Just a quick head's up for those of you who don't frequent Anime News Network. The following selection of manga reviews written by Yours Truly have been posted there from the beginning of November:Papillon Vol. 1 by Miwa UedaRose of the Rhine by Megumu MinamiThe Flat Earth/Exchange Vol. 1-2 by Toshimi NigoshiEvyione: Ocean Fantasy Vol. 1 by Young-Hee Kim
Readers may also be interested in the BL/yaoi roundtable
that went up this Tuesday. Oh, and for those interested in the perennial Why BL? question, it's important to highlight once again that the uke, despite his feminine characteristics and the abuse he endures in the name of so-called love, is not a surrogate woman--and must not be understood as such
. Because he is a man, surrender in the name of love can be admirable. A woman who surrenders in the name of love, on the other hand, is not so automatically admirable because
her surrender happens as a woman in a patriarchal society (such as Japan)...and her surrender is already expected, even imposed, by society. This sort of true coercion (not to be confused with the fantasy coercion of Japanese erotica/pornography) is not romantic. At the very best, it's a duty. Of the two sexes, only the man is given the choice to abdicate his autonomy to another, as it were, and only when you have a choice can that choice be admired. Thus, BL imagines a perfect relationship of which the female reader can never partake; it is a fundamentally voyeuristic fantasy, not an identificatory one. Sad, when you really think about it. When you read BL, you dream of True Love...but not for yourself.