Does Mayu Shinjo’s Work Supports Anti-Feminism?
I love a good shojo with beautiful artwork as much as the next girl. Sadly, unless its views coincide with my own it will not survive long in my library. For this reason, Mayu Shinjo is forever banned from my collection! Her work is beautiful and the angst is sublime, BUT the messages given in her work has me wondering if Mayu Shinjo is a woman at all. For those who don’t know, Mayu Shinjo is the creator of Demon Love Spell, Ai Ore, and Sensual Phrase, with a recurring theme of anti-feminism, male dominance and female inferiority.
I’ve tried to give her the benefit of the doubt multiple times but the more I read her work, the more I was let-down. As a shojo fan and as a woman, sometimes her stories just pissed me off. Many of her male characters sport a dominance and ego so big it ruins their looks, and the story. Certain readers may find this type of thing attractive, and it’s understandable. You have a male character who knows what he wants and how to get it, that can be a sexy trait in a man. But when they manipulate the girls they claim to love, you trade sexiness for narcissism.
The female types portrayed in Mayu Shinjo’s work are no better. They usually successful, independent young ladies doing their own thing until a man enters their life. Once their male partner shows up, it’s as if there’s no self-identity, no self-value or morals, and is a completely different person. Their personal boundaries are infringed on to no limit yet they still feel guilty when they come close to any semblance of standing up for themselves. Women’s rights and independence seem to be a non-existent concept in the world created in her books.
From the relationships portrayed, the meaning of love can also become blurred. I can easily see a young girl reading Maya Shinjo’s books and think this is what loves looks like in real life. I would rather believe every Disney princess movie than to support her work anymore. I just can’t support something where Young girls and boys may come to believe in a world where love is gained by force and manipulation.
What are your thoughts Readers? Do you agree or disagree? Leave your comments below!