Earlier this year there was an American anime convention called Otakon that took place in Baltimore, Maryland. There a small recorded panel of two discussed views on sexism in anime fandom and convention gatherings. The primary points covered by the panel and Anime Diet is that new anime is dominated by male targeted anime, harassment of cosplay dressed convention attendees is prevalent, and about how genders are visually displayed in anime. Both panel speakers are openly into feminism and they themselves label their views as feminist.
Amount of Animation for Males
The panel dives into the difference in number of anime that targets male audiences than female with the shounen genre as example. It is difficult not to assume that they suggests somehow separate and privately owned studios and animation companies are obligated to make a more equal balance of what genders should be focused on. While acknowledging fans will watch and read whatever of their interests are in regardless of the boy girl genres, they state that the higher volume of male anime is apart of male dominate culture. The point in running a for-profit business is to create more profit than previously and that would clearly mean catering to a group if it yields more profit and viewership. That leaves others to capitalize on different viewers if they find an unfilled opening or growth in other viewer audiences.
Harassment of Cosplayers
People visit conventions to hear about the industry, shop, and to meet other people of similar interests. A social gathering for speakers, sellers, and the fanatics that may often dress as their favorite characters from anime. Those cosplay fans however are the main bit that is thought of when conventions are discussed. People spend a lot effort and time in their appearance and in better examples their mannerisms. Both of which are visual in nature and done to be seen or to win a cosplay tournament of some kind. To be seen is the key component in this where it is unnatural to think that you would not be looked at with a chance of having judgement of cosplay dedication. While asking politely to take a photo is always polite, it is not realistic to think that your colorful, unrealistic, abstract, cheesy, revealing, or spiked up outfit won’t attract attention and those that will want photos of what made their day special. In the panel they place percentages onscreen to show that this is an issue for both genders, so one would conclude that there is not a sexism issue.
Just as soon as harmful behavior at conventions is mentioned, it starts with how there are so many female attendees and about an attendee survey on how more so than not convention staff are seen as unhelpful in harassment situations. Enforcement of behavior on one gender and not the other is not fair and is sexist itself. All too often males have nowhere to go or any legal means in handling such kinds of harassment. Take it like a man and quit crying.
I cannot comment on the specific anime or the characters mentioned in their panel outside of Melfina from Outlaw Star, but the anime did have three main females to show various personalities. Sound quality and background noise plagues the video and distracts attention, so perhaps better acoustics can be put into consideration in conventions when recording.
Speaking out on bad behavior is great. Be loud, be angry. Support and demand more of what you enjoy.