Created By: TrueShadow1January 30, 2013 Last Edited By: TrueShadow1February 13, 2013

Freezing is Feminine

In a group of superpowered people, the one with ice or water abilities is usually a female

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
Everyone knows and love Elemental Powers. Whenever a show features characters with various superpowers, you can pretty much expect many characters with power over the classical elements. It is also often for these people to work in groups, whether as Four Element Ensemble, or a trio of Fire Ice Lightning, or any other combinations. However, for some reason, in these groups the one with ice (or water) based powers will be female. When that happens, then this trope is in effect. The ice girl is often also the only female member of her group, but not always. If there is another female in the group, the other girl often has wind powers, although not as common as the ice girl.

Note that being a girl with ice power isn't enough. She needs to belong in a group of superpowered people, and be the only one with ice power.

It could sometimes be related to Women Are Wiser, since water is associated with peacefulness and that may be reflected by giving the water female a compassionate personality.

Examples:
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • January 31, 2013
    Tuckerscreator
    You could add that it could sometimes be related to Women Are Wiser, since water is associated with peacefulness and that may be reflected by giving the water female a compassionate personality.

    • BIONICLE typically had female Toa be the Toa of Water, starting with the first one Gali, who defended the all-female village of Ga-koro, which was by the sea and led by matriarch Nokama the former Toa of Water. However, ice Toa were usually male.
    • Inverted in Xiaolin Showdown. Boy monk Omi is associated with water, while female team member Kimiko is instead in command of fire.
  • January 31, 2013
    lexicon
    Water Powers Are Feminine would be a better title. 'Freezing' makes it sound like she's cold. Is this common? I can think of one example of a group of warriors who use the elements and have one female in the group but she is over earth.
  • January 31, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    ^^I don't think anything can be inverted, as this is just about how the water person is a girl, the other elements don't really matter.

    ^I was going for Added Alliterative Appeal, but yeah I think the name can be improved. Waiting for other responses
  • January 31, 2013
    Koveras
    I also think that "Freezing is Feminine" is confusing. The first thing I thought when I read the title was the archetypal scene where a girl is cold and a guy gives her his jacket.

    Water Powers Are Feminine works better, but I think it can be expanded to all Elemental Powers:

    • Fire is traditionally a masculine element, so fire-wielders are often male.
    • Water powers are Always Female.
    • Air is associated with androgyny, so its wielder may be of any gender but look like the opposite.
    • Earth is complicated: if it's "earth", then it's Always Female (as in Mother Earth) but if it's "rock", then it's masculine.

    I don't really have examples for that, so I am just throwing it in here. I do, however, have an example for Water Powers Are Feminine:

    • The resident Staff Chick Elena from Grandia II is the girliest party member and specializes in water magic (which doubles as healing magic in the setting).
  • January 31, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    ^Fire one might be tropable, but not sure about air and earth. Those two are evenly split as far as I know to fit into this trope...I've never even seen any androgynous air user.

    I also think that examples where the group is all made up of girls shouldn't be included. Like Magical Girl shows, or works with Improbably Female Cast like Touhou.
  • January 31, 2013
    Bisected8
    Since you have P3 listed;

  • January 31, 2013
    Koveras
  • January 31, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Do we really need this trope? The Elemental Powers page already explains what type of characters are the most likely to use certain elements. Especially if you broaden this to other elements, you're just making the same page all over again.
  • January 31, 2013
    Sackett
    ^ Agreed. Also see Four Element Ensemble. Plus most of the things discussed here are not accurate at all.

    You can't identify fire as male because of the female Fiery Redhead. Water does seem to be usually female, but ice is actually pretty evenly divided. Earth is commonly male, but there are iconic female characters as well. Wind is also completely mixed.

    Maybe a better page would be something that talks about the gender of the four elements, and point out that lots of fiction does not assign gender to elements, but that when it does it usually breaks down:

    Male: Fire/Earth

    Female: Wind/Water

    Of course some fiction mixes it up.

    Only allow examples that explicitly assign elements to genders, not any person who happens to have a gender and an element.

    Wheel Of Time would be an example: Men are strongest in Earth and Fire. Women are strongest in Wind and Water.

    The Last Airbender would not be an example. Both genders are distributed evenly across the four elements. The fact that Kitara happens to be female and a waterbender does not mean this trope is in play.
  • January 31, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ My main problem with this trope-to-be is that the Elemental Powers are more tied to the role of the character than to their gender. For example, earth character is pretty much always The Big Guy of their group and since men are more physically strong than women, The Big Guy is almost Always Male. Toph from Avatar The Last Airbender is not male but she is still The Big Guy of the Gaang and thus Dishes Out Dirt. In the same way fire characters tend to be male because fire is usually the element of The Hero and The Hero is more often male than not.

    So in short, it's the roles that are gender specific, not the elements that are associated to them.
  • January 31, 2013
    Sackett
    Exactly. Which is why I'm suggesting a more narrow trope.

    Rather then assuming the elements as always having gender and the trope assuming that all character either subvert or follow the trope, instead have a trope about when the elements are explicitly identified with genders.

    So instead of a character trope, it's a world setting trope.
  • January 31, 2013
    DRCEQ
    Both the DC and Marvel universes have multiple examples of both genders who specialize in Ice or Fire powers. Iceman and the Phoenix, for example. Mr. Freeze, Captain Cold, Icicle, and Coldblaine are all male villain examples, while "Ice" herself is a superhero version.

    So.... Where does that leave this trope?
  • January 31, 2013
    Khantalas
    While I don't think this is actually worth a trope page, not all setting tropes have to exist in every setting.
  • January 31, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    Actually my intention is to highlight the tendency that in a spesific group, the water person is female. In a world-wide scale, Katara isn't an example since there are many more waterbenders. In Aang's group, however, Katara is an example since she's the only water-bender in the group.

    But yeah, you guys have a point. I'm fine with what Sackett suggested. Just can't think of any examples at the moment.

    Or maybe limit it to examples where in the group there are more males than females, combining this with The Smurfette Principle?
  • February 1, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ What Sackett suggested would definitely work but finding examples for that is going to be a bitch. That smurfette thing however just isn't going to work because I can come up with aversions easier than actual examples. I tried to think the most basic situation for this trope to occur and ended up with The Mystic Knights Of Tir Na Nog, a Sentai styled show with Four Element Ensemble and The Smurfette Principle applying. And you know what? Deirdre is not water, she's air.
  • February 1, 2013
    Sackett
    I think there should be plenty of examples.

    The Wheel Of Time is one example. I know I've seen more, I just can't remember them right now.
  • February 2, 2013
    azul120
    Was Ice Girl already dismissed as a possibility?
  • February 4, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    After reading the Elemental Powers page and some thinking, couldn't the tendency for certain roles to use certain elements be a trope in itself? After all, the focus of the Elemental Powers page is to show that there are people that use elemental powers, not which person uses which power.
  • February 4, 2013
    AP
    • Averted in X-Men, which has had a member called Ice-Man since their very first issue.
  • February 4, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^^ Considering that we already have a page that explains the tendency of powers to have a connection with the character's personality (i.e. Personality Powers), I think not.
  • February 13, 2013
    freesefan
    I am not a comc aficionado, but I know a little and have seen a lot of comic book movies. Every single "ice" character I can think of--Ice Man from X-men, Mr. Freeze, Frozone from The Incredibles--is male. There isn't a trope here.
  • February 13, 2013
    Misskitten
    I'm not convinced this is trope-worthy. Plus most people will probably just use it to name any female character that has Ice or Water powers. The future misuse.

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