Explaining Fujoshis and the controversy about fetishization of gay people.

A lot of people like romance animes, but some people like yaoi specifically. Over the years, the controversy that came out against those diehard BL fans is that they are fetishising the gay community and fujoshi even means “Rotten woman”.

But first we must ask the question, what the heck makes these people specifically fujoshis? If you enjoyed BL/yaoi before or ship two characters together…are you one?

YouTube video on what a fujoshi is!

Common Fujoshi Behavior ( if these apply to you, you might be one)

  • Befriending people because they are gay.

  • Shipping random guys together on the street.

  • Reading/watch yaoi/BL just because it’s a gay love story.

  • Creeping around gay people so you can see their love.

  • Wishing more men would be gay and date each other.

In summary, to be a fujoshi you have to be someone who is attracted to the idea of two men together for your own pleasure (while not being a gay man)…I’m sure you can see why this would distress the gay community.

I, for one used to think I was a fujoshis back in middle school because I used to read/watch BL and GL stuff (I still do) sometimes ( As you can see I had no idea wtf a fujoshis was and thought it just meant that you were fine reading love stories with characters that are not straight…). However, I watched the anime “Barakamon”, which featured a character named Tamako Arai…and she was a fujoshi, so naturally I was like “Wtf this is what a fujoshi is?” and then I read the manga “kiss him, not me” and decided to look up what a fujoshi was, and I felt pretty badly calling myself one from then on because I personally found it a tad bit creepy because the idea of being interested in something or someone simply because of their sexual orientation was disturbing to me. After all, although I might be a straight woman who has read BL it doesn’t really matter to me as long as the story is good and I hope that it’s okay to be this way ( I’m open to criticism if you are a gay or lesbian person and find it bad of me to ever read/watch GL/BL).

Anyways, as an example using myself let’s look at the hit romance movie “Call me by your name”, which features two men in love. I am probably one of the few people who did not watch it because the plot didn’t appeal to me TBH (the reason I don’t like it is because from the plot it sounds like pedophilia and I can’t watch something with pedophilia); either way it makes sense, ya don’t like the plot ya don’t watch it however a fujoshi would see two men and not give a care this person would just go I’m and watch it for the romantic/sex scenes. Basically, fujoshis are the same as those guys that watch lesbian porn cause it’s “hot”, they’re both fetishizing in some way.

Now that we know what a fujoshi/Fudanashi is let’s understand this discourse by first looking at both sides’ arguments:

Fujoshi’s arguments and why they like BL

It is a known fact that the majority of fujoshi’s are straight girls, aka women who like men so the thought of not one man but two men being together appeals to those who favor men, so that’s the main reason fujoshis exist. ( Not an excuse to the fetishization ofc…). An argument that I have seen a lot of fujoshi’s pull is that they are simply supporting their love and find two men together to be quite cute; in fact many fujoshis do not believe that they are in any way fetishizing gay people and believe it to be a “hobby” or a “preference” of theirs.

Can’t really find a video where fujoshis argue their side, so here’s akidearest

Anti-Fujoshi arguments

Since there are a lot I will make this a bullet list…

  • They often make gay people uncomfortable, because they feel like they are sexualized for someone else’s fantasies.
  • When they make fan fiction and ship two real people (ie, Kpop, one direction…), oftentimes the ones being shipped are uncomfortable (most notably one direction).
  • Liking someone just because they are gay is disrespectful.
  • Basically, they lack ethical judgement when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community. Their belief is that they went through so much shit to be accepted and then the fujoshis come out and make them sex objects.

Argument against fujoshi

Interesting arguments from both sides, right? Here’s my take on it:

My Thoughts

To offer a nice objective opinion, you have to out yourself in both of the opposing sides’ Shoes. First, I have fujoshi friends and it’s pretty obvious they don’t even know they’re fetishizing, in fact many of them were shocked to know that the gay community sees them in this fashion and they genuinely feel like they are supporters of the community. Unfortunately, when you support a community you should probably listen to what they have to say. Personally, I think the “anti-fujoshis” are pretty reasonable. They’re not saying to never enjoy content where the lovers are both male, they’re just asking that fujoshis stop enjoying this content just because they are gay. They’re asking that fujoshis don’t fantasize about gay people having sex, but they’re not against fujoshis enjoying a story that features some smut that just happens to have two males as lovers. As long as you’re here for the actual story and content and not just the “gay sex”, then to then you’re pretty alright. Unfortunately, fujoshis online and the ones I know think yaoi is “sexy” or “hot” and just read it because of that. Keep in mind however, that some fujoshis do read for the plot and not just the sex.

Although I’m not too much of a supporter of fujoshi hobbies, most of them are younger in age and rather than condemning them or calling them disgusting…I think people should simply explain why this is a problem to them and calmly talk to them and then if they change and stop fetishizing, they shouldn’t be “cancelled” because they would be someone who learned from their past.

Sherliza moe (my favorite YouTuber) explains gay shipping in a non anime context

22 thoughts on “Explaining Fujoshis and the controversy about fetishization of gay people.

  1. fujos be like i support the lgbt community and then when i an mlm person as well as my mlm friends are like “dude you’re fetishizing us yikes” they get pissed and speak over us like you can’t claim to support a community and then speak over any argument you don’t like in your own favor like that isn’t how it works??? mlm people will obviously have the biggest say in this because it literally concerns us??? it’s great that most of you are bi like that other person won’t stop commenting and ships are fine but like. bi people don’t have the same say as mlm it doesn’t directly affect them??? if mlm people are saying they feel fetishized and that being a fujo is bad and the fujo craze needs to stop y’all listen if you don’t it’s just proving you only care abt gay struggles when it’s in fiction and pleasing your tastes bye as hell i’m outta here

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  2. Fujoshi just means a girl who likes BL.

    Fudanshi means a guy who likes BL.

    There is no other meaning. “Rotten woman” means spoiled woman as in spoiled for marriage. It has a history like geek or nerd or otaku or weeb. Started as an insult and was self claimed.

    There is already a word for a fujoshi who goes too far in Japan…. and there are words in English like Fag Hag about women who follow gay men.

    The origin of calling fujoshi fetishizers is an anti-trans sentiment. It was specifically said against trans men. And comparisons to lesbian porn is very much a reversal of autogynophelia. A transphobic theory involving “men who are obsessed with lesbian porn so much they trans”.

    This is bad for the community. This is toxic. Please stop.

    Discomfort isn’t trauma. You can’t control others. You can set boundaries and ask for respect. A lot of queer teenagers are cringe…. please listen to experienced elders about this topic.

    Ps. If you look at cartoons for what a Fujoshi is… you would have to say that all anime fans are like they are in anime too…. anime in general exaggerates…. cause they are cartoons. Maybe note that the girls in Princess Jellyfish are called Fujoshi too. Or Genshiken. Not all anime fans are like Welcome to the NHK.

    Also Kiss Him not Me…. she was assaulted…. she was shipping classmates who were bullying her who only liked her cause she was seen as attractive now. Kiss him not Me has a lot of stuff in it… but if you didn’t notice the main character is queer…. or how misogynistic the men were…. and if the thing you are mad at is shipping and not the sexual assault or even bad body image messages in it….

    I am a Fujoshi and bisexual and married to a bisexual fudanshi. Most fujoshi are bisexual from what I have seen. And I do have a wall of manga that I bought. Shippers and Fujoshi should be seen as different. IRL people shipping is done all the time by hetero people with het pairings . No one cares. But we always say the real people shipping as a different fandom. Just like Korean BL fans are a different fandom. K drama and Jdrama are different fandom. But BL manga fandom is my fandom. I don’t ship. I just read BL manga and watch BL anime (most of the anime is garbage but the newer ones are nice).

    I also am super into all sorts of LGBT films around the world. And have watched many historical interest gay films… a queer connesuir if you will.

    The history of BL really does live with wlw in Japan. Especially the bisexual ones…. tho people aren’t out…

    Bisexual representation is rare in western media….

    Please consider reading this fan project to learn more about the fanbase.
    https://blfanproject.com/

    Not saying individuals might not be but…. please consider that we all used to be able to laugh at ourselves… and our cringe past and we do grow up into queer individuals….

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    1. fujos being bi doesnt excuse the mlm fetishization in the slightest this is coming from an mlm person thank you and goodnight
      its so much more than just a bl fan. a fujoshi is exactly what’s written as the examples above in the article. a fujo is someone who actively seeks out gay people for their entertainment, specifically ships real men for their entertainment, only reads gay fiction, etc etc etc. thats all fetishization. bi fudan get a pass on this because it applies to them somewhat but girls literally get zero pass here. if youre a girl and you read bl because you like the story like go ahead thats whatever but if you SPECIFICALLY search out bl. that makes you a fujo. it is a form of fetishization. its literally so easy to wrap your head around. if youd read a straight story the same way youd read a bl story and you dont actively search out either genre but enjoy both thats FINE! however if you actively search out bl and prefer bl as a genre. thats fetishization. its literally not hard to understand

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  3. It wasn’t until a little bit over a year ago where I found out that being a fujoshi was considered bad amongst people. I never really knew why, but the topic was brought up at lunch today by one of my friends. When I asked her why it’s bad to be a fujoshi, she told me, “Because they like yaoi! They read it! That’s bad!”

    This only lead me to be even more confused. My first assumption was that those who objected fujoshis were homophobic, but I immediately dismissed that idea because my friend who told me that actually supports the LGBTQ+. Whenever I inquired her for more information she just kept telling me, “Cause fujoshis are bad! They’re just bad!” She is excellent at being vague like that LOL.

    I’m so glad I found this article because it really sheds light on the issue that has been seriously bugging me. I am a writer, and I have a lot of gay characters. I’ve been feeling so guilty, because the stories that focus around them are romantic ones. While the main plot of them aren’t focused about them ‘smashing’– it does involve sexual tension, kissing, and other things like that. I just find it cute and new.

    After reading this article, I’ve realized that I’m not doing anything bad because those stories are formulaic and follow plot structure. There is a protagonist along with an antagonist trying to stop said protag from reaching their goal (y’know, like many stories!) It’s not about sexualization, but does include sexual content. While I do find relationships amongst the queer characters to be very cute and comforting, I don’t dedicate the story to them smashing simply for the sexual pleasure for the reader. If anything, I write scenes like that mainly to build the relationship of the characters– not to pander to those who are feeling erotic. There’s actual plot.

    I feel like I’ve gotten immensely away from the point. What I’m trying to say is that it’s okay for people to have preferences for certain types of relationships in entertainment, right? I certainly am a fan of several straight character relationships- and I don’t spend time scouring the internet for shows/anime JUST because it involves gay romance- but if I were given two options to watch a show that was about a straight couple and a gay couple, it would be alright to choose to the latter because that’s just what I like and prefer? I NEVER EVER EVER exemplify those opinions toward people in real life. Very odd thing to do.

    I am confusing myself so much. I don’t know what to believe or not. I just don’t want people to be mad at me.

    extra note:
    I really enjoyed that this article appealed to both sides of the controversy. I feel just so bad when people online shove their opinions down other people’s throats and don’t even acknowledge the points of the other side.
    I don’t consider myself a fujoshi anymore. Thank you for the information 🙂 I don’t feel as guilty anymore.

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    1. Fujoshi was the first term I could call myself…. I was closeted bisexual .

      I will never stop calling myself Fujoshi. I have been a fujoshi since before the word was even invented. People over 30 don’t really like the way the transphobic meaning has taken over…

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  4. I think I would consider myself a fujoshi? Here’s the thing: I definitely know the difference between fiction and reality. I would and could never fantasize about a real celebrity or human being, it honestly creeps me out. I really do not like any fan fiction because of that. However, I watch Thai bl, read yaoi and I honestly like the sex scenes in manga because they sexualize the male anatomy and explore it more than any straight porn. Straight porn is mainly focused on the male perspective and what is gratifying to them, not women. Anyways, point is: I like it BECAUSE it is fictional. I am completely open for debate and criticism and reflection if someone wants to point anything out.

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    1. ok im glad for your open mind :]
      fiction affects reality no matter what its just how the brain works + fictional or not its still a form of fetishization
      the bad part abt yaoi is that it IS focused on the gratifying the female perspective – that is, fetishizing gay men for womens entertainment
      gay porn should be EVEN MORE focused on the male perspective because its literally??? for them???
      if you want porn that focuses on the female perspective real gl i just dont really get your argument here like.
      if your concern was that straight porn focuses too much on the male perspective and therefore backed up your enjoyment of yaoi/bl by implying that it DOESNT focus on the male perspective… that kind of inherently admits to the fact that yaoi and bl is primarily made to appease a female audience which is wrong and inherently fetishization

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  5. I’m a BL fan.. I watch and read bl but i cant read or watch the bed scenes because I feel uncomfortable, no matter if its straight or bl I dont like bed scenes.. I ship a lot but I never imagine them having sex or whatever.. I also prefer having gay friends because they are fun to be with.. And my first ever bestfriend is gay..but I still have straight friends.. I also dont like shipping people that I know… I also dont watch bl with bad plots, ’cause whats the point.. I think Romance between 2 boys is cute… So is this bad.. Or should I stop doing this..

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    1. Ya same here, i like bl too, but not too much i mean like who make movies, comics that come from someone’s fantasy on social media i like that or just two men doing skinship have made my heart tremble. I don’t know why but am I fetishizing them?

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    2. As a genderfluid bisexual person ( obivously I cant speak for the mlm community) but in my experience, ask yourself ” would I still watch and like this if it were a straight couple? ” (In cases like killing stalking, I think a lot of the fandom would say it would be creepy if yoonbum were a girl) ” am I friends with them because theyre gay? If they were straight would my opinion change? ” I personally think its okay to think gay relationships are cute, as long as you can recognize. that 1. they arent kids. dont act like theyre cute little babies who know no wrong. 2. you understand they are people too. respect boundaries. Again Im just 1 person, so I cant speak for the entire community, but in my opinion given what you told me, its fine.

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  6. “They’re not saying to never enjoy content where the lovers are both male, they’re just asking that fujoshis stop enjoying this content just because they are gay.”

    I mean imo its perfectly fine to enjoy content just because they are gay. Also the other way around with lesbians. I dont think it disrespects the LGBTQ+ community at all. That is if they dont take it to real life. Shipping and stalking women/men (in this case) would be creepy. At least you are friends with them and they are obviously about to go in a relationship, then I guess it is okay to fool around (just ship), nothing too serious though.

    In conclusion, I think shipping fictional characters, no matter how, neither their gender, is competely sane. If you like strange fetishes it is also fine to me.

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    1. I am a genderfluid bisexual person, and while I cant speak for every one in my community, and definitely not other communities, people watching something ONLY for the gay characters makes me uncomfortable. I agree that taking it to real life is worse, but hearing people talk about loving something just for the lgbtq in it is uncomfortable. Its one thing when you like the lgbtq represented in it, but I wouldnt watch something just for it. If you like the plot and arent just watching it for the pornographic content, sure go ahead.
      I dont mean to be rude, and I get everyone makes mistakes but ” I dont think it disrespects the LGBT community ” Is a kinda weird comment. I understand wanting to share your opinions, but if you arent in a community ( assuming you are straight from the wording), I wouldnt have said that, or at least phrased it like that. For example if I a white person said “… I dont think its disrespectful to the POC community…” It comes off weird, since Im not POC.
      Overall, thank you for sharing your opinions, I just dont share the same.

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  7. I enjoy making random ships haha. I really like how you explained both sides. I also hope I never go overboard with my shipping and make people uncomfortable. I guess it is a fine line sometimes.

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