Lessons learned from Sailor Moon: A reflection on the last 16 years of living

In sixth grade, I read all of the Sailor Moon manga at night over the course of two weeks instead of sleeping. When I got to the end of it, I hated it, but I wasn’t sure why I hated it. I thought I hated it because it was too girly, too frilly, and contained too many poorly disguised panty shots, which disgusted me.

Now I know that I was wrong. I didn’t hate it for all those reasons. I hated it because it scared me. I hated it because it reminded me of shit I didn’t want to deal with: femininity.

I spent a long time denying femininity. I spent 15 years denying femininity, but my birthday’s coming up soon, so I’ve decided that, instead of always doing the cop-out self-fulfilling resolution of making a resolution next year, I resolve to learn how to access my femininity and balance it with the influx of masculinity that I’ve pushed on myself.

I decided to do this because I realized during the last few weeks that I didn’t feel settled unless I was around males. Unless I was surrounded by testosterone. It seems backwards and impossible, but it makes sense biologically: women’s hormone’s are never just one level. Instead, they go through cycles, namely the menstrual cycle. During this time, testosterone levels rise in women (sometimes the cause of PMS [#themoreyouknow]), and in order to combat that, estrogen levels also rise. In the same way, perhaps by denying my femininity, I psychologically denied the “female” hormone and thus allowed the “male” hormone to run more freely.

That may or may not make sense, considering the fact that I spent most of my formative childhood years among more males than females. I’m not a psychologist or a biologist or a geneticist. This is all my own speculation.

For a long time, I wanted to be a guy. I feel like it went deeper than penis envy because I wasn’t just aware that I didn’t have a penis. I was also aware of what having male plumbing entailed. There were comments I wouldn’t have to face, jeers that I would never experience, prejudice and ignorance that wouldn’t exist for me as a male. There would always be the racist “You got an A because you’re Asian”, but at least I wouldn’t have to deal with “The only good hentai is yuri.”

Fuck that. I think yaoi is hot as hell. (Guys, watch your backs. The girls are coming to get you.)

Even now, I don’t know what I am. I’m comfortable having a vagina and a uterus and a cervix and two fallopian tubes. I can deal with blood on my sheets and being practically immobilized for a week. I can defend against comments like “slut” and “whore.” But at the same time, I hate that I’m a woman. I hate that I have to explain to people who don’t understand that I’m not attracted to men that it’s not because I don’t like men and that I like women, but that I’m just not interested until I’m interested, that demisexuality may or may not be a thing, but that that’s the only box I have to help you understand. I hate that there’s an incessant need to defend that I speak because I want to, that I dress because I want to, that I make choices because I want to.

I’m comfortable with myself physically, but mentally and emotionally I am disgusting to myself. And socially, fuck you.

What I’m saying is that it’s not healthy. I don’t want to have to rely on groups of men or women in order to balance myself and settle my soul. I want to be able to rely on myself, and in order to do that, I need to retrain myself to think that not all forms of feminism is bad, that I can be feminine and still be assertive, that I can exert control and aggression and not consider myself a bitch.

I can succeed as a woman, and the glass ceiling is just a fucking myth.

I can wear skirts and dresses and make-up and still be considered a powerful opponent, perhaps even more formidable since I’ve begun caring about using all the skills I’ve been granted by a still very patriarchal society to my advantage, and not just powering through in the the very typical male fashion. I need to believe that if I do, I won’t be considered a woman first, a feminist bitch second, and a rival third, but a rival first, a mere woman never, and a feminist bitch last.

There are going to be people who say, “You’re so crass that you dropped the f-bomb five times. I stopped reading after the first one because you obviously don’t have anything worth while to say if you’re already cursing.”

There are going to be people who say, “What the fuck, bitch. Take a chill pill.”

There are going to be people who say things that I find repulsive. Fine. Whatever. Take a page from an English teacher’s book and stop projecting your beliefs on me. Start questioning the content that I’ve put in front of you, not the methods by which they got there.

I’m going to be sixteen soon, and I’ve decided that it’s time to discover myself a little more. Time to dip into the depths that I’m afraid of going into.

I’m not going to lost who I am, but I’m going to create another facet so that hopefully, by the time I’m a legal adult, I’m able to go out on my own, confident in my abilities and in good faith that I will find my purpose of my own volition.

There are things I do know for sure. I know that I wake up in the morning and like to stay in bed another hour. I know that love and uncertainty are two sides of the same coin. I know that men and women are not as different as society portrays them to be and are often very similar to dogs. I know that I see things differently and that it causes rifts between me and the rest of the people because I don’t understand them and they don’t understand me.

I know that I feel very alone very often.

I’m going to be sixteen soon, and it’s time I start to learn that I don’t have to just be Sailor Uranus, but I can be Sailor Neptune as well.

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