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Adventures in LadyLand

MOON PRISM POWEEEEER okay so I did watch some Sailor Moon

MOON PRISM POWEEEEER okay so I did watch some Sailor Moon

This is the introduction to what I hope to be an ongoing series about my adventures in media that is “for girls.” You see, I was always the kind of kid who detested anything feminine. Partly because I have always had a queer gender presentation, and undoubtedly I had also internalized some serious ugliness about what it meant to be a girl. I mean, it was just silly. I refused to watch Romancing the Stone because it had the word “romance” in it. I think I am the only female born since 1980 who has never seen Titanic. We are talking over 9000 level tomboyishness here.

So now, as a semi-adult-thing I am trying to go back and catch up on some good works that I might have missed due to my severe phobia of girlytude. They don’t necessarily have to be produced during the time I was doing my butch development thing, but they do need to be things I would have totally detested as a teenager. I think I have missed out on a lot of potentially empowering and entertaining stories just because I had a panic attack whenever I saw the color pink or the words “for girls” associated with a story (we’ll leave a seriousbusiness discussion of marketing and gender roles for another day, but trust me, I’m aware of how problematic it can be).

But don’t expect me to go full sparkle on my first try. I still have a strong proclivity toward stories based on friendship and sister/brotherhood rather than romance, if only because romances tend to reinforce gross gender stereotypes that make me uncomfortable as a queerbot. And a strong female protagonist is always a must. But I have learned as an adult that a woman can be strong in thousands of different ways, where as before I assumed she just had to be like a man to be strong. She can be conventionally pretty and fall in love and make mistakes and still be a strong, well-developed character. Unfortunately, too often female protagonists have these three characteristics but lack strength, mostly because they are poorly developed. But I keep on consuming media anyway, in my long-ass quest to find myself reflected in others’ creations. Why? Eh, IDK.

Anyway, please stay tuned for the first entry to Adventures in Ladyland, in which I tackle a shoujo manga. Thanks!

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