I try not to do too much cross-linking here at Neomarxisme, seeing that we cocoon members all read the same blogs, but I will make an exception for the venerable No-Sword‘s analysis of the new “erotic LOHAS” one-off Erokoto. After reading his post, I saw the actual mag in a bookstore, and unless you can read Japanese, you would be hard-pressed to find the difference between a normal “woman-as-vinyl-wearing-commodity fantasy” soft porn mag and this “enlightened, Green” version. Oh wait, I see it: the naked underwater girls are accompanied by the English text “Save the Ocean.”
The magazine proudly continues the tradition of Japanese fashion and consumer culture being blissfully non-ideological. Thank god no one has to give up their out-of-touch, collectively-imagined misunderstanding of the female species in order to adopt lifestyles to protect the fragile natural environment. Piecemeal progressivism: hemp sneakers with organic rubber sole created by twelve year-old slave laborers.
The choice quote from No-Sword:
I’m sure there were good intentions all round, and there are a few pages where women appear without the objectifying treatment, and just under half of the editorial staff is female &c. &c., but it is depressing to see so much of the same old male-centric approach to sex positivity, where women are expected to just sort of come along for the ride.
I understand the enticement for free-minded Americans to go pro-porn because of its automatic destructive opposition to that fun-hating philosophy of Puritanism. But back to a point I have made several times before, why is porn liberating in Japan — where it has always been a part of the hegemonic, paternalistic system and not a movement away from it? Where it serves as a way to protect “virtuous women” — passing off the scourge of the male libido onto unimportant people’s daughters. Just because you take the same lower-class, unhappy women nice enough to materialize their escape from consumer debt through baring all and put them in front of some trees and Shinto ornaments does not mean you have somewhere gone “beyond” the normal business. If you want the Japanese birth rate to increase and the country to move to a more Euro balance of work-life-and-earth, why don’t you make a magazine about the sexiness of women who don’t exist solely to please the whim of infantile men? Oh yeah, that’s too much like real life: LOHAS and porn both as whimsical dreams far from the groans of the concrete world.