There’s a term that gets thrown around. One that supposedly describes a genre or a relationship or a female character.
And the particular way this particular word is used bothers me. Allow me to try to explain.
Pure can mean “wholesome and untainted by immorality, especially that of a sexual nature.” So technically, these individuals are using the word correctly according to its definition. Who am I to say that they can’t call a girl who gets flustered by sexual things pure? That a relationship that doesn’t involve sexual intercourse is labeled as pure? They have every right to do so.
Be that as it may, I cannot accept that these people are indirectly calling sexual activities immoral. Sometimes sex can be the ultimate expression of love. Other times sex is only a means of comfort and escapism. But in my opinion, sex is not evil or immoral behavior.
The sentiments I’m talking about can be found in the modern idol industry in Japan, for example. Said industry could possibly be construed as a misogynistic “sex-sells” industry where the marketed product is a fantastical and fictional relationship with a woman who is forced to adopt a fake persona to make herself desirable to her “fans.”
As a result, Japanese idols are typically contractually forbidden from having sexual relationships. If they were to have romantic or sexual pursuits, said idols would no longer be perceived as “available” to her supporters. In other words, virginity is fetishized and anything that affects the product from selling well is abandoned.
And there’s nothing that idols can do about it. Companies will drop idols and destroy their careers within a heartbeat if they have anything remotely resembling a sexual relationship. The best idols can do is insult and mock the system if they want to still keep their jobs.
Here are a series of gifs that depict, Shibata Aya, an ex-member of SKE048, doing exactly that.
The consumers want their idols to be “pure.” And the same applies to how viewers want their anime characters or anime series. Any mention of sex and the series or character is suddenly “impure.”
I acknowledge that this all could be a minor point. Maybe no one else but me cares about this.
But I do believe this sort of twisted belief still thrives in real life. It even applies to males and not just females like I’ve chosen to outline and focus on in this post. For example, my own parents consider me to be filthy and abnormal after finding out from my brother (who kind of betrayed my trust) that I have had casual sex on numerous occassions.
By all means, use “pure” if you want to. We get nowhere by telling others what to not say or do. Freedom of speech and all that. Demonizing others does nothing.
But all I’m saying is that I will try to distance myself from using the word, “pure,” to describe characters or series that lack sexual content. Instead, I’ll use more apt words to describe specific scenarios and situations. Like chaste. Or innocent. Those are fine words that lack the loaded connotations I’ve come to associate with “pure.”
Hopefully I kind of made sense.
Thank you for bothering to read this.