Sexism in NGE?

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Postby Allemann » Fri Feb 04, 2011 5:24 pm

Evangelion is a show where both sexes and genders are treated equally. We have woman like Misato and Ritsuko on high and responsible positions. So if there's any difference between males and females in Evangelion, it's due to nature giving them different functions and not discriminating social forces.

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Postby oOoOoOo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:03 pm

Allemann, I don't think many of us feel the show itself is sexist, but what of fan interpretation? You called Misato a "slut" a bunch of times in this thread. Does Kaji or Gendo qualify as a "slut"? A bit of Googling shows that "slut" appears in these forums most often in reference to the female characters, although I could be missing a key thread.
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Postby Allemann » Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:21 pm

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:Allemann, I don't think many of us feel the show itself is sexist, but what of fan interpretation? You called Misato a "slut" a bunch of times in this thread. Does Kaji or Gendo qualify as a "slut"?


Calling someone sexually promiscuous isn't sexist. I don't discriminate Misato because she's a sexually emancipated woman (as if that is somehow shocking) but I chide her for irresponsible decisions in her romantic life. Kaji could be considered as a sexually promiscuous male who put his selfish interests to the side for a higher goal. Gendo is just a typical user. He sleeps with Naoko and Ritsuko for manipulation; he isn't doing it to be physically pleasured.

A bit of Googling shows that "slut" appears in these forums most often in reference to the female characters, although I could be missing a key thread.


The word slut isn't applicable to males, anyway.

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Postby oOoOoOo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:54 pm

Okay, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt because English might not be your first language. (Your location says "Croatia".) So you might not know how derogatory "slut" can be.

Yes, originally "slut" applied only to women, but in the 21st century English-speaking world it can be applied to anyone. Interestingly enough, by bringing up its ancient origins you're touching on one of the reasons it is a deeply offensive term. Much like a whole slew of other derogatory words, there is a lot of baggage associated with the word "slut". (Like shaming women who enjoy sex outside of marriage, or enjoy sex at all.)

Now, are you saying Gendo's sexual behaviour wasn't "irresponsible" but Misato's was? Gendo toyed with the emotions of his lovers and manipulated them. Surely that is more reprehensible than Misato's desire for Kaji. (Which is what you referred to in that thread.) Or is the problem that Misato's desire for Kaji is simply desire while Gendo's relationships are for a greater purpose? Doesn't that make him a "whore", then?

If you qualify Misato as a slut and Gendo as a whore then I will concede you're not being sexist. We will have peace in our time.
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Postby supershinjiasukashipper » Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:32 pm

View Original PostAllemann wrote:The word slut isn't applicable to males, anyway.

Sorry old Bean, but it does. You call a guy who sleeps with lots of women just because an man-slut, or a man-whore. It's pop culture though. Still, it is apt.
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Postby NemZ » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:02 pm

Where do people get the idea that Misato and/or Kaji are at all promiscuous anyway? There's zero evidence of either of them sleeping around outside of this single long-term relationship.

Asuka isn't a slut, she's a tease, and an ineffectual one at that. I have no doubt whatsoever that if Shinji actually did come charging through her walls of Jericho she'd have panicked and booted him out on his ass. For all her 'look at me!' declarations it's exceedingly obvious that she isn't ready for sex; the entire reason she's so focused on Kaji is that she hopes he will lead her into this confusing new world she really isn't psychologically equipped to handle on her own.

I agree that Gendo should be more or less considered a whore though, as he's not really interested in the Akagis but rather is just letting them have their kicks in exchange for what he really wants from them.
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Postby Eva Yojimbo » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:08 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Where do people get the idea that Misato and/or Kaji are at all promiscuous anyway?
Because anything we are shown or told about characters in a work of fiction obviously applies to their entire life that we don't see. If a character mentions they like sex, then they are automatically a slut even if we don't see them sleep with anybody else.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Feb 05, 2011 3:53 am

View Original PostNemZ wrote:Where do people get the idea that Misato and/or Kaji are at all promiscuous anyway?


Much of Misato's confessions in Instrumentality give a strong impression to that effect

Misato in episode 25 wrote:YES, you wish to find some simple joy.
You're trying to heal your mind with temporary escapes.
You're using MEN.


and Kaji actively flirts with all the women in NERV, and it is implied by how he relates to Misato that he doesn't have someone steady, together giving the impression that he plays the field.

Both are rather different from Gendo's serial monogamy.
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Postby Allemann » Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:09 am

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:Okay, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt because English might not be your first language. (Your location says "Croatia".) So you might not know how derogatory "slut" can be.


I've seen numerous movies, shows, and books with the word slut in it, so I know the appropriate context of its usage.

Much like a whole slew of other derogatory words, there is a lot of baggage associated with the word "slut". (Like shaming women who enjoy sex outside of marriage, or enjoy sex at all.)


It seems most people are unaware of that baggage. That's perfectly normal for words in the course of time. I know when that pejorative is used, and it has nothing to do with insulting woman for enjoying sex.

Now, are you saying Gendo's sexual behaviour wasn't "irresponsible" but Misato's was? Gendo toyed with the emotions of his lovers and manipulated them. Surely that is more reprehensible than Misato's desire for Kaji. (Which is what you referred to in that thread.)


That doesn't make him promiscuous. He isn't doing it to for the sake of pleasure but to make people do his bidding. Sure. This is more reprehensible than Misato's actions, but he isn't a man-whore or a man-slut because of it.

supershinjiasukashipper wrote:Sorry old Bean, but it does. You call a guy who sleeps with lots of women just because an man-slut, or a man-whore. It's pop culture though. Still, it is apt.


A "man-slut" and a "man-whore" aren't synonyms for word slut. If "slut" is applicable for men, there wouldn't be the need to make a compound word out of "man" and "slut" or "whore".

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Postby NemZ » Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:59 am

View Original PostMr. Tines wrote:Much of Misato's confessions in Instrumentality give a strong impression to that effect


That's showing us the truth of how she feels about herself, not necessarily the truth of the overall situation.

and Kaji actively flirts with all the women in NERV, and it is implied by how he relates to Misato that he doesn't have someone steady, together giving the impression that he plays the field.


Maybe, or maybe he's just a flirty sort of guy. There's no evidence that he backed up these flirtations with action, or that he ever actually planed to do so... he could just be trying to get other people off their game.

It's also perhaps worth noting that we never see him behaving this way unless Misato is about to walk in. Is it so unbelievable that he's just using Ritsuko and Maya to make Misato jealous?
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Postby oOoOoOo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:09 pm

View Original PostAllemann wrote:I know when that pejorative is used, and it has nothing to do with insulting woman for enjoying sex.

That is precisely one of the reasons it is used, but I guess I'll need you to mansplain to me why women are called sluts. Please share your definition with the class.

He isn't doing it to for the sake of pleasure but to make people do his bidding. Sure. This is more reprehensible than Misato's actions, but he isn't a man-whore or a man-slut because of it.

This right here could possibly save you from the full force of my feminist ire.
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Postby Allemann » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:39 pm

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:That is precisely one of the reasons it is used, but I guess I'll need you to mansplain to me why women are called sluts. Please share your definition with the class.


Woman are called sluts when they indulge in copious amounts of noncommital, often nonmonogamous sex. They seek men not for a long term relationship in which physical intimacy will be one part of it, but only for a momentaneous feeling of pleasure. Masturbation with the assistance of someone's penis.

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Postby Xard » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:53 pm

View Original PostNemZ wrote:That's showing us the truth of how she feels about herself, not necessarily the truth of the overall situation.


yes, it really seems to be about Misato's self-image instead of how she acts. There's implication in ep 20 that Misato hasn't slept with anyone expect Kaji

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Postby oOoOoOo » Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:56 pm

EDIT: In reference to Allemann's last post.

In other words, a woman who seeks casual sex for the purpose of pleasure. :p And this behaviour is worthy of derogatory language? What of men who do the same?

The thing with the word "slut" is that it has often been used to shame women who don't obey patriarchal notions of what is appropriate sexual behaviour. (Increasingly it is also used to describe promiscuous men, but men have traditionally had more sexual freedom and promiscuous men are more often congratulated on their virility.)

I don't mean to pick on just you, but on these forums I really only see this kind of derogatory language directed at female characters. I do not see it directed at men. While you admit you disapprove of Gendo's sexual behaviour, I don't believe I've seen you use derogatory language to describe him. And as others have noted, we don't know for sure how many partners Misato's had. There are all sorts of assumptions being made in calling her a "slut". How many partners does she need to qualify? Or are we just maligning people who like sex outside of a long-term relationship? Kaji's not so different from her, and he seems to get a free pass.

This is the kind of subtle sexism I'm talking about when it comes to fan interpretations of Evangelion. I'm not saying that this sexism is intentional, but it seems to exist within the fandom.
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Postby Allemann » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:06 pm

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:In other words, a woman who seeks casual sex for the purpose of pleasure. :p And this behaviour is worthy of derogatory language?


By standards of common decency, yes.

What of men who do the same?


Two wrongs don't make a right.

I don't mean to pick on just you, but on these forums I really only see this kind of derogatory language directed at female characters. I do not see it directed at men.


Well, Ophelia, we don't have a window into other characters' privacy as much as we have one into Misato's. And I already said Kaji isn't better than her in that compartment.

While you admit you disapprove of Gendo's sexual behaviour, I don't believe I've seen you use derogatory language to describe him.


What kind of language I use to describe his deeds doesn't determine their severeness. A slut isn't less of a slut if I tell her instead she's promiscuous.

Kaji's not so different from her, and he seems to get a free pass.


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Postby supershinjiasukashipper » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:33 pm

View Original PostAllemann wrote:A "man-slut" and a "man-whore" aren't synonyms for word slut. If "slut" is applicable for men, there wouldn't be the need to make a compound word out of "man" and "slut" or "whore".

Just because there is a compound it doesn't mean you cannot apply the base word. I have called a friend of mine a slut before when he was doing his stuff. (In good humor of course.) Its applicable. So we can say that Kaji was just a slut. We could also say he was a man-slut. Either one is an apt description.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:46 pm

View Original PostoOoOoOo wrote:I guess I'll need you to mansplain to me why women are called sluts.
The operative definition in some quarters is "any woman who has had sex with someone else than me". Not that there are a lot of bitter virgins in anime fan circles, no siree!
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:11 pm

I probably replied to this topic before, but whatever, to add my own two cents yet again: I don't see any sexism or misogyny in NGE just like I don't see any sexism or misogyny in New Movie Edition. (This was actually a complaint people had with 2.22--Asuka and Rei are forced to "get back in the kitchen!" which leaves me scratching my head (Shinji isn't fully aware of Rei's dinner plans with inviting Gendo AND he does his own share of cooking in 2.0, like in NGE). But that's another topic.)

ALL the characters in the respective Eva-verses are put through hell in one way or another, and it doesn't appear to be punishing women just because they're women or any bullshit like that. Shinji as the main character (who, again, is put through his own share of hardships) is a male, yes, but Anno mentioned in his "confession letter" that both he and Misato were meant to be "the heroes of the story" (and let's not forget that Sadamoto suggested Shinji be a male to Anno).

If you're talking about hentai Eva doujinshi, THEN I'll agree the majority--save for a few decent Circles--are full of misogyny or sexism, but such appear to "come with the territory" in hentai. (Which leads to more head-scratching because in that case, things don't have to be that way. There's nothing wrong with portraying both men and women as enjoying themselves unless it's some bizarre cultural aspect.)

On the subject :tongue: , if Gendo's not considered a "slut", Misato shouldn't be either. Gendo approached both Akagis for needing their help, they were the ones who claimed (well, Naoko at least, not sure about Ritsuko) that they were fine with Gendo not being able to forget about Yui and having a sexual relationship with him regardless. While we're not sure about Kaji (though he is portrayed as a flirt, nothing more), Misato implied once or twice in-series that Kaji is the only one she slept with.
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Postby esselfortium » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:27 pm

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:I don't see any sexism or misogyny in NGE just like I don't see any sexism or misogyny in New Movie Edition. (This was actually a complaint people had with 2.22--Asuka and Rei are forced to "get back in the kitchen!" which leaves me scratching my head (Shinji isn't fully aware of Rei's dinner plans with inviting Gendo AND he does his own share of cooking in 2.0, like in NGE). But that's another topic.)

I'll have to attempt a serious writeup on this one someday. :P

If you're talking about hentai Eva doujinshi, THEN I'll agree the majority--save for a few decent Circles--are full of misogyny or sexism, but such appear to "come with the territory" in hentai. (Which leads to more head-scratching because in that case, things don't have to be that way. There's nothing wrong with portraying both men and women as enjoying themselves unless it's some bizarre cultural aspect.)

God, yes. Eva doujins are depressing. The subtext of 'taming' or 'punishing' women into either misery or submission is really just abhorrent.

View Original PostXard wrote:you know deep down they like it; especially Asuka!


at least when it's Kaji

Yeah, Xard, especially the ones where they're beaten, broken, impregnated, and never allowed to return to normal life, or some combination thereof. Definitely.
Last edited by esselfortium on Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Xard » Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:29 pm

View Original Postesselfortium wrote:God, yes. Eva doujins are depressing. The subtext of 'taming' or 'punishing' women into either misery or submission is really just abhorrent.


you know deep down they like it; especially Asuka!


at least when it's Kaji


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