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Mar 19th 2019 at 5:17:39 PM •••

I removed the following example:

  • The Rising Of The Shield Hero: The kingdom that is first introduced into the story is a matriarchy where women can get the justice needed should something go wrong and the Queen is a benevolent and reasonable ruler. The main female protagonist is raised by Naofumi to become stronger, confront her past, and she soon becomes one of the strongest characters of the series. The Starter Villain that gives Naofumi his first real challenge is also a woman. In fact, it\'s pretty safe to say that most of the story\'s strongest and influential characters are women. That being said, it also doesn\'t pull any punches when showing that there are women who happily abuse a system placed to help at the expense of men, as shown with Malty.

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.

Edited by NubianSatyress Hide/Show Replies
Mar 19th 2019 at 7:00:28 PM •••

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.

Edited by VeryMelon
Mar 19th 2019 at 8:26:05 PM •••

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.

Mar 19th 2019 at 8:57:28 PM •••

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.

Mar 20th 2019 at 6:41:30 AM •••

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.

Mar 20th 2019 at 8:44:02 AM •••

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.

Mar 20th 2019 at 9:00:29 AM •••

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?

Mar 20th 2019 at 10:07:37 AM •••

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.

Mar 20th 2019 at 10:34:13 AM •••

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.

Mar 18th 2016 at 11:45:15 AM •••

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.

Jan 29th 2016 at 12:41:16 PM •••

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

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Jan 29th 2016 at 1:47:07 PM •••

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.)

Jan 29th 2016 at 6:22:37 PM •••

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.

Jan 29th 2016 at 6:40:32 PM •••

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.

Jan 29th 2016 at 10:19:00 PM •••

Oh! ok sorry for the annoyance I already made the TRS so let's see how that works. Thank you

Jan 29th 2016 at 10:39:49 PM •••

You're not an annoyance at all. I seriously wish you luck.

Oct 8th 2015 at 12:42:29 AM •••

"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:

  • Wen Spencer's A Brother's Price: set during an Industrial Revolution, pretty much every instance of inequality has justifications in-world and is chosen to parallel similar restrictions on women from our world, from value and virginity being closely linked, to being blamed for infertility, to a custom similar to bride prices called brother's prices, and on and on. And yet not only is Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male subverted - either can be horrible to either and they are just as bad - but rape is taken seriously, with blame being put not on the victim but on the one with the power, male or female. Consent is clearly seen as important, and human respect too.

Oct 3rd 2015 at 2:36:41 PM •••

"[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?

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Oct 3rd 2015 at 7:15:11 PM •••

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.

Edited by KingZeal
Oct 4th 2015 at 4:35:35 PM •••

I'd just apply Occam's razor and move on. Still, there's no need for a Captain Obvious pothole there.

Oct 5th 2015 at 4:05:31 PM •••

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.

Edited by rodneyAnonymous
Oct 5th 2015 at 4:51:52 PM •••

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.

Oct 5th 2015 at 4:54:21 PM •••

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.)

Edited by rodneyAnonymous
Oct 5th 2015 at 5:02:24 PM •••

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.

Oct 5th 2015 at 5:06:01 PM •••

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".

Oct 5th 2015 at 5:11:33 PM •••

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?

Edited by HighCrate
Oct 5th 2015 at 5:25:09 PM •••

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").

Edited by rodneyAnonymous
Feb 11th 2015 at 7:47:31 AM •••

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:

(I know, visible breast bumps on armour don't really make sense, but at least it looks sensible)

Edited by Gowan Hide/Show Replies
Oct 5th 2015 at 11:52:21 AM •••

please go to Image Pickin' in the forum and put this to them, or ask on Ask The Tropers then go there.

Oct 5th 2015 at 7:13:58 PM •••

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.

Edited by rodneyAnonymous
Oct 5th 2015 at 7:30:26 PM •••

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.

Oct 5th 2015 at 7:32:37 PM •••

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.)

Edited by rodneyAnonymous
Oct 5th 2015 at 7:41:44 PM •••

"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.

Oct 13th 2015 at 2:02:39 PM •••

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.

Feb 15th 2016 at 4:46:18 PM •••

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.

Jul 18th 2014 at 6:15:07 PM •••

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.

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Jul 19th 2014 at 1:22:21 AM •••

Western Animation, since it's a franchise per Wikipedia.

Feb 19th 2014 at 8:07:34 AM •••

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.

Jan 14th 2014 at 1:42:35 PM •••

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.

People's thoughts?

Edited by Hide/Show Replies
Jan 16th 2014 at 2:00:35 AM •••

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.

Jan 16th 2014 at 10:30:40 PM •••

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:

''On (恩) 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.

Gimu (義務) 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?)

Edited by
Dec 20th 2013 at 6:58:23 AM •••

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):

  • Riza: even though she is a tough gunslinger (and that fact that she is a sniper fits into the Guys Smash, Girls Shoot crap), Riza was made a bit of a Damsel in Distress as The Führer made her, like Winry to Edward, a hostage to keep Roy in check. She was also twice made into a complete Damsel in Distress when she was attacked by Gluttony, and later, when she had her throat slit. Despite her skills, she was saved on both occasions, the first time (the Gluttony one) by men! Not to mention that because she had her though slit, she could not take direct part in the final battle.
    • Then there is the scene is Riza crying when she thought Roy was dead. Do we ever get a scene where the man is crying and screaming because he thinks the woman he loves is dead? Even if there is a scene like that, the man does not cry most of the time. Not only this, but she begged for death just because her man was dead! What kind of woman does that?! A weak-minded, pathetic, man-pleasing, submissive one, which is who I hope women like that do not exist in real life (though I have a feeling do)! How can Riza be 'so strong' if she has this, a female character trait showing the weakest of will and self-believe/respect? It does not show she cares, it just shows she is as weak as a non-fighting female (like Winry and Orihime).

  • Lan Fan: Ran Fan (a ninja) was made a blatant Damsel in Distress when Wrath attacked her (taking out with just ONE HIT!) and she was rescued and protected by Ling, a boy, and the person she was supposed to be protecting! It pissed me off. Why build her up to be this competent bodyguard only to [[Chickafy Chickification]] her before she does any protecting?! Classic Faux Action Girl.
    • There’s even a picture of Ran Fan appearing weak and helpless, while Ling has one arm wrapped around her and the other clutching his sword in front of her. The roles should have been reversed, as it is her job to protect!
    • Oh, and because she received this injury and had to cut off her arm, she was out of the majority of the story while Ling received all the adventure and attention!

  • Mei: Well, she STARTED off as an independent (and averting the Never A Self-Made Women tropes of the other females), used Rentanjutsu and marital arts, but she still cried many times. Like when she lost Xiao Mei (though I guess that is understandable, as she knew her for so long and they were good friends), when Alphonse gave himself over to the gate to restore Edward's arm in Manga Chapter 107 and when she thought Alphonse was gone.
    • Just like Riza and Ran Fan, she had to be rescued/saved and was motivated by some stupid crush (no MALE character was crushing on anyone/doing something purely because of that). This happens every time she attacked Father. In both incidents, like Ran Fan before here, it takes ONE HIT to defeat her and leave her needing rescue and protection by a guy!

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.

Edited by Hide/Show Replies
Dec 24th 2013 at 3:10:00 AM •••

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.

Edited by
Dec 24th 2013 at 3:46:12 AM •••

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.

Edited by
Oct 11th 2013 at 12:08:46 PM •••

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!

  • Attack on Titan has earned considerable praise from fans for its complex and respectful portrayal of female characters and its lack of fanservice. Female soldiers wear the exact same uniform as their male peers, and are treated no differently. Traditional tropes concerning gender roles are either completely ignored, or more often subverted without the cast treating it as unusual or a big deal.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni deserves a mention where despite having a male protagonist, his female companions are all well written with their own quirks, flaws, and interesting spins on their character archetypes. By the finale, they all survive by working together using their unique talents, with neither one overshadowing the other.
  • Claymore, arguably.
  • Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer
    • [Vasha’s note: the page for this work says it was directed at a male audience]
  • Simoun
    • [Vasha’s note: all-female cast but crammed with fanservice... I dunno...]
  • Y: The Last Man explores the fate of the last surviving human male after a disease kills the rest of the gender. Hence the world is exclusively populated by women, allowing for the exploration of a range of gender-based ideas and assumptions, and women form almost all the characters.
  • Although With Strings Attached is about The Beatles and hence has four male main characters, the world they're sent to has complete equality of the sexes. In fact, all of the leaders they meet on the worlds they visit are female: Grynun, Kerrun, Aurion, Brox (sort of), Amelia, and the queen of the Warrior Women. And the female Shag is the leader of the Fans and the instigator of the entire adventure.
    • Notably, the world that Jeft put together himself is male-centric.
  • How To Train Your Dragon counts in the sense that in the Island of Berk, set centuries ago, the participation of women in combat as equals beyond rank is simply taken as a given.
  • In The Chronicles of Prydain, Eilonwy has a somewhat larger role than girls did in most fantasy of its time (1960s). She is shown to be just as capable as any of the other main characters. General protests aside (most of which are more centered around the fact that it's improper for a noble girl like herself to go to battle, and not necessary because she's female), everyone generally accepts that she's going to be coming along.
  • The Wheel of Time is not feminist per se, but at least half the main characters are female, and women in general have some sort of dominance in the world, most cultures being either outright matriarchal (Ebou Dar, the Sea Folk and Far Madding come to mind) or giving equal rights to both men and women (most village have both a male Village Council and a female Women's Circle, the Aiel being ruled by both the clan chiefs and the Wise Ones).
  • The Beyonders is an unusual variation. The primary viewpoint character/protagonist, Jason, is male. However, the secondary protagonist, Rachael, is female, and she's very Genre Savvy about the gender inequalities inherent in a Standard Fantasy Setting (or any adventure story, really) and is not only highly displeased with them, she's intent on defying them. After "taking a cliff"—I.E., a huge risk—for her friends, she earns their respect massively.
    • A similar theme exists in the author's previous series, Fablehaven. The one of the main heroes is a girl named Kendra, and one of her allies is an elderly gentleman, Coulter Dixon, who will not willingly put a woman in danger or ask for one's help on a dangerous mission. This frustrates Kendra to no end, but as the series wears on, Coulter lightens up after seeing what Kendra (and her Badass Grandma Ruth) can do.
  • Final Fantasy X has aspects of this. While most of the focus is on Decoy Protagonist Tidus and his relationship with his new friend Wakka and enigmatic mentor Auron, they are actually mostly just some dumb muscle, who do a rather poor job of being Yuna's bodyguard. But as the story progresses, it becomes more apparent that Yuna and her guardian Lulu are actually on a quest to save the world and are pretty much pulling all of the weight, while the men are too preoccupied with their own problems to really grasp what's all going on right next to them. Auron seems to be aware, but consciously chooses to let the women run the show while interferes as little as possible. While Yuna falling in love with a man is what eventually makes all the difference, it's not that she leaves the role of being the hero who saves the world to him, but rather that she decides to get what she wants for a change, and not simply doing what is taught and expected by tradition. Which happens to be represented by a council of old men.
    • Final Fantasy XIII has an overall equal ratio of capable men to women, but the women in particular have a more active role to the story in taking mentorship (Lightning) and protectorate (Lightning again, and Fang even more so) roles, not to mention that the plot was instigated by Serah and Cocoon was eventually saved through Fang and Vanille's sacrifice.
  • Persona4features four female characters in the main party, all of whom are very different, nuanced and well written examples of female characters.
  • Though far from perfect, the Fire Emblem games to have a large amount of female characters that run the gamut of femininity from Clerics and leaders of Incorruptably Pure Pureness to badass buttkickers who revel in combat and war.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening deserves special merit, as one of its three lead characters is a well rounded woman and the player's Avatar character can be male or female with no change in how they are written or thought of by the in game characters (except in matters of romance).
  • Several arcs and episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender have feminist themes. The Kyoshi Warriors, Katara challenging Pakku for the right to learn combat waterbending, and Toph's entire existence all prove that it's okay to be a girl and be kickass at the same time. Even more "traditional" women in the show such as Yue, Ursa, and Kya have a quiet strength about them and heavily impact the plot in ways that don't involve fighting. And with six recurring female characters in Katara, Toph, Suki, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee, the show has plenty of examples of different kinds of kickass girls instead of just one archetype.

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Nov 9th 2013 at 9:56:04 PM •••

Chiming in on the ones I'm familiar with.

  • Attack On Titan: Mikasa is a lead as well (they have a main trio), and the cast is well-balanced between the genders. Female characters occupy several important roles, and are treated not only as equals by their peers but handled respectfully by the author as capable individuals rather than stereotypical "Strong Female Character". By this, I mean the strength of the women is not treated as unique, nor does it require some of the over-the-top bringing down of men sometimes used to show that a female character is "strong". Instead, you've got an ideal where women are just as capable as their male peers, respected for their abilities rather than looks, and no one thinks it's odd if a girl is strong. But it also has many nuances in terms of the female characters, and the plot centers strongly on several of them through their choices and actions, rather than them being damsels or objects to be won. We also have women everywhere in the background, in all roles and walks of life.

  • Claymore is almost entirely a female cast, all strong and capable warriors that are noted to be better suited to their task than the failed Male generation. It has a strong focus on the friendships, rivalries, and driving goals of the women.

  • Angelic Layer: Went back to fresh my memory, and while it aims at a male audience with the standard Shonen Fighting Tournament....I don't think that automatically means it doesn't fit here. It focuses on a female protagonist's journey, and placing her into a role typically played by a male protagonist (I'm gonna be the strongest! I'm gonna be the champion!) while focusing on her growth and the bonds she develops.

  • Final Fantasy X: Yuna is the true protagonist of the story, with Tidus merely as the audience surrogate viewing her journey from girl intending to martyr herself to a strong, capable woman that chooses her own path.

  • Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning is considered the first outright Female protagonist of the Final Fantasy series (as opposed to having a male decoy), and the plot is primarily driven by the women in the story. The expanded universe of the trilogy focuses on a Goddess, and the women connected to her in their roles as saviors, seers, and champions.

Edited by
Nov 10th 2013 at 11:50:43 PM •••

Your detailed contributions are very informative. I agree, given what you say, you should add Final Fantasy X back again.

Nov 14th 2013 at 12:00:08 AM •••

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.

Nov 17th 2013 at 2:24:39 AM •••

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?)


Nov 17th 2013 at 9:14:17 AM •••

Having looked at that, I say nah. Pretty much fanservice directed at male players, "matriarchy" or no.

Sep 20th 2011 at 1:33:45 PM •••

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. ;-)

Apr 21st 2011 at 8:20:51 PM •••

"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.

Jan 26th 2011 at 12:58:14 PM •••

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?

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Jan 26th 2011 at 4:01:28 PM •••

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."

Edited by Vasha
Jan 5th 2012 at 6:36:45 AM •••

This entry definitely needs work- how "feminist" a work is can certainly be debated, therefore there seems to be something decidedly subjective about this.

Mar 22nd 2013 at 12:24:30 AM •••

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.

Edited by RebelFleetTroper
Jul 13th 2013 at 3:30:06 PM •••

I think it would be a great addition.

Jan 14th 2014 at 1:41:25 PM •••

(Whut, how did this get there?)

Edited by
Jan 16th 2015 at 6:00:01 PM •••

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.

Edited by AsamisaKY
Feb 11th 2015 at 7:53:58 AM •••

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)

Aug 5th 2018 at 4:39:28 PM •••

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).

Aug 5th 2018 at 4:50:06 PM •••

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.

Type the word in the image. This goes away if you get known.
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