Dere To Believe Part 2: Yandere

Here we go again with another segment on anime personalities and why they do not translate to real life. Today’s model personality (and an EXTREMELY popular one at that) is the yandere and what makes them so damn appealing. Grab your knives and turn off your cellphones because she’s likely tracked your location and she is on her way to your house.

What is a Yandere?

Yandere (ヤンデレ) is derived from the Japanese word yanderu (病んでる) which means “insane” or “sick” and deredere (デレデレ) which means affectionate. Put those two words together and you have someone who literally sick/insane with “love” for another person and laundry list of problems that are only beginning and will, in fact, get so much worse. 

The Yandere is (usually) a female character who is in love with someone who is often the main character. Since this is often a female trope I will use the pronouns she/her throughout this post. Her love is characterized by her willingness to do anything to prove her love to the object of her affection. And by anything we mean ANYTHING. Stalking, kidnapping, (attempted) murder are not stricken from the list. If she wants you, she will have you at ANY COST. She may or may not have a body count (dead or alive), several social media accounts, and maybe a burner phone along with diaries or a stalker shrine. And more often than not, she has a very cute appearance.

On the surface, most Yanderes are fairly well put together, likable, and unassuming and usually friendly people…that is until they develop a love interest. In anime they take the forms of characters such as the notorious Yuno Gasai:

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That cellphone is magic.

Possibly tied for first with Kotonoha Katsura:

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Something about a boat?

And then there’s this bitch:

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Anna Nishikiyomiya- Shimoneta

You have to watch the anime to get the full scope of why she’s terrifying. She’s played for laughs.

Through my personal observations and some help from Captain Obvious I’ve noticed that in spite of the very terrible things these characters do (Yuno drugs and kidnaps Yuki, Kotonoha kills her rival and her love interest), they still have an even more dedicated fanbase. Even though these characters are in dire need of therapy and commitment to an institution, the predominantly male fanbase goes fucking nuts over them.

Who is a Yandere?

Technically anyone can be a yandere if they get desperate enough. Get rejected “one too many times”? Can’t get someone off your mind and refuse to deal with it in a healthy way? Got entitlement issues? You’re a Yandere in the making and you might want to seek help?

Why is a Yandere?

Why are they like this? In anime they’re usually given a tragic backstory that gains audience sympathy. You don’t agree with her actions but you’ve developed an understanding. Double those points if you can see yourself doing similar things if you were in their situation. Sometimes they’re used for comedic effect like Juvia from Fairy Tail.

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She gets a little better…

Sometimes they’re the Token Evil Teammate who is only around to protect their love interest from anyone who is a rival—which is pretty much everyone who is NOT them. They are prone to wildly inappropriate behavior which includes (but is not limited to):

  • Stalking
  • Taking pictures of said person without their knowledge.
  • Kidnapping or paying someone to kidnap their love interest
  • Attempting to isolate their LI, usually done by spreading rumors or emotionally/financially abusing them
  • Sexually harassing/assaulting them
  • Stealing items that belong to said person
  • Continuing unwanted contact (creating multiple social media accounts to continue interactions)

And this largely gets swept under the rug because they are attractive. Case and point:

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Article found here.

I found this on the Facebook page Eccentric Weeaboo where the poster cleverly shares the events with the caption “Real Life Yandere You Say”?

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Also, fuck this person for calling her a girl. She’s 21.

The story according to Tokyo Reporter is a woman stabbed the man twice and was prepared to kill herself when the police caught her. I will not link the aftermath photo to avoid the squeamish aspects. I will also not be linking the comments that state the various levels of admiration and the *ahem* things they’d like to have this woman do to them and vice versa. I will however share this post because it encompasses my collective confusion at some of ya’ll:

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How are Yanderes?

The collection of “what the fuck-ness” that is my brain continues to baffle me while reading the comments on these posts. I’m not entirely sure why men are this way towards cute female characters that would in fact kill them to keep them. In the case of this woman, I would dare say that Japense fetishization plays HEAVILY in the roll of wishing to have a yandere gf, but that’s a post for another day and ya’ll ain’t ready for this.

As long as the person in question is attractive, all sorts of behaviors can be excused due to pretty bias. It’s a psychological thing where you associate beauty with goodness and your cognitive dissonance erases anything resembling common sense because you’re stupid. That’s it. Stupidity. Your stupid horny ass is going to get you killed.

While being a dumbass sucks, it’s kind of understandable. After all, a yandere’s obsession can often be seen as love to some people. And honestly, the appeal of someone being willing to do anything to protect you and keep your happiness in the forefront of their minds sounds like an ideal loving relationship–at first. Unhealthy relationship expectations, inexperience, and low self esteem are pitfalls that make people vulnerable to these kinds of people. And then there are people who actively pursue this sort of thing.

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I’m not here to tell you where to stick your dick, but I’m also suggesting that you don’t bed crazy or actively pursue it. The Yandere personality translated to real life is terrifying with tragic results. A quick Google search will turn up no shortage of articles on “spurned lovers” who “snapped” and killed the objects of their obsession and caused TONS of collateral damage as a result. I also understand that not everyone is like this. The comments sections of articles of beautiful women committing crimes is full of people who understand the despicableness of their actions and hold them accountable.

When are Yanderes?

When are Yanderes acceptable? By acceptable I mean “when are yandere’s seen as love-interests and when are they creepy?” There are two rules that are consistently followed:

  1. They have a backstory with enough audience sympathy to make their actions seem “not as bad” or justifiable/understandable based on their plight.
  2. They are attractive, almost to a fault. The ones I’ve seen in media are often quiet and unassuming, often nice or polite. They are pretty, nice to look at, and have nice voices.

In real life this sometimes translates and sometimes doesn’t. Female stalking (a stock yandere behavior) is often seen as a sign of mental illness and is usually unacceptable. This is explored in the video “Stalking for Love” by Pop Culture Detective.

There are several videos that explore this and similar concepts that get portrayed in media as positive when they actually shouldn’t and also happen to be textbook yandere behaviors:

Yanderes in real life are obsessive, controlling, and abusive individuals. Making multiple social media accounts to “check up on” or stay in contact with people who do not want to be in contact with you is not healthy. Threatening to hurt yourself or others is also wrong. The best thing you can do for yourself when you’re rejected is to back off and move on with your life. Some therapy wouldn’t hurt either.

Are YOU the Yandere?

Maybe you’ve noticed while reading this that some of your behaviors fall along these lines. What do you do when you’ve been obsessively stalking someone? What do you do when you’re three accounts deep and people have receipts? You’ve recognized your behavior and you want to stop it.

First of all, I’m not your psychologist or your therapist so I can’t actually give you the best advice you need to change and rectify your behaviors. I’m also not studying psychology or anything in that field so I’m not an expert on these things. The only thing I can do is point you in the right direction. So here are a few bits of food for thought:

  • Schedule an appointment with a doctor/psychologist/therapist as soon as possible. If you’re unable to schedule with a professional, the next best thing is to join a support group for people with obsessive behaviors.
  • Delete your extra social media accounts. You don’t need them.
  • Look for and practice healthy behaviors that will help your mental health.

Seeking help is your first step to recovery and developing a health sense of self and relationships.


If you liked reading this buy me a ko-fi sometime!

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Anime Cons When You’re 25+ (Part 2)

Per my last post I covered the beginning basics of attending Anime Conventions when you’re Over the Hill. It’s time for us to continue. Please insert coins.

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Please.

Quick Eats:

You now know how to deal with friends and make sure you get paid for the room. Your next step is to figure out a food budget for the weekend. It’s difficult but not entirely impossible to eat well during a con and hopefully I can help you figure out how to do so. You may be tempted to hit up cafes or local restaurants in order to soothe the rumblies…until you realize the prices are jacked up everywhere you go and EVERYONE HAD THE SAME IDEA AS YOU.

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And before you know it, you crave hands.

Con food is expensive and I say that with full confidence. It doesn’t even taste that great nor is it that filling. My first trip to Anime Central left me feeling empty from the lackluster food choices they had for catering. That and every restaurant in a 5 mile radius will inevitably be full of people in costumes clamoring for calories and I bet you don’t want to deal with that slaughterhouse. So to avoid all this we need to find some alternatives:

Ramen

The easiest to get a hold of and easiest to fix. Most hotel rooms have a microwave and using reusable bowls ensure there’s little trash left over. They come in a variety of flavors and there are different kinds of pre-packaged noodles you can purchase.

Apples and Oranges and Bananas

These fruits travel well and can be eaten quickly on the go. They’re a perfect pick-me-up when you’re out and about and are super nutritious.

Oatmeal

Pre-packaged oatmeal can make a nice breakfast. They usually come in portioned out packets that can either me heated up in the microwave or have hot water poured over them. Having a portable kettle is helpful for this one.

PB&J

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a surprisingly satisfying meal on their own. The peanut butter gives you protein and the jelly adds some sweetness. Sandwiches are a gift to starving con attendees.

Protein Bars/Trail Mix/Popcorn

Snacking in between meals is IMPORTANT. Always have a power bar or a bag of trail mix on your person. The last thing you’ll want to do is leave a panel early because you’re feeling like you’ll pass out. If possible eat a snack every hour and set a reminder on your phone to remind yourself to stay well-fed.

Potatoes!

You might need to hold onto your seats for this one: potatoes are a good option. If you like baked potatoes and aren’t afraid to bring them to your hotel room you can make some baked potatoes in the microwave. If you want a recipe, click here.

If you want to eat a little fancier there are other options, just make sure you have a surge protector:

  • Using a pressure cooker/crockpot to make foods like chili, soups, stews, and taco meat. You can click here for some ideas. You can also bring a rice cooker.
  • If you have a mini fridge you might be able to get some sandwich supplies in there (meat, veggies, cheese).
  • potato chips and dip
  • canned soup/pasta

Make sure you’re following hotel room protocol and clean up after yourself. Organize your meal times around your expected con schedule to make sure everyone is well fed. To keep costs down everyone should contribute equally to the food selections. I also suggest bringing reusable bowls and utensils to cut down on waste. Bring dish soap and a sponge to clean bowls afterwards. 

Drinking Rules

Drinking happens at cons. Room parties get started and the booze flows like the Nile river. So if you plan on drinking at all you’ve got to prepare yourself to deal with drunk people and being drunk yourself. I’ll lay out a few ground rules for drinkers of all levels and then specific tips for those levels individually.

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All Levels

  • Make sure you eat before and while you’re drinking.
  • Always hold onto your drink. Don’t give it to anyone. If you don’t feel like drinking anymore, pour it out.
  • Stay with friends and avoid drinking alone. Make sure everyone has everyone’s phone numbers and phones are charged.
  • Never let anyone leave alone with anyone.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol and drugs.
  • If you’re underage, don’t drink. It will cause problems.
  • Don’t pressure others to drink if they don’t want to.
  • If you don’t want to drink, DON’T DRINK. If you’re feeling pressure, it’s okay to leave those people and go elsewhere.
  • KNOW YOUR LIMITS! If you’re not sure what they are, A CONVENTION IS NOT THE PLACE TO TEST THEM.
  • DRINK WATER!
  • Always know where the toilet is.
  • If someone is making your friend feel uncomfortable, HELP THEM OUT AND INTERVENE. Leave together or (if you’re hosting in your room) kick the perp out. If you’re at a party, tell the host who the creep is before you leave. Hopefully they’ll listen and kick them out.
  • Don’t let minors drink.

Beginners

Whether you just turned 21 or don’t drink regularly there’s a few rules to help you navigate the world of drinking at cons. I mostly dislike being sloppy drunk and not being in control of myself so I have to limit my alcohol intake regularly.

  1. Hang out with likeminded people. If you don’t drink a lot or just have a few for social reasons, it’s always great to be around people who have similar interests. If a glass of wine will do it for you and a group of friends, great! Drinking isn’t a personality trait and hangovers aren’t fun.
  2. Decide what kind of drinks you want ahead of time. If you only want a rum and coke, don’t do shots. If there’s a party bartender, let them know how much alcohol you want in your drink. They’re usually pretty nice about this, especially if you tip them a dollar.
  3. Have a bottle of water handy. Alcohol dehydrates you and waking up with cotton mouth is gross. If you only have a few (1-2) drinks you might not have to worry about this much.
  4. You have the option to not drink at all. Not drinking is a valid choice.
  5. If you’re not comfortable drinking in large groups you can just have an intimate pajama party with friends in the hotel room and drink there. You’re with people you know, you know where the bathroom is, and there’s no pressure.

Intermediate

If you’re about that age where you can’t drink like you used to, or know your way around a bar you might be intermediate. Many of the rules from beginners applies here as well. You’re probably familiar with hangovers and have a few stories to tell about wild things that happen. Some rules that apply to your level are:

  1. Know your limits but don’t (try to) surpass them.
  2. Look out for your inexperienced friends.
  3. Make sure you all go in with a plan and stick to it. Nobody gets left behind!
  4. If one friend overdoes it, party is over. Everyone leaves and friend gets taken care of. This sounds harsh and a bit of a downer, but it really means a whole lot when everyone gathers around to help a fallen friend.

Expert

If you’re an expert drinker you’ve probably seen/done it all. From throwing up to stumbling home you’ve covered a fair number of bases and probably have that one brand of alcohol that reminds you of a time you nearly died. Guess what? You’ve got rules too!

  • If you’re the friend who is well-known for getting wasted, this is not exactly a good thing. I’ll let you in on a secret: nobody likes you when you’re sloppy drunk and need a babysitter. Even if you can take care of yourself you’re a liability to others. Moderate yourself.
  • Don’t start fights! If you know you’re getting drunk under the table and you’re not exactly sure what’s going on, the last thing you need is to fight somebody. If you know you’re prone to do this, moderate yourself.
  • Don’t try to fuck anyone. If you’ve been drinking and feel like hooking up with someone, wait until you’re sober.
  • If you know you tend to get loose lips when you’ve been drinking, you may want to rethink your entire strategy or avoid drinking altogether. Like the Beginner Drinker you may want to stick to just drinking with friends or not drinking at all. Drinking is not a personality trait. The last thing you need to do is have drama erupt over something “Drunk You” said. Believe it or not Drunk You and Sober You are the same person and you’re responsible for them.

 

Hooking Up

Believe it or not some people attend cons just to get laid. I remember a guy asking me if I knew any single girls he could hook up with for the night. Yeah…that actually happened. That said if you’re a grown and responsible adult we should get around to tackling the subject of hooking up at conventions, because lets face it: that stuff happens.

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Forgive my immaturity.

If you and someone plan on hooking up it’s best to be prepared so I have a checklist you’ll want to cover:

  1. Make sure the person you’re banging wants to bang you and they’re in your age range. This goes without saying. Consent is just the standard. Minors cannot consent. End of story.
  2. What are the room rules? If the room says no hooking up, don’t do it. The last thing you want is to deal with a friend getting mad at you for not following the rules.
  3. Do you have protection? Always use protection peeps. If the person you want to bang doesn’t want to use protection, let them go. They aren’t worth the risk.
  4. Know your status.
  5. Don’t feel pressured to put out if you don’t want to. Make sure you’re with people who respect your decision.
  6. Keep it private. Exhibitionism is a kink that can get you registered as a sex offender.
  7. Do communicate properly to all parties involved. Do not do anything not already agreed upon.
  8. Make sure to take precautions to avoid injury and damage to yourself, your parter(s), and any objects in the room you don’t want damaged. Don’t damage or use items that are not yours.
  9. Make sure to enjoy yourself. If things don’t go according to plan, it’s okay!
  10. Don’t cheat on your SO(‘s). 

I didn’t have as much to say about this because it all speaks for itself. You know what the rules are, follow them! Hooking up isn’t necessary to have a good time, but hey–whatever rocks your boat.

I’m going to have to make a separate post for cosplay meltdowns and how to take care of your hotel room because it would take up way too much space here. Plus this post isn’t embellished enough. I’m going to have to fix that one.

 

If you like what I’m writing please consider buying me a ko-fi sometime!

 

Conventions When You’re 25+ (Part 1)

Since my last draft got deleted through a stupid error I am forced to sit up here and re-type as much as I can from memory with (hopefully) better embellishments and new quips. Unfortunately my cat got in my notecards and I’m too lazy to pick them up…

Here goes.

So you want to got to X Convention?

Most times cons are the most fun when you’re young because everything is new and fresh and exciting and you’re just diving in to experience everything. If this isn’t your first time on the block you can start experiencing con burnout. This usually starts to set in around the age of 22. 21 is when you can drink legally and after the novelty wears off you begin to get a little jaded. And I’m sorry to say, it all goes downhill from there.

If you want to go to a con you need to have a plan in place, a sturdy one at that. If you don’t go in with a plan, things can go horribly wrong and good luck trying to get things back on track after that because OOF you’re going to have trouble fixing that one. You can start by asking yourself a few good questions:

  • What convention do you want to go to? The US has a TON of cons you can attend during just about any time of the year. You can find an extensive list here.
  • What is your budget? Factor everything from hotel prices to badge prices to the cost of food and travel. Leave no details out.
  • How many people do you want to go with you? Going to cons with friends can lighten the burden of finances.
  • Do you plan on buying/making cosplays?

With these questions answered you are well on your way to having a great convention experience. Believe it or not, you can still have fun at cons when you’re 25-plus sun rotations into your lifetime; you just need to factor some variables in.

Golden Rules and CON-Mandments

Conventions can be fun. They can also be taxing and stressful. This can do a massive number on you if you don’t prepare properly. If you’re not careful, you can end up with LOADS of drama and bad memories that you can’t drink away, that an paragraphs long Facebook posts and pics you won’t ever be able to get rid of.

Absolutely nothing can go wrong…right?

Always Take Your Payment Upfront!

I put this rule at the top because hoo boy I can tell you plenty of stories about people who failed to pay their dues and it did not end well for either party involved. If the hotel is booked in your name–especially if it’s booked in your name, take your payments as soon as possible! This is NOT AN OPTION. The absolute last thing you want to do is show up at your hotel only to learn that so-and-so friend didn’t pay up and now you’re short on money.

Get them coins dearie.

Don’t accept “pay later” friends either. Chances are they actually have the money and are just hiding it in order to spend on merch and food. They rarely pay you back in a timely manner and you will be on edge the whole weekend because you had to pay some of your money forward to cover for them. This will create tension in your room that will not go away.

This brings me to my next point…

Make Sure Everyone Has Multiple Methods of Payment!

Be it Cashapp, Paypal, Google Dollar, Venmo, or Square; make sure you are prepared to take payments in ANY form. There are zero excuses for this. If your crew doesn’t have at least 2 of these apps on their phone, they can’t be trusted. Have that money in your account ahead of time. Make sure everyone pays. Anybody who doesn’t pay gets left behind.

Know Your Friends

I’m all for having friends come with me to cons. It’s fun. You all know each other. Memories will be made. But guess what happens? There’s such thing as bringing the wrong friends to the con. It happens, has happened. Be careful of:

  • Don’t bring broke friends. These are people who can’t pay for anything (food, badge, room).
  • Don’t bring frienemies. Frienamies aren’t actually fun to be around and will ruin your weekend. Got beef with someone? Don’t bring them. The tension will come to a head and you all will be sorry.
  • Friends who don’t agree to the rules laid down. If you have rules in place (as you should!) and people don’t agree to abide by them? Ditch them. It’ll become a problem later.
  • Know everyone who goes in the room. Don’t allow anyone you aren’t close with to be in the room. No friends of friends, no family of friends (unless you now them!), and ABSOLUTELY no one that only ONE person knows. Problems WILL arise from this.

In case you might be wondering why I’m being so harsh, there’s an entire Tumblr dedicated to these kinds of Convention Horror Stories. It speaks for itself.

Set Room Rules

You have to have boundaries. I can’t stress this enough. When you’ve got a limited number of key cards and are running on little sleep, you’re going to hope everyone has your back. SET UP RULES FOR YOUR ROOM! I can’t pound this into the ground any harder than if I had Mjolnir on loan from Thor himself. If you don’t set up rules, things will go South faster than Wile E Coyote discovering gravity.

Don’t know what kind of rules to enforce? I’ll give you a few of my own that I enforce on the regular.

  • Nobody is allowed in the room who isn’t on the room roster. People have sticky fingers. Incredibly sticky fingers. Things go missing at an alarming rate. And if you have 6+ people going in and out of your room, you will discover your inventory gets cleared out faster than a death in Majora’s Mask.
  • Sleep times must be arranged and respected. I normally wouldn’t put people in my room who don’t have the same sleep schedule as me, but it does happen sometimes. Make sure you know what times everyone will be in and out and make sure you don’t make too much noise for those who need a little more sleep. If you all are getting up there in age, this shouldn’t be too hard as most of you might make it to bed by 11pm.
  • No room parties. I don’t host those anymore. They aren’t fun when you’re the one hosting and you can’t make people leave fast enough.
  • Make proper sleeping arrangements. If you don’t have enough beds/blankets/pillows, you’d better make sure everyone else brings spares because you’re going to lose your shit when people get pissed over not having the hotel bed. I promise you the hotel will NOT have any spare blankets or pillows for anyone. Everyone is going to want a good sleep and having some air mattresses and comforters will make everyone’s stay a little bit happier.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I’ll be tackling:

  • grocery lists
  • drinking rules
  • hooking up
  • cosplay meltdowns

If you like what I post, please consider buying me a ko-fi sometime.

“Dere” to Believe: An honest look at popular anime personalities

Anime tropes are popular, no bones about it. You’ll often hear your local weeaboo tossing about terms they’ve learned from their favorite series one way or another. These tropes don’t just appear in anime but are standard for fiction writers around  the globe. That said, who wants to take a look at popular personality tropes and watch me deconstruct them haphazardly?

No?

I’m so glad you asked!

These tropes are usually represented by female characters, although they are perfectly fine for any and all characters regardless of gender or presentation. For the sake of simplicity we are going to use the pronouns she/her/they if that’s alright with you guys.

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There are four common “dere” personalities

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Clearly not my personal work. Give credit where it’s due.

 

As you can see; the suffix ‘deredere’(でれでれ) simply means to be loving or sweet towards someone. The prefixes just so happen to describe what kind of love that person encompasses. While on the surface as a flat archetype these descriptors are just regular categories to drop your characters into—which is harmless. They’re just characters.

 

But what happens when you translate them to real life?

I’m under the impression that people have trouble dividing fantasy and reality because I hear people talking about their favorite personality types (particularly when referring to their favorite characters) and how they’d just LOVEto be with a kuudere. I can’t help but wonder if they’ve really thought it through because these character traits are…concerning to say the least.

 

Tsundere

(harsh on the outside, sweet on the inside)

The Good

At first glance a hot/cold character seems like an almost ideal type. Harsh until you get to know them—not a bad thing, especially if you start off on the wrong foot. I very well could give this a pass and chalk it up to getting to know someone better over time.

 

The Bad

Ever notice how tsundere characters tend to get violent with the objects of their affections? Whether it’s full blown arguments or megaton moe punches, the poor person gets their noggins knocked. Then there’s the verbal lashings that border on abuse. I’m usually able to give passes on affectionate nicknames or occasional name-calling but the way Asuka treats Shinji is really unsettling. Since she spends the entire series unable to spit out her feelings and Shinji can’t read minds—it leads to a lot of confusion (the end of Evangelion notwithstanding).

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The view is captivating.

 

The Ugly

Well, as we all know (or should know), tsundere tropes are usually exaggerated and played (mostly) for laughs because *we all know that kind of erratic behavior is actually abusive and you won’t find love that way*. Right everyone? Of course nobody would ever think such hot and cold behavior would actually be attributed to feelings of love and affection (Italics for sarcasm and emphasis).

I’ve got some bad news for you all…People really think this works!

In real life I see this pop up in a lot of relationships where the idea of being hot/cold is seen as a good thing and is an appropriate way to show you’re interested in someone. Katy Perry songs aside, this hot/cold dynamic sends mixed signals and it’s a GREAT way to cause problems early on and ruin your chances later.

The truth is: tsundere characters treat their love interests like crap and are sending mixed signals that can in no way be interpreted as romantic interest. I’ve got nothing.

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Guys and Dolls: A Fear of Intimacy

As humans we are no strangers to the complexity of relationships. They’re complicated, they’re scary, and they’re (very) disappointing. So when it comes to issues such as miscommunication, pride, and fear…it’s no surprise when things fall apart and sometimes don’t come back together.

What does the above paragraph have to do with artificial intelligence I talked about in my earlier post? Read on:

Instant AI (愛)

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed in media (namely anime) when it comes to guys interacting with AI and computer programs it’s that…the interactions with them come across as strange. The AI in question are usually female and the protagonist is male and when they meet, the trope Born Sexy Yesterday comes into play.

The woman (AI, robot, doll, alien) in question is usually fully grown, naive, attractive, but skilled. The man is usually ordinary, sometimes unlucky in life or love or both. And interestingly enough…he’s almost always white* (when portrayed in American media). And the woman in question almost always seems to love him in the end. The trope can be explored more in this video by Pop Culture Detective:

If you don’t wish to go through the 18 minutes of in-depth talk I can give my abridged version:

  • Born Sexy Yesterday absolves men from doing emotional labor in relationships.
  • The idea of taking advantage of someone who is naive and vulnerable is inherently predatory.
  • Unfortunate implications abound when this trope can also be seen as a basis for abusive relationships.
  • This trope is used as a romantic subplot and almost always only shows the man’s perspective without giving characterization to the female character. If character is given, it’s known that she serves to be the love interest.
  • The woman in question seems to already love the man without any explanation as to why.

The reversal sometimes shows up in media. Comics and manga like Eggnoid, Absolute Boyfriend, and movies like George of the Jungle do exist but are rarely seen as the norm. I suspect the reasoning behind this is that women who are sexually skilled and knowledgeable of the ways of the world are seen as intimidating, maybe

So the gist I’ve gotten is that being able to be someone’s first and teach them everything without having to develop yourself or consider the other person’s feelings or autonomy is what’s passing for love these days. And people seem to be wanting an AI that is programed to love them and only them without putting in any effort to be better versions of themselves. Do people even know what love is?

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Baby don’t hurt me.

Relationships Are Complex

I’m not going to go through the whole trouble of explaining what makes relationships work because everyone’s seen the Facebook drivel that oozes saccharine sentiments on just how you should love another person. So, in order to not insult the intellect of the masses I’ll reduce it to a few fine points:

  • Respect: relationships can only be built if you genuinely respect another person as another person. They’re autonomous beings outside of you and don’t exist for your benefit.
  • Honesty: While respecting another’s privacy is important, a certain amount of transparency and openness is required.
  • Communication: Actively listening and working on your communication skills are crucial to maintaining relationships, you can’t ignore this.
  • Vulnerability and Emotional Labor: Close relationships require vulnerability and emotional labor to be expended on all parties involved. Taking another’s feelings into consideration and

People are Afraid of Intimacy?

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Honestly, the idea of falling in love with a program that caters to your needs is downright uncanny because I know that real relationships with flesh and blood human beings is nowhere near as simple or easy. Relationships take time to develop and there are no shortcuts to earning trust. You cannot cheat your way out of emotional labor and expect to have a healthy and happy relationship with another person.

The downside to all of this hard work is that it can easily be all for naught. Relationships change over time, failure happens, and rejection is an ever present reality. It takes a lot to trust in someone else because vulnerability can easily be taken advantage of, and nobody wants that. It’s because of this that fear of intimacy is understandable: we simply live in a society where people don’t trust each other.

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A simple Google search reveals plenty.

So, what now?

So, we have all this knowledge, what do we do with it? We know AI are no real substitute for humans (please hold all Blade Runner comments). We also know that relationships are complex, full of complex factors (anxiety, abuse, isolation, ect), and are generally messy with no perfect or satisfying answers that every single person. Is it worth it to try and connect with another human being?

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Artists certainly think so,

While we have little control over the things that happen in our lives, we still have the ability to control our reactions to what is thrown at us. We can’t control people or how they initially respond to us. All we can do is take our experiences—both positive and negative—and use what we’ve learned in order to better ourselves. Your personal growth as a human being is important because one cannot understand others without first understanding oneself.

TL;DR: Artificial Intelligence is no substitute for human interaction and relationships and you are encouraged to seek out relationships and to better yourself.