Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's Not the Mileage, It's the Years

A 43-year-old anime and manga enthusiast in South Carolina made headlines recently when he showed up at a meeting of a manga club formed by his local library -- only to be turned away as too old. According to the library, it had intended the club for teens, but had forgotten to post the age limit.

A regrettable mistake, but one the turned-away man may be blowing out of proportion: He is reportedly contacting the ACLU to explore an age-discrimination suit.

What are even more regrettable are the comments the story drew when it ran on Anime News Network. Some posters -- apparently young ones -- assumed that any person over 40 (or even over 20) who attended a manga or anime event could only be a pervert trolling for 14 year old girls.
Some quotes:
  • "Move on and date someone your age, buddy."
  • " I agree that the inevitable 40-something year-old fan who shows up to the anime (or in this case manga) club meeting is almost always creepy (as in 'pedophile vibe') and/or incredibly annoying."

On the other hand, the vast majority of commenters -- many of whom are in their 30's t0 50's -- rejected this kind of closed-minded stereotyping. Good for them.

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