Maybe we read manga art styles in opposing ways

Rob, I really love boingboing and I totally respect you…but dude what does this mean, exactly?

“With her game obsession, flat affect and passive defiance, she’s an antifeminist adolescent’s perfect fantasy gal.”

Maybe we just think about words differently, but passive defiance sounds empowered, no? To me, her facial expression says “I don’t take shit from nobody.” Maybe we read manga art styles in opposing ways. I see nothing designed to necessarily attract “antifeminists” here.

I’m not going to touch the colors thing…I have no interest in GG whatsoever I was just confused by this introductory description of yours. Care to expand?

This post is about ‘the colors thing’.

[the original post]


I figure facial expressions don’t actually mean anything. Because I can’t read them, and I know that people who think they can read them often misread them.

[I get the impression that reading facial expressions might be slightly more reliable than reading personality from the size of the nose or the shape of the skull or the folds of the left hand. Neurodevelopmental differences can sometimes affect head shape and sometimes affect personality, so it would be slightly better than chance. But reading facial expressions doesn’t seem to be nearly as reliable as most non-autistic people seem to assume if they mention it.]

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Another man with no interest in GG (and therefore no interest in the women it negatively and dangerously affects…) who totally has ab opinion on it.

As was said, this is off-topic, but I thought I might point you toward a little more on the subject. There’s a fairly standard gamer chick trope, and while they might seem capable at first glance, they have a tendency to be used as more of a wish-fulfilment stand in.

For instance I remember there was an essay on their appearance in webcomics by Wednesday White, which unfortunately seems to have gone down but is still available from Geek Women - Your Little Standards-Compliant Fantasy. Vivian James looks to have been pulled from that tradition.

Have a look, and maybe also reconsider whether gamergate is worth any attention, because there are some people out there who don’t share our choice whether to ignore it.

I don’t need a lecture on what I’m allowed to reply to, thanks.

I’m not personally interested in “the colors thing” but I feel like the intro paragraph was baiting and pointless and beneath the level I’m used to seeing Rob write at. I’m allowed to say so. Everyone have a nice day.

Actually, I think it’s a totally valid question, and was also totally off topic in the other discussion.

There is a “Reply as linked topic” option (look up and to the right) for questions like this one, so go forth and discuss your topic without drawing the ire of the people interested in “the color thing”. Yo dawg, I created this new topic for the new topic with the new topic in the new topic. Everyone wins!


I would argue Vivian James is not manga, unless you are saying it reflects an old style of the format. That or you call a shockingly amount of comics influenced by manga. Either way, Vivan James’ entire description is passive defiance with no characterization outside “likes video games and hoodies.”

I think of VJ as a bland representation of how some people on 4chan think a “properly assimilated” gamer grrrl should be. It’s probably ones of the less offensive ideas to come out of all this, but indicates some dubious stereotypes and ideas some people are working from.

One of the most preposterous indications of male gamer anxiety in that community is the “there are no girls on the internet” meme. It drastically fails to make sense in a number of ways:

  • Females do not use the internet.
  • Any females you meet are really guys in disguise.
  • If they are not guys in disguise, they are making a point / looking for attention / confronting you by being there.
  • But if they are self-deprecating sluts, they’re safe.

I would hope that anybody with some self awareness understands what a crock of shite this is. It’s like a manifesto of adolescent male insecurity. The first one is an absurd fiction which has never been true. The middle two might as well be tattooing “NOTGAY BRO” across their foreheads. The last one indicates how threatening in must be to meet a woman with any sense of self-worth.

How this fits in with their Vivian character is that she can be seen as a (probably unconsciously) symbol of disempowering through assimilation. The passivity indicates that she doesn’t speak up, isn’t threatening. She can be a great girl, because she’s one of the guys! And this seems reenforced by there being more images of her out there (that I have seen) since the GG nonsense, which causes me to wonder if she’s their community’s safer status quo to those “scary” wimmin who don’t mind being - not unreasonably - critical of things.

The assimilation implying that anybody can fit in, so long as they keep their identity a secret. Otherwise, in places such as 4chan, the “no girls” rules are applied. Then she gets to have her gender denied or be compelled to strip for people. It’s like the internet version of telling somebody: “Try to pass for a white man, and maybe we’ll let you live.” Somebody who mistakes this for any kind of acceptance does not understand their own capacity for bigotry. This could be reading too much into it, but within the larger context I see it as a real possibility.


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