So, the other day there was this really interesting piece on blog Anime Almanac (found via Simon Jones, sometimes NSFW) that posited that female mangaka draw at least as many ecchi series as men these days. Of course, that's hardly news to anyone who's ever opened up a copy of Shogakukan's popular shoujo manga anthology Sho-Comi, which can definitely hold its own against all the moe fanservice mags out there.
Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru, aka "I'm In Love With My Little Sister," is about a dude in love with his younger twin, who starts out as a creepy stalker. It becomes "okay" when she decides she loves him back. Anyone who tells you that women aren't every bit as perverted as men on average is kidding themselves.)
But that's not the main point of AA's article: author Scott VonSchilling suggests that female-written ecchi works stand out more due to their "feminine touch," that "when you have a woman writing the story, you tend to get a much deeper and more dramatic plot" to keep the fanservice together.
I can understand the temptation for someone-- particularly someone who may not have picked up Sho-Comi, and has made his un-fondness for yaoi well-known --to instinctively think that way. But speaking as someone who reads through a LOT of shoujo manga, including those not cherry-picked for US release, and who has also read an awful lot of yaoi, I can tell you right now-- women are perfectly capable of writing shallow fanservicey crap. And some of it is still hiiiighly attractive. I promise.
Kodomo no Jikan, doesn't have a strong story, even with its more questionable (underage) fanservice. Sex-heavy Chobits, by all-female team CLAMP, also has a darker plot below its chipper, pantyful exterior, too. But it's not as though men haven't been able to draw heavy-fanservice or outright pornographic series with interesting stories: Fate/Stay Night was an eroge with a remarkably complex story. Black Lagoon and Yubisaki Milk Tea are also male-written tales with their fair share of babes, panties, nipples, etc, as well as more in-depth characterizations and stories. And quite frankly, if you read through enough hentai manga, you'll find quite a few storylines more creative than your average mainstream manga amidst all the sex scenes (as well as plenty of plain-ol' storyless smut), written by both men and women.
In other words, men and women can all draw pervy content, and some of them can do so while also creating complex, layered stories and characters.
DearS, Chu-Bra, and Ichigo 100% as the MOST "offensive, perverted, fanservice-laden, otaku-pandering, female-degrading manga of the past few years." But I'm sure some people wonder why women would WANT to draw manga that depict other women in such ways.
EDIT: If you want another example of a manga by a woman that you might never expect-- have you ever seen the hentai anime The Rapeman? Its original manga was written by Keiko Aisaki, a woman, and drawn by Shintarou Miyawaki (probably a dude, unless that's a pen name). I can't believe both VonSchilling AND I managed to forget that one!) I've only watched the OVA, which I see as a dark satire, but clearly the concept is bad enough to many: the manga actually got mentioned in an episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit as one of the comics an oblivious dad let his teenage son read.
But back on to the "why."
First, the obvious reasons: that content sells. Erotic doujinshi makes up a laaaaarge chunk of the sales at Comiket and I would imagine this carries over into the professional manga world as well. And I would bet that men buy more smutty manga than women (if only due to societal pressure-- I can tell you right now that as a woman I didn't even feel welcome in porn shops in Japan).
And then, of course, there's another obvious reason: some women like being submissive, or like seeing other women being submissive. Like men, why wouldn't these women draw what's attractive to them?
Moving into less obvious reasons, I'd suggest that some of the thought process behind it stems from similar reasoning behind yaoi manga: you can explore all kinds of things in fiction that you can't, or wouldn't want to, in reality. The most obvious example is something that shows up constantly in the mostly female-drawn world of yaoi, as well as plenty of shoujo: molestation, coersion, and rape. From there we move into a level of psychological theory I'm not entirely comfortable making sweeping generalizations on the matter, but it's clear that there are many women who enjoy men who are aggressive towards the objects of their affection-- in their FICTION. Surely this carries over in manga as well as in prose (see also: bodice-ripper novels, most yaoi fanfiction, and western counterpart slash fanfiction as well).
So, what do you guys think? Do women write and draw better perverted manga than men? Why or why not? Do you think it's empowering or damaging to women in general, or neither or both?