Tropers: Crazysamaritan

Self-appointed Page Guardian of the "Franchise.Lupin III" pages. Obsessive Fan. Cosplayer.

Hates tropes based on Troperithmetic.

Two years ago, there was a thread to decide the need for a Multimedia Franchise namespace. (Read the thread here)

So, "Franchise" usually means more than one work, but we've defined it here to be "more than one medium". So how have the actual pages been used? The next two posts will contain a Wick Check analysis of the Franchise namespace.

The Smurfette Principle has come to my attention. My opinion is that the current definition has the following problems: too long, too analysis-driven, and not specific enough on the definition.

The definition needs to be tightened because many works/creators are popping up in the examples just to be included on the trope page, instead of if they qualify for the trope. The description begins as a Tropes In Aggregate form, encouraging tropers to compare their favourite work to this trope. Multiple paragraphs provide justifications/excuses for the trope and ways creators attempt to avert or downplay the trope.

I think three paragraphs is enough: The trope, the history, and related tropes. The current description isn't clear if it must be the only female in the entire cast, and based on the original article, that wasn't intended. The goal from the article was primarily describing the number of female characters in ensembles within the cast. The Sesame Street example.from the article explicitly calls out that the human cast members were a Gender-Equal Ensemble, and the Muppets failed to have even one female character (things have changed slightly since 1991). In addition, The Smurfs had more than one female villain even before the introduction of the Smurf kids. So one female out of the entire cast would negate classic examples of the trope. Therefore, one female of an ensemble is the most sensible way to interpret the concept.

    My suggested rewrite 

The Smurfette Principle is the negative stereotype that only one female character is needed in a group of men. Even in works with Loads and Loads of Characters, each Ensemble (of five or more) will only contain one female character. Adding a second female to the ensemble creates a related trope. With the relatively few female-aimed works, contrasting the sheer enormity of works that are aimed at males, it stands out that the demographics of fiction shows a ratio of female to male characters much lower than Real Life.

The name of this trope was first coined by an article in the New York Times printed April 7, 1991, called "The Smurfette Principle". The article focused on the trope as it applies to young children, and discussed the negative message: males are individuals who have adventures, while females are a type of deviation who exist only in relation to males.

Compare The Bechdel Test and Two Girls to a Team for similar critiques of female:male proportions in fiction. This is also Distaff Counterpart to The One Guy. Subtropes include Never a Self-Made Woman when women cannot achieve anything without a male mentor or counterpart, Smurfette Breakout when the character becomes popular on her own, and Territorial Smurfette when another female is added to the show and the original Smurfette reacts negatively.