I suppose I should qualify the title statement by stating that the newest update to the movement, the so-called Daughters of Shining Harmony, no longer call themselves Aristasians at all. But it’s basically the same movement carried over from the previous revolution of Operation Bridgehead, minus the Aristasian name, but as Aristasia is a more well-known name outside of the present day movement, particularly among former members who became disillusioned by the new changes which came along with Operation Bridgehead, I will refer to the organization as Aristasia in this post.
For starters, the new Aristasia is obsessed with all things Japanese and “kawaii”. One member recently commented in the Shining Tea Room Forum that “Japanese culture is probably the closest culture we will find to the Motherland.” This idealization of Japan smacks of Japanophile attitudes, a belief that is completely divorced from the reality of the country. There are many beautiful, praise worthy aspects of Japanese culture to be sure, but considering how nearly every post made in recent days is in discussion about “the esoteric meaning of kanji” or “the deeper meaning behind magical girl anime series like Doki Doki Precure (the newest anime fad amongst the group)”, I have concluded that this group has become so focused on Japan that there is no room left to discuss other topics of merit.
For another, although the group is made up of females living in Telluria (For readers unfamiliar with the term, Telluria is basically the real-world), they do not really make an attempt to address real-life problems that may happen to Tellurian females. Aristasia is caught up in living in a fictional, fantasy, all-female universe that only exists in the imagination and in cyber space. There is little to no advice given of how to practically live a feminine lifestyle based on values the group upholds in the real world. More troubling is the lack of concern for social issues in the real world, in favour of focusing on a fantasy Motherland. It’s intellectually frustrating to bring up a topic about current issues (“What do you feel about gay rights? Abortion? Animal rights? The justice system? The economy?) only to be shot down with “We aren’t concerned with critiquing Tellurian problems.”
Finally, tying into my previous issue with Aristasia’s unconcerned attitude with reality, I take issue with the extreme “anti-violence, anti-sex” slant of the group. Violence exists, death exists, the darker aspects of life exist, whether we choose to throw the blankets over our heads and ignore them or not. And what’s up with the sex taboo? Without sex, we wouldn’t even exist to discuss Aristasia! While our culture has become overly saturated in sexual suggestions and outright pornography, especially in the media, treating it as a taboo is just as much an insult to nature and to Dea.
The old Aristasia makes me cringe, with its emphasis on discipline and cult-like tendencies. But the writings I discovered on the old Aristasian websites are what captivated and inspired me to learn about Aristasia in the first place.