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girls and boys
Wednesday, November 24 / 0 comment(s)

i was watching ethnographic films in preparation of my exams yesterday. i watched 2 films made by kim longinotto called dream girls and shinjuku boys. after watching them, i felt quite depressed. but depressed isnt the exact word. na4 men4 is more appropriate. the films were about women and men, women acting as men.

apparently, in japan, there's a music school called takarazuka. its a very strict school where year ones have to reach school very early to clean the school without any help from machinery (which means they use scotchtapes, brushes, toothbrushes etc). this is to train their tolerance for hardwork says the headmaster. its likea culture shock, cos as the year ones are cleaning the dance studio, everytime a year two enters the room, they have to face their senior and greet them. and they're trained by military people and learn how to march so as to learn the proper posture of standing and walking. man this is a nightmare bootcamp for people like me. the lazy wuzzies.

every year, only 40 girls are chosen after auditions. they will be trained in dance and song and do takarazuka musicals where all actors are female. and there will only be 1 top star at a time which will be a girl acting as a man. the top star is so loved by the japanese girls. its unbelievable. they will camp outside the theatre and wait for hours just to hear the top star speak. they shower the top star with gifts. to them, the top star is the ideal male.

the film maker interviewed a few fans... all the fans are female by the way, and asked them what they loved about takarazuka. the answer that everyone gave was that it was an escape from reality, the ultimate fantasy of the ideal man. in real life, the females are always subservient and have to obey the males. the real men are "coarse and rough" quote from a girl. they are insensitive and care only about their careers. in takarazuka, the male is played by a female, this enables the actor to mould the ideal man. a girl said that if the male part was played by a real male, it would be gross. the ideal man in takazukara is always sensitive and places his lover or wife in top priority. the sensitivity doesnt end with marriage, as said by a woman.

and i'm thinking, woah, the girls in japan are so sad. they can only escape into a fantasy world for that few hours and when the show ends, they have to go back into reality and go back to being a mother and wife. but that's life huh.

the greatest irony is that takarazuka actors have to choose if they want to retire at 25 as it is a crucial age in japan. most expect females to marry by 25. to think that the very actors of takarazuka who give so many thousands of women the refugee of escape into a fantasy world are themselves shackled by the cold reality. but apparently, takarazuka girls are very popular as wives due to their training. they are tolerant and are capable of smiling even then they are utmost unhappy. which is another irony, that their training doesnt help to liberate them, but actually pushes them further into the abyss of male domination and female subservience.

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Get your own brain.