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Politics of Utopia

Politics of Utopia

Fantasy, Pornography, and Boys Love

Politics of Utopia
Boys Love Manga and Beyond
Rio Otomo
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter continues the discussion of Boys Love (BL) studies by interrogating BL narratives as feminist-utopian pornographic fantasies, with an analysis of the works of Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray, and Michael Foucault. It looks at feminist theories of how fantasy works in women's pornography in order to challenge the common perception that pornographic imagery is necessarily degrading or demeaning. The study relates to the false perception that participating writers and readers of BL are fujoshi, the “rotten girls,” who are sexually deprived in real life. To highlight this reading, it also contrasts the essentially narcissistic autoeroticism of Modernist writer Mishima Yukio's obsession with three-dimensional male bodies with female BL artists/readers' fascination with the flat, two-dimensional bodies of fantasized male BL characters. The absence of female characters in the BL text entails the negation of their own female bodies, and thus enables an erotic autonomy that is not tied to any specific viewpoint or sexual identity.

Keywords:   BL studies, feminist-utopian, Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray, Michael Foucault, feminist theories, fantasy, women's pornography, fujoshi, Mishima Yukio

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