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By Amy Ann O’Brien

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Extra info for Boys’ Love and Female Friendships: The Subculture of Yaoi As a Social Bond Between Women

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Similar to Catherine's view, Nuriko thinks men get judged more so than women, “When women watch two men going at it, they're being 'naughty', but people just shake their heads and go about their business. ” Thus, women within the yaoi community are not all in agreement about how the sexual content in yaoi titles should be viewed and if they are judged more harshly than men for viewing it. It is important to keep in mind that all fans approach yaoi with their own personal experiences and background and so not everyone is seeing the “picture” the same.

Additionally, I did identify varying degrees of reactions, from a firm “no” to the occasional “yes”, to the idea of yaoi as pornography. When I ask Sydney if she views yaoi as pornography, she quickly states, “Absolutely not. ” Even while vehemently denying yaoi as pornography, Sydney acknowledges that within each genre there are titles that fail to fit the common mold. Specific yaoi titles which fall into the category of blatant pornography are solely focused on the sexual content and does not have a developed plot.

Fan subcultures are often represented by mainstream culture as the “other” through attaching a gender category which is not legitimized within the dominant culture. Male Star Trek fans are often represented as feminized through their participation in fan cultures and desexualized through the assumption that their engagement in the subculture prevents a “normal” relationship with a female (Jenkins 1992:10). Imposing views from one portion of a culture onto another happens not only in respect to gendered characteristics, but also applies to views on sexuality.

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