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I removed the following example:
My reasons were as follows:
Shield Hero is NOT a \"feminist fantasy\". This is cherry-picking elements of the plot. The main character is not a woman, and the main female characters are not the \"center of their own story\". They are literally the property of the main character, whether happy in that position or not. All four of the main heroes the story centers around are all male as well. Also, a False Rape Accusation subplot is Not A Deconstruction of feminist fantasy—a deconstruction examines Real Life consequences of a trope that people may not have thought of. False rape accusations in general are a contentious subject and one of the main stereotype posited by opponents of feminists. Saying that it deconstructs a feminist fantasy is like saying that Yellow Peril deconstructs anime.
Shield Hero only barely fits the point of the trope - A series with a female protagonist or protagonists - if you fluff up the slave girlfriend\'s role, because the actual protagonist is a man.
The person who added it also asked why Evangelion and Edge of Tomorrow qualify for the trope, and I have to question this myself. Evangelion especially.
Edge of Tomorrow may have a stronger case in that the male character is initially dependent on the female one, not the other way around. But in the end, it\'s still HIS story.
I have not seen Edge of Tomorrow, so I can\'t comment on that. I wouldn\'t call Evangelion or Shield Hero feminist fantasy stories at all. Shield Hero in particular feels a tad too misogynistic to count.
Holy crapbaskets, Shield Hero is about as far from a Feminist Fantasy as you can get.
Eva\'s not even close, either.
Edge Of Tomorrow, much as I love it, doesn\'t qualify because Rita is the Hero Of Another Story. If the film were set during the Battle of Verdun, that would likely be a Feminist Fantasy. But as Nubs said, it\'s Tom Cruise\'s story. Having a badass female character does not a Feminist Fantasy make.
Regardless of what feminist touchstones Shield Hero may possess, I\'d say the other stuff, like the false rape accusation and the slave ownership disqualifies it.
Alright, well we seem to have reached a consensus, and the example has already been pulled.
Now, should we continue to discuss the matter of general cleanup?
So far we seem to be unanimous on Evangelion not being an example, with one \"I don\'t know\" in regards to Edge of Tomorrow. Any objections to pulling those two examples to start with?
Never saw Edge of Tomorrow, but if the trope takes more than one kickass woman to make it an example, then I vote no. From the description it seems like Edge of Tomorrow is Cage\'s story with Rita being notable but ultimately second fiddle. It\'s no more an example than the Iron Man movies are for the inclusion of Pepper Potts and Black Widow.
Alright, pulling Eva and EOT.
I quickly skimmed through the page for a bit, and here\'s a few examples I had issues with right away.
I didn\'t have time to look through the whole page or to look over the page more thoroughly, so feel free to take another look.
El Hazard: A Harem Genre series in the vein of Tenchi Muyo, so the focus is still largely on the main male character.
Maken Ki: Yet another Harem Genre series. The main reason why it has a large number of female characters is because the protagonist enrolls in a school that went from all-girls to co-ed, and his specifically does this because he wants to perv on them. Further, this is one of those \"the main character is really the most badass person ever\" stories and his tendency to always take a girl\'s side in a conflict is portrayed as a bad thing.
Power Girl: Made changes because the example as written hand-waved her Cleavage Window as a non-issue when it definitely is not.
Fables: This one is questionable, because the book features an Ensemble Cast and is something of an Anthology Series that can focus on various characters in various stories. Some of the stories may qualify as this, but as a whole, the series probably doesn\'t. The most prominent hero (Bigby Wolf) is male, and we have characters like Jack (who had his own series at one point) who is basically one of those \"Lovable Asshole\" types of characters that treats women as objects and you\'re meant to laugh when he gets his comeuppance, but then he does it again. Think James Bond or Jack Sparrow.
Does Star vs the forces of evil count as a feminist fantasy? Cause the main character is okay with femininity and that one episode (where Star and Marco were going to st. Olga school to save headless pony) the school it's actually a symbol of the patriarchy and the message in the episode about being yourself and don't let people control who you are.
I wasn't going to make the request, because it's like a minefield but everytime I read through the anime section it only makes me cringe.
I'd like to request that the definition of the page (or at least the laconic page) to be rewriten, and that the anime/manga section of the page to be if not heavely edited, outright purged of most of the Magical Girl shows in the folder, while it's true that the page itself takes 'girls who kick ass' shows enough to qualify, this comes with a huge deal of Values Dissonance when it comes to anime, especially Magical Girl anime, who considering the Japanese culture and gender roles is anything but feminist, which is expanded upon in this post
I think the issue here is that our trope Feminist Fantasy does not inherently mean "completely feminist". The trope, as defined, says: "At its most basic, this just means science fiction or fantasy whose main character is a woman who is the active center of her own story, making things happen."
Under that definition, Bewitched (the Trope Maker of Magical Girl) is a "feminist fantasy" in the broadest sense.
If you want to try and redefine the trope, you'll have to create a TRS thread. But good luck with that, because this is a pretty long-standing trope and most people in the wiki are adverse to being caught up in Social Justice politics. (I direct you to Men Are the Expendable Gender if you don't believe me.)
Very well I can understand that from a strictly storytelling angle the inclusion of such stories is valid, but in that case it would be better at the very least change the name so it doesn't include 'feminist' since is not by far the only word in existance to describe something female-related, and really is not really that appropiate to use it as such, since the word itself refers to the social movements not a definition for things related to women.
Again, I see where you're coming from, but you'd have to open a TRS thread for that. And based on what I've seen about how those go...good luck.
Oh! ok sorry for the annoyance I already made the TRS so let's see how that works. Thank you
You're not an annoyance at all. I seriously wish you luck.
"A Brother's Price" doesn't belong on this page, interesting though it is in the discussion, because this trope concerns only works with female main characters. Here's the removed text:
"[H]alf the population has always been female" is linked to Captain Obvious, but I don't think this is certainly obvious. Is it even true? With the way human pregnancy works, there is much less need for males than females and with high enough populations, you don't need to consider inbreeding. Men also have higher death rates than women. How could it be obvious that half of all humans have always been female, even if it was a correct statement?
Before we begin: is this an attempt to sneak in some meninist rhetoric?
The reason I ask is because you're asking us to prove that women have always been 50% of the population. And yet, you're making statements like "there is less need for males than females" along with "men have higher death rates" as grand statements of fact. Even if these points ARE true (not agreeing they are, but just begging the question), there are other factors you haven't accounted for. For example, male offspring have also been far more coveted and less likely to be killed in infancy. Furthermore, a lack of men needed for pregnancy is irrelevant if the society in question had harsh punishments against polygyny and/or premarital sex.
Long story short, if you want to prove that the global population has ever been more than 50 to 60% female, you should bring accredited statistics, not musings on male expendability.
I'd just apply Occam's razor and move on. Still, there's no need for a Captain Obvious pothole there.
Also, from a biology point of view: No, it's not obvious. Many populations of organisms do not have a 50:50 sex ratio, and unexpectedly, tendency to have offspring of a particular sex is a heritable trait. (Its selective significance has to do with measuring reproductive success in number of grandchildren or total descendants, instead of number of children.)
Overall, on average, human babies are about 50.5:49.5 female:male, but it's easier (and close enough) to call that half and half.
Does it matter? I'm sure a historical demographer could teach us all kinds of interesting things about gender ratios throughout the centuries, but for the purposes of the trope what matters is that there's an appetite for female main characters in sci-fi and fantasy that has historically been under-served.
Yes it matters, because the issue is whether or not "half the population has always been female" should be potholed to Captain Obvious. (Might want to change that to "is" instead of "has always been", too... that's kind of a strong claim to make, and it might even be false.)
Right, but if "half the population has always been female" doesn't matter to the trope, then it can just be excised, and then it doesn't matter whether it's true, false, obvious, or obscure.
That's not true. A major facet of the trope is "half the population is female, but way less than half of fictional protagonists are".
Right, but is "half the population is female" the important bit, or is it "there are disproportionately fewer female fictional protagonists than there are females who want to read about them"?
The core of the trope seems to be, "For a long time, there were almost no female main characters, and that sucked. Then there were some, and that was pretty good. Now there are more, and that's even better. Maybe tomorrow there will be even more than there are today, and that's pretty great, right?" You don't need statistics to say that, so why get hung up on them?
It doesn't have to be a choice between one and the other. They're both important.
I don't think saying "about half of humans are female" requires additional supporting evidence (like population statistics); it's not a bold claim, it's just not necessarily obvious.
Made an edit: removed the CO pothole, and softened that statement (to "about half" and "is").
Can we change the picture on the page? Xena might be somewhat "feminist" for the time when she was created, but her outfit is pretty close to chainmail bikini. There must be some picture of a sensibly clad woman that fits, certainly?
I was thinking maybe something like this: http://role-switch.deviantart.com/art/Grabbers-Knight-in-Shining-Armor-409678646
(I know, visible breast bumps on armour don't really make sense, but at least it looks sensible)
please go to Image Pickin' in the forum and put this to them, or ask on Ask The Tropers then go there.
This is months after the OP, but Xena's armor seems pretty sensible to me. It does show some cleavage, but that isn't mutually exclusive with Feminist Fantasy, not at all. And I'd expect many suits of leather armor to include bare arms and thighs.
I'm impartial to the pic, but there is nothing sensible about a combat outfit with that much open chest.
Don't really care if the pic gets replaced, but that argument doesn't work to me.
That is an all-or-nothing false dichotomy. Xena's armor is much more sensible than a Chainmail Bikini. (There is an entry for her on that page, but it says that armor "is not a particularly heavy offender".)
v No, I meant the false dilemma between "completely sensible" and "not sensible at all". I think Xena's armor is somewhere between those extremes. I really don't want to comment back and forth about this. (Might want to rethink the statement about human observation not being a kind of evidence, though.)
"More sensible than a Chainmail Bikini" is not a false dichotomy. A chainmail bikini is comparatively "more sensible than a regular bikini". That doesn't make it automatically sensible.
Also, examples are not evidence. Examples are written by people, who have biases or make mistakes.
I didn't notice you'd edited before.
The problem is, either an outfit is sensible for combat or it isn't. There aren't degrees there. "Sensible" means an outfit that is the best possible thing to wear to maximize offense and defense. Any outfit which deliberately takes away from that can't be sensible, because you are literally sacrificing your ability to win or survive battle for stylishness.
There is nothing sensible about open cleavage in a combat outfit.
At least she's better dressed than Hercules.
How about Casca from Berserk? or Samus from Metroid? as much as I hate nintendo and most things related to that. I think Samus has a better armor, But hey, I think Xena is friggin' awesome.
Should the direct to video "Disney Fairies" movies be included in Film or Western Animation? I can't decide but I think they definitely qualify.
Western Animation, since it's a franchise per Wikipedia.
I'm confused because I've seen all of the Disney examples given as Reactionary Fantasy examples before, though not on this site, and Everything Is Racist might have in play.
Since there seems to be some confusion and disagreement concerning this, I'm going to lay out my argument that Attack On Titan fits this trope. I have seen it argued that it lacks a female protagonist, which is patently not true.
Mikasa is a Protagonist equal to Eren, with as much screen time and attention given in merchandise. Moreover, the dynamic between the Male and Female protagonist in this series throws the usual dynamic between a male and female lead on its head. Eren is the valuable person that often requires protection or rescue, while Mikasa is the Hero that protects and saves him. We also see a reversal of the typical dynamic where the woman is the emotional one and the male is the one that acts/gets things done.
All of the above is true, but some counterpoints:
Eren is still technically the main character, and is more powerful than Mikasa (in Titan mode), though less skilled. I haven't read the manga, but I can't think of a time when Mikasa successfully saved or protected Eren, other than pre-military-training. Eren saves her from some titans early in the show. Later, she attempts to save him from the Female Titan, but fails, forcing Levi to injure himself while saving both of them.
And the kidnapping scene from her backstory is the most problematic thing of all. We already knew that her life revolved around Eren to an unhealthy extent, and then we learn that her will and ability to fight both come from Eren's heroic rescue and inspiring speech. If not for that, she could be seen as a realistic and feminist character, but that scene eliminated both for me.
The irony of Attack on Titan is that it does have some effective, not-dependent-on-men-for-everything female characters—as I understand, humanity's entire ability to fight Titans at all is based on Hange's sciencing—but the main female character is probably the worst one in that regard.
Mikasa repeatedly rescues or protects Eren throughout the series, particular later in the manga (recent story arcs have focused on a Damseled Eren and Mikasa leading the charge to save him). As I stated, the male lead is valued not for actions but for what he is and must be protected. Instead, the female lead is valued for action and is a physical force.
I think one issue in viewing Mikasa's character is that you need to look at her from the perspective of the intended Audience. One of the most important tenants of Japanese society is Duty and Obligation. One person devoting their efforts to protecting and aiding someone they owe a great debt to is /very/ common in Japanese mythology and culture. It has nothing to do with a woman being submissive or needing a man. Check out the Pillars of Moral Character entry for more on that. In particular:
The best translation for this term would be "Reciprocity". On is a virtue that requires the individual to acknowledge and repay debts he owes, including debts of honor. A source of I Owe You My Life situations.
Can be interpreted as "Piety". If one owes a debt (including a debt of honor) but cannot repay it, Gimu encourages the debtor to show allegiance to the debt-holder in lieu of true payment. ''
Western audiences have an unfortunate tendency to judge an Asian woman that follows their culture's values as a negative representation of a woman. I've seen it with Disney's Mulan, with Mako in Pacific Rim, and with Mikasa as well. It's kind of a really ugly attitude, as it basically invalidates incredibly strong female characters based on judging another culture's values as inferior based on not understanding them.
In fact, a lot of fans had issue with the anime for handling of Mikasa and Annie, and their interactions with Eren. They kind of try to add more Ship Tease elements into their relationship, where as in the manga it is incredibly ambiguous whether Eren or Mikasa even views the other in anything but a platonic fashion. Annie's role was reduced, removing scenes of her acting as his mentor.
(Do we even need to go into how his "rescue" didn't go as planned, because Eren is pretty close to a male Faux Action Girl with his tendency to write checks his body cannot cash, requiring a woman to save him?)
FMA is the most un-Feminist thing I’ve ever seen from a woman. All the female characters but two (Olivier and maaaybe Izumi), are attached to, serve, or are in the shadow of men (Ala Never a Self-Made Woman), are Faux Action Girls, easily defeated by the (mostly male) enemies, and therefore being damsels-in-distress at one point or another (I'm not one of those people who scream sexism or faux action girl when she is defeated, but there is a difference between getting defeated and getting taken out easily and needing rescuing):
I copied this from somewhere (edited it to be more my tone, a bit too posh for me xD), but it is still exactly what I think.
Not to mention Winry is a crybaby, a ditz and a coward (She couldn't even shoot her parent’s killer and let a guy protect her). Because nothing say “I’m a strong woman!” like supporting chivalry and chauvinism. Let’s not forget that when she finally grew a backbone, she soon goes right back into waiting around like a pathetic little dear. Oh. and her job doesn't make her 'feminist' as her personality is completely unsuiting and is just a way to attach her to Ed (other clients or not). If, say, she were fixing cars, and on the side, and the story showed Ed was not the most important thing in her life, maybe.
You want a Feminist Fantasy? Look at “Claymore”, “Black Lagoon” and “Sailor Moon”. Hell, "Attack on Titan" is one if you ignored Misaka's turning into a Badass being because of Eren 'saving' her (or, being chauvinistic by saving her) and Anne (or is it Anna?) being trained and made the way she is by her dad.
Most people are gonna say some Feminazi shit like "You can't judge! You have a penis". But I'm waaay more a feminist than say...Joss Wheaton (yeah, I went there, Mister Loves-his-Damsels-in-Distress).
If I made any typos, sorry. I ain't the best of writers.
Sensing a lot of the typical hate that gets lobbed at female characters, as opposed to a genuine critique of the series. I adjusted my writeup to better reflect the Feminist themes and elements within the series. It sounds less like valid points and more like you just plain hated the series. That is fine to not like the series, but that.....really isn't the same as a rational, critical review.
We have a society that is extremely equal, especially considering that it is modeled to be an equivalent to the beginning of the 20th century. Women are presented as having equal opportunity to excel in any field they choose, with many examples of women in typically male-dominated fields. We see many female soldiers and officers, we see doctors (as opposed to nurses), mechanics, merchants, and business owners.
With the very purposeful exception of Lust, the female characters are not treated as sexual objects or a source of cheap fanservice. This is especially noteworthy since it is a Shounen series, which often sticks female characters in skimpy outfits with plenty of pantyshots.
You also make multiple false statements and misrepresentations of the actual events within the series. As I already said, it is fine if you simply don't care for a series. However, please don't present it as a fair and balanced evaluation when it is very clearly just Fan Hate.
Yes, several of the women in the series are presented as love interests or potential ones. But we see a lot more equality and respect going on then is typical in such situations. They're proactive, varied in personality and looks, and play vital roles in the series beyond "designated victim". So what if they might cry in absolutely horrible circumstances? The series is a very emotional one at times, with some incredibly tragic moments where the person who doesn't cry is explicitly shown to have serious emotional issues.
I'm going to go ahead and address your other troubling statements, while we're at it. For someone claiming to have feminist ideals, you sure rely a lot on very negative and troubling attitudes.
1. Straw Feminist arguments.
2. Emotions are not weakness, and showing emotion is not the automatic sign of a weak character.
3. Romantic relationships do not automatically invalidate a work having feminist themes. Rather, it can be another way to explore them.
4. Gross misrepresentation and distortion of facts in order to bash female characters, a common issue in fandom. Belittling and making things up to deny their importance, their strength, or their positive equalities is a pretty ugly thing that gets aimed at female characters.
5. There are types of strength besides "face smashing", and a good feminist work acknowledges them by allowing female characters to be more than just the "Tough Chick" (re: Guy with Boobs) and the Girly Girl love interest.
These attitudes are not good, as they are used to undermine and shove women into little boxes. A woman that shows emotion is labeled weak, and a woman who is not a bigger badass than everyone else is labeled a damsel. A woman can have a relationship without being "pathetic" and "man-pleasing". A woman can choose whatever role or path makes her happiest, and shouldn't be judged if she's a career soldier or a housewife. Both are equally valid choices in life.
I’m not sure that works without female main characters belong on this page. It seems to me that this trope is somewhat narrow in scope: it doesn’t just mean fantasy that is feminist (or more feminist than the dismal average, anyhow), it is a perhaps-not-well-chosen name for works starring strong women in lead roles. Yes, this discussion has been had before, see above; I am once again moving some works that maybe don’t belong to the discussion page. Go ahead and disagree with me!
Chiming in on the ones I'm familiar with.
Your detailed contributions are very informative. I agree, given what you say, you should add Final Fantasy X back again.
Thanks, I noticed a lot of entries didn't have much in terms of information. So I'm trying to brush things up, as I notice them.
I'm debating whether the second installment in Final Fantasy X could count as well. It has a lot of fanservice, but is also focuses on female protagonists forging their own path and saving the world. Not only do we have Yuna trying to have adventures and enjoy the life she once intended to give up, but also the underlying quest to find/save her Love Interest along the way.
Hmmm. Opinions on this one thing I am torn about?
For the Final Fantasy XII entry, I am debating if it is worth it to add mention of the Viera. They are a matriarchal Hidden Elf Village with ties to the primal mystical force of the world, and are either Wood Warders (warriors) or Salve Makers (Healers and Seers).
The one issue that makes me unsure if their physical design, which is exotic Feral Rabbit Women that don't tend to wear much clothes. (Possibly justified in that they seem to live primarily in a jungle?)
Having looked at that, I say nah. Pretty much fanservice directed at male players, "matriarchy" or no.
Girl is the measure of all things.
If you want to show off your brave new world, toss an ordinary girl in.
Then how about Oz, Wonderland, Neverland, Twilight, Gauken Alice, etc.
If the setting is a more ordinary world then grab a boy from Huck Finn to Kyon to Potter.
Girls explore the world, boys explore themselves. ;-)
"Something like eighty percent of media aimed at children have male main characters."
Is there anything that actually supports this statistic?
When I watch media aimed at children I see endless cartoons with female main characters or male and female main characters in which the female characters are far more competent in almost every way.
I... think... this is overly broad as a trope. It lumps obvious Author Tracts about how men are eeeevul and women would be better off without them (Herland etc) with more or less regular works that just happen to feature a female protagonist. And seriously... Evangelion? Do we really need to shoehorn it into everything?
Yeah, I'm really not sure what the person who created this trope wanted. I for one am interested in speculative fiction that explicitly examines gender issues (which is not equivalent to "men are eeevul"), but that's really too broad to be a trope. Perhaps it would be better as an index.
And there are a lot of female protagonists, that's for sure; there are even "strong" ones in stories that are decidedly sexist if you think about them. What's the point of listing them?
We could make a Sugar Wiki page for "strong female protagonists that This Troper admires or identifies with."
This entry definitely needs work- how "feminist" a work is can certainly be debated, therefore there seems to be something decidedly subjective about this.
I know I'm late to this discussion, but does anyone object to re-adding the Honor Harrington series?
1) It features societies with essentially complete gender equality, and a future in which such societies are very much the norm.
2) An entire novel is dedicated to one of said societies (the Star Kingdom of Manticore) establishing diplomatic relations with a very gender-unequal society (Grayson) and the complications this produces, written from a point of view that obviously supports Manticore's gender equality as the right approach.
3) The development of Grayson society into a more gender-equal form is a recurrent theme in the rest of the series.
4) Many, if not most, of the central protagonists (including the title character of the main series) are female (admittedly, as discussed above, not a qualifying trait in and of itself, but given all of the above, worth mentioning).
5) I admit I've never read the series with The Bechdel Test in mind, but from memory I'm pretty sure most works in the series (quite probably all of the full-length novels) pass it easily.
Considering all of the above, I think the series is a very solid example compared to some of the ones which were not removed... If not the series as a whole, The Honor of the Queen definitely qualifies.
I think it would be a great addition.
(Whut, how did this get there?)
I agree with Vasha and Sikon. Judging by the "standards" this supposed trope has anything with a warrior female in a fantasy world would apply, be she competent or not, good or bad. Or just a female in it, really. Most Egregious case is listing Panty and Stocking of all thing as a feminist fantasy (where the creators stated they attempted to do a "mature anime" a la mature cartoons from the West like Drawn Together, with all the swearing and raunchy stuff). I'm actually surprised I haven't seen Kill La Kill being mentioned because it has a predominantly female cast that fights pretty well (on top of technically having the aforementioned "requirements" to be a feminist fantasy), both evil guys and good guys and techinically speaking fills the quota in the main page (maybe because of the Stripperific, which brings an idea).
So in other words: if, for example, Kill la Kill isn't considered a feminist fantasy because of fanservice; then other works shouldn't be considered feminist just because they happen to have the steretype of "strong" female character, or even just well-written female characters because hey, that might not be the intention of the writer (case in point: FFXIII; yes, it has females pretty much driving the story through the whole trilogy, but the third game has the much dreaded fanservice with Lightning changing to a lot of skimpy outfits, not to mention that the pandering to a character of a game so divisive like XIII from the creator's part makes one think that in the end she is his idea of a perfect woman/waifu).
feminism shouldn't be shoehorned into everything, by the way.
I feel that maybe we should just get rid of everything that is actually just "strong female character" and/or create an extra page for those things. (Non-sexist fantasy, or such)
In my opinion, it is feminist fantasy if it is speculative fiction about a world where women are not oppressed, or maybe! fiction about a world where women's oppression is made more visible, like in the Handmaid's Tale. (Obviously, only works by authors who oppose the oppression of women belong here)
This trope is way too broad. I think it should be narrowed to just works that explicitly deal with feminist themes/issues, not just having a competent female protagonist (which is practically chairs in 2018).
I think this discussion needs to be reopened. Someone tried to create an \"Ambiguous name\" Trope repair shop thread once and it got shut down immediately. Anyone want to revive this conversation.
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