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Japanese women writers watch a boy being beaten by his father : male homosexual fantasies, female sexuality and desire Nagaike, Kazumi

Abstract

This thesis discusses narrative texts by Japanese female writers and popular manga artists* that deal with fantasies of male-male sex. It applies a variety of psychoanalytic theories (Freudian, Kleinian, feminist and so forth) to demonstrate how fantasies about male homosexuality may be analyzed in terms of the psychological orientations of the many Japanese women who are the readers of this narrative genre. I also discuss a variety of themes that often accompany and appear to support female fantasies of male homosexuality: the concept of Thomme fatal' in Mori Mari's male homosexual trilogy; sadomasochism in Kono Taeko's "Toddler-Hunting"; the decadent aestheticism of Okamoto Kanoko's "The Bygone World'; postmodernism in Matsuura Rieko's The Reverse Version; and the concept of . pornography as it relates to yaoi manga. * * In attempting to analyze the discursive aspects of female fantasies of male homosexuality, I begin with an examination of Sigmund Freud's article, "A Child is Being Beaten," in which he refers to the female scoptophilic impulse. Several Japanese female writers—Kono Taeko, in particular—provide clear examples of narratives that parallel Freud's model of the beating fantasy. This female scoptophilic desire to watch a male homoerotic 'show' is activated by a psychological orientation such as that defined by Klein's model of projective identification: female characters and readers project their 'unbalanced egos' onto male homosexual characters, and this enhances the processes of identification with and (scoptophilic) dissociation from these characters—which in turn create the possibility of regaining psychological 'balance.' One of the main themes of my analysis is the development of subconscious female desires to access the bisexual (simultaneously masculine and feminine) body. I discuss the idealization of the shorten (boy) identity (in "Toddler-Hunting" and The Reverse Version) and the image of the 'reversible couple' in yaoi manga as specific forms of a sexual discourse that presents possibilities of escape from the arbitrary, socially-constructed, but institutionalized concepts of the female body. *manga: narrative comic books for readers of all ages **yaoi manga: a subgenre of comic books by and for women that feature male-male eroticism

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