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Answerman - Why Do Girls In Anime Say, "Now I Can't Get Married?"


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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1898
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:08 pm Reply with quote
Isn't the old-fashioned nature of the complaint as much a part of the comic hyperbole as considering something like an accidental skirt-flip being "sexual despoilment"?
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Hoppy800



Joined: 09 Aug 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:26 pm Reply with quote
It's just a joke, it's fine. Nobody believes such a thing anymore in the Western or Eastern world even the most conservative don't think this way around here.
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bj_waters



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 230
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:31 pm Reply with quote
I was under the impression that it had to do with some sort of connection between virginity and purity, perhaps as a leftover of the Miai tradition. At least, whenever I saw this line, the way the characters were written gave the impression that, despite how minor the infraction, what had happened to the girl (somehow) made her less pure and thus less desirable/date-able/whatever. As if her purity was the only thing that made her valuable in the relationship stock market. (Shallow, I know, but I doubt we're working with Shakespeare-level writing here.)

Now, I get that the way people act in anime is not meant to be a perfect representation of how people actually behave in Japan, but it is something of a reflection of their own culture and experiences (even if it's a funhouse mirror, sometimes).

Am I just making stuff up?
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mgosdin



Joined: 17 Jul 2011
Posts: 1112
Location: Kissimmee, Florida, USA
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:39 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a catch
Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Look through your book,
And make me a perfect match

Fiddler On The Roof


Not like we didn't have something like that in the West. There's still a good bit of matchmaking done here, it's no surprise that its Japanese equivalent would spawn a Cliche.

Mark Gosdin
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 2646
Location: Colorado, USA
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:49 pm Reply with quote
There may be some anime where the line is said seriously, but every time that I can remember hearing it it was a joke.
And the fact that it is stale and dated was part of the joke.

I have actually learned to expect it in certain situations, and I usually get it.
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nobahn
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Justin Sevakis, in the column, wrote:
Miai still happen in Japan, though they're increasingly rare and often the exclusive domain of very traditional families.

Just out of curiosity, exactly what are the characteristics of these Very Traditional Families? (e.g., I would imagine that that such families come exclusively from rural areas. Am I mistaken? Confused)


Last edited by nobahn on Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 652
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:11 pm Reply with quote
It kinda amazes me anyone would ask this question, and I can't decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing. Is the writer so detached from women's issues that he (guessing it's a he from the name) doesn't understand the connection between being groped -> feeling "defiled" -> not a virgin -> can't get married? Or sweetly naive because he personally would never think of a woman with sexual experience as "damaged goods" and so doesn't make the connection?

I mean, maybe I'm the ignorant one, but I don't know of any large culture that doesn't, at least historically, place value a woman's "purity". Not that I personally think there's any value to staying a virgin or otherwise "pure" before marriage, Just saying that this view is so widespread across many cultures I can't imagine having never come across that viewpoint.

(Oh, and for the record, I think the joke in question is funny. I think it makes fun of the absurdity of "damaged goods" more than it encourages it.)
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Sam Murai



Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Posts: 957
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:37 pm Reply with quote
The vast majority of the times I've heard the joke or anything similar to it, it has been in a jest and in an overdramatic tone selling the inherent ridiculousness of & humor in the line. I think Sevakis took it more seriously than it need to or deserved.

Since the notion hails from olden times, there are fewer talent today, who are younger (relatively-speaking), that would likely use it, anyway (a little in the same vein of the comedic pratfall done after something dumb or in error occurred or was said, which was omnipresent up to the early 2000s, when it all but disappeared).
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 1836
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:49 pm Reply with quote
I was watching Bakuen Campus Guardress, and there was a scene where a girls breasts got exposed, and she shouted about not being able to get married. Which is strange as being seen naked is very different from any form of sexual conduct.
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Guile



Joined: 18 Jun 2013
Posts: 451
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:13 pm Reply with quote
Hoppy800 wrote:
It's just a joke, it's fine. Nobody believes such a thing anymore in the Western or Eastern world even the most conservative don't think this way around here.
Virginity is still valued in a lot of parts of the world if that is what you mean. If not, my mistake.
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Nyren



Joined: 07 Oct 2014
Posts: 480
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:19 pm Reply with quote
MarshalBanana wrote:
I was watching Bakuen Campus Guardress, and there was a scene where a girls breasts got exposed, and she shouted about not being able to get married. Which is strange as being seen naked is very different from any form of sexual conduct.
I think that stems, not from a purity standpoint, but from the old notion that only one's husband should be allowed to see them naked. Having someone who is not their husband see them naked would be seen as disgraceful among other things.
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FenixFiesta



Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 2448
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:34 pm Reply with quote
I usually get more of a reaction with the other side of the joke "you will take responsibility for this, won't you?" as it is comparatively less self deprecating and shows the girl has some wit about her character.

It does make social sense that a young girl at high school age that has never been known to have a boyfriend would expected to be a virgin, yet at the same time it can cause issues due to a complex about being a "true virgin".
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7jaws7



Joined: 17 Aug 2013
Posts: 515
Location: New York State
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:57 pm Reply with quote
The lazy joke in question doesn't have to derive from anything sexual. I believe Miho says it about doing the Anglerfish Dance (have you seen it?) in Girls und Panzer. It has more to do with a girl's humiliation than anything.
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Paiprince



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 583
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:00 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:

I mean, maybe I'm the ignorant one, but I don't know of any large culture that doesn't, at least historically, place value a woman's "purity". Not that I personally think there's any value to staying a virgin or otherwise "pure" before marriage, Just saying that this view is so widespread across many cultures I can't imagine having never come across that viewpoint.


Ever since the Sexual Revolution, modern American culture doesn't value virginity. In fact, it actually derides it, especially with males.

Sam Murai wrote:
The vast majority of the times I've heard the joke or anything similar to it, it has been in a jest and in an overdramatic tone selling the inherent ridiculousness of & humor in the line. I think Sevakis took it more seriously than it need to or deserved.


My thoughts exactly. It's just a joke. I can feel his personal anger permeating while typing his answer.
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bj_waters



Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 230
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:07 pm Reply with quote
Paiprince wrote:

Ever since the Sexual Revolution, modern American culture doesn't value virginity. In fact, it actually derides it, especially with males..


I think it depends on what part of the United States you're referring to. I would believe that things like purity and virginity have more importance in the more conservative states.
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