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 The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon

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Neon Genesis
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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    26th January 2017, 2:46 am

Whether or not Naoko intended Haruka to be seen as cisgender or genderfluid, I feel like fandom interpretation is just as important as Naoko's original intentions, especially with how little we know about Naoko's original intentions.   I feel like Naoko may have intended to write Haruka like Ouran portrays Haruhi in that Haruhi is presented as a woman but she has a very low perception of gender.  It's not that she isn't a woman but she doesn't care how others see her.   I sort of feel like Naoko wrote Haruka in th same way.  Having said that, I still choose to interpet Haruka as genderfluid myself because I feel like that label is fitting and would still be comptabible with Naoko's vision.  Being genderfluid I don't think would conflict with Naoko's "no men as Soldiers" rule because gender and sex are different things and gender identity is more complex than male or female.  Facebook, for example, had added over 50 gender options to add to your profile and I don't think Naoko knew there were that many gender identities when she first wrote Sailor Moon.   So I don't feel like Naoko not being aware would preclude Haruka being compatible with all sorts of labels.   I personally have always seen Michiru as bisexual.  Whether she flirted with Mamoru and Seiya for sexual or interrogation purposes, she seems very comfortable with the idea of being with either gender.  I don't think we can argue Michiru is "Harukasexual" because we only see her flirt with Haruka because Michiru is never really presented with an opportunity to do so like we've seen with Haruka, so we can only be agnostic about what her interest with other women are.   For the 90s anime at least, considering Michiru's friend Elsa was so confident in introducing Michiru to Haruka, I always took that to mean Elsa may have known Michiru had an interest in women, or why else would she hook her up with Haruka?
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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    26th January 2017, 5:45 pm

Sailor Pluto wrote:
@Diagnosed wrote:

As for the inners, I’ve always seen all four of them as definitely female in gender presentation (even Ami) and also definitely heterosexual (even Rei). As for their sexuality though, I agree with Addy when it comes to manga-Rei that her age is a factor in her thoughts about men. To be more precise, I think Rei's experience with her absent father and the Casablanca Memories story is more influential on her than her age per se. Just that her age makes those things difficult to process at the moment. Even by the end of Stars, she's only 16! Still very young! She will go through a lot of other experiences post-Stars and into Crystal Tokyo time that will help her to solidify “what to do with men” and resolve those early experiences.

I have a question now! Since Naoko went and made the Shitennou x Senshi thing super blatant in Crystal (and therefore basically manga-canon), should we assume that Mars’ Earth-reincarnation is bound to have the same sexual preference as she did in the Silver Millennium?

I’ve seen fans use this part in Act 52 (p32) to argue that Rei and Minako have become or are becoming homosexual. I don't think that this interpretation is correct. I think it's more that they have grown to recognize their independence and that their Princess is more important to their life purpose than finding a mate. That doesn't mean that they're suddenly unattractive to men.

In fact, people’s sexuality typically doesn't change after puberty, barring extreme events such as rape. (So says Dr. Drew Pinsky anyways - a celebrity psychologist but still legit given his experience imo.) Since they all present as heterosexual, they likely will remain that way even after many years of devoting themselves to their Princess.

Actually, it's not strange for many people in middle/high school ages to either not realize their own sexuality, or be so unconsciously pressured by society and expectations around them that they may present as heterosexual. Sexuality is much more fluid than people think at first, and there's plenty of examples of people who only realize they're gay/bi/pansexual when they have the chance to really think about it or explore themselves. I've personally only thought about my sexuality after high school ended, and I identify as Bi.

It seems too easy to pigeonhole someone as straight canonically with the little evidence we're given to work with, combined with the time period that Sailor Moon was originally published in. Rei may not "hate" men later in life, but that doesn't mean she'll suddenly be attracted to them. She could be asexual, or even decide she is fine with men or women. 

And as for the Silver Millennium, it seems like an okay assumption to me to say that the senshi do not have to fall in line with their past incarnations in terms of preference. They are different people with different experiences now, and even if SenshiXShitennou is canon in the past, that does not make them undeniably straight.

I have to agree with JTC. Gender identification and sexuality are extremely fluid. What you think you identify with at one point in your life may completely change. Also, as she said, many people don't figure out what they are until later. I'm demi-sexual, bisexual, and it took me until the last year (and I'm 27) to really figure this out. Anytime I had attempted to be like "hey, maybe I'm bi," and try and talk to a few close friends about it, I was shut down and told in no uncertain terms that I am not bi. So for the sake of having friends, and not causing an argument, I shut down that part of me for a long time. Conforming to society I think can be very harmful.

I also don't think that the girls need to have the same sexuality as their SM counterparts. While they are reincarnation and many things are the same, I have long argued that they are different people. Also we don't know that they are strictly what on Earth we consider to be heterosexual. In their worlds, there may be more sexualities. We just know that they were in relationships with the Shittennou.
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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    28th January 2017, 8:57 am

I like to think that in the Silver Millennium and Crystal Tokyo, relationships and sexuality was a lot more fluid and open minded than what we have in our time and that they would be open and accepting of all kinds of loving relationships.
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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    1st February 2017, 11:32 am

@Neon Genesis wrote:
Being genderfluid I don't think would conflict with Naoko's "no men as Soldiers" rule because gender and sex are different things and gender identity is more complex than male or female. 

The bold is a wonderful, succinct foundation about the difference and complexity of (biological) sex and gender.


On other topics, I'm always sad that the romantic relationship between Zoicite and Kunzite was only in the original anime. That and Nephrite + Naru were the only things that gave much depth to the otherwise stock villainry of the Dark Kingdom.

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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    9th March 2017, 8:16 pm

I saw her as more bigender than genderfluid. Genderfluid is not specific to masculine or feminine and is very fluid through so many different kinds of things. She however seems pretty specific on being feminine or masculine strictly. I mean I could be wrong, and we all could be wrong. Maybe she identifies as cis-gender but this is just her style. But it also states that she is both male and female. I wonder if it could also be possible if she is intersex? Gender and sexuality is a really hard topic to discuss and evaluate of someone without them actually being specific on who they are and what they identify as. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    9th March 2017, 10:28 pm

It's important to remember that with this topic in context of Sailor Moon is entirely up to speculation and taking what we can from the context of the series. So theres not much we can actually go on besides our own biased opinions and interpretations. I've mentioned it before in this thread but it is highly important to consider context of time period, culture and the author. Consider this is early 90s Japan, I don't think it goes as deep as we would like think it could be. Even Sailor Moon Crystal was a "modern" take on the series but (so far) they haven't seemed to attempt to add anything about Haruka's gender or update any of that sort of content when they had every perfect opportunity to do so.

I might contradict something I've said in the past in this thread (too lazy to back read lol) but honestly with how Naoko seemed to sometimes half haphazardly throw together plot points and character planning I really don't think she was intending anything beyond an "oooh mysterious!" and possibly even a bit of shock value for the whole questionable gender stuff. Personally, while it's fun and anyone is more than welcome to think about how today's standards might stack up with the series and its characters, assigning possible genders and sexualities to characters, I don't think we should look too deep into it either and start confusing headcanon with canon. Japan is a bit more conservative on these issues and characters created in the 90s were created simply as typical teenage Japanese girls young girls could relate too.


But despite my large 2cents, its still fun to discuss. xD

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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    12th March 2017, 4:13 pm

Here are some screen caps I took from Sailor Moon Crystal:


I think this confirms that she's most likely intersex tbh because of what Neptune saying that she is both sexes. Sex isn't the same as gender, which means she most likely is anatomically male and female.

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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    12th March 2017, 5:01 pm

I personally wouldn't go off of the translation from Crunchyroll/Hulu as it had been known during its simulcast time to be inaccurate at times and make mistakes and also the word for sex being used by the Japanese may have a different deeper meaning that might get lost in translation. This is something that happens quite often in Japanese to English translations. I would be curious to see what the Japanese word was used and if it was one that is usually specifically meant for sex or can be interchanged as sex/gender. I can't say for certain about most recent Japanese culture and language but it's quite possible the Japanese haven't separated sex and gender the way we have in the US now a days. Keep in mind this acknowledgement of biological sex =/= gender in US culture is a more recent thing that has become accepted in the mainstream within maybe the past 10 years, maybe even less than that.

IMO Sailor Moon Crystal is gray area as far as officially confirming canon things because it is supposed to be a more direct adaptation of the manga and for the most part it is and what little changes they added hardly changed or added much of the story. From what I remember watching, this scene in SMC and in the manga are almost identical.

Here is the same dialogue from three different translations of the manga. In all three, the word gender is specifically used. I would think that if it was a word that could be interpreted different from varying translators, out of 3 versions, we may have gotten at least one different one, but that didn't happen. Which makes me believe that it is indeed meant to be gender and Haruka is meant to be biologically female. I really don't think it was ever intended for her to biologically be both sexes.

MIXX Translation:
Spoiler:
 


Miss Dream Translation:
Spoiler:
 


Kodansha USA Translation:
Spoiler:
 

You're more than welcome to interpret SMC as doing it this way but I'm pretty skeptical about it.

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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    12th March 2017, 5:13 pm

I've been watching on Viz. But I really think if she's not intersex, she's bigender or vise versa.

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PostSubject: Re: The Presentation of Gender and Sexuality in Sailor Moon    12th March 2017, 5:20 pm

The subs that are on Viz are the same thats on Hulu. Bigender is probably most accurate. At least...for the Infinity arc. After the Infinity arc, she seems to get more and more feminine and the whole two gender thing seems to get kinda forgotten about. Or, at least its not really in the forefront anymore.

Edit: Hit send too soon. Don't know why xD

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