I’m in the process of fixing a weird bug in my blog (where some posts show as having no comments even though the comments are right freaking there) and that requires checking over a lot of my old posts. It’s kind of fun, amusing, weird, inspiring, and embarrassing all at once.

Sometimes I wonder if I should go back and delete the more ridiculous or random posts. I know people who have done that. I even know one person (cough Sarah cough) who likes to “burn it all down.” Old journals, old blogs, old photographs, everything. She can be sentimental, but she prefers to rely on her own memory. She doesn’t like anyone being able to root through the relics of her past.

I’m the opposite. I love looking back on my history (and the histories of people I care about) in all its delightful mess and imperfection. Oh sure, it’d be nice to have a pristine version of myself presented to the public — but then again, I’m not a pristine person. I’m flawed and ever-changing. Is there a point in hiding that?

(Also, few people besides myself will ever go back into the archives anyway. Why hide what no one’s looking for?)

As with most things, it’s all up to personal preference. Me, I’m leaving my past alone. But I do understand the temptation to delete or obscure.

“How Sailor Jupiter Made Me Who I Am Today” by Amanda C. Miller

I always was drawn to Makoto for her interesting juxtaposition of the masculine and feminine. Her version of womanhood was complex, well-rounded, and unique to anything else I had seen in kids shows before. She was at the same time strong and sweet, badass and gentle. On the one hand, a tough self-sufficient independent woman who had lived on her own for years and answered to no one. On the other, a hopeless romantic who liked crushing on cute boys and secretly dreamed of becoming a beautiful bride someday.

I also remember the episode where she gets a lady crush on Haruka, which was not so much about sexual confusion, but more the fact that she deeply admires how Haruka is confidently able to reconcile the masculine and the feminine parts of herself, and doesn’t apologize for how anyone else receives her. Someone else’s confusion or inability to put her in a box is their problem, not hers.

Sailor Jupiter was my favorite too. There’s a superficial similarity — we’re both brunettes — but this essay helped me articulate the deeper parallels between me and Makoto.

I’ve always loved being “one of the boys.” I even went through a (deeply regrettable) phase of believing that “girliness” was a bad thing. But the truth is that even when I was in denial about my femininity, I had wonderful female friends, strong female role models, and a fair number of “girly” tendencies. Thank goodness for all that.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I’m able to look at my various traits without shame, and without assigning genders. I’m able to see that sensitivity and toughness can go hand-in-hand. I might not be as confident as Haruka about it, but I’m getting there.

You don’t have to sacrifice an ounce of your strength in order to maintain your femininity, and vice versa.

5 responses to “Delightful imperfection, contradiction, my past, and Sailor Jupiter”

  1. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    I never delete old posts. Those were the posts that I wrote at that time.

    I don’t have an absolute rule about it, though. If a post was really embarrassing or something like that, I’d take it down. Occasionallly if I’m linking back to an old post of mine, and the post includes a link to something that isn’t there anymore, I’ll edit that out. Not from the body of the post, but sometimes there’s a tacked-on “By the way, check this out” at the end of a post.

    I always feel like I’m on very shifty ground when talking about “masculine” and “feminine” and
    “girly” and so on. The definitions always seem so arbitrary — different in different cultures and time periods and sometimes even neighborhoods. Maybe it’s because when. I was young, at least as I remember it, everybody wore jeans and T-shirts, and everybody had long hair.

    I was just reading an article about the ongoing problem in sports (or at least the sports where men and women compete separately) of identifying exactly who is which. They’re trying to apply a very rigid, binary definition to a natural phenomenon that’s much more complex than that.

    And it’s the fluidity and complexity that I find interesting, really. In my most recent story, my protag has to figure out how to react when his girlfriend describes how she grew a beard at one point (“a nice little Van Dyke”). She says that people seemed to find her beard disturbing for some reason (she’s clearly a little confused at this reaction).

    1. Kristan Avatar

      Ugh, broken links. I finally decided to give up on trying to fix or un-link them all. It’s like whack-a-mole: as soon as you think you’ve got them all, more pop up.

      So far I’ve only “deleted” (or really, made private) a couple posts, ones that are really brief AND isolated AND old.

      Anthony, how are you always so ahead of your time? I completely agree, gender is neither simple nor binary. And yes, sports is going to have to grapple with that. Maybe they already are, behind closed doors.

      1. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

        I think the Olympics people have been dealing with it for a while, coming up with various different answers at different times. I’ve been reading up on this — doing reseach for my most recent story. I don’t usually do a lot of research, but my protagonist came to me and I needed to find out how to tell his story. The story is posted, by the way, and it starts here:

        I also read a pretty good YA novel about an intesex character, called “None of the Above,” by I. W. Gregorio

        1. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

          “Intersex,” of course.

        2. Kristan Avatar

          Oh, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed NONE OF THE ABOVE. It’s been getting lots of buzz in the YA world, and I’ve been curious about it!