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October 9th, 2007

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08:42 pm - Gender politics; never a simple answer.
The following post's probably going to consist of some gender politics and it's probably not going to be 100% politically correct, just a heads up.

Ever since I've gotten into the Takarazuka the issue of gender politics has been circling around in my mind.  Generally I stay away from gender politics since it seems to be one of those unsolvable things, I mean men and women are different, physically and, dare I say it, mentally as well (in my opinion).  With my newest hobby being Takarazuka, however, it seems I can't really run from it since it's glaring at me in the face everytime I watch a youtube clip and wish I was the one in the otokoyaku's arms or see a photo of Mizu Natsuki or Sena Jun and want to kiss my computer screen.  Issue number one being what kind of sexual preference does that make me and issue number two being why are the otokoyaku's beginning to look more appealing than actual men.

Generally, I find over the past few weeks, everytime I start pondering upon that first issue, I come up with the answer that I am still straight seeing as I like men (boobies don't attract me) and the reason I like otokoyaku's is basically because they look and act like men, and added to it, the type of men I prefer (meaning a bit feminine looking physically with the personality of a gentleman).  The second gets a bit more complex.  Why is it that imagining myself in the arms of an otokoyaku beginning to seem more and more appealing than in the arms of an actual man?  More and more I'm finding myself answering that question with "because an otokoyaku, although having all the traits of a man of my dreams, is still a woman and thus can understand the female needs, wants, desires, etc., more". 

I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm interacting with guys I take on a different attitude and personality than when I'm with girls.  In front of guys I'm always trying to be tough, strong and independent (cliched I know), you know like one of those woman who can do it all and doesn't need anyone's help.  I don't even do it consciously, it just automatically surfaces when I'm interacting with guys.  With my girlfriends I don't act like that (and it does feel like an act if I try that stuff when I'm with girls), I mean I don't break down bawling my eyes out or anything, but I feel like I can be myself more.  After spending an evening in the presence of a guy, when I get home I breathe this sigh of exhaustion, like I just put on a performance, but after a heart-to-heart evening with a girlfriend, I feel happy and like a weight's been lifted off my shoulders.

It's super frustrating because I don't do it purposely, but it's like I'm afraid if I show even a tiny crack in my personality when I'm with a guy his opinion's going to be "She's a girl, of course she's not so tough" which makes me want to punch someone.  At the same time though, I don't know if this is because I'm a girl or not, but I really don't feel that I'm as strong as I try to seem in front of the male gender.  I don't know, it feels like nowadays this whole feminist thing has gone almost overboard on some aspects.  I mean yeah there's still that issue that women often get paid less then men, and there's not as many women in the "powerful" positions in the world, etc., etc. and I think we should still push for equality on those fronts.  At the same time though I feel like we're at this stage where the "traditional" traits that women were said to possess "because we're women" have been given this negative feeling linked to them.  Things like gentleness, kindness, being nice, being "soft", it's like having those traits means you're weak and weak people, especially women get looked down on (ironically it seems more by other women).  So in response showing those traits to the male gender is 'OMG Blasphemy!!' and for some reason my personality has taken to reflecting that when I'm with guys.  I don't know, I think being gentle and kind are pretty essential traits to be qualified as a human being isn't it?  So I guess in a way I crave to have a "male" counterpart yet at the same time someone I can show my more "feminine" side to without the fear that they'll just classify that feminine side as "Oh she's just a girl, so it's normal" (although maybe that is the reason)?  And I'm fantasizing that an otokoyaku's the way to go on that one?  ;_____;  I'm so confused.  I guess I'm counting on the fact that the chances of me meeting an otokoyaku like those in Takarazuka who is actually into girls and also into me as pretty slim to solve this one, because heaven forbid if I do come across one it's going to be a volcano of complexities and self-questioning waiting to erupt.  Life is full of questions isn't it?  And never an easy one to answer.

Current Mood: confusedconfused

(14 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
sexuality is fluid -- just go with the flow. :)

It's best not to try to label yourself or think about it too much because it just gets incredibly frustrating. Trust me, I've been there XD

I'm predominately attracted to androgynous girls. A little boyish, a little girlish, but still with that delicious female mind. XD To me it's the perfect balance.
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC)
That's true, all this labelling's annoying as heck. Some days that's the way I feel, like who cares which gender I go for, if I meet someone who I love and he/she loves me in return then voila~ right? No biggie. But for some reason there're those days that seems like fitting into a category seems oh so important -___- Sucks.

But I think for my own sanity's sake I'm going to go with your advice and just go with the flow :D Thanks~
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
With the right guy, you don't have to hide your feminine side. My boyfriend doesn't mind it at all. ^^

I understand your point. If you were going to use labels, you're probably somewhere between straight and bi, but not one or the other.
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 05:10 pm (UTC)
I don't think I'm afraid of boys minding my feminine side, contrarily I think guys tend to go for those "weaker" seeming girls or however you like to label them despite their talk about yeah women should have equal rights and blah blah. It's more like in my mind I can't accept letting that side show, it feels like I'm backing down for some reason and losing (backing down and losing from what is a question my mind seems to have chosen to ignore) >___<

Yeah that sounds about right lol, somewhere smack in the middle of la-la-land, dreaming of otokoyakus XDD
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
I really shouldn't comment on this because I am absolutely vicious when it comes to women.

Men, women, big deal. They're all just people in the end. You shouldn't feel the need to act differently or a certain way around the opposite gender. I act differently around my classmates in general. lol. But I feel that's because there's sort of a "need to be professional and/or serious". >_> It's not too bad I guess.

Erm, anyway, that didn't make much sense. Or, at least, relate much. xD

As for your sexual preference, I guess you'll know the right person when you meet them. The otokoyaku may be your ideal, but not necessarily what you end up with. ....I dunno. D: I wouldn't listen to me really.
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
I don't try to act differently in front of guys and girls, it just happens. Actually I didn't even realize I was doing it until very recently (like...last year I got a hint? This year it became more apparent to myself I think...). Before I had the same mentality as you, and I still think it's the right one to go with; girl, guy, big deal, just be yourself. It's just I can't really control it myself.

The best example I can come up with is sometimes when a bunch of the girls get together we'd talk about boyfriends and the likes, and we all agree that sometimes it'd be nice to have a guy around to spend some time with because we do get lonely (my group of girls tend to all be singles and similar to me in personality, no surprise XD). In front of a guy though, there's no way I would admit to that, it'd be more like "Oh no, I'm fine, boyfriends? Pft, never crossed my mind! :D" (ok exaggerating, but you get the idea ^^;;). Or more likely I'd just steer clear of that area altogether with a guy and aim for conversation topics that seem more suitable for the tough and independent image like "So you hear about that bombing yesterday in Afghanistan? How 'bout that new legislation the Prime Minister just passed?" And if the conversation does turn towards the personal side I get squirmy and uncomfortable and usually just end up shrugging it off with a "Oh well, we'll see".


I'm like...socially challenged XD
[User Picture]
Date:February 7th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
Sorry for barging in unannounced (and several years late (>.<))...
but this just totally sounds the way I behave nowadays *laughs*
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
I think that you are so right when you say that it seems nowadays the "feminine" characteristics that women are supposed to possess are looked down upon as "weak" characteristics.

It's really sad because I think there is a grain of truth in the whole "feminine" and "masculine" traits stuff. Also, we think feminine characteristics are signs of weakness because we were socialized to think that way through our patriarchal society. I don't think masculine nor feminine characteristics are weak; they each have their own merits. And another point, it might seem that women are more hard on other women who exhibit such a "weakness" is probably a survival instinct as well, especially with those women in business. Since masculine traits are favoured, women pretty much have to act more masculine to compete with men. It's their way of leveling the playing field.

Maybe taking these points into consideration, it can explain why you subconsciously act differently between the genders.

As for the Takarazuka issue, I'm really not sure as that is a really complex question. But! I think if you're with the right guy you will naturally let your defenses down and will be able to be yourself around him :)
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 05:28 pm (UTC)
YES!! You're second paragraph!! That's exactly what I was getting at, except you said it so much better and using fewer words XD PoliSci's made me long-winded x__X

I mean it can't JUST be physical differences right?? We have different hormones, and I'm tempted to say our brains are probably just "wired" to function differently, so wouldn't it make sense then that those factors combine to generate different traits in the two genders? Maybe not like, polar opposites, but at least SOMETHING personality-wise that differs between us. It's frustrating sometimes trying to separate the differences that have been imposed due to societal conditioning, and differences that are just naturally there (heaven forbid in today's society should one even attempt to imply that women MIGHT be naturally more gentle and kind, I can see that "SEXIST!" label racing at the poor soul at the speed of light for such an implication).
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
I don't think I would ever let guys buy things for me, like maybe a good male friend getting me a birthday present or something, sure, but just randomly...I'd see that as definitely a blow to my female pride. Even with my ex-b/f everytime we ate out I'd fight with him over the bill (well, play-fight, you know, make a snatch at the bill and see who can get it first to pay XD). Even for my birthday (my ex-b/f and I weren't friends for THAT long before we started dating, so I was still kind of in the testing-the-waters stage at first), he got me something and I felt so weird accepting it because I kept thinking in the back of my mind "I've got to pay him back for it, or get him something of equal value in return". It's also another difference between when I hang out with girls and guys. If it's a bunch of girls going out and I didn't have enough cash on me for a meal or something and a girlfriend offers to pay I'd probably agree and just tell her I'd pay her back or treat her out next time. If it's a guy I'd definitely rather swipe my VISA or debit instead of letting him pay, because I know paying him back he'd probably feel awkward and treating him out...well same thing (I've heard the male ego's pretty sensitive these days too).

I just feel like in my mind I've implemented this rift between my interactions with guys and girls. I can only think of one guy who's managed to cross that rift because we've known each other since the beginning of high school (which I think helped since I don't think so much of this gender politics stuff was in my head back then and by the time it was we were already close enough that I counted him as a really good friend so I interacted with him like any of my girlfriends).
[User Picture]
Date:October 10th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what to really say, but I'll give it a try. I agree with you on men--they're really disappointing nowadays (chivalry is dead T_T). However, I still believe that there are good men out there--they're just really hard to find.

As for sexuality, I agree with the first comment (was it the first?). Just go with the flow. Well, that's my weak attempt at a decent comment. *HUGS*
Date:October 13th, 2007 07:33 pm (UTC)
"More and more I'm finding myself answering that question with "because an otokoyaku, although having all the traits of a man of my dreams, is still a woman and thus can understand the female needs, wants, desires, etc., more".-You answered your own question. You probably are interested in a guy that can "get you". You shouldn't mistake this as a sign of questionable sexuality. However,if that's what you feel,don't deny it.In the end,its really a feeling more than a preference.I agree with the 1st comment: sexuality is fluid, and you shouldn't confine yourself to a particular sex b/c you "have to" or whatever other reason you can think of.Same-sex friendships are usually based on the familiarity between the same sex-it doesn't imply anything sexual. If it helps, you defintely aren't the only person experiencing this "confusion"-James
[User Picture]
Date:November 16th, 2007 10:10 am (UTC)
Actually, I have a lot of the same thoughts. When I think about making myself vulnerable to a guy.. like it's complicated. I think that if the guy and I really cared about each other, then it wouldn't matter that I was making myself vulnerable to him, but at the same time, I sort of think that it would be 'selling out', that as a woman it would look like I needed some guy's protection or something.

And just because guys and girls are different, I'll feel like things will ALWAYS be unequal. And that pisses me off. =/

Anyway, yeah, I'm a huge Sena Jun fan. (OMG, so sexy.) You seem like a pretty interesting person, so would you like to be friends?
[User Picture]
Date:November 16th, 2007 12:00 pm (UTC)
Ooh I would love to be friends~ :D

You totally hit the nail on the head about the gender issue that I was trying to grapple with, especially with this statement:
"but at the same time, I sort of think that it would be 'selling out', that as a woman it would look like I needed some guy's protection or something".

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