StrokeMeGoat wrote:Kaworu refers to both as being "mothers", but that's a classical way of defining just about anything symbolically as being the source of a given progeny. The Earth can hardly be said to have a biological sex, yet it is referred to as Mother Earth. The same can be said about Mother Nature.
Earth is a planet. Nature is a figurative concept. Adam and Lilith are human beings in a work about human beings. Poor analogy.
Now, I'm very open to the idea of Adam and Lilith indeed being female, but they are also both progenitors whose form of reproduction appears rather plainly to work outside of what we define as sexual. If there isn't a male of their species, why would we even consider them to be female?
First of all, male and female are not defined as simplistically as whether or not there is an obvious counterpart used for reproductive purposes. So for example, there's the well-known example of whip-tailed lizards that have lost their males and now reproduce exclusively via parthenogenesis. The females haven't suddenly stopped being female just because the males are gone. They're still 100% female; they just get by without males, is all. We continue to make the distinction because these lizards don't exist in a vacuum; they're part of a lineage where sexual reproduction was very recently the ancestral condition.
Second of all, Adam and Lilith are not their own species. Seeds of Life are engineered beings that exist outside the species paradigm. Since no such beings exist in real life, there isn't an established protocol for sexing them. However, given the previous example, where sex is treated as a biological trait with a long evolutionary history that persists beyond immediate environmental conditions (that is, whether or not two complementary sexes are combining their gametes to make more of themselves), it is entirely possible for the Seeds to maintain the quality of being female. It depends mostly on your view of how they were created. The argument can be made that the Seeds are engineered using the mostly-unmodified form of the FAR as a template. If it was specifically female FAR that were used, and the structures distinctive to female FAR are still present in Seeds of Life, then the Seeds would still be considered female. Between Lilith's "menstrual bleeding" (implies the presence of a birth canal) and the Angels hatching from eggs (ova = female gamete), an argument, again, could be made for this view.
This doesn't even get into the matter of Adam and Lilith being similar to Evas and having "pre-owned souls", so ultimately overanalysis of their reproductive parts is going to be beside the point (because of course it is). Odds are they're treated as mothers because they're not just mothers in some vague symbolic way -- rather, they actually WERE mothers, in the way we understand it, at one point; and as with Yui or Kyoko, this aspect of identity doesn't simply vanish. Given the Jungian goddess archetypes that NGE taps into, it would actually make sense for the original humans (the beginning of the collective unconscious) to consider their mothers uniquely gifted for the role of propagating their race into the future; hence their souls are placed into engineered bodies, resulting in the creation of the ultimate mothers. In a story about humanity, it seems rather fitting for the figurative concepts of Mother Earth and Mother Nature to be fused with an actual human mother, through the power of science fiction.
Incidentally, I'm sure if Adam and (pre-GNR) Lilith had big heaving tits then nobody would even contest the idea that the Seeds are women, but they're non-mammalian humanoid aliens, so here we are.
[Appropos of nothing, the Seeds actually DO have a masculine counterpart, though how functionally male the Spears are depends entirely on one's head canon. They are shaped like DNA, though, and we see the total failure of the "pull out" method in episode 22' where Lilith develops a nice round belly anyway...]
In analytical contexts like this, "gender" is frequently used to mean something separate from "sex". (I use them exclusively to refer to separate concepts, as I find it more precise.) Something to keep in mind.
otherwise there would probably have been way more angels to contend with after 15 years of no contact.
The Angels received their souls at Second Impact and were incubating for fifteen years. They hatch serially, as per Monster of the Week norms, so they never get to meet one another either. There's simply no data, so no assumptions can be made.