What you’re seeing above is an infographic uploaded to Twitter by an art-oriented account, intended for Japanese artists who may be seeing a sudden surge in western viewers who are intent on influencing Japanese art, particularly anything done in the manga or anime style.
This infographic comes at a time in which a nebulous affiliation of self-styled influencers are inserting themselves into art communities, intent on ensuring that anything that an artist expresses conforms to their sensibilities.
This can be jarring to Asian artists, who come from a career-oriented culture, who are now finding out that there are western subcultures that take entertainment media so seriously that they allow it to become a part of their identity while contributing little else to society.
The infographic comes in handy for Asians who may not be familiar with certain western subversive movements, and therefore may be less prepared to identify them when such bad actors appear. Whether we call them “intersectionalists” or simply “incels”, this group of people contribute nothing to society, but regardless are characterized by a legendary sense of entitlement, and it’s helpful to understand how to respond to them appropriately.
What I find particularly fascinating is the list of identifiers for the influencers, in that they are mostly accurate. Among them are preferred pronouns, imaginary gender identification, abuse of emojis, or identifying with certain activist groups (a dead giveaway). Also interesting is that they openly identify themselves with their mental illnesses. While one shouldn’t have anything against someone who has a legitimate condition, there are those among us who misuse these identifications for sympathy.
The infographic makes an important point: the way you deal with these people is by ignoring them, or by blocking them, if need be. It is important that one must never cave in to their demands, because they will interpret it as a sign of weakness to latch onto, as the tendency of predators often is.
In spite of their intimidation tactics, the influencers have no real authority, and are in no position to police anyone’s works of artistic expression. Thus, their threats carry no real weight.
One thing that the influencers seem to overlook is that in most of the western world, works of art are protected by freedom of expression, which is encompassing in its application. Even if a work of art is not considered socially acceptable, it is still protected under the freedom of expression. In fact, freedom of expression doesn’t have much value if it doesn’t protect art that isn’t socially acceptable.
Even understanding all this, the typical Japanese person may see the intersectional movement, and be distressed at the fact that so many young people in the west seem stunted and out-of-touch with reality, even years out of school. This highlights the difference in Asian culture, as compared to the west. The fact is, Asian society heavily emphasizes an education that prepares students for a career, reinforced by close-knit families that are highly supportive. It’s hard to imagine that in such an environment, a person would somehow become a cross-dressing ANTIFA windbag that blames all their problems on white-supremacists.
Westen families, generally speaking, could learn a lot from Asian families.
In the face of waves of leftist negativity, among the finest things we can do for Asian artists is let them know that they are appreciated.
There’s something to be said for the culture that brought us Chiyo-chan.