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January 13, 2011
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DISCLAIMER: This is my own response to NaokoElric's rant about sexism in FMA. I've done my best to keep my responses honest, friendly, clear, concise and backed up with evidence. Please know that I do not expect you to conform to my own beliefs (about FMA or anything else) or to agree with everything I say, that I respect your opinions, that I respect you as a real person and not just another faceless web-surfer, and that nothing I say is meant in spite or as an attack against you. Rest assured that if I make a joke or put in some sarcasm, it is all meant in good humor and not to ridicule you; and that I will do my best to be civil and polite in all my comments and replies to you.

In return, all I ask is that you act towards me in the same way. Let's just let loose, be willing to laugh, keep open minds and take time to try and understand each other.


Alright...I'm just going to skip the first few initial paragraphs of the rant and skip to where the real stuff starts.

"I was surprised when I learnt that the author was in fact a woman. The first thing I just cannot understand about Arakawa-sensei is, being a woman, why did she make the main protagonists (Edward and Alphonse Elric) male and the main supporting character (Winry Rockbell) female."

Just because Arakwa is a woman doesn't mean she HAS to make all the main characters women or focus on her own gender. She is the writer - aka the god of her story. She can create it and control it however she wants and follow her imagination wherever it leads, without anyone else's opinions holding her back. She planned and wrote everything just the way she wanted. That's what makes writing so much fun! (And personally, I admire Arakawa for being so good at getting inside a boy's head despite being female. Speaking from experience, it's not easy to accurately, realisticaly write from the POV of a character who's the opposite gender of you. Arakawa's got talent.)

Also, (though FMA's awesomeness transcends all genres in my opinion), technically it IS a shounen series - aka geared towards boys. While there may be exceptions, like you've mentioned before, male protagonists are the norm in this category. It's to be expected. Just like girls usually find it easier to relate to female characters, boys usually find it easier to relate to male characters. I fail to see why that's so wrong or sexist.

"Due to this, we had the typical: "Male(s) go/goes on adventures to reach a goal, while the female best friend/love interest, oblivious as to what is happening, waits at home" trope! I know Winry travelled with the Elrics every now and then and learned some things, but it is still, just annoying that Arakawa-sensei did this! It is such an over-used plot device!"

I'm not familiar with very many animes (bookworms FTW!), so I honestly don't know how overused it is in the genre. However, let's think about Winry's life for a second. I think it's unfair to say that all she does is sit around waiting for the Elrics to come back. Keep in mind that she has a real, paying job and her own life to attend to, whether or not the boys are there, and it would be somewhat unwise of her to drop it just to go adventuring with them. Ed's automail isn't the ONLY stuff she fixes. That's the way I've always seen it, anyway. The adventure's great and all, but there will always be ordinary lives lived by ordinary people behind the scenes, and Winry is part of that. I see no shame in that. I'm also confused as to why you don't give her credit when she DOES travel and learn new things.

"She should have made the made the main protagonists a pair of sisters and Winry a boy and have the rarely seen story where "Female(s) go(es) on adventures to reach a goal, while the male best friend/love interest, oblivious as to what is happening, waits at home. How many series have a pair of sisters as the main protagonists, rather than a pair of brothers?"

Admittedly, that would have been interesting...but for me personally, I think I'd still like FMA better with brothers than sisters. I'm more of a sucker for brotherly love than sisterly stuff, for some reason. I guess I just love it when two guys are able to have a deep, loving relationship without it automatically being labeled "gay" or twisted into something sexual, ya know? (No offense to the yaoi fangirls! This is my personal preference, so please respect it!) I adore bromance. Melts my heart every time...

"This brings me neatly on the next point of my rant: Winry Rockbell herself."

Hoo boy, here we go...

"I am not a Winry-hater. I just have some issues. However, despite these issues, Winry is my second favourite character (the first being Alphonse, and Mei Chan and Ran Fan tied at third, but still…)"

Whew, that's refreshing to hear at least.  

"The author was being just down right sexist towards herself because of the way she made Winry Rockbell. Winry could have been a cool character but instead she was made a ditzy, love-struck, cry-baby (who "cries for those who will not cry for themselves, such as Edward and Alphonse" which is just pathetic) and wore far too revealing clothes (tube tops/midriff-bearing tops and mini skirts)."

Whoa, whoa...okay...hold on, my head's spinning...

Alright, lemme tackle this one point at a time: Ditzy? I don't think that's the right word. Besides her giddy obsession with automail and the typical hormones (like Mei and her fangirl crushes on the Elrics), she's always struck me as having a very solid, smart head on her shoulders. And being cheerful and energetic isn't the same as being "ditzy" or scatterbrained. I will admit that she is oblivious to things sometimes, but that's because the Elric brothers always keep her in the dark, not because she's a "dumb blonde" or a ditz.

Love-struck? Completely disagree...and this is also one of the main reasons why I personally love the EdWin pairing. Look at the scene where she finally admits to herself that she loves Ed. Do you see any shojo-esque sparkles? Bubbles? Roses? Is Winry even blushing? No. It's a very quiet, thoughtful moment for her...and unlike other love-interest characters I've seen, she doesn't swoon over him or think about how attractive he is. Rather, she thinks about the journey, all the ups and downs they've gone through together and how much he's grown. Also, does she ever try to flirt with Ed? Does she drop any real, conscious "hints" to him? No, she keeps it to herself...because she knows he has more important things to focus on. To me, that shows maturity and genuine care for him - not "love-sickness". And it proves to me that she's worthy of him.

Crybaby? Well then, you might as well call me a pathetic crybaby too, 'cause I cry way more often than she does. xD In the words of Arakawa, "Winry laughs a lot, cries a lot and gets mad a lot"...just like any other average, hormonal, teenage girl. She's a character that I and many others relate to.

But just for kicks, let's count how many times we actually see her cry.

1: The first time is when things are falling apart between two of the people she loves most. (note: She doesn't go mope in a corner about it, she takes action and challenges Al to fix things. "You have no idea how Ed feels!! Go after him!")

2: The second time is when she is reminded of an extremely painful event for both her AND Ed, and it is also regret for breaching his trust. (think: You just went behind your best friends back and found out something horrible. At least she's strong enough to fess up to what she did. I know some people who would never tell and just pretend it never happened.)

3: The third time is after a dear friend DIES. Who wouldn't cry in a situation like that?

4: The fourth is when - right in the middle of a dangerous battle - she is facing the man that she just found out brutally murdered her parents. Again, who wouldn't cry?

5: The fifth and final time she cries is when Ed and Al finally come home to her - safe, sound and restored. Tears of joy, just like Ed promised.

So, in my humble opinion, Winry is perfectly justified whenever she cries in the manga...which is five times out of all the 100+ chapters there are (as far as I can remember). That's not so horrible, is it? And personally, I see nothing pathetic about Winry crying for the people who refuse to. To me, crying for someone is a gift. A sign that you deeply care for them and want to help them carry the pain. You may see it as "pathetic" if you want, but I think it's beautiful. I believe God created tears for a reason.

As for her clothes...she only wears her tube top and "midriff" tops at home and around people she knows well, when it's hot, and she wears it because it's comfortable, not to be "slutty". I see nothing wrong with that. Lots of other girls do the same. As for the miniskirt...it's not like we ever see her panties or anything. For all we know, it could be a "skort". And again, I see nothing wrong with that. I've seen characters wear far more revealing outfits. And anyway, why can't girls wear what they want? If they're comfortable showing off their legs or midriff, then let them. It's not personally something I'd do, but I'm not gonna go around calling others sluts for doing it. (And the girls in Bleach had WAY more fanservice/cleavage/"slutty" pictures than Winry ever did, in my opinion.)

"She was also reduced to a hostage to keep Edward doing as the military says."

Because she was his best and closest friend, not because she was a girl. Also, give her some credit! All on her own, without any help from anyone, she figured out a very smart, strategical way to get out of the hostage situation and escape from Kimblee. (And when the boys protested, she put her foot down and properly told them off!) Not only was it a smart move...it was extremely brave. Putting herself in the hands of her parents' killer took serious guts; you can't deny that!

"Finally, she also gets her soul stolen due to the activation of the National Transmutation Circle and had to be saved. I know she was not the only one, but still Winry had to a part of that did she not? She had be one of those who needed saving, even all the other important characters were not?"

This argument makes no sense whatsoever to me. The Big Transmutation Circle of Doom sucks EVERYONE'S soul out, regardless of gender. Making an exception for Winry in the situation she was in would be a painfully big plot hole and would just make her another Super Speshul Magic "Look-at-Me-I'm-Immune-to-It!" Mary Sue to me. Also, the other important characters DID need saving. Riza did when her throat was slit. Roy did when he lost his sight. Ed did when his automail got obliterated and his flesh arm got skewered and Father was all "IMMA GONNA EAT UR SOUL NOM NOM". =P

"She is does very feminine, stereotypical things such as the laundry and baking."

I never once saw Winry do any laundry in the manga, and I'd love it if you could point out which chapter you saw that in. (And even so...well, Truth forbid she takes care of herself and does her own laundry. Really.) ;P And so what if she bakes? My mom and little sister bake and cook all the time and enjoy it; does that mean they're oppressed, stereotyped women who need to drop the mixing bowls and become lawyers or something? Just because one main female character in the story happens to bake doesn't mean she's a victim of sexism. It's just something she likes doing, and there's nothing wrong with that.

And I'd also like to add that that's one of the things I like about Winry. She has a job she loves and that she's talented and successful in, but she's also not above doing so-called "feminine" things sometimes. It's the best of both worlds. Frankly, I find it a breath of fresh air amidst all the endless badassery from the other FMA women. To me, Winry is proof that you don't have to be a gun-toting, karate-fighting, power-flaunting tough girl to be awesome in your own way.
This is just the first part of my response to NaokoElric's rant on sexism in FMA: [link]

Here are the rest of my responses:

Part 2: [link]
Part 3: [link]
Part 4 (conclusion): [link]

While I admit my initial reaction to her rant was a bit knee-jerk ("WHAAAAAT OMG NO FMA IS NOT SEXIST WHAT PLANET IS SHE FROM HOLY ARAKAWA"), it proved to be a fun and interesting challenge once I gave it a chance. It forced me not to take FMA for granted and really look at the content, and helped me gain a greater appreciation for it and a better understanding of why I believe what I believe in.

And thus, I encourage all my fellow FMA fans - EdWin lovers and yaoi fangirls alike - not to shoot her down for speaking her mind, but rather listen, respect each other and figure out where YOU stand on this issue. It saddens me to see one of my all time favorite fandoms so filled with drama and catfights and "I'm-right-and-you're-wrong" contests. Sorry if this sounds melodramatic or if you think I'm being a wuss, but I have to be honest.

It. Breaks. My. Heart. FMA deserves so much better than this!!

As Vic Mignogna brilliantly put it, "Stop messing with each other just because people don't like what you like. Stop being mean to each other! For God's sake, I can't believe this kind of thing goes on. You know what? You guys are part of a huge family who loves a lot of the same things...and yet people still find things to fight about. Stop that crap!" [link]

Is he right, or is he right? Srsly.

And just in case people ignored it, I will repeat my disclaimer so NO ONE can say that I didn't give fair warning or do my part to be friendly and civil about this:

I've done my best to keep my responses honest, friendly, clear, concise and backed up with evidence. Please know that I do not expect you to conform to my own beliefs (about FMA or anything else) or to agree with me on everything, that I respect your opinions, that I respect you as a real person and not just another faceless web-surfer, and that nothing I say is meant in spite or as an attack against you. Rest assured that if I make a joke or put in some sarcasm, it is all meant in good humor and not to ridicule you; and that I will do my best to be civil and polite in all my comments and replies to you.

In return, all I ask is that you act towards me in the same way. Let's just let loose, be willing to laugh, keep open minds and take time to try and understand each other.


Alright? Alright. We have no excuse for biting each other's heads off now. =P

Part 2: [link]
Part 3: [link]
Part 4 (conclusion): [link]

NaokoElric's original rant: [link]

And remember, KEEP IT CIVIL. LEST YOU SUFFER THE WRATH OF TEH DEARHEART. :devil: I don't care WHAT side you're on. If you get mean to me, NaokoElric or anyone else, I will...I will, um...do something. I don't know what yet. But IT WON'T BE PRETTY. *scaryface*

I fail at being intimidating...
Add a Comment:
 
:iconchaoticdarkangel:
ChaoticDarkAngel Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2013   Writer
"And she does stereotypical things to such as laundry and baking"


...Did this person even really watch the series at all? I've seen the anime and read the manga, not once did I see Winry doing laundry or even baking O_O Man oh man. What is so wrong for a female author to create a male lead? I do that in my stories to, most of my main characters are male and I'm a female myself it's really not that big of a deal :shrug: I'm not going to bash NaokoElric though don't worry, I'm not that type of person :) I may not agree with her comments but still I'm not going to bash her.
Reply
:icontheredripper:
TheRedRipper Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The cunt disabled comments like a fucking coward.
Why am I not surprised?
Reply
:iconaveragepotter13:
AveragePotter13 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I couldn't agree more. I'll just leave it at that..
Reply
:iconbezawesome:
bezawesome Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
DUDE I love you!!! :o :D you rock!!!
I agree with everything you have here
and I'm also a Christian :)
Reply
:iconxxkmdsxx:
XxKmdsxX Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like this :XD: and yes, Winry is an amazing character no matter what anyone says. Although I prefer Riza :)
Reply
:iconxxwinryelricxx:
xXWinryElricXx Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love this o u o
When I first read NaokoElric's rant, I wanted to do a reply on it like this, but you already said just about everything I wanted to.
I think we will be good friends o u o
IF you want to be my friend, of course.
Reply
:iconmoveforwards:
Moveforwards Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2011
I totally agree with everything you are saying. I mean how is Arakawa sexist? She also has many other girl characters who kick butt eg Riza, Lust, Lan Fan/Ran Fan, and so on.Just because one girl doesn't fight doesn't mean that she is a weak or boring character. Winry may not be my fav character but I still think she's awesome.
Reply
:iconarachibutyro:
arachibutyro Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2011
I can support your whole 'she wears that in front of people she trusts and only at home when it's hot' thing, about the tubetop.
I know a bunch of people that would rather sit at home in their underwear when it's hot, rather than be ready to leave the house and go to some big city like Central 24/7. It's too much effort. We also have to remember that Winry works with metal and fire, and torches and stuff while sitting in a fuckin' BASEMENT.
Seriously, I'd say she's almost too dressed. XD Also, isn't Resembool kind of hot? XD
Reply
:iconsupahfrog:
Supahfrog Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011
Wooow Fma sexist? Um no. I have never seen such strong female characters that weren't main characters in any series ever

Saying Fma is sexist is like saying Higurashi is for kids....
:iconhigurashiplz:

Its plain out stupid.
Reply
:iconpracticallyuseless:
PracticallyUseless Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"IMMA GONNA EAT UR SOUL NOM NOM".

:evillaugh: LOVE IT!
Reply
:icontsukia-kari:
tsukia-KARI Featured By Owner May 12, 2011  Student Digital Artist
:iconbwavoplz:
lmao, if the girl thinks FMA's sexist, what about Death Note? :lol:
Reply
:iconxmisaxamane:
xMisaxAmane Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Student General Artist
I agree with everything you just said. A strong female is a well-thought out character, IMO. o3o I think Winry is very well thought out and and quite balanced. She don't need to be a badass to be a strong female character. <3
Reply
:iconhenpukumaru:
Henpukumaru Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
:iconclapplz:

Honestly, there are other female characters out there who actually deserve a raised eyebrow of doom more than Winry ever could.

She ran after Ed with a chainsaw, ok. That is legit.
Reply
:icondearheart42:
Dearheart42 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Student Writer
(I choked on my water at your "chainsaw" observation", lol...)

And I totally agree. Winry's got NOTHING on Bella Swan when it comes to sexism... >.<
Reply
:icontaytotott:
TaytoTott Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Girl, you are my friggin' hero. Flat out, hands down my hero. You're so right about everything that you wrote in here and I love how...I guess, "fairly opinionated" you are. You gave your opinion without bashing.

Anyway, agree to the max. Holy Mignogna, Winry needs more credit than that. She's one of the best female anime characters I personally have ever come across. Seriously. Compare her to friggin' Kagome Higarashi from "Inuyasha"...that girl drove me nuts because she was always, "Inuyasha, Inuyasha, Inuyasha!" Winry has yet to go," Edward, Edward, Edward!" like a squeamish little fangirl. Winry ROCKS. She would be my BFF if she were real, for sure.

I :heart: you for posting this! :hug:
Reply
:icondearheart42:
Dearheart42 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Student Writer
D'AWWWW I FEEL ALL WARM AND FUZZY INSIDE NOW :hug: Thank you so much, and I'm glad you think I was fair. I tried hard to be as non-bashing as I could. I want to prove to every anti-EdWin/anti-Winry fan out there that mindless fangirls are the exception, not the norm, and that it IS possible to get along with people who have polar opposite opinions from yours.

Yes, I completely agree. Winry deserves far more credit than she gets. To me, a damsel-in-distress is when a girl won't try to DO anything about her situation and just cries "OMG SAVE MEEEEEE". And none of the girls in FMA - least of all, Winry - ever did anything remotely like that. On the contrary, Winry un-damseled herself. How often do you see that in other stories, manga OR novel?

Winry is brave, brilliant and overall awesomesauce in my book. And she'd probably be my BFF in real life, too. :D
Reply
:icontaytotott:
TaytoTott Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
:hug: You were fair and you brought up opinions with facts to cover them. It was like watching a lawyer presenting Winry Rockbell's case to the jury. You hardly did any bashing, if any at all. :D

Winry reminds me of me only with crazy mechanic abilities and a sexier body. But everything else about her....well, I can relate better with her than I can with freakin' Bella Swan! Winry is a female character that I actually admire; I don't find many of her kind in novels or movies. I just don't! She did un-damsel herself and I love her for that. Even after all the crap she went through, Winry still manages to be strong, brave, caring and happy (not mention that she's a great motivator) because she knew she couldn't live her life wallowing in self-pity and hate.

That's why I find her so hardcore. And why I would want her as my best friend...yay, we can have a trio! LOL
Reply
:icondivinestrength:
DivineStrength Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011
YOU. ARE. AMAZING. FOR THIS.
I adore Winry and it completely irritates me when people make irrational reasons to hate her, when at the end of the day, they only hate her because she is Ed's love interest.
which is just stupid because, they are not characters in FMA world, and despite how much pretty much every single FMA fangirl (or fanboy) wants Ed to be real, he's not. And he won't be.
so it just annoys me when they say that Winry's annoying and stuff because well, she's /not/.
BUT YEAH THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR THIS. IT MADE ME VERY HAPPY TO READ. <3
Reply
:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Sorry for all the comments. Oh yeah, could you camment on the opinons of the person I quoted in the Artist's Comments?
Reply
:icondearheart42:
Dearheart42 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Student Writer
Thank you, and I'm glad that you're able to understand where I'm coming from. I tried to be as clear and non-bashing as I could. =)

Sadly, I don't know if/when I'll be able to tackle your friend's comments. My classes are getting really heavy now, and I need time to focus on my studies. I will try to get to those extra comments if I can, but I can't make any promises right now. Sorry! :(

BTW, the rest of my responses are posted now. Feel free to take a look and share any thoughts you have!
Reply
:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Yeah, it is better than bitching at each other.

No, no, they are not my friend, I just randomly found it on the internet.

Ok.
Reply
:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Oh yeah, what I meant by Winry havingto be saved from the circle is she wa the only inportant character to lose her soul.
Reply
:iconrhr-forever:
rhr-forever Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011   Traditional Artist
...?

Winry is one of the main characters, it was fitting that she would be shown losing her soul. It has nothing to do with her being a girl.

I'd just like to point out something. While your arguments about FMA having sexism can be looked into, it's not as if Hiromu Arakawa purposely put all that and say, "Oho! Look, this is a perfect point for being sexist. Oh, I can add this, too!" No. What you may find "sexist" in FMA most likely isn't put in there intentionally. It just happens that Winry is the third main character in FMA. It just happens that she is a crybaby.

On the contrary, FMA PROVES that Winry loving to bake and being girly does not have to scream, "SEXIST!" With Winry, FMA proves that being able to kick a guy's butt AND being girly at the same time is possible--it proves that girls shouldn't be one or the other (they can be however they want!). So in that way, FMA is the complete opposite of being sexist.
Reply
:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Winry is not a main character. She is a suporting character. Arakawa-Sensei may have been a bit dim and have not realised it was sexist, but she did do it on purpose. she wrote it, did she not?
Making her girly is making ehr a sterotype, if she was younger (ten roughly) then ok, but she is a TEENAGER. Most female teenager do not enjoy baking another femminine crap.
Reply
:iconrhr-forever:
rhr-forever Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011   Traditional Artist
You have a point. But what I meant to say was, she is one of the, if not, the most important person to Ed and Al. So of course she'd be shown. Why not?

"but she did do it on purpose. she wrote it, did she not?"
Yes, she wrote it! But when you're writing something, you don't notice these kinds of details. Everything flows out of you out if its own accord. She wrote FMA to be sexist on purpose? What?
By ~flower-in-the-light
"Speaking as a writer, often you don't' sit down and think 'hmm, is this character going to be a boy or a girl?' The character simply is. Because we think of them as a boy or as a girl immediately, not because we think stories with boys will be more popular, or because we are sexist. I've seen books with female main characters that are full of sexist ideals, like Twilight. The gender of the main characters does not determine if a book is sexist, it is down to how the characters are portrayed."
([link])

I am utterly appalled that you would choose FMA out of all shonen mangas to list as "sexist".

Making her "girly" is NOT a stereotype. Is it a crime to like baking? Baking is a HOBBY. A LOT of girls do it. Excuse me, but some of us actually LIKE being feminine! Some of us LIKE wearing pink, cooking, wearing makeup, and whatever people call being "girly". Why is being feminine such a crime nowadays? Honestly. Does every single woman need to act like a man to pass the sexism test or something? So couldn't you reverse it and say that it would be sexist for guys to act all macho and hate pink and makeup? I think that applies as well.

You can't help what you like and what you don't like; does it really have to be considered a stereotype at every little detail you spot on a character?. Winry can like whatever she wants; it's her choice to like these things.

Didn't you read what I said? Winry defines the whole not-sexism thing. She is able to be both kickass and feminine at the same time, which makes a difference.
Reply
:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I did not say she was making it sexist on purpose at all.

I know it is about the way the characters are portrayed, I am a writer too. But their roles in the story also determine that. As I said in the rant, I know series that have a main male protagonist, yet is writing by a woman, but is still fair on gender. Harry Potter. FMA is not.

I am appalled you are not taking anything I say in. If you actually read the rant, you would have seen why I did not pick out such series as “Naruto”, and perhaps “Bleach” as they was written by men. FMA was written by a woman and I cannot believe a woman could write a story, that, to me, is blatantly sexist. AS I said in the rant, if FMA was written by a man (and I though it was) I would not be complaining and pointing these things out as I would expect as much from a male writer/artist/mangaka.
I wear pink, but I do not wear make-up (well I will put on some lip-gloss and nail-polish) but I am in no way a stereotypical girl who likes to housework and cries at the drop of a hat and crap like that. I am emotionally strong.
Look at woman though history and then look at Winry, they share many stereotypical traits.
I am not saying woman need to “act like men” (if anything, men need to express sadness more, like my best friend, he is not afraid to cry) and does more things around the house, etc. But we women need to stop doing all the rubbish that we were forced to do throughout history and doing something worthy instead. I am one of those who believes “housewife” is not a job.

Did you not read the other thing I out down that I found in the internet? I am sick off you all picking on me when I am not the only one that has this opinion. You cannot, in any way, justify that Winry is not a sexist character. Because she is. She cries all the time, she dresses like a slut, she does baking and laundry, she cannot defend herself, she does everything for two boys and barely anything for herself and her story revolves around them, crying about her dead parents and waiting around like an idiot and obsessing over instead of going out there and doing something useful Pinako could have taken care of the automail business.

Look:

"FMA is one of my favourite series, and I (as well as many other fans) regard it to be quite progressive in regards to gender issues. But I still see a lot of female characters attached to male characters, or in the shadow of male characters. Riza exists to push Roy to the top; Winry supports Ed in his quest to regain his body; and Ran Fan serves Ling. In fact, without these male characters, many of the female characters would not exist, because they exist as a subset of their male counterparts. (The only exception to this seems to be Izumi and Sig: Sig exists as part of Izumi's story, not the other way around.) Also, Winry-supporters sometimes argue that Winry in particular is a progressive character merely for the fact that she does not fit a "healer" archetype unlike many of her fellow shonen heroines from other popular series (such as, say, Sakura or Orifice from Narrator and Bleach, respectively). I disagree with this venomously. Winry's up there with the rest of them - it's just that, for this particular canon, automail takes the place of flesh and thus healing automail is equivalent to healing flesh. Some people see her mechanical skills and say, wow, that deconstructs gender somehow! - and it would, if Winry lived in the modern-day era on our side of the gate where she'd have to fix cars and machinery for a living. However, that's not the case, and in her universe, her skills exist to serve her male counterpart. Also, Riza can "kick ass" with a gun, but the ideals she's protecting with that gun are not her own. They're Roy's. So sometimes when I hear people say the female characters in FMA are progressive, I wonder if they're mistakenly looking at skills (gun skills, technical skills) and not looking at what those skills are doing for this particular narrative and for whom

They're 's also the fail of the only female homunculus in the manga being Lust - the one sin stereotypically pinned on women. She's the first homunculus to die, so she's never fully developed, but her comfort with her own sexuality is the source of her "evil". (This is one place where the anime wins, btw - Lust is more than just a character associated with sexuality and is quite philosophical and intelligent. She's also not the only female villain.)There's other fail, too, like the fact that Rose in the anime has no agency outside of Ed, for instance. I actually find her situation interesting because she has no agency, but it's still problematic."

See? This person agree with me (though I have never spoken to them) about many things and even points out some things I missed.
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:iconrhr-forever:
rhr-forever Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011   Traditional Artist
At least you're not one of those macho feminists that think a women should be or act like men to be equal or something. ^_^ So we at least agree on that! ^^;
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:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Yes that is good.

Well, to be honest things like female body-builders creep me out. I mean, they could learn self-defence (you know like karate) and life weights and stuff to get toned, and a little muscular but when they look like this: [link] [link] or [link] then no, just no.

I also do not like “Ladettes”. You know, those teenager/twenty-something woman who think to need to be rebellious and match men drink for drink (even though we cannot tolerate as much alcohol) to be cool.
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:iconrhr-forever:
rhr-forever Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011   Traditional Artist
That's weird. o_O

:XD:
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:iconrhr-forever:
rhr-forever Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011   Traditional Artist
Actually, you did say that. ---> "but she did do it on purpose." :?

Okay, fair point. But no matter what you try to say, FMA's "sexism" still wouldn't amount to the atrocious level of sexism found in other works.

"But we women need to stop doing all the rubbish that we were forced to do throughout history and doing something worthy instead. I am one of those who believes “housewife” is not a job."

-sigh- Please. Did you misunderstand me? It doesn't MATTER what a woman does as long as she gets a choice in doing so. There is a HUGE difference between being forced to be a housewife and choosing to be a housewife. Winry CHOSE to do the jobs she does, not because she's FORCED to do them. And she isn't just a housewife, she's a mechanic as well. She CHOSE to bake, not because she's FORCED to, and that is all that matters. As long as she's happy with whatever she does, how should it affect sexism?

Another thing: Izumi. She's a housewife, yet she defines feminism. She's a housewife, yet she is a skilled alchemist and fighter as well. She's a housewife, yet she can kick ass just as well as anyone. Here is another example where FMA defines feminism. Leading to your statement:
"But their roles in the story also determine that."

While Izumi and Winry are still put in the place of what you might think is "sexist", they still work hard and try to achieve their goals just as any other male would do so. So in no way would placing the FMA women in special roles be sexist; it is not the roles, but what the characters DO with the roles that matters.

"You cannot, in any way, justify that Winry is not a sexist character. Because she is. She cries all the time, she dresses like a slut, she does baking and laundry, she cannot defend herself, she does everything for two boys and barely anything for herself and her story revolves around them, crying about her dead parents and waiting around like an idiot and obsessing over instead of going out there and doing something useful Pinako could have taken care of the automail business."

Did you not read any of your replies in your rant or something? :? I'm utterly confused. -sigh- Here we go again.

You never actually commented on what was so wrong with crying in the replies. What is wrong with crying? As someone else has already pointed out, how is it any different from screaming or throwing a tantrum?

She dresses like a slut? I utterly fail to see this. She wears a tube top IN HER HOUSE. She never shows off anything IN PUBLIC. She wears a short skirt, yes, but she doesn't flaunt it. So, just like what I said about the characters' roles, it is not what she wears that determines sexism, but what she decides to do with it that determines it. If she were to wear her skirt and flirt and flash off her underwear in public, THEN would I be able to see your point. But she does none of that. She wears a skirt because she wants to, NOT because she wants to flirt in it (so how is that slutty?!), and she is careful enough to cover up her private parts while wearing the skirt.

I've already addressed the baking thing. She bakes because she wants to, NOT because she is forced. There is NOTHING wrong with liking to bake.

What? She barely does anything for herself? Her job is to build automail, she doesn't just build automail for Ed, she does it for others as well. She waits for Ed and Al, yes, but she doesn't just sit around doing nothing--she works at Mr. Garfiel's place in Rush Valley doing the job that she loves. She spends her time wisely--not lingering around waiting--but by doing what she loves the most, which is automail engineering. And again, she doesn't just build automail for Ed. She builds it for others. And she does it because she LIKES doing it. She's got the talent to do so. So please back up your arguments that she "waits around like an idiot and obsessing over instead of going out there and doing something useful".

And again, did you read the replies or what Dearheart addressed about Winry? :?

"Also, Riza can "kick ass" with a gun, but the ideals she's protecting with that gun are not her own. They're Roy's."

Please read this:
"...what I mean that "follow Roy" was RIZA's decision and Roy has no power over that whatsoever (in the sense that it was not forced upon her). So much so, he's constantly asking her if she'll keep following him. She could leave him at any time she wants and, if she doesn't, that is a conscious choice of hers and not as some sort of dependency." - Turdaewen from FMA-forums

What this means is that why can't Roy's ideals be Riza's ideals as well? Riza followed Roy because it was HER choice--because Roy had the same dreams that Riza did. She followed him by her own decision. She wasn't doing it for Roy completely--she was doing it for herself, too, because she and Roy had the same goal.

Please don't get mixed up between being forced to do something and choosing to do something, because that's what you keep adressing in your arguments--that the females are forced to do something that you consider is sexist. The females prove that whatever role they are in, suboordinate or whatever, they can still try their hardest to achieve their goals, and that is certainly NOT sexist. It is the complete opposite.
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:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I expressed in the rant that I love Izumi character, as even though when someone asks who she is and screams “I’m a housewife!” she can still hold her own outside the home, belying the kind woman one would expect to be homemaker.

But to me, choosing to stay at home to do boring housework is retard. There is many more thing you could be doing, and you could get the housework done when you get back from your job.

Well, that is a rather silly argument. Would you wonder around you house naked because “it’s your house” or where what she does (in front of people may I add) because “it’s your house”. I sincerely hope not. And as matter of fact she does where it in public. Not the tube top, but that zipper sports bra thing. She does too “flaunt it”. If she was not, she would not wear that. Look at her white top, it barely covers her cleavage and that is a mini-skirt. If she worn tights underneath, or shorts/trousers instead, that would be expectable. But no, Arakawa had to gibe her a mini-skirt like almost every single other anime girl, instead of being different. Some of the girls at my school wear really short skirts, but they have the decency to wear tights underneath.

She is told to bake. Remember Edward telling her to “bake an apple pie for me and keep it warm”.
Exactly. All she does is build automail. The only reason she travels is built/repair automail. While the Elrics are going around learning amazing and controversial things about their country and the neighbouring countries, she just waits and builds automail, totally oblivious. And Edward has the sheer cheek to barely tell her anything. Winry should have known as much as the Elrics do (she is their childhood friend after all) even the character who meet the Elrics in the manga for the first time in the present (if you get what I mean) learn a hell of allot fucking more that what Winry does. Winry should have also travel with them all the time too.

Riza should have had her own ideals. Properly, the only reason she served Roy is because he was her father’s student and he picked her to be on his team.

I know perfectly well the difference. I also know the difference between a good choice and a stupid choice.

Finally, yes, I did read the replies, in depth, may I add and told her I understand.
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:iconrhr-forever:
rhr-forever Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011   Traditional Artist
Okay. That is your opinion on whether or not certain jobs are worth doing.

Sigh. Here we go yet again. She wears it because it's COMFORTABLE. A LOT of people wear comfortable clothing in their houses. And besides, who cares what she wears in the house? It's not like she's trying to impress Pinako. :roll: She switches to the zippered top because it is slightly less showy--but you may be wondering, why does she continue to show her midriff? Because in Rush Valley, the area is HOT. She works hard, and she sweats a lot, so it must be uncomfortable to wear a regular outfit. But most of the time, she covers her zippered top with her jumpsuit. Going to public would be like going to someone else's place--and she never goes somewhere else with a midriff (the place where she lives in Rush Valley is considered her home).

Okay, PLEASE back up your argument with evidence. Show an example from the manga where she flaunts. When you say, "If she was not, she would not wear that," that does not prove that she flaunts it. If there was a scene where she was suggestive in revealing her outfit or she was flirting with the guys, THAT would be an example. Dearheart and others have clearly posted evidence to back up their arguments, so I'd like to know where your idea that she "flaunts" with her outfit comes from.

Her white top is almost ALWAYS covered with a black coat. She only takes it off if she's around Ed or Al.

Again, I will reiterate what I wrote earlier: It's not what she wears, but HOW she wears it--meaning if she shows it off or not.

But in reality, does what she wear really matter? Shouldn't we truly judge by her character rather than by what she wears?

Arakawa had the decency to prove that girls could freely wear miniskirts and be able to be careful about it--to be careful to not accidentally reveal anything. And argue it as much as you like, but the fact remains--Winry is never shown to have revealed anything.

She is told to bake, yes, but she could have easily denied that request. It was her choice whether she followed Ed's request or not. She wasn't FORCED to bake. Meaning that she didn't bake only because Ed told her to--she baked also because she WANTED to. Because believe it or not, she loves Ed. Don't try to argue that, because romantically or not, she loves Ed. So she could have said no, but she WANTED to do it for him. Here again, you're misunderstanding something Winry is forced to do or something she wants to do.

Sigh. She does automail because she LIKES doing it. Please do not diminish someone's personal interest because it's not a job where you can travel. Look at all the guys in Rush Valley--they all are building automail, too, just like Winry. Ed and Al like to travel, and Winry likes automail. I seriously do not see the problem here.

"While the Elrics are going around learning amazing and controversial things about their country and the neighbouring countries, she just waits and builds automail, totally oblivious."

We're not even addressing FMA anymore when you talk about this sort of thing. Not everyone likes to travel and do the same stuff as Ed and Al. Not everyone wants to go out there and be heroes in the world. Some people like to learn at home or their workplace. By saying these points, you are looking down upon many jobs in our world--nurses, teachers, engineers, etc. They all do the same sort of job as Winry--they have their workplaces, they are educated, and they use their knowledge to help others. They are all respectable jobs. Actually, many jobs take place just as Winry's job does, yet you're trying to say jobs like those aren't good enough. Not everyone likes the same things as what Ed and Al would like.

You can't just say a character "should do this, should do that". A character does it by his or her choice. I thought your whole argument against sexism was that these women were forced to be in those roles--well, aren't you forcing them to be a different role now--a role that you think is better? That's very controversial. I will reiterate again--it is not the role that the women are in, it is what they decide to do with that role. In this case, the women who are in a certain position in FMA enjoy those positions--again, they work hardest to achieve what they want. Even if they aren't the top, even if they aren't the main characters, they still try their very best to do everything they possibly can. And that's what makes it the opposite of sexism. Not their positions, but what they do with their positions.

Riza works her best to try to have an ideal country for the future generation, and that just so happens to be Roy's goal. That's why she followed him. It was by pure coincidence that she and Roy shared the same dream. Do realize that she could have chosen at any time to stop following Roy--but she didn't. Why? Because her dream was, again, to create an ideal place for the younger generation to live--and the first step to that was to make Roy Fuhrer (because she had decided that he was the best for the job).

You are saying that these choices are "stupid", yet all of the females' roles' play a significant part in FMA. Without Winry, we wouldn't have a regular, hardworking citizen who helps others. Without Riza, we wouldn't have someone who is ambitious enough to try and achieve her dreams. And many others.

And again, it's your opinion whether these choices are "stupid" or not, but do realize that these choices play a significant impact in FMA.
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:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I am rmoving/changing a few things.
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:iconnaokoelric2250:
NaokoElric2250 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Well, this is good. I can understand from where you are coming from.
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:iconpwnedbypineapple:
PwnedByPineapple Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
Let's see... we've got Riza, Lan Fan, Izumi, Olivier, and Mei (to some extent) who can all kick butt and are classic examples of very strong women. While there's nothing wrong with that (they are all freakin' awesome characters), not all women in the world can be like that. Winry is the perfect example of a strong woman who isn't necessarily the fighting type. And all the reasons you listed are examples of that. She's got more depth to her than most real teenage girls, actually. (Which is really very sad, but we won't go into that.)

I particularly love what you said about EdWin. That's real love there, not some stupid little crush.

Fullmetal Alchemist is not sexist. In fact, one of the many things I love about it is its female characters. They are all wonderful.
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:iconfinalfantasyfangal:
FinalFantasyFangal Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011
Ahhhh, I love this! A very well-thought out response, kudos to you!
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:iconyamichi:
YamiChi Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2011
To me, being a "strong female" is not doing unfeminine things...it's doing exactly what the hell you want to. If I want to be girly, I'll damn well be girly, no-one has the right to deny me being myself.

What Winry does she has chosen to do, the same for Ran-Fan, Mei and Riza. They prove that they can do more than be the little wifey who stands in the background and I applaud Arakawa for giving FMA women like that.
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