[personal profile] laurbits
Here it is! My blood, sweat and tears. Still very much a draft since I haven't included the input from my professors yet. Feel free to let me know what you think! I could certainly use the feedback. Also, if you guys have some idea which journals to submit this to, let me know.

Mutilating the Maidens:
Problematizing the Dismemberment
of Female Bodies in CLAMP's Manga X


Re-uploaded: 03-25-2011. The link shouldn't expire anymore!

Please respect my wishes and do not distribute/use this for any other purpose besides personal reading. Thanks!

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] manga_talk here.

Date: 2007-06-07 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chibicharibdys.livejournal.com
I agree with retsuko. :) This was a fascinating read. I do have a few questions; does yaoi manga subvert or redirect the male gaze, as the characters portrayed therein tend to look and act feminine? You discussed that in the thesis, but I was left a little confused.

Date: 2007-06-08 07:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychoe.livejournal.com
Yeah, I did leave that hanging didn't I? Mainly because I was up for 30+ hours to meet the deadline. XD

It is however a very important question. I think it provides a space for subversion for the gaze because of a reversal of gender roles but it does not totally contradict or erase it completely.

I mean for instance, the nature of the gaze is quite different. Whereas a male gaze would desire a female body represented, desire for the male body may or may not be the case in the gaze of the female.

Thank you for your comment! I'll be sure to address this in the revision.

Date: 2007-06-08 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chibicharibdys.livejournal.com
Ah, deadlines. I had the same crunch time in my printmaking. Sleep? Who has time for that? (although apparently I have time for the internet. :/ )

The other interesting thing is that through history, boys often seem to be considered in the same light as women (i.e. objects of adult male lust) in many different cultures (the samurai apprentices, romans, etc.), so instead of subversion, it could be supporting the same 'male gaze?' Although that's the subject of another thesis, I suspect. XD

Date: 2007-06-09 05:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychoe.livejournal.com
The other interesting thing is that through history, boys often seem to be considered in the same light as women (i.e. objects of adult male lust) in many different cultures (the samurai apprentices, romans, etc.), so instead of subversion, it could be supporting the same 'male gaze?'

Yes, I agree this is related to the work! However, given my scope of time and energy I was not able to bring this in. Young boys (from what I learned in Western cultural representation) can be represented as mediating between male and female. If you've seen Donatello's David (http://ca.encarta.msn.com/media_461518984/David_by_Donatello.html), the homoerotic nature of this statue is absolutely blatant AND it was made for a male audience. For this paper, I was limited to addressing a female audience because I was working from the limited knowledge that X had been originally published in a magazine for a female readership. But I believe male readers could desire male bodies and this could be an interesting thesis on its own.

Mike

Date: 2007-08-18 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
hmm, shota?

Date: 2007-06-09 06:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] solo.livejournal.com
I mean for instance, the nature of the gaze is quite different. Whereas a male gaze would desire a female body represented, desire for the male body may or may not be the case in the gaze of the female.

This is where I may show my ignorance: why can you state so categorically that the male gaze would desire a female body, but allow variation for the female gaze viewing a male body? Isn't it the case that the male gaze may also in some cases not desire the female body - particularly when it's all over the floor in unnatural and rather messy configurations? :-)

Take the explosion of Tokiko in X: I find it very difficult to imagine that either Kamui or Fuuma are watching her with anything approaching desire (and I think that Kamui's reaction at the very least bears that out).

What am I missing?

Date: 2007-06-09 05:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychoe.livejournal.com
Hmm, this is indeed where the thesis gets a little mucky. One of the major feedback concerning my work was that there is more "subversion going on in X than I allow." To clarify, I built my case that female nudes have more often been the object of the male gaze since the Renaissance but as my professor pointed out, these nudes are "resolutely whole." The dismembered women in X significantly varies from this model. Their fragmented presentation actually visually thwarts entire posession of the body.

I suppose what I intended to present was not that Kamui and Fuuma look upon the naked female body with desire (and vice versa with Yuzuriha) but the situation presented has eerie but significant parallels with other examples--such as erotic manga in which men are placed in the position of watchers/viewers of the violated female body.

I'm sorry if it's still confusing! As you can see, I'm still very much trying to get the wording/reasoning right and believe me, your questions are certainly helping me formulate this better. Thank you very much for your interest and comments!

Date: 2007-08-18 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"To clarify, I built my case that female nudes have more often been the object of the male gaze since the Renaissance but as my professor pointed out, these nudes are "resolutely whole." The dismembered women in X significantly varies from this model. Their fragmented presentation actually visually thwarts entire posession of the body."

yes, the dismenbering may be a perversion of the male gaze; but how in hell does it have anything to do do with a typical female gaze?? lol

Shoujo manga almost NEVER has any graphically violent scenes, simply because women do not like to see violence, and (i bet) especially female violence.
I have yet to know any woman who finds it exciting to see another women trucidated, just like a man would find it exciting to see another man in the same fashion. :P

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Laur

June 2007

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