to hear that Fanime allowed a vendor to display a huge, uncensored picture of an underage cartoon character in a sexual position.  Every con I have been to has required vendors to censor these images as their booths.  If this was not done this year, you should have reported the seller to the convention. 

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Simply setting the standards and enforcing them on a case-by-case basis creates an atmosphere of safety and respect regarding children and intolerance toward child rape fetishes.

What standards do you refer to?  Your standards?  The standards you feel every member of society has or should have?  Who gets to decide what the standards are?  And better yet, who would enforce these standards?  Fanime staff?  A government agency?  Lawyers?

I'm tired of a handful of people deciding what others 'should' and 'should not' like.  As long as no one is being hurt by these choices, it should be permitted. 

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It wouldn't change things overnight, but I think it would be a step in the right direction...which is sorely needed in the anime/manga/Internet realm.

Like any genre, you pick and choose what you like.  I am not a fan of certain fetishes, however, I support others' right to enjoy them provided no real living person(s) are harmed or exploited in any way.
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