Main Women Are Wiser Discussion

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06:36:14 AM Sep 12th 2015
edited by Seally
The Avatar: The Last Airbender examples are pushing it, I think. The original series example downplays Women Are Wiser to the point of being almost neutralised (only Katara seems to support the example, along with its counter-arguments. I don't think the argument for Toph stands, as Aang has similar moments). The Legend of Korra example seems even worse, and doesn't read as an example at all. I plain-text copied them here for reference. If no one objects, I'm taking them out when I come back to this page again:

  • Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender is the Team Mom of the group and usually more level headed than Aang (The Hero) and her brother Sokka (The Smart Guy), but she is not immune to holding grudges and at least once she let Chronic Hero Syndrome cloud her judgment. Meanwhile Katara's polar opposite, Toph Bei Fong, the Cute Bruiser of the gang, is often rude, arrogant, blunt and insensitive, though not without moments of insight.
    • In the sequel series The Legendof Korra, Avatar Korra is extremely cocky but naive, prone to not thinking her actions through, and can even be self-righteous to the point of trying to force her ideals and beliefs on others, but is basically well meaning and suffers from being raised in a Gilded Cage. In contrast to her there is Lin Bei Fong, the gruff, grumpy Chief of the Metal Bending Police who has resentment issues towards her ex-lover Tenzin, her mother Toph (whose poor parenting shattered the family), and her younger half-sister Suyin, who prides herself on being a self-made woman and loves to preach about the value of family and positive thinking but is also extremely arrogant and prone to irresponsible decision making (which almost gets Korra herself killed and her city enslaved).
08:16:16 AM Sep 14th 2015
I think that Katara could be considered an example if one examines the first season in isolation; the fact that they realized they were falling into this cliche was one reason the writers decided to gender-swap Toph's character (who was originally intended to be male) and give Katara more character flaws. The Korra example does not fit at all.

I'd render it more like,

  • In the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, Katara is the Team Mom of the group and more level-headed than her male counterparts Sokka and Aang, and the first-season episode that introduces the Kyoshi Warriors plays this trope especially straight, teaching Sokka An Aesop about sexism and portraying Aang as even more flighty and immature than usual. Starting with the second season, the writers decided to consciously avert The Smurfette Principle, introducing a number of female antagonists and an additional regular female protagonist (Toph Bei Fong, who was originally intended to be male) with more well-rounded characters. This also freed them up to add more realistic flaws to Katara from that point on.
08:24:32 AM Sep 14th 2015
Agreed. Her dynamic with Sokka in Season 1 was really this, but Characterization Marches On and all.
03:18:05 PM Apr 27th 2014
edited by
Its been my observation that in works that tend to favor this trope, when its averted, the man will be a minority or (if setting permits) non human. Trading one kind of Positive Discrimination for another. Of course it works both ways. Is this worth mentioning anywhere and if so where?

Examples, Lois would never be one upped by Peter, but sometimes by Brian the Dog. Superman is right a lot but he's an alien (in fact this is why he's an alien, because they didn't feel a human man with this power would remain moral, note their previous Superman was a villain).
02:57:22 PM Dec 20th 2012
I'm not sure that Juliet of Romeo and Juliet qualifies as being either smarter or wiser than Romeo. He's hot-tempered, kills a man in a fight, and stabs himself when he finds his love dead — but she gets married at 13, agrees to a complex scheme in which she fakes her own death, and also stabs herself when she sees her lover dead. I'd call them both romantic idiots.
11:53:35 AM Dec 21st 2012
Okay, I'm taking it out.
11:35:29 AM Sep 21st 2011
This trope seems to get a lot of flack for being supposedly Always Female, but then I see this trope apply to male characters, or coming into play not due to gender, but due to other circumstances (ie: Haruhi of Ouran High School Host Club fits this trope not because she's a girl, but because she grew up a "commoner"). Is it just me, or is this more a sub trope of Only Sane Man?
05:22:10 AM Oct 16th 2010
"wise male druid Cernd, who is also a single father"

While Cernd is certifiably male (having produced offspring in the male fashion) calling him wise seems a bit of a stretch, and calling him a father is really directly contradictory to events in the game.

Basically I was tempted to make "single father" into a link to the glorified sperm donor entry, but I suppose that might be a violation of this consistent ghost-author idea I got a notice about.

I can't really claim to know the general interpretation of Cernd, but it was for me at least a head scratching bit of alternate character interpretation.
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