While the derailment of the ANNCast comment thread was quite disappointing and frustrating, it’s still somewhat valuable in that it’s provided a place from which I can mine a few new topics to write about.
Every group has its black sheep. That guy who fits all the criteria for being part of a particular ingroup, but, within said ingroup, is looked upon with disfavor. That guy they try to leave behind. That guy they neglect to invite to parties and events. That guy who’s perhaps a little too hard-up on what the group stands for, and makes the group look bad as a result.
For a while now, there has been an effort to project one of these “black sheep” onto the moé fandom in the form of the alleged rampant misogyny that runs in an undercurrent in the moé fanbase. Much of what led up to the last derailment of the ANNCast thread was the insistence on an undercurrent of misogyny running through the moé fanbase, particularly in the context of it being the primary force behind many moé otaku’s difficulty in finding a significant other, necessitating many of them to turn to moé as a surrogate.
Then it came down to whether the “misogynistic element” of the moé fandom is a majority or minority (Of course, the insistence was that it’s a majority). There were calls for moé fans to “talk about” the misogyny that’s apparently rampant within our fandom, because it’s an “important conversation” to be having, as if the moé fandom now needs to own up to this misogynistic element that evidently popped up out of nowhere.
Let’s talk about a real black sheep, though. Within the Anti-Moé Brigade, there is an element that compares moé to pedophilia. I’ve talked about it before. These people do put “enjoyment of moé” and “pedophilia” in the same categorization hole in their heads. Surely the Anti-Moe Brigade is talking about this particularly heinous subset of their side of the debate, as this is an important conversation to be having.
They aren’t? Shocker.
When more moderate(?) Anti-Moé Brigade supporters are confronted with the notion that some people who think similarly to them believe that moé fans are pedophiles, they dismiss it as ridiculous. Evidently, they get to disown parts of their side of the debate outright, but we have to “talk about” them, because it’s an “important conversation.”
Don’t get me wrong. I do think there is a subset of misogynistic people within the moé fandom. The insistence that this subset is a majority is overblown, but the subset does exist, just like there is a subset within the Anti-Moé Brigade that believes that moé is pedophilic. This is yet another example of the double-standard caused by Anti-Moé Brigade overrepresentation and moé fandom underrepresentation. We have to confront all of the alleged misogynistic people within the moé fandom, but the Anti-Moé Brigade gets to separate themselves from the worst elements of their own camp.
If we have to own up to it, if we have to “talk about” it, and if it’s an “important conversation” for us to have, then the same goes for the Anti-Moé Brigade and the subset of their side that believes moé is pedophilic.
Either both sides have to step up to the plate and address the harmful elements within their own camps, or both sides get to disown their own undesirable parts, but this thing where one side gets to dismiss their fringe elements as ridiculous while the other side needs to “talk about” it isn’t going to work.
It’s not enough to disavow, dismiss, and downplay. Own your shit, Anti-Moé Brigade. Talk about it. It’s an important conversation to have.
And if you guys can’t do that, maybe you shouldn’t be telling the moé fandom what to do.