This is a static copy of In the Rose Garden, which existed as the center of the western Utena fandom for years. Enjoy. :)

#26 | Back to Top07-14-2014 03:18:03 PM

Aninha
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

satyreyes wrote:

Is it just that I'm bad at Tumblr, or does that link just go to a set of affectionate posts about Tuxedo Kamen fail, with no particular implications for whether men are disgusting?  emot-confused

That's pretty much it, really, especially because there's 32 pages on the guy, someone who just dismisses male characters probably wouldn't give them that much attention. And with Tuxedo in particular, the "fails" are where he shines, the original anime wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable without him.

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#27 | Back to Top07-14-2014 03:20:01 PM

Aelanie
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Those are the same pieces of writing this person was posting on the Mark Watches Utena pages. I only started paying attention to hers specifically near the end, and I do really love her takes on the final series episode and the movie; with regard to the latter especially, her interpretation of the movie is very close to mine, albeit with some differences about who had what knowledge and/or motives in particular cases.

But yes, she views almost everything in the franchise - and I mean everything - through the lens of feminism and female oppression/liberation, so if those topics aren't of pressing interest to you, you might certainly find yourself put off. They are of great interest to me, so I liked her focus on it, but there's no doubt that she sometimes extends it to very mundane parts of the show. As I've said before, there are two camps of fallacious illogic that watchers of Utena can fall into:

1: "Utena is part of a unified, deep, and complex message, and everything that is shown and that happens is in the service of that theme."
2: "This is all random nonsense that doesn't mean anything at all."

This person is, with the very best of intentions, definitely in the former camp. A lot of Utena IS about femininity power issues, whether not having it or attempting to gain it, but that theme is not the Grand Unified Theory that Utena is pushing through every word and image.

Still, that's what this person took from it, and it's clear that it was an incredibly positive, even life-changingly beneficial experience for her - and that's fantastic. It makes me incredibly happy that this old show is being rediscovered by a new generation for whom it is doing great things. And they get it. Some of them, anyway. They do their research, spend time thinking and writing, and come to deeply understand the show. That's a wonderful, and very encouraging thing.

Last edited by Aelanie (07-14-2014 03:43:37 PM)

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#28 | Back to Top07-14-2014 04:05:00 PM

QueenOfJebri
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

satyreyes wrote:

QueenOfJebri wrote:

SeizonSenryaku wrote:

Also, (not only you, I mean all of you) read this post: It's like she's screaming (I HATE MEN, THE WORLD SHOULD BE ONLY-GIRLS. SCREW YOU, DISGUSTING MEN!) -______-'
http://ladyloveandjustice.tumblr.com/ta … -is-a-dork

Eh, I read that stuff as more "male characters are okay as long as they're completely useless eyecandy because that's what female characters are in a lot of stories, and role reversal is what we need in fiction to make it more girl-positive." I personally disagree with that line of thinking, but whatever.

Is it just that I'm bad at Tumblr, or does that link just go to a set of affectionate posts about Tuxedo Kamen fail, with no particular implications for whether men are disgusting?  emot-confused

There doesn't seem to be any implications of MEN SUCK AND ARE DISGUSTING, NO. But another tag, reading "tuxedo mask is awesome and doesn't mind reversing restrictive gender roles" does sort of rub me the wrong way.

However, that's related to me personally disagreeing with reversing restrictive gender roles as a progressive thing, as I mentioned before. It's differing opinions--hers isn't any less valid than mine just because we tackle things from different angles. After all, at least in reversing which gender role is being restricted, it's not the same old "women are useless" thing. I just prefer the idea of men and women fighting alongside each other as equals!


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#29 | Back to Top07-14-2014 06:11:54 PM

cypsiman2
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

QueenOfJebri wrote:

There doesn't seem to be any implications of MEN SUCK AND ARE DISGUSTING, NO. But another tag, reading "tuxedo mask is awesome and doesn't mind reversing restrictive gender roles" does sort of rub me the wrong way.

However, that's related to me personally disagreeing with reversing restrictive gender roles as a progressive thing, as I mentioned before. It's differing opinions--hers isn't any less valid than mine just because we tackle things from different angles. After all, at least in reversing which gender role is being restricted, it's not the same old "women are useless" thing. I just prefer the idea of men and women fighting alongside each other as equals!

Indeed, I would say that Revolutionary Girl Utena itself is an argument that just reversing restrictive gender roles isn't really all that progressive, as Utena is buying into Akio's game and thus can't really help Anthy until the very end.  That said, I certainly do like people of all genders being able to fight alongside on equal grounds, the fact is that things have been so heavily weighed in favor of dudes for so long that a period of swinging hard the other way is only fair.

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#30 | Back to Top07-14-2014 06:17:29 PM

Aninha
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

I think there is some value in reversing gender roles, or roles in general, because it reminds us the things we associate with one gender or the other are learned, and not some absolute part of nature. I imagine it can be therapeutic too, think of a young boy shamed for his perceived girliness finding comfort in a very girly male character who's respected by everyone in and off a show. Or someone experimenting with their gender before they can figure out their identity.

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#31 | Back to Top07-14-2014 06:33:55 PM

cypsiman2
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Aninha wrote:

I think there is some value in reversing gender roles, or roles in general, because it reminds us the things we associate with one gender or the other are learned, and not some absolute part of nature. I imagine it can be therapeutic too, think of a young boy shamed for his perceived girliness finding comfort in a very girly male character who's respected by everyone in and off a show. Or someone experimenting with their gender before they can figure out their identity.

Yes, absolutely, I do not wish to imply that there is no value to role-reversal, especially in terms of helping to get across that what we think is absolute is in fact almost entirely relative; just that this is a step and not the entirety of what we need to do to become a more equitable and enlightened society.

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#32 | Back to Top07-14-2014 06:48:43 PM

satyreyes
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

cypsiman2 wrote:

Indeed, I would say that Revolutionary Girl Utena itself is an argument that just reversing restrictive gender roles isn't really all that progressive, as Utena is buying into Akio's game and thus can't really help Anthy until the very end.  That said, I certainly do like people of all genders being able to fight alongside on equal grounds, the fact is that things have been so heavily weighed in favor of dudes for so long that a period of swinging hard the other way is only fair.

Unfairness is never fair, but I think I agree with everything else you said.  It seems to me that there's a pretty big difference between "let's have some shows that have a main cast of all women, and throw in a Tuxedo Kamen or a Spike* as a side character," and "let's make the majority of media that way forever."  The first says that sometimes women are more dynamic and courageous than men, which is fine; the second implicitly says that women are inherently more dynamic and courageous than men, which is not fine, any more than the other way around is fine.  In the context of a media landscape that mostly is the other way around, with men spotlighted and women sidelined, I don't see a thing wrong with having a show like Sailor Moon that puts the shoe on the other foot.  You can call it reversing gender roles if you like, but really it's just showing a different way to be a woman and a different way to be a man.  There's value in that, and there's also value in shows that have men and women sharing the spotlight.  I can't say whether that's what the author of this Tumblr means when she talks about her happiness over Tuxedo Kamen's reversal of gender roles, but as far as it goes, I agree with her.

*MLP Spike, not Buffy Spike

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#33 | Back to Top07-14-2014 07:00:40 PM

SeizonSenryaku
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Sorry, I may have taken too seriously those that were clearly jokes, now that I read better now.

SeizonSenryaku is a dork. emot-gonk

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#34 | Back to Top07-14-2014 07:02:40 PM

Aninha
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

I really hope we get to a point where there's such variety in terms of gender, race, ability and about everything that constitutes a part of someone's sense of self that people can imagine themselves through these roles but not get stuck in them, or trying to balance out their contradictions.

A show that gives us men and women on a relatively equal ground, imho, is fullmetal alchemist: brotherhood, I can't think of others that do it quite as seamlessly.

Edit: Don't worry, SeizonSenryaku , that's a good thing. emot-wink

Last edited by Aninha (07-14-2014 07:04:09 PM)

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#35 | Back to Top07-14-2014 07:05:17 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

I'm not seeing role reversal in a work of fiction as a bad thing, or a universal criticism of a gender. It might even be necessary to highlight some absurdities.

One of the few wonderful things about Ghosts of Mars, for example, is that Carpenter flips the 50s-riffing gender roles, and so the secretaries are all men, the bosses all women. It's not that the men are weak or stupid, they're just thinking about their nails and make sure there's coffee while the women go out and do the hard work and make sure everyone's safe. Ice Cube is a mad beautiful femme fatale. (And he is, too.) It's not that Carpenter thinks that's how the world should be, and even the creator of Sailor Moon has admitted despite her crush on Tuxedo Mask, he is kinda kinda. Being so, allows Sailor Moon to push past where she would in many other shows, to be dominant or take charge even if it makes her uncomfortable, while still being confidant that he'll be there.

Ikuhara straight up pulls that possibility out of Utena, where all the guys are deeply deeply damaged in the head and most of them are super unreliable, too. If it were inherently sexist or malignant, that would make SKU the worst.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#36 | Back to Top07-14-2014 07:13:58 PM

Aninha
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

One thing I like about sku is that the men are damaged and it affects how they view and objectify women, but the women themselves are often no better. Saionji only wants Anthy to get back at Touga, but Wakaba only wants him to feel special. Throughout we simply see people using each other as a means to an end, rather than developing healthy relationships, which just makes sense if they're all "in their coffins" i.e. shut off from the world.

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#37 | Back to Top07-14-2014 07:35:42 PM

gorgeousshutin
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Aninha wrote:

One thing I like about sku is that the men are damaged and it affects how they view and objectify women, but the women themselves are often no better. Saionji only wants Anthy to get back at Touga, but Wakaba only wants him to feel special. Throughout we simply see people using each other as a means to an end, rather than developing healthy relationships

Holy, you nailed it!


(SKU/MPD) Seinen Kakumei Utena (Completed as of May 12, 2018) / (PSOH/SKU) Revolutionary Human Leon (Updated to Part 4 as of Oct 31, 2017) / (NGE) The End of Hedgehog_s Dilemma (Updated to Part II Chapter 6 as of May 17, 2016) / (BananaFish) Medusa (Updated to Chapter 3 as of Mar 1, 2016)
http://archiveofourown.org/users/gorgeousshutin/works or https://www.fanfiction.net/u/3978886/

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#38 | Back to Top07-14-2014 07:36:57 PM

SeizonSenryaku
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From: Italy
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Aninha wrote:

One thing I like about sku is that the men are damaged and it affects how they view and objectify women, but the women themselves are often no better. Saionji only wants Anthy to get back at Touga, but Wakaba only wants him to feel special. Throughout we simply see people using each other as a means to an end, rather than developing healthy relationships, which just makes sense if they're all "in their coffins" i.e. shut off from the world.

I think that all the characters are in some way damaged and messed up, regardless the sex. The feminist aspect, to me, is brought most from Akio and her relationship with Anthy (even if I don't see her as a total victim, neither Akio as a total perpetrator), Utena, and how they interact with each other, Utena herself in wanting to be a Prince, in Touga with her kind of love towards Utena- but i don't see a classic conflict male/female. I see conflicts of people struggling with their emotions and/or past.

And thanks for the cheers before xD

Last edited by SeizonSenryaku (07-14-2014 07:42:52 PM)

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#39 | Back to Top07-14-2014 07:50:24 PM

Aninha
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Registered: 07-12-2014
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

SeizonSenryaku wrote:

I think that all the character are in some way damaged and messed up, regardless the sex. The feminist aspect, to me, is brought most from Akio and his relationship with Anthy (even if I don't see her as a total victim, neither Akio as a total perpetrator), Utena, and how they interact with each other, Utena herself in wanting to be a Prince, in Touga with her kind of love towards Utena- but i don't see a classic conflict male/female. I see conflicts of people struggling with their emotions and/or past.

You point is definitely supported by how the major thematic male/female conflict is actually a part of all these illusions people need to break free of. I mean, the one moment where the conflicts center around gender seem to be relegated to what has to do with the duels, performing the role of a prince, possessing the rose bride etc, and it's all part of the fairy tale illusion controlled by Akio (from the phalic tower as masculinity) and powered through Anthy (inside the arena, that you get to by wetting the portal, as femininity). The real world is much more layered and complicated.

SeizonSenryaku wrote:

And thanks for the cheers before xD

All the love. etc-love :*

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#40 | Back to Top07-14-2014 07:56:58 PM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2791

Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Aninha wrote:

One thing I like about sku is that the men are damaged and it affects how they view and objectify women, but the women themselves are often no better. Saionji only wants Anthy to get back at Touga, but Wakaba only wants him to feel special. Throughout we simply see people using each other as a means to an end, rather than developing healthy relationships, which just makes sense if they're all "in their coffins" i.e. shut off from the world.

I don't think you can make the argument that Sailor Moon is "better" than Tuxedo Mask, either, though.

Or that reversing, permanently, or temporarily, some gender roles (especially those which are, as detailed above, not devalorizing or prized in particular, but anticipated nonetheless) inherently makes one better or lesser. Flipping gender roles doesn't make one better and the other lesser, on its own. It doesn't make genders less equal, particularly if it's in a single case or for the purpose of example.

Heck, Japanese and Americans gender expectations, to pick two, don't even level out as the same.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#41 | Back to Top07-14-2014 08:00:29 PM

SeizonSenryaku
Architectonitechnician
From: Italy
Registered: 11-17-2011
Posts: 64

Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Aninha wrote:

SeizonSenryaku wrote:

I think that all the character are in some way damaged and messed up, regardless the sex. The feminist aspect, to me, is brought most from Akio and his relationship with Anthy (even if I don't see her as a total victim, neither Akio as a total perpetrator), Utena, and how they interact with each other, Utena herself in wanting to be a Prince, in Touga with her kind of love towards Utena- but i don't see a classic conflict male/female. I see conflicts of people struggling with their emotions and/or past.

You point is definitely supported by how the major thematic male/female conflict is actually a part of all these illusions people need to break free of. I mean, the one moment where the conflicts center around gender seem to be relegated to what has to do with the duels, performing the role of a prince, possessing the rose bride etc, and it's all part of the fairy tale illusion controlled by Akio (from the phalic tower as masculinity) and powered through Anthy (inside the arena, that you get to by wetting the portal, as femininity). The real world is much more layered and complicated.

SeizonSenryaku wrote:

And thanks for the cheers before xD

All the love. etc-love :*

All the love for these sentences etc-love I totally saw this, too! Also, the Rose Garden->the Earth-> female principle, the Tower->the Sky-> the male principle. I didn't think of the arena as  the feminine, althought I DO SAW the water at the entrance of the arena as symbol of feminine, but in a sense of "rebirth" as Utena enter the arena emot-smile

Last edited by SeizonSenryaku (07-14-2014 08:10:50 PM)

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#42 | Back to Top07-14-2014 08:12:48 PM

Aninha
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 07-12-2014
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Again on the idea of all characters being damaged, look at Wakaba, she has an aching need to be special. Then when you look at her childhood, you can see two things 1) her mother used to call her onion princess, 2) her classmates teased her calling her an onion.

What if to soothe how annoying she found the nickname, her mother put "princess" in front of it? It goes back to people giving straightforward help that doesn't really get to the core of the issue, after all, throwing sparkles at her pain couldn't have done any good, considering the insult "onion" implies common, or second rate. By trying to help, her mother may have enhanced her sense of inferiority, even as a princess, she's second rate. Which is why she's not attracted to Tatsuya, as an onion princess, all she could get was an onion prince, so she made do with it as a kid, but what she really wants is a real prince that can elevate her status.

Ironically, it's why she can't be a recurring duelist, she doesn't look to the past for what she wants, but to the future, she wants something more than what she had before.

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#43 | Back to Top07-14-2014 08:17:10 PM

Aninha
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Registered: 07-12-2014
Posts: 40

Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

SeizonSenryaku wrote:

All the love for these sentences etc-love I totally saw this, too! Also, the Rose Garden->the Earth-> female principle, the Tower->the Sky-> the male principle. I didn't think of the arena as  the feminine, althought I DO SAW the water at the entrance of the arena as symbol of feminine, but in a sense of "rebirth" as Utena enter the arena emot-smile

Her entering the arena as a rebirth makes way more sense! After all she is getting remodeled to work as Anthy's prince (at least before Akio can take the sword). emot-dance

I also didn't see the earth and sky parallels. There is that religious passage about "god fertilizing the earth" (I can't remember the exact words).

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#44 | Back to Top07-14-2014 08:48:28 PM

QueenOfJebri
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Like I said, role reversal for restrictive gender roles isn't necessarily a bad thing! Hell, I'm not completely against gender role reversal when it comes to common trope smashing. Just... restrictive-gender role swap is not my cup of tea most of the time. It doesn't mean it's a bad cup of tea, it's just not one I prefer often.

It also most definitely has value--while I don't agree with the WORDING of the tag, I do appreciate that Sailor Moon's in the spotlight, kicking all the ass, while Tuxedo Mask is the moral support and has value in his own way. Then again, Sailor Moon is an example of a show that does this shit RIGHT.

So perhaps in the end, it's the wording I have more of a problem with. ...welp.

Last edited by QueenOfJebri (07-14-2014 08:48:52 PM)


The absolute destiny... of hot pockets.

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#45 | Back to Top07-14-2014 11:41:25 PM

Kita-Ysabell
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Registered: 11-18-2012
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Okay: to clarify on what I mean by my standard for academic rigor, and why this analysis doesn't meet it.

I do not require that the diction be formal or academic.  I do require that the wording be clear, precise, and accurate.  I mean, a conversational tone is fine.  An informal tone is fine.  Using words that, in the given context, could mean pretty much anything, and constructing your sentences such that the sentence structure doesn't contribute in the slightest to your meaning?  Not fine.

And as far as the idea of "you'll like this if you like feminist interpretations" no.  I llike feminist readings, but this is not, in my estimation, a good feminist reading of the show.  For starters, I refer back to the whole line-by-line reading and reaction rather than a selection of relevant details.  When making an analysis from a somewhat focused perspective, it really does serve your analysis much better to pick out the events that relate most to the perspective rather than trying to relate every detail to the perspective, because for most details, the analysis from that perspective isn't going to be terribly deep or interesting, so it really is better to just skip over them.

Also, it seems like there's a line of critique, often amateur, which identifies itself as feminist, but is concerned exclusively with the oppression of women and how that is a Bad Thing and you shouldn't do it, and again, this comes across to me as a little shallow.  Feminist analysis has so much more to offer, from the formation of gender, to the objectification (not just name-dropped objectification) and idolization of the feminine, to the effects of the stigmatization of feminine traits, and all of that gets missed in favor of "we know how to solve sexism forever: stop being assholes to women."


"Et in Arcadio ego..."

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#46 | Back to Top07-15-2014 09:29:57 AM

Aninha
Juri Jeerer
Registered: 07-12-2014
Posts: 40

Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Is there some other feminist reading of the show you would recommend?

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#47 | Back to Top07-15-2014 09:52:57 AM

Decrescent Daytripper
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Registered: 04-09-2007
Posts: 2791

Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Aninha wrote:

Is there some other feminist reading of the show you would recommend?

I think some folks have done pretty solid here. And, we haven't had many consistent posters I'd hesitate to call feminist right up front.


My Brain is the Wakaba and Shiori Funtime Hour. With limited commercial interruption.

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#48 | Back to Top07-15-2014 10:23:14 AM

Gaston
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From: Gatineau, QC
Registered: 02-05-2014
Posts: 66
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

I had read ladyloveandjustice reviews and I do found them interesting thought I don't always agree with her.

I think she is mostly interesting when she talk about Anthy-Utena relationship and her review about episode 39 is their best IMO.

The two things I very disagreed with her:

1.Her Saito bashing. Yeah at first she didn't want Utena and Anthy as a couple, but she changed her opinion about that subject. She changed like, you know, the characters in Utena but her new opinion doesn't count apparently. emot-rolleyes Oh and that not like Ikuhara fetishism of lesbians is any better anyway, not to mention what he did to Ringo  in Mawaru-Penguindrum.

2. She seems think Tatsuya wanted Wakaba's boyfriend abuse her. Personally, what I understand what he said in the elevator, he said he would loves Wakaba no matter what happen to her and would like she return to him. Yeah that sound sexist (I get the impression for him Wakaba would be impure if she had sex because that so bad when a girl had sex) but that not the same thing that wishing bad things on Wakaba.


Proud Juri x Shiori, Nanami x Tsuwabuki and Utena x Wakaba fan

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#49 | Back to Top07-15-2014 11:04:58 AM

satyreyes
no, definitely no cons
From: New Orleans, Louisiana
Registered: 10-16-2006
Posts: 10328
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Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

Tatsuya is almost certainly the most underexplored character on IRG (though I like him and I think he's fascinating).  I think the only conversation we've had about him was in the middle of another thread entirely, here.   I certainly don't think he's wishing bad things on Wakaba, but there is definitely some unconscious misogyny there.  His elevator monologue boils down to "if her boyfriend does stuff to her, that will defile her and make her damaged goods, but I'll love her anyway," when we would really prefer to hear "if her boyfriend does stuff with her, that doesn't fucking matter because having sex does not 'defile' a girl, and if I'm lucky enough to have a chance with her someday then of course I'll love her."  But I still hold that on a scale of worst-attitude-about-sexuality-at-Ohtori to best-attitude-about-sexuality-at-Ohtori, Tatsuya ranks pretty high on the list.  It's a weak field, but still.

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#50 | Back to Top07-15-2014 11:13:36 AM

Snow
Troublesome Insect
From: under the dogstar sail
Registered: 09-30-2013
Posts: 643

Re: Ep by ep analysis from a feminist perspective by ladyloveandjustice

In Tatsuya's defense, he is a kid. He probably doesn't have a full idea of what sexuality even is, and probably thinks her 'boyfriend' will damage her due to simply not loving her, or at least not loving her as much as Tatsuya does. He knows her feelings are pure, and that she probably expects the same of her boyfriend, who in Tatsuya's eyes will manipulate her just because he is an upperclassman, and seemingly belongs to the adult, corrupt world our onion prince and princess are not a part of yet. But adulthood being associated with impurity, as well as knowledge and experience, is a common theme in SKU, I feel.

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