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Old 2006-04-03, 22:17   Link #41
Avijja
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Some great discussion, I really enjoyed reading this thread.

- In traditional, patriarchal, macho-man societies, the loss of one's manliness is the worst possible thing that could happen, worse than even death. If a boy acts in a way that isn't considered masculine, it's seen as a sign of weakness, disease and a threat. Even the most rational people flip out when gender rules aren't followed. If you don't believe me, wear a dress to school or work on Halloween and you'll quickly see how badly people react to even a hint of femininity, but you'll also quickly find out who your real friends are.

- Hazumu didn't identify with his maleness, so losing it wasn't a big deal to him. Ironically, his original gender was often a burden because it excluded him from activities, alienated people and encouraged bullies to pick on him.

- Tomari's tomboyishness might offend "girly-girls" that worry about fashions, elegance and appearances, but this isn't a big deal in society because many men find her assertiveness very appealing. In contrast, the few women that like spineless men are usually more interested in their wallets rather than their companionship.

- Hazumu's father seemed delighted by the change mostly because he's a dirty old man. If my child changed from an unhappy boy to a happy girl, I would be very glad. However, I've never been concerned about patrilinear succession.

- Philosophy? Jung suggests each of us has the "other gender" within us, even if subdued, and that accepting our other identifies strengthens us. Freud might describe this emasculation as a deep-seated hatred of one's manhood and frustration caused by the inability to sexually conquer a female, and the transformation is an awkward resolution made by rejecting the hated manhood and conquering a female by becoming her. Buddhism may suggest that Hazumu's lack of attachment to the earthly identity of his physical vessel is what made the transition so effortless, while Asuta's inability to distance himself from worldly desires leads to miserable. Psychology is filled with conflicting child-rearing theories that range from suggesting that a child must establish a strong sense of gender identity early on or they risk becoming an outcast, versus theories that suggest that the child must become a whole person first or risk becoming emotionally stunted. Etc.

- I enjoy these cute "it's the journey that matters" feminine series partially because I feel that I lost out as a kid growing up in a warzone where hyper-masculinity was necessary for survival. Shows like this and "Ichigo Mashimaro", "Kamichu", and "ARIA" are a fun way to vicariously live with the characters in a flowers-and-ponies world of "what if" that's safe, hospitable, orderly, and allows people to develop based on their inner personalities instead of externally forced desperation, as seen in shows like "Narutaru", "PLANETES" and "Kino no Tabe (Kino's Travels)".

- Yasuna exhibits psychological traits of selective attention, selective memory, dissociation, and derealization -- traits common in trauma survivors that can't cope with some awful memory. To me, she doesn't seem to "like girls" as much as she feels alienated by machismo. Think of the times in your life where you recoiled, "Whoa, there's just too much testosterone in this room, I need to get out of here," well, that's the sort of alienation that Yasuna might be fleeing.

- Tomari was deeply attached to Hazumu when he was a boy. She had very clear ideas about traditional gender roles and forced these onto him in hopes that she could eventually accept him as the man she wanted him to become. She's tormented by the transformation because she's lost the male Hazumu, is losing the female Hazumu, her clear-cut gender role ideas have been shattered, and she's uncomfortable accepting the new Hazumu after all these years of wishing he was something different, even though she loved what was in Hazumu's heart now and before.

- Ayuki's "calm, voice of obvious reason that no one pays attention to", and Asuta's "OMFG! My old buddy has boobies!" make for very amusing comic relief from the otherwise deeply-personal and convoluted internal issues the others struggle with.

- Society seems much more open to fem-fem relationships than man-man. In theory, I ought to be thankful that homosexual men have voluntarily "left the game" and are no longer my competitors, but I can't rid myself of the gag reflex no matter how much I respect them. I wish I could turn this reaction off.

- I don't believe I wrote all of this. :/
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Old 2006-04-04, 00:41   Link #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avijja

- I don't believe I wrote all of this. :/
I hope the hell we see a LOT more of you in the other threads... its damn near exciting to read posts like this compared to "i liek Narutoo, cm c my 1337 s1t3"

A virtual rep cookie for you ... since I gave you a cookie not long ago...
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Old 2006-04-04, 12:19   Link #43
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I wish I were lesbian. Like Hazumu.

Yep, as a heterosexual male (last time I checked), I wish I could love girls as a girl

1.) I reject masculinity. I despise my own male body. A female body would be beautiful
2.) However, should I become female, I might become attracted to men. But note in item #1 that I despise my male body, so why the heck would I want to be attracted to them?
3.) I love girls and I don't want that part of my wiring changed.
4.) Lesbianism's essence is the rejection of the male, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

Hence my conclusion.

Becoming gay is not an option. I do not want to be attracted to men. Transgender, maybe, but then in my country transgenders and gays are associated together...which means associating with more men (and also who are attracted to men). That's a double dose of masculinity right there...a big no-no. There is no social network (yet) where true femininity is celebrated. BTW in my country gayness is more socially acceptable then lesbianism.

I also don't quite identify with real-life lesbianism as what typically happens is one partner becomes 'butch' and assumes masculine characteristics. Like I said before I require zero masculinity. But I guess such feminine / feminine relationships are rare.

Kashimashi hits the spot.
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Last edited by DaFool; 2006-04-04 at 12:32.
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Old 2006-04-05, 00:10   Link #44
Avijja
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@Vexx, Akuma-sama, Catgirls: Many thanks, glad you liked the post. I've avoided anime forums for a long time because I couldn't handle seeing "omg i liek narutoo 2" . This is a really good community you have here, glad I found it. PS: You might also get a laugh out of this deeply-buried post on dubbing.

@DaFool: You have my sympathies, that sounds like a frustrating situation. However, I admire your honesty and ability to admit something so personal.

For what little it's worth, many women don't like manly-men. They're frightened by the aggressiveness, insensitivity, narrow-mindedness and afraid this man will run off after another filly. Therefore you have an advantage and opportunity, even if you can't change your body.

I've heard people cite many different reasons for their choices, e.g. "I love women", "I hate men", "I hate my parents and want to get back at them by telling them I'm gay", "I hate something about myself", "I love exploring sensuality", "I hate rules and get a thrill from breaking them", "I enjoy being what I am", etc. Note how a person might only agree with some of these statements but not others? I try to be understanding, but I can't help feeling sad when the reason cited includes words like "hate", "reject", and "despise". I hope you find a way to either accept yourself or resolve your frustration and find what you're looking for.

I'm curious, how do you feel about Tomari?
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Old 2006-04-05, 04:14   Link #45
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I can empathize with DaFool to the extent of loathing "guy talk" in many situations. Talking unchivalrously about women or blathering about sports just makes my brains shrivel up. To use a television example --- NCIS, one of the few I watch occasionally: I loathe the "jock manly" character who's always being the village idiot on the show. I love the Massad girl, the ballistics geek goth girl, the autopsy guy (w00t, from Man From UNCLE), the well meaning dweeb, and the toughnails leader. Jock Manly? bleh.... problem is too many places are filled with his type.

On those reflective moments where "what if" rules the day - if I were transmuted into a girl ala Hazumu .... (god I hope I'd get resized into something properly cute) ... I'd probably be okay with dating guys or girls... but "Jock Manly" can take a knee to the shorts from me However, with girls - I'd still be more attracted to the Tomari type I guess. Asuta seems pretty decent for a guy --- after all, he was Hazumu's best friend beforehand. Given Hazumu's rather effeminate character, that took some guts to ignore the "jocky" peer pressure.

Heh.. its late.. I'm not sure any of that made sense. Banzai....
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Old 2006-04-05, 10:13   Link #46
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Tomari is not butch. She is still essentially feminine. There's a difference here between being a 'tough girl' versus just 'tough'. Other examples, I find Saber feminine, despite her responsibilities and no-frills attitude.
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--Duncan, England
BBC News: The ugliest place in the world
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Old 2006-04-05, 13:12   Link #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaFool
I also don't quite identify with real-life lesbianism as what typically happens is one partner becomes 'butch' and assumes masculine characteristics. Like I said before I require zero masculinity. But I guess such feminine / feminine relationships are rare.
Actually, the butch/fem dynamic isn't as pervasive as you might think. You probably just haven't had as much exposure to lesbians in real life, since you live in a country where it's considered so unacceptable. But I think neither a relationship dynamic like Hazumu/Yasuna nor Hazumu/Tomari would be considered all that unusual.
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Old 2006-04-05, 13:37   Link #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBOvenGuy
Actually, the butch/fem dynamic isn't as pervasive as you might think. You probably just haven't had as much exposure to lesbians in real life, since you live in a country where it's considered so unacceptable. But I think neither a relationship dynamic like Hazumu/Yasuna nor Hazumu/Tomari would be considered all that unusual.
Agreed. At least in more tolerant parts of the US and Canada, I'd say no one would blink twice (except maybe the guys who feel the loss of 3 cute potential girlfriends ). I get the impression the same holds true in many parts of Europe.
Get into the more conservative areas in those countries and there'd be harumphing (or the rare bit of violence from the extra stupid and insecure).

As far as the "butch/fem" stereotype.... I've seen it, but I've also seen partners who are both very feminine ... every relationship differs just like in hetero-land - like the kendo girl who is socially very assertive but likes to be cuddled in private
I've not seen any statistical studies examining those sorts of dynamics ... about the only observation I can make is that in my own observations, I have met more cute lesbians on the West and East Coast and in Canada than in "the heartland" of the US.
Again, purely my own observation from living in different areas and meeting people.
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Old 2006-04-05, 14:02   Link #49
riznar
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I see the butch/fem pairing quite a lot here in "the heartland". Perhaps they feel the need to speak out and defy traditions, perhaps it is something else.

Actual conversation:
Me: Kristen, your girlfriend is hot, I'm going to steal her and turn her straight.
Kristen: I can beat you up.
Me: True.
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Old 2006-04-05, 14:09   Link #50
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<coffee-spit-take> rofl ... I love it.

Lesbians can be very fun friends once they get comfortable with the idea I'm not freaked out by them. I've been told once or twice in my life "its too bad I'm a guy" ... Long ago, I worked at one research lab with a young lady, we'd go out for lunch at the nearby "eclectic shopping street", sit at a sidewalk cafe and check out the girls in summer garb. It was interesting to see what she found attractive.
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Old 2006-04-05, 14:18   Link #51
rooboy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
I can empathize with DaFool to the extent of loathing "guy talk" in many situations. Talking unchivalrously about women or blathering about sports just makes my brains shrivel up.
I dunno, I enjoy talk about sports as long as it's intelligent talk (I think I could deal with any kind of talk as long as it is intelligent). Unfortunately, it too often degenerates into
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
"i liek Narutoo, cm c my 1337 s1t3"
type talk (though with sports cliches rather than l33t).
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Old 2006-04-05, 14:45   Link #52
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Oh... my rant has to do with the general lack of "sport talk" outside of american football or baseball. Too often, its just the "testicle waving" nature of being "for a team" -- completely vicarious ... kind of like those shiny big phallic trucks that never ever get *used* as a truck. (caveat: I have a truck, I use it to haul garbage to the dump and for hardware ... it looks like a truck that gets used ) As you say, the talk rarely stays meaningful.

I enjoy *being* at a baseball game but the cooler talk bores me... the only purpose for college football is to provide an interlude for the halftime band performance (sorry, i love saying that "I'm with the band"). I prefer college to professional if I must watch or listen to the talk as I am completely turned off by the state of many professional sports.
I like playing and watching soccer... but don't feel the need to babble about it. I like golf (both play and watch). I've seen cricket and lacrosse ... very interesting but not to play. Hell, I even find sumo wrestling entertaining.

I just don't tend to follow teams.... I prefer playing or watching someone I know play. I'm the smartass who when asked what I thought about the Patriots-Dolphin game -- ask which lacrosse league those teams are in.

edit: apologies... I keep trying to think of how to return this to topic... but this post just barely meets the "role of gender" discussion. Taking a hard turn back to topic now.

Last edited by Vexx; 2006-04-05 at 14:57.
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Old 2006-04-05, 16:55   Link #53
Avijja
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Vexx and rooboy666 provided some good thoughts, so I'll just expand on what they started.

What attributes define "masculinity"? The Latin base word for man is "vir", and is used to form words like vigor (strength) and virile (sexual prowess), key indicators of a man's "manliness". Having a big truck doesn't make you "manly", but using it as a way to augment your physical size, declare your power, and display your wealth to impress women and belittle men is. Talking about football isn't innately "manly", but using it as a way to prove to other men that you're smarter, privy to exclusive information they've been denied, and can dominate them through words alone is.

Humans created numerous "manly" activities to allow men to ritually beat each other up in public to establish a social hierarchy so that the watching women could select the finest mate. Some of these diverse activities include African ritualized stick fighting, Mongolian wrestling, Middle-Eastern Buzkashi polo with a dead goat, Viking pillaging raids, Slavic drinking competitions, fencing, fox hunting, yacht racing, etc. Interestingly some of these activities now allow women to participate and are regarded as art forms, which further suggests how significant these behaviors are to the human psyche.

These human rituals may be nothing more than elaborations on the same contests present in all mammals. It's been suggested that mammalian dominance rituals are so much more elaborate and significant than in other creatures, e.g. insects, because baby mammals can't take care of themselves and have to compete against their peers from the day they're born for their parents' milk and attention. For example, in dogs the best milk comes from the teats closest to the mother's head, and the puppy that owns these grows much faster than the rest of the litter and is more likely to survive and breed. This competitive behavior is further encouraged because female mammals have to be very choosy in who they mate with. Children are a huge investment for mammal mothers because they require large amounts of food, slow her down, and put her at much greater risk compared non-mammals.

However, an excessively-competitive attitude has serious drawbacks and nature curbs its advantage. For example, the Cordoba Dog breed went extinct because they were more interested in fighting than breeding. There is also an inflection point where a male's competitiveness is too much and becomes a turn-off for females, e.g. Donald Trump boastfully reminding us each week on his show that his penis is thiiiiiiiiiiis big and made of solid 24k gold. Kashimashi deals with this aversion to excessive masculinity by showing how the girls prefer the less manly Hazumu boy over the more manly Asuta, who in turn is preferred to the excessively manly guys propositioning Hazumu on the beach.

It could also be argued that writing these sorts of encyclopedic entries is the misguided result of these dominating instincts gone awry, which might be true even if that's not the intent. :/
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Old 2006-04-05, 17:22   Link #54
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Tell me more of this sport with dead goats.... my inner Society of Creative Anachronism spirit is being channeled

Many of the so-called "manly" rituals are so excessive in patriarchal systems that they end up having to subjugate the women anyway so they don't get to "choose".
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Old 2006-04-05, 21:58   Link #55
Avijja
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SCA? That reminds me that I left out the most manly sport ever: jousting. Freud must have had a field day with that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
Many of the so-called "manly" rituals are so excessive in patriarchal systems that they end up having to subjugate the women anyway so they don't get to "choose".
African traditional stick-fighting is quite egalitarian because it only requires an easily-available stick and everyone is a winner just for playing. But many rituals deliberately limit who can play and permit contestants an unfair advantage. In medieval jousting, only the richest could afford to play and afford armor good enough to survive a hit, which severely limited the set of potential victors a lady could choose from. The lady of honor was tradition bound to show her favor to the victor. Most contests were further rigged to make sure the right person won to avoid causing political problems, much like you wouldn't want to win when playing golf with your boss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Afghanistan Online
Buzkashi, which literally translated means "goat grabbing" is the national sport of Afghanistan ... a headless carcass is placed in the center of a circle and surrounded by the players of two opposing teams. The object of the game, is to get control of the carcass and bring it to the scoring area. [In the past, riders] carried a knife and sometimes stabbed an opponent's horse or even it's rider when attempting to steal the [goat].
Having watched a video of this, it's actually very impressive because of the massive scale, speed and ferocity. There are hundreds of men in nifty outfits racing around on horseback, all beating the crap out of each other. It's like "Spartacus" cranked up to 11, but for real. Here's an article and another.

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Old 2006-09-02, 03:05   Link #56
Psychtion
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Hello, hope its ok to bring up this topic again with my opinion.

I noted mostly everyone considered Hazumu to be not very manly and did many girly things, therefore the alien turned him into a female, or he deserved to be female, and now is the correct sex. I'm not too sure about that; I still kind of find Hazumu to retain a bit of guy factor. In one episode (can't remember which, still downloading the full set using bittorrent), Hazumu said that even though his body has changed to a female's, he's still who he is. Therefore he still remembers what Tomari said to him during his childhood, stuff about being manly, being her groom etc.

So let me explain some gender/sex stuff.

Given Gender
To me, everyone has a fixed gender that is unchangeable. Either male, or female. It is fixed no matter what stand you take during the course of your life.

Personal Gender
Then, there is the one you prefer. This can vary differently. You can be a guy but want to be a girl, and vice versa. You can be a girl, but like a girl. Right now this is still your thinking.

Sex
There's also the one you came to this earth with. This usually is either male or female, but because the world is kinda screwed, sometimes some people end up with mixed sex organs, or none at all. Hormones also belong to this category. This is also one factor, because hormones affect your brain and affect your thinking. Like how Asuta (or any guy with raging hormones) is affected seeing a cute girl like Hazumu. Eh? Well the body..

So, we look at Hazumu now. His given gender is male. His personal gender is also male, as he likes Yasuna when he was male, as seen in episode 1. His sex is male. Wait. Now his sex is female!

But.. he still likes Tomari and Yasuna. (was it real love? I'd like to discuss that, but that is another discussion) He doesn't like Asuta as a girl.. because he isn't. Right? Only his sex changed, but his given gender and personal gender doesn't.

Since gender didn't change (if you're following my terms), that's why relationship didn't really change at all. As for the sex change, it did help them in improving their relationship. Yasuna's relationship with Hazumu became better because she can see girls, so she thought she can now accept Hazumu without fear of him disappearing. Tomari's relationship with Hazumu kinda got whacked abit because of the shocking change of sex (and a perfect one at that, wth even Hazumu's boobs were bigger) but it just made her realise that she loves Hazumu due to his better relationship with Yasuna, because there was a chance of losing him to Yasuna.

But.. how is this considered, um. Yuri/Shojo-ai? To me, it still seems like two girls liking a guy. Just that the guy, um, has a very nice body.

After going through the whole 12 episodes in one go, my mind is still blasted by a lot of personal experiences and thoughts fighting against what I saw, even after 2 days. I tried to take into account the previous posts I read on this thread, but I may have missed some points. Please forgive any confusing statements.. but do ask about it so I can explain.
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Old 2006-09-02, 14:55   Link #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychtion
But.. how is this considered, um. Yuri/Shojo-ai? To me, it still seems like two girls liking a guy. Just that the guy, um, has a very nice body.
Haha... yup, actually, I agree. The gender switch was (and I hate to use this term, because it has bad connotations even though it doesn't have to be taken that way) a "plot device" in the story - it pushed things forward. But the characters are essentially the same regardless of gender -- it really blurs the lines. So is the show shoujo-ai? Well, it is and it isn't, but in the end it's not that important - which, I'd say, is one of the points of the show.

Lots of interesting posts in this thread, though, I must say. I'm impressed. Coming to the show late in the game means I missed out on a lot of discussion here - it wasn't a show I expected to enjoy as much as I did. In this fandom that seems increasingly fanatic, it's nice to see a show that can lead to some serious thought and discussion.
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Old 2006-09-02, 16:10   Link #58
Vexx
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This has been my favorite thread outside of Suzumiya just for concepts covered and mostly intelligent idea expression.
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Old 2006-09-12, 01:23   Link #59
Kaoru Chujo
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This is not a "sex-change" involving hormones and surgery. It is deeper than that. The genetic code in his cells is female. I don't know how much more female you can get. At least that is how the set-up is supposed to work.

Hazumu was sort of girly even when he was male, and now he is female through and through. I wouldn't deny that there is still something residually masculine about him (I do tend to want to use that pronoun, for example). On the other hand, perhaps there is also something masculine about Tomari, in those terms.

I don't think this fantasy situation can be analyzed in the same terms as real life. "Given gender:" is this given by parents? In that case, I think they've decided to change their minds, lol. If it's just "given" by definition, then I guess I don't see why it can't change, except that that's how you've defined it.

Personally, though, I think the fact that Hazumu is fully physically female is enough to make this a kind of yuri/shoujo-ai. Not Oniisama-e, but still a version.

For anyone interested in these topics, I really want to recommend Simoun (I'm a broken record, I know). In that future non-Earth world, everyone is born female, and then at 17, when people become adults, they choose whether to become female or male. One finds oneself always asking the question: which would I choose? Simoun is not a comedy, but more a romantic drama against a background of war and religion. And definitely shoujo-ai.
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Old 2006-09-18, 01:24   Link #60
KaosProphetess
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First... um, hi, sorry I'm late to the party
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaoru Chujo
Hazumu was sort of girly even when he was male, and now he is female through and through. I wouldn't deny that there is still something residually masculine about him (I do tend to want to use that pronoun, for example). On the other hand, perhaps there is also something masculine about Tomari, in those terms.
Heh. In the subs at least (and thus, presumably in the japanese as well) everyone uses the feminine pronoun (her) the male honorific(?) "-kun" when referring to Hazumu. And even Hazumu refers to herself as a girl, except that when she says "I" she uses the male version. Is that just habit from using that form during the 14-15 years she was a he, 'residual masculinity' expressing itself, or just a subtle reminder from the writer that Hazumu used to be a boy to keep the sexchange part of the story from fading out completely?

Quote:
I don't think this fantasy situation can be analyzed in the same terms as real life. "Given gender:" is this given by parents? In that case, I think they've decided to change their minds, lol. If it's just "given" by definition, then I guess I don't see why it can't change, except that that's how you've defined it.
If he's talking about "True" or inner gender... well, my own beliefs indicate that even that can change, but it takes a *lot* of very specialized work that's beyond most people. Partially cause they wouldn't even think to try it, most people take their gender for granted and even those who question it tend to do so more from the "what am I really" point of view, rather than the "can I change who I am" approach.
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