Okay. I'll explain a little for those who don't know what anilesbocon is, i.e. probably most people reading my journal. First, break up the word - ani lesbo con. Anime lesbian convention. It started as basically a joke in a fanfic - all the anime lesbians together in one convention. And then someone decided to actually do it, and you can find webpages all around about it. Here, I'll quote from one.
Shoujo ai and yuri fans, unite! AniLesboCon welcomes discussions of anime lesbians, lesbian-wannabees and lesbian oughta-bes, and is dedicated to being the premier celebration of shoujo ai and yuri in manga and anime for lesbians and their friends.Now, I'm sure at least someone is going to say something like "tough, deal", but I personally have problems with this. Not because I have a male ego and such, but because it doesn't seem like it's even trying to be inclusive. Well, maybe trying. But failing pretty miserably. I mean, read it over again. Discussions about lesbians. Lesbian oughta-bes. Lesbians and their friends.
How about if someone started a con which was "straight guys ogling anime girls"? "Well, it's open for anyone else, of course. We don't mind. Yeah, if you're female, sure, you can come. Or if you're a gay male. Well, no, it's not *about* you, it's about looking at girls. But if you want."
That's the big problem I'm having with a lot of these communities. I see nothing whatsoever wrong with similar people gathering. But when they make a big deal out of a gathering which is effectively exclusive - one that a large fraction of the population really couldn't even join if they made massive efforts - it just . . .
I dunno. Every day I run into people who don't trust guys, just because they're guys. And something like this doesn't help matters any. It's a big Girls Only Club. And I know someone's going to bring up nerds here, and say it's a guys only club - only it *isn't*. I don't know a single group of nerds who wouldn't love having girls join the group. Yes, maybe girls would feel uncomfortable, but there's a *big* difference between "uncomfortable due to overappreciation" and "uncomfortable due to being unwanted".
I guess it's the same problem I find with a lot of the homosexuality movements. It's not just "we're free to do what we want", some of them have a distinct tone of "and the remaining 50% of you can go bugger off". Girls that like girls (but not guys) . . . guys that like guys (but not girls).
And, grr, I'm not accusing anyone I know of being like that. It's one of those deals where single people don't seem to feel like that at all. Only I *know* there *are* people like that. I just tend to not run into them :) There's this rising acceptance of "if you don't like another part of humanity, you can just ignore their existence", and you *can't* do that, it just plain doesn't work. Ignoring people produces an enormous amount of stress. I can't decide to just ignore the existence of jocks because I don't approve of them, because if I do, my entire view of the universe ends up skewed. (For example, who keeps buying all the athletic equipment?) (oh, incidentally, I don't have any problem with jocks. That was just by way of example.)
Grrr. I could rant on, but I won't. Browsing the site . . . it's tough to judge, because some of it *could* be tongue-in-cheek, and some of it almost certainly is, but every once in a while there's that point where it just sounds like they believe what they're saying.
Okay. I think I've found the perfect page that explains my major problem with this. I'll even copy'n'paste here.
Several months pass and Erica was in yet another discussion with some people who liked Shoujo anime and manga, and were in theory very cool with all the gender-bending and covert homosexuality. However, when she expressed a preference for the girls, she was treated to a not unfamiliar derision. In other words, it's okay for Haruka and Michiru, but the straight girls don't want *real* lesbians around. They get in the way of worshipping the pretty boys, apparently. And it was these women's considered opinion that yuri (two women having reasonably explicit sex) was always, only, by men for men.Right. Allow me to summarize the part, in admittedly exaggerated terms, that I have trouble with . . .
This is a fairly common position, whether by design or sheer disinterest, in the anime world. Yuri (girl/girl) is assumed to be for guys, and yaoi (boy/boy) for girls and ne'er the twain shall meet. It leaves the female yuri fans a bit in the back of the bus, so to speak. Most regular cons cater to general interests, or by extension, the guys, since it is assumed that they make up the bulk of the anime audience. Cons for women still tend to assume that the audience is straight and focus on yaoi (which we like too, don't get us wrong) and straight romance (which we also like.) But you know - that's not the case in Japan. Young romances between women are not taboo there like they are here, and while it is assumed that eventually all girls will go on to marry a man, it's not a big hairy deal if they have a love affair with another woman. (It only becomes a big deal if the girls decides she really likes other girls more and becomes "gay," so to speak.) Thus the plethora of gender-bending, and implied or overt female-female relationships in anime and manga, particularly shoujo manga. And of course, especially in anime, there is fanservice.
Anyway, as Erica is the kind of person she is, she contacted Dreiser, and the "real" AniLesboCon was born. This site is meant to reflect a love of anime, manga, women, a sense of fun, and *humor* and not to offend everyone's sensibilities. But the subject being what it is, it'll piss people off anyway. Oh well. The point is, we love anime and manga and we love the girls too, as much as the guys do. And AniLesboCon is REAL, in the sense that it is about celebration of anime lesbianism, shoujoai, yuri, gender-bending, cool-butchy-powerful-beautiful women, etc.
"People are against us. Therefore, I'll fix this imbalance. I'll go in the exact opposite direction and go against them."
THIS DOESN'T WORK.
Maybe I've been reading too much Soul Rider, which points out - repeatedly - that the underdogs never want equality, they want the same situation with them on top. And, yes, there are those who really want equality, and I try to consider myself one of them despite full realization that I'm the least qualified to judge.
But . . . sigh . . . is anyone ever going to be able to organize an event based on *actual* equality, that doesn't have to put a spotlight specific ethnic/sexual/gender/whatever groups just to point out how "equal" they are?