When the Anti-Moé Brigade is looking for points against moé, often, they’ll cite the tendency toward younger characters as a mark against moé. Moé’s tendency toward young and young-looking characters, as well as the sexuality involved, is bad. It’s creepy.
It’s downright pedophilic.
In their crusade to vilify moé and the moé fandom, the Anti-Moé Brigade have struck on a sensitive topic, though they seldom treat it as such. The word “pedophile” itself, in addition to synonyms and similar terms, is thrown around surprisingly often when the Anti-Moé Brigade wants an easy way to make moé fans seem insidious and evil. The question, then, becomes: “Does the Anti-Moé Brigade know what they’re saying when they call moé fans pedophiles?”
The gentleman whose quote from Destroy All Podcasts DX serves as the baseline for “Americentrism in the Anti-Moé Brigade” starts his rant out by calling VZ a pedophile, and not only is he very casual about it, but despite opposition from his co-hosts, he’s insistent upon the idea that there is no separation between cartoons and real life when it comes to “pedophilia,” and that VZ is an actual pedophile based solely on the fact that he enjoys moé.
The separation of fantasy and reality is a core point in many debates, not just that of moé (Violence/sex in games, violence/sex in movies, violent children’s games, etc.). When it comes right down to it, there is a fantasy-reality separation that applies to anime just like it applies to everything else. The Anti-Moé Brigade, however, is selective in what they apply this separation to.
For a more targeted example: There was an episode of the Anime 3000 Podcast that can essentially be summed up as a five-man, thirty-six minute rant against lolicon, with their main point being that lolicon breeds pedophiles (As in, individuals who consume real CP and sexually abuse actual children.).
There are several directions from which I could approach this. I could point out that their primary argument can be summed up as “we think that stuff’s gross, so it should be destroyed.” I could point out that their main point of lolicon leading to actual child sexual abuse isn’t backed up by any solid data at all. I could point out that, again, they have a very selective application of the separation between fantasy and reality. However, the point I will focus on is this: The Anti-Moé Brigade’s infatuation with using the words “pedophile” and “pedophilia” to describe moé fans is a gross trivialization of child sexual abuse.
The points made by the individuals on the lolicon episode of the Anime 3000 podcast and by the gentleman on Destroy All Podcasts DX essentially boils down to the suggestion that we are all, as moé fans, one episode of Dance in the Vampire Bund away from raping a child.
The Anti-Moé Brigade does a lot to vilify moé and moé fans, but this is too far. This is unacceptable. Not only is their assertion that moé fans are actual pedophiles incredibly hurtful to anime fans that just want to watch their anime, it suggests that child sexual abuse is a product of the media one consumes, rather than that of a disturbed mind. In their love for using the word “pedophile” against moé fans, the Anti-Moé Brigade comes dangerously close to advocating Thought Police.
Furthermore, the implications of describing moé fans as pedophiles are particularly dangerous. We know that the moé fandom goes out of their way to ostracize moé fans from the anime community, but this is serious. Being labeled a pedophile has serious societal implications that can potentially ruin someone’s life. Where is there a necessity to associate such a heavy term with cartoons?
The Anti-Moé Brigade pretends to know what they’re talking about when they call moé fans pedophiles, but do they really? I don’t think so. The casual manner in which they use such a heavy, sensitive term tells me that they don’t really think when they use it. It’s just another name they call moé fans to try and vilify them to the rest of the fandom.
They need to cut it out.