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Representational Appropriation and the Autonomy of Desire in Yaoi/BL

Representational Appropriation and the Autonomy of Desire in Yaoi/BL

Chapter:
(p.210) Representational Appropriation and the Autonomy of Desire in Yaoi/BL
Source:
Boys Love Manga and Beyond
Author(s):
Ishida Hitoshi, Katsuhiko Suganuma
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628461190.003.0011

This chapter explores the ways in which critical issues of representational appropriation are belittled by way of both apologetic gesture and shielding. This chapter's analysis is twofold: while critiquing the separation between fantasy and reality—“they do not represent gay men in reality”—it aims to critically reflect upon this perspective in order to better understand the elements intrinsic to the genre. The fraught relationship between gay men and Boys Love (BL) creators goes back to a 1992 article by gay critic Satō Masaki, who argued that BL represented misappropriated gay romance. Gay men also observed that the protagonists deny or repudiate homosexuality since it is important for the female readership that these characters experience an exclusive attraction to each other. Despite engaging romance, these characters reject homosexuality and are often troubled by feelings of guilt or repulsion, as if same-sex love were a bad thing.

Keywords:   representational appropriation, apologetic gesture, shielding, gay men, BL, Satō Masaki, guilt, repulsion, same-sex love

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