There’s been a lot of discussion since Kill la Kill’s air about its treatment of female characters and sexuality. Recently I’ve seen a lot of terms being applied to the show - ‘degrading’, 'feminist’, 'sexist’ - and while I think there are a lot of really interesting viewpoints, what bugs me is how people seem to be leaning toward one side or the other. Either Kill la Kill is about sexually objectifying women or it is about liberating them. Either it advocates these things through the use of rape and noncon, or it uses these things ironically to make a point.
In a sense, I think it’s really a mix of all of them, but I do think that before anything can be applied to Kill la Kill and what it says, you first have to try and understand the cultural context of where Kill la Kill is coming from. In Japan, not only is sexuality in women incredibly traditional (girls are more pressured to look young and act cute in Japanese society - see the AKB48 example) but it’s also condemned.(girls are not supposed to have any sexual desires and be confined to roles where they lack power or agency - especially enforced in high school through uniforms and regulations, etc). Shame is something that should be a punishment to girls - public humiliation is actually quite common in Japanese society, and it’s not pretty (once again, see the AKB0048 example).
What Kill la Kill seeks to do, based on many traditional influences like Go Nagai (who played a huge role on women in animanga in the70s and 80s) and the fact that the crew is from TTGL (which also was a show that tried to make a revolution about certain tropes - mainly the mecha genre and the indomitable human spirit), is make a statement about this. I cannot necessarily say if this statement is good or bad as it’s way too early to tell what’s going on regarding thematic messages but I can say that based on what’s happened and what’s been portrayed so far is that there are things we can notice and pick up and examine.