April 26th, 2013



People on Facebook keep talking about female characters in stuff (books, manga, anime, comics), and it's had me thinking. Of course, we've just been working, so all those thoughts have been filed away and I'm having trouble remembering them (Athena: Clearly, you need a better filing system. j/k), but the only other thing I have to talk about is whining about how our schedule got interrupted. And I really shouldn't whine about it, because it was so people could take us out to ice cream for our birthday (this Tuesday!). And I actually don't have much to say about it except, "Boo interruptions! Yay ice cream!" so there you go.

Anyway. Yesterday somebody said something, in a thinking-out-loud kind of way, about how maybe the fact that she and all her girl friends like to cosplay male characters a lot is an indication of the lack of dynamic female characters in entertainment. That just got us thinking about a lot of stuff. It's true that lately one of the main reasons we haven't been cosplaying is that we think, "But we wanna be pretty girls!" and then we can't come up with anybody to cosplay. But on the other hand, we also have the added hurdle of "needing" to cosplay characters that would logically be found in pairs. But even with that hurdle, we've managed to come up with a ton of female cosplay ideas (that we never acted on). So sometimes I wonder if people complaining about a lack of female characters in stuff are just watching the wrong shows (reading the wrong books, etc.).

I've also been wondering...okay, there was another thing quoted on Facebook about how Wreck-It Ralph is "seamlessly gender-balanced." We thought about it and we were like, "If you mean that all of the characters have a balanced amount of testosterone, yes." I mean, Vanellope might be a little feminine...but I guess maybe so is Felix, so again, it balances out. It just seemed like another example of how people seem to think that the only worthwhile female characters are the ones who act like men.

So it had us wondering. What is it exactly that people see as weakness, and what is it exactly that people see as strength? Are weak traits really more pronounced in female characters? Are the strong traits really more pronounced in male characters? And what kinds of female characters are people seeing? Are there really that few strong ones? Or is it just not the kind of strength that people think "counts"? And how is Snow White from the 1937 Disney movie weak while Snow White from that ABC show is strong? (Frankly, we both think it's the other way around.)

...And I'm having a really hard time figuring out what it is I want to say, so I think I'm just going to stop talking.

Today I'm thankful for being treated to ice cream, work not being too hard today, origami turtles, getting to listen to Koe no Ouji-sama songs on shuffle while we indexed names last night, and Page's adorable pillow mountain.