I wish that people would understand the problem when they compare our queer female OCs to their hyper-feminine “anime” male characters as if the struggles of having their OCs misgendered is the same.
Think about this: The threshold/standard at which people judge a woman’s femininity is incredibly different than a boy’s.
To draw a male character feminine enough to where he is mistaken for female, you have to consciously add an exceptional amount of “feminine qualities” to him before people misgender him. There are men IRL that fall into the androgynous to feminine side of the spectrum, but most artists of this type do not do it accurately and are more influenced by bishonen and yaoi than any real queer man. (But that’s another topic entirely.)
For girls, the bar is extremely different; If she shows hints of something other than stark femininity, her gender is questioned. Her hair is too short, she has no eyelashes, her chest and butt aren’t big enough, her waist isn’t small enough, if she’s not wearing frills, pink, and lace, if her cleavage isn’t visible. This is the same IRL as it is for online / fictitious characters, whereas this type of male character is almost exclusively fictitious.
Typically, someone creates a really feminine boy— I’m talking archetype bishonen and shota extremes, down to cross-dressing, extremely feminine mannerisms, sexuality, everything; which is most often what I see in these comparisons— and then vehemently insist they are male when they’re misgendered and refuse to acknowledge them as trans, gender-queer, genderfluid, or non-binary (though doing so may not make this any less problematic if there is a lack of understanding.)
There was a conscious effort to make them qualify for being misgendered, whereas female characters can be questioned and policed for the smallest of things. I’m not talking about exceptionally masculine female characters designed deliberately in contrast either, it’s a woman’s gender being policed as a whole.
Everyone will be misgendered to male first by default. So if a woman is not actively staying hyper-feminine, she’s trying to be something other than the subordinate gender and needs to be policed back into it. “They’d look better/”read better” as “a girl” if they had more curves/longer hair/softer features/bigger eyes/bigger boobs.” It’s micro-aggression. It’s an act to keep girls in that gender segregated binary. It also makes it twice a difficult for MtFs to pass or be recognized as women.
Comparing inaccurate portrayals of gender variant/queer boys and men as yaoi bishonens/shotas to our queer female character’s gender policing is unfair. I am not saying one can’t enjoy them or this particular genre as a whole, because they have EVERY right to enjoy what they please— but these issues of the LGBTQIA community have nothing to do with the yaoi OR YURI “culture” and it’s a problematic mindset to have.