Agnes Chan

May 21, 2010

Being an important feminist figure in Japan, Agnes Chan has recently striven for a lolicon ban in the major cities of Tokyo and Osaka. This kind of ban would outlaw all material that depicts children sexually. Though with politicians giving up on her strive for moral justice, the notion of the ban has been yet successful.

So what is this lolicon that Agnes Chan wants to ban exactly? Lolicon can be described as illustrations of little girls, in the anime/manga style, that are blatantly sexualized for the viewing pleasure of the reader. A male version of this type of visualization is called shotacon.

In general, pornography of any kind exhibits a woman to be viewed only in her body and nothing else. These women are viewed as something that is consumed in the pornography industry and are not worth anything intellectually. It is the same case for men in the pornography industry but it is not as oppressing toward this group because of their male identity. In the case of lolicon, it is an intersection of both sexism and ageism. The children in lolicon are depicted as weak because their status as a kid and as subordinate because their identity as a female. Thus, what Agnes Chan wants to do with the loli-ban is to stop such views of sexism and ageism to circulate throughout society. Agnes Chan mostly blames the internet for the widespread circulation of this type of pornography.

Here is my opinion on this. Yes lolicon and shotacon is morally wrong, but I do not believe that it can be banned from being made or distributed in cities and the internet. Without any morals, it can be strictly viewed as art. Some people have some weird immoral fetishes, and we can not just restrict expression because one thinks that it is not the norm. The art that is drawn by these people does not hurt anyone and it can be beneficial to the economy in some aspects if it is circulated with age restrictions. The act of actually raping a child is what can be deemed as just sick and wrong, and should be punished. Not because it is immoral in itself, but because this act physically hurts another human being in the part of their life that is most vulnerable. One can not restrict someone of expression even if it is against some moral norm, and trying to ban it will just cause people to create and distribute more of it. The irony with Agnes Chan is that even though she is trying to ban the girl idol images from the public, she herself used to promote this image when she was a teen idol.

“People who think of children’s nudity as a tool don’t need freedom of expression.” – Agnes Chan