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Post Reply Transgendered Characters in Anime.
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18
I'm going to risk being accused of doing a 'necro' on this thread. Stuff has come up in other threads and private conversations that I think is relevant here. For example this thread:
http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-1022287/time-to-ban-trap-as-a-synonym-for-otoko-no-ko-at-least-in-most-situations#57695010

Has digressed several times into this very subject and I have read ideas and information that were not shared here. So I'm hoping if I open this topic up a little bit. Maybe we can talk a little further. I'd like that. I'd like to hear from you.

One thing I'd like to bring up from the previous pages is that I personally don't think that saying magical, or hi-tech excuses for one's soul/mind being in the wrong body or achieving the goal of biologically becoming your real gender invalidate that person's identity as Trans. Quite the opposite, Having your heart/soul/mind in the wrong body is practically the definition of being Trans. And becoming your real gender in all ways is Trans wish fulfillment.

As to someone being a 'Trap' not trans. I believe it's more complicated than 'Trap' aficionados assert. For one thing we cannot always take a character's assertions at face value. For another, as mentioned by Domvina above, so-called Traps often live lives that closely fit the Trans experience. Even if they are not specifically and unequivocally Trans they way the examples in my OP are, the are not invalid subjects for the examination of how anime treats Trans Characters.

Anyway, Let's open this up a bit.

I'd like to discuss two broader subjects:

One, How anime treats the gender non-conforming, and how the Japanese approach gender. (I'm told it's more of spectrum than our binary 'two state' paradigm)

Two, Allegories and other less explicit ways Anime invokes the trans narrative or at least tells a story to which Transfolk can relate.

For those who haven't lived it: The Trans Narrative -- is the elements of transfolks' stories that most of us seem to share in common. The fact that we almost all have the same life story binds us somewhat and would inform a transperson's interpretation of the events of an anime.

It goes ROUGHLY (details may vary) as follows:

- Early, often earliest, memories of something being 'wrong' or 'not fitting'
- Fascination at an early age with the non-assigned gender. (Usually resulting in, to put it mildly, poor treatment)
- Repressing all non-assigned gender behaviours and interests to the point of locking the very idea of being transgender deep in the closet. essentially locking away 'your real self'
- Attempting to be a Hyper-example of your assigned gender. Sometimes to the point of caricature.(often not entirely succeeding)
- Secret, and shame filled, exploration of cross dressing and other gender non-conformity. Often cycles through periodic purges and re-adaptation. (These last two aspects continue together for a long time)
- Acceptance that one is Trans.
- A period of presenting as both genders. Assigned in public, real in increasingly less private situations.
- Deciding to live as one's real gender full time.
- Pursuing self assumed criteria for achieving the above. (This may involve a degree of 'low profile' changes as some people prefer to completely reinvent themselves as a new person in their realized gender. Others are open about their past living as their assigned gender)
- Accelerated reliving of developmental phases. It is if your released personality needs to live through the difference between the age you went into the closet and your current age. This will include behaving as you imagine your gender would have had you been a child, a teenager, a young adult and even depending on the age of your acceptance a middle aged person. There is typically a bout of "Trying too hard" and acting like a hyper example of your real gender.
- Settling down into a comprise between who you have been and who you are now.

The above is not completely true for everyone. for example one Transman I know. didn't understand themselves as trans until they were first exposed to the idea as an adult policewoman. We all have our OWN journeys.

Brief explanation of terms.
Assigned Gender - the Gender assigned by authority at birth. Typically based on one's plumbing but often arbitrary in the more rare case of intersex persons. (Although present medical/neurologic theories are tending to some sort of spectrum of intersex which suggests that Transfolk have intersex brains)
Real Gender - Who you really are, regardless of plumbing.

As I final note. Despite using it myself (hopefully circumspectly) I have already said I don't like the word 'Trap'. one since deleted bigoted post by a banned user even said among other truly offensive things "I bet you don't"

I have since been informed by other Transfolk that they consider Trap a slur. And take serious offense to it. I will not try to coerce self-censorship of your language, but I ask, ASK that you be sensitive, respectful and careful in your use of all words. Words matter.

I also recommend reading my OP. It contains content that might inform our discussion that I haven't reiterated here.

Edit: (July 17, 2018)

This is the medical (DSM VI) definition of Gender Dysphoria

In adolescents and adults gender dysphoria diagnosis involves a difference between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, and significant distress or problems functioning. It lasts at least six months and is shown by at least two of the following:

A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
A strong desire to be rid of one’s primary and/or secondary sex characteristics
A strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics of the other gender
A strong desire to be of the other gender
A strong desire to be treated as the other gender
A strong conviction that one has the typical feelings and reactions of the other gender

This is a working definition still under discussion to define who is and isn't trans for the purposes of this thread.

Let's try this:

The necessary and sufficient criteria for a character to be considered Transgendered on this thread is that they suffer from Gender Dysphoria. To wit: That they identify with a gender(including non-binary genders) that is different from their biological gender and are unhappy with this dichotomy. The mechanism of the onset or cessation of GD is irrelevant to the discussion.

Whether or not a particular character meets this criteria is open to debate. However, statements made by the character or others are not the only evidence.

feel free to join the discussion.


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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/21/18
Interesting that you want a discussion when you were dismissing my opinions before. But since you referenced the other thread here's a quote from the OP of it.


uttamattamakin wrote:


Clearly every Otoko no ko character would fall under the transgender umbrella somewhere or the other. It includes everything from men and women who just violate some gender norms to full blown transsexuals. Otoko no ko which is also used by real people as an identity are just one place under that umbrella.


The person who you so adamantly back is claiming that all traps are transgender which is simply not true. Furthermore most of the examples of supposed trans characters in anime people mention are not even confirmed trans. People are projecting themselves onto characters to fit their own ideals.

Now I am not saying that trap could not be used as a slur against transgender people but I am saying that trap is not inherently a slur towards transgenders. There IS a difference and the people complaining about the word trap are intentionally ignoring that.

As far as necroing...you could have just continued this discussion in the other thread but I don't mind. I want that thread to die already.

As for your details on what the trans narrative is...Almost every single adolescent goes through those things. It's part of self exploration and is not specifically related to being trans. I can personally say that I went through most of those things and I am not trans. So to come to the conclusion that anyone who experiences such feelings or thoughts is trans is just utter nonsense.
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18
Something something ambiguous. Something something trans
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18

bennyoo wrote:

Interesting that you want a discussion when you were dismissing my opinions before. But since you referenced the other thread here's a quote from the OP of it.


uttamattamakin wrote:


Clearly every Otoko no ko character would fall under the transgender umbrella somewhere or the other. It includes everything from men and women who just violate some gender norms to full blown transsexuals. Otoko no ko which is also used by real people as an identity are just one place under that umbrella.


The person who you so adamantly back is claiming that all traps are transgender which is simply not true. Furthermore most of the examples of supposed trans characters in anime people mention are not even confirmed trans. People are projecting themselves onto characters to fit their own ideals.

Now I am not saying that trap could not be used as a slur against transgender people but I am saying that trap is not inherently a slur towards transgenders. There IS a difference and the people complaining about the word trap are intentionally ignoring that.

As far as necroing...you could have just continued this discussion in the other thread but I don't mind. I want that thread to die already.

As for your details on what the trans narrative is...Almost every single adolescent goes through those things. It's part of self exploration and is not specifically related to being trans. I can personally say that I went through most of those things and I am not trans. So to come to the conclusion that anyone who experiences such feelings or thoughts is trans is just utter nonsense.


I vehemently disagree with your assertion that I am not being empathic but hypersensitive. But I see no point in continuing that conversation. We are going to have to agree to disagree. and I will call you on what I consider offensive language.

I do not adamantly back the OP of that other thread. I have made it quite clear that while some of our opinions may align, I disagree with others. Not acknowledging that is disingenuous. I feel the discussion of the subject of that thread to be DONE. and will not discuss banning the word Trap here. That fact that people consider it a slur means that I advise caution and respect when thinking of using it. Failure to do so will not result in coercive action but will colour my judgement of your personality.

As for the examples. I don't care about the other thread. MY own examples are explicitly and unequivocally Trans. I also find it perfectly reasonable for an author to be coy, or subversive or simply a bad or uniformed writer when touching on trans subjects, The translation may have errors, Japan has a variety of personal pronouns, more of them than english and each with their own subtle and contextual meanings. There may also be source material other than the anime that has equal or even superior validity. Further even if a character is not in actual intent of the creator to a trans story that doesn't mean they cannot tell a story to which transfolk can relate to their own journey or that they can point to and say "This is how I think/feel/live". This is different from asserting that a character is Trans when they are not. And perfectly valid. Also, I find there IS push back against those who point to evidence that a character may be trans. It seems some people will do ANYTHING to avoid admitting that a character is trans I have no problem disagreeing with them when I think it is appropriate. Finally just because someone else gives an example doesn't mean I completely agree with them. You'll posts by me in this thread were I question weather or not a character is really Trans. That is one reason I opened this thread up to Gender Non-Conforming. I would like to learn more about what an Otokonoko actually is in Japanese society. (avoiding the distraction about arguing the other topic's assertions)

Re Necroing. I'd rather keep a thread on topic myself. it's as simple as that. I am the OP of this thread and feel better qualified HERE to opine on the subject in which I am interested.

You are putting words in my mouth I never said the events and thoughts in the Trans Narrative were unique to Transfolk. Nor that it represented some sort of diagnostic tool. Nor are they phases or temporary experiments they represent core experiences that pervade over the entire life it is not merely 'exploration' but a continuing nagging facet of one's innermost being. It is great that you have confirmed for yourself that you are cis-gendered. I envy you. But being Trans is not some whim or passing fad. It is... a compulsion. An acceptance of pain and hardship in exchange for being one's true self. No one steps out of the circle of privilege willingly nor actively courts dying of hate crime, nor risks losing all friends and family, nor goes through the legal hoopla of a name change, Nor... I could go on, UNLESS they have a compelling reason to do so. I only put up that, admittedly limited and generalized synopsis to give non-Trans readers SOME idea of what Trans person LIVES and might find evocative in an anime.


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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18

XxDarkSasuxX wrote:

Something something ambiguous. Something something trans


On whose post is that a commentary?


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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18

papagolfwhiskey wrote:


XxDarkSasuxX wrote:

Something something ambiguous. Something something trans


On whose post is that a commentary?


The fact that you bring this topic up based on what you're reading out of the trap thread.

Also having scanned the next paragraph that you literally state that one can't make assumptions based on what they say or do, but that, apparently, assumptions based on how you perceive them to be are valid.
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 8/6/18
FYI: Do not bring baggage from other threads, thank you!

No seriously, it is bad etiquette. It comes off as petty grudge holding. I suppose you may otherwise allude to a noticed trend of behavior or opinion in general, but I would not recommend it either. To reference a specific thread is simply continuing a vendetta, which is fundamentally inappropriate. ESPECIALLY IF IT IS NOT EVEN THE ORIGINAL POSTER.

The replies in the thread should be kept to agreements and disagreements of the views and opinions stated therein, and not any sort of alluded belief we hold of each other from a previous history. The former is discussion, the latter borders attackings one's consistency and character.
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

FYI: Do not bring baggage from other threads, thank you!

No seriously, it is bad etiquette. It comes off as petty grudge holding. I suppose you may otherwise allude to a noticed trend of behavior or opinion in general, but I would not recommend it either. To reference a specific thread is simply continuing a vendetta, which is fundamentally inappropriate. ESPECIALLY IF IT IS NOT EVEN THE ORIGINAL POSTER.

The replies in the thread should be kept to agreements and disagreements of the views and opinions stated therein, and not any sort of alluded belief we hold of each other from a previous history. The former is discussion, the latter borders attackings one's consistency and character.


I don't know if this was directed at me but the OP of this thread is the one who brought the other thread here.
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

FYI: Do not bring baggage from other threads, thank you!

No seriously, it is bad etiquette. It comes off as petty grudge holding. I suppose you may otherwise allude to a noticed trend of behavior or opinion in general, but I would not recommend it either. To reference a specific thread is simply continuing a vendetta, which is fundamentally inappropriate. ESPECIALLY IF IT IS NOT EVEN THE ORIGINAL POSTER.

The replies in the thread should be kept to agreements and disagreements of the views and opinions stated therein, and not any sort of alluded belief we hold of each other from a previous history. The former is discussion, the latter borders attackings one's consistency and character.


To be fair I did invite that by referencing another thread in my 'second' OP on page 7. Although my intent wasn't to hold a grudge but demonstrate that I wasn't pulling the idea of more discussion valid to this thread out of my ass.
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18

XxDarkSasuxX wrote


The fact that you bring this topic up based on what you're reading out of the trap thread.

Also having scanned the next paragraph that you literally state that one can't make assumptions based on what they say or do, but that, apparently, assumptions based on how you perceive them to be are valid.


The Trap thread merely raised interesting side topics that I consider valid to include here. Again. I am not talk about assuming anything. On behalf of either side. Perhaps you should read what I actually said more closely. I said not Everthing is obvious.

Further, there is even the common literary conceit of "The Unreliable Narrator" It is perfectly legit commentary to read between the lines. I think an absolutist rejection of that is flawed an reeks of another agenda.


EDIT.

Corrected punctuation to avoid confusion.

Further Edit: and another thing...

One of the most common directives given to writers, one which appears on these forums often when discussing the literary aspects of shows, is "Show don't tell"


Instead of trying to insist that nothing i'm shown is really there. Try evidencing it on a case by case basis. I would find that more credible.
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18
On topic and in response to your subjects...

1. Anime doesn't really touch non-conforming genders from what I've seen. Non-conforming genders have only recently been invented to describe something that has existed all along. There are only 2 genders despite what the LGBT community forces down your throat. Anything labeled in between is an anomaly that media would have you believe is normal. I say this with no ill-will towards the LGBT community.

2. Anime wants you to relate to the characters so it is only natural that you can find similarities between yourself and characters/story lines.
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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18

bennyoo wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

FYI: Do not bring baggage from other threads, thank you!

No seriously, it is bad etiquette. It comes off as petty grudge holding. I suppose you may otherwise allude to a noticed trend of behavior or opinion in general, but I would not recommend it either. To reference a specific thread is simply continuing a vendetta, which is fundamentally inappropriate. ESPECIALLY IF IT IS NOT EVEN THE ORIGINAL POSTER.

The replies in the thread should be kept to agreements and disagreements of the views and opinions stated therein, and not any sort of alluded belief we hold of each other from a previous history. The former is discussion, the latter borders attackings one's consistency and character.


I don't know if this was directed at me but the OP of this thread is the one who brought the other thread here.


I saw six pages, the same people, thought someone started something. i kept it as a general rule of thumb, though I should I have listed some criteria what constitutes as harmless and harmful.

Essentially, not all incidents that encompass such a basic scenario are unwelcomed, but many are. It was aimed generally, though while the line "Interesting that you want a discussion when you were dismissing my opinions before. But since you referenced the other thread here's a quote from the OP of it" did set me off, though I anticipated I did not know the full scenario, and did not care to, and thus reserved quoting anyone.

So I ushered a general sentiment as I felt that most appropriate.

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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18

bennyoo wrote:

On topic and in response to your subjects...

1. Anime doesn't really touch non-conforming genders from what I've seen. Non-conforming genders have only recently been invented to describe something that has existed all along. There are only 2 genders despite what the LGBT community forces down your throat. Anything labeled in between is an anomaly that media would have you believe is normal. I say this with no ill-will towards the LGBT community.

2. Anime wants you to relate to the characters so it is only natural that you can find similarities between yourself and characters/story lines.


1. Are you sure we are talking about the same word? What I mean by Gender-NonConforming is people who do not conform to established gender norms. That includes but is not limited to: Cross-dressing, seeking non traditional careers/lifestyles, any sort of Trans Identity, Otokonoko and who knows how many other things.

The fact that the phenomenon existed before the term was coined does not invalidate the term.

The idea that there are only two sex dictated genders is Cultural/Ideological and Ethnocentric. It is an assertion of one pervasive and dominant culture/religion that used it's dominance to enforce it's own ethos and erase the evidence of those who differed. They were not successful with the later and this gives lie to the assertion.

I will accept that you have no ill will, provisionally, but speaking about an agenda forced down one's throat implies some hostility and a lack of openess to ideas with which you disagree.

2. ... And?

In order to relate they have to say some thing IS relatable. Not everyone is related to everything. Your argument is circular.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the entire thrust of you post: Denying gender issues and dismissing the idea that narrative can say something specific to someone specific. Seems to be an attempt to dismiss the entire topic of this thread. If that's the case, I have to ask:

Why are you here?



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Posted 7/17/18 , edited 7/17/18
to get this thread back on track after it has fallen down the cliff. before talking about trans character in anime, there needs to be an agreement in the definition of trans itself. different people have different definitions, but maybe this one wont be subject to too much disagreement:

a trans character, which is short for pre-sex-reassignment surgery trans character and post-sex-reassignment surgery trans character,
is defined as a character born with a traditionally defined gender (i.e. physically born male or female), but is unhappy with the gender they were born with (im using gender and sex as synonyms although some people would rather make distinction between these terms). specifically, the character must show a strong desire to be the other gender and identify themselves as belonging to the other gender.
if there is a sex transition, the character must have transitioned to the opposite sex by means of surgery and surgery alone (no magical elements). characters who transition to the other sex by means of magic or divine element, either intermitently or permanently, are not considered trans, but rather the opposite gender itself. it is understood (and even explicitly stated) that such characters become completely the other gender, down to the smallest dna (this is to contrast with trans character, whose dna remain the gender they were born with)
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